Sikhs in U.S. to commemorate victims of 1984 riots after Indira Gandhi’s assassination


Community to hold candle light vigil in Connecticut City Hall on Nov. 9.


It has been 35 years since, one of the worst tragedies struck India. Riots broke out across India after the October 31, 1984 assassination of then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by one of her Sikh bodyguards.

The Sikh community suffered an irreparable loss with killings, looting and arson by mobs that engulfed parts of India.

Sikhs across the world mark the period with solemn prayers and thoughts for those who lost their lives and property during the mindless violence.

To mark the 35th anniversary of the tragic events, the Sikh community in Connecticut will be organizing a commemoration event at Norwich City Hall on November 9. Its theme: “The more we will get suppressed, the more we will shine.”

Sikh community members from across the state are expected to show their solidarity by attending a peaceful candle-light vigil at the City Hall.

In an another, event tensions arose earlier this month when a “1984 Sikh genocide memorial” installed in Connecticut’s Otis Library was removed at the request of Indian government.

The memorial prominently featured photos of separatist Sikh militant leader, Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale. He was killed during Operation Blue Star by the Indian Army ordered by Indira Gandhi in June 1984 to clear the Golden Temple, one of the holiest Sikh shrines located in Amritsar City in Punjab state, of Sikh militants.

Last year, Connecticut became the first state in the U.S. to officially remember the Sikh Genocide Memorial Day on November 30 each year.

Even though Sikhs make up for less than one percent of U.S. population, in the recent years there has been on ongoing effort to educate the masses about the faith and its tenets. Sikhs have also been amongst the most affected South Asian communities when it comes to hate crimes in the U.S.

The commemoration event will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 9 at Norwich City Hall, 100 Broadway.

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