Where Women Are Paraded Naked
THE RAPE OF PUNJAB:
Indian State's Indignities on Sikh Women and Children
 
THE BRAHMPURA INCIDENT
INDIA'S BRUTAL CAMPAIGN IN PUNJAB DURING 1984-94
THE OPERATIONAL BLACK THUNDER
 
Related Links
 
 
 
History
 
IHRO activists with the support of Punjab Sikh Lawyers Council   (PSLC) and Sikh intellectuals organised a "Sikh Samelan" on August 31, 1986, at the Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana. It was attended by more than 500 delegates from all over India. The Samelan resolved that Sikhs should forge a joint front with other minority nationalities of India that were similarly fighting against the Centre for their political rights.  The Samelan also endorsed the right of the peoples to self-determination to determine their political status where dependence fails.

To secure recognition to the right of public dissent and generally to lend support to the struggling peoples, who were fighting to defend their religious, cultural, linguistic and ethnic identities against New Delhi's attempts to oppress these just and democratic struggles, the Indian Minorities' and Dalit Front (IMDF), the ARCC’s constituent held a "Minorities Convention” at Red Cross Bhawan, Jalandhar on November 9, 1986. Most of the minorities were represented at the convention chaired by the heir of late Nawab Sher Mohd Khan of Malerkotla, Hazi Anwar Ahmed Khan, ex-MLA, who was specially deputised for the occasion by Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi.  The convention pledged besides other things to jointly fight against the Hindu chauvinistic rulers of Delhi who had been magnifying their culture under the slogan of Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan to absorb the minorities into Hindu-fold.

The IHRO gave a call to the public in Punjab to observe November 1, 1986, as "Black Diwali" as on this day two years ago, thousands of Sikhs were butchered in Delhi and other parts of the country in the wake of Indira Gandhi's assassination.  The call was endorsed by certain other Punjab organisations. The call was a success as people particularly in rural areas completely observed Diwali as "Black Diwali" in protest against the Sikh carnage.

Responding to the call by the National Alliance, a co-ordinated PRO, ARCC, PUCL (Delhi and Raipur), OCDR (Tamil Nadu), APR  (Kerala),  PNDR (Orissa), Samata  Sangathan,  IFTV  (Delhi), Mukti  Jana  Sanstriti Manch, Vidyajyoti,  Haryana  Jana  Morcha, Internationalist Labour Union (Faridabad) and Sarraha  Sanggharsh Samiti  to  observe February 14, 1988, as "Punjab  Day"  all  over India, the ARCC organised a torch light demonstration at Ludhiana protesting   against  the  killings  in  fake   encounters, the imposition  of  repressive  legislation  curtailing  fundamental rights and the frequent use of army against civilians.

The  IHRO organised yet another convention at Chandigarh  on April  9, 1988, to oppose the 59th amendment. The  convention  was attended  by  more  than  300  representatives  of  a  dozen  odd political  parties and numerous human rights groups, and  chaired by IHRO President Sukhdev Singh, P.N. Lekhi, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal (BKU) and Kalyan Singh (General Secretary, Takht Sri Patna  Sahib Parbandhak  Committee). VM Tarkunde and Kuldip Nayar sent telegrams expressing their support to the aim of the convention.

Over 100 activists of the IHRO and the BKU  (Bharti Kisan Union) were arrested by the Chandigarh administration on April 22, 1988, while they were demonstrating against the amendment outside the Punjab Governor residence. They were kept in jail for a week.

A call for observance of UN Human Rights Day on December 10 of 1987 and 1988 as protest day in Punjab was given by the IHRO. People struck their work on that days and there were complete Punjab Bandhs against the violations of human rights in the state.      There was a complete state-wide Bandh for one day on April 30, 1989, against the unspeakable atrocities on Sikh women who were then being humiliated, dishonoured and raped by the police and security forces.  The call was issued by the IHRO. Subsequently, the Indian State had to call a temporary halt to its mad campaign against women.

The IHRO observed August 15, 1989, the Independence Day, as black day in protest against human rights abuses in the state. It organised a 'black flag march' at Ludhiana on that day. About 500 activists were arrested and detained for the rest of the day in different police stations in and around Ludhiana. During 1991, the UN Human Rights Day was again observed as protest day in Punjab and demonstrations were held in several cities in North America, Europe, Australia and south-east Asia. The call again was by the IHRO. The Public response was widespread. There was a big demonstration outside UN office in London and Buckingham Palace. Similarly IHRO chapters registered their protest in  Paris  (France),  Bonn   (Germany),   Geneva (Switzerland)  and Washington DC (USA). The IHRO  North  American Chapter organised protest outside White House carrying  placards, "Stop  US  Aid  to India, Stop IMF Loans to  India,  etc.".  By calling  for a day of protest on the UN Day, the IHRO  sought  to shake   the  world  public  opinion  to  their responsibilities respecting  human rights situation in Punjab.  The  demonstration outside  the White House was directed against granting  financial help to India by the World Bank and IMF that, in turn, was being used  to  beef up security forces doggedly  engaged  in  crushing dissidence in Punjab, Kashmir and Assam.
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