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Closed petition Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Sikh massacres

This petition is calling on the UK government to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Sikh massacres.

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These horrific events have been described by many as genocide, including by the Delhi High Court and reportedly by members of the Indian government, including the Indian Prime Minister. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that the murders fall under the category of crimes against humanity on parity with genocides worldwide.

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Government responded

This response was given on 21 May 2024

HMG is aware of how Sikhs, and many other Britons, feel about the tragic events in 1984. While an undoubtedly appalling series of events, HMG currently has no plans to formally commemorate them.

The UK Government is aware of how Sikhs, and many other Britons, feel about the tragic events in 1984 which led to so much loss of life in India. His Majesty’s Government holds the British Sikh community in the highest esteem. British Sikhs are an important and vibrant part of our country and continue to make an enormous contribution to British society. While an undoubtedly tragic moment in history, the likes of which we must never see again, the Government has no plans to formally commemorate the series of events.

Although the awful loss of life at Operation Bluestar will not be formally commemorated, the events in Amritsar in 1984 are at the forefront of our minds when looking at freedom of religion, political tolerance, and human rights in India. We are firmly committed to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion and belief, and in being a strong voice internationally in defence of this fundamental right. This includes promoting and protecting the rights of British Sikhs.

Last month, Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron noted the harrowing consequences of Operation Bluestar in the House of Lords. Lord Cameron stressed how wrong what happened that day was and explained that the Golden Temple in Amritsar was “one of the most beautiful places I have been to.”

Engaging with Sikh communities across the country and ensuring all members feel valued and respected is a key objective for the Government, with the Home Office, Department for Levelling Up and Communities and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office all operating community outreach policies in the Sikh diaspora.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office