Noteworthy News and Analysis from Around the World

In-Depth Coverage of Issues Concerning the Global Sikh Community Including Self-Determination, Democracy, Human Rights, Civil Liberties, Antiracism, Religion, and South Asian Geopolitics

Home | News Analysis Archive | Biographies | Book Reviews | Events | Photos | Links | About Us | Contact Us

Dharmi Faujis (1984 Army Mutineers) Honored


N.D.T.V., Chandigarh, (Punjab, India), Jun. 16, 2003

"Hundreds of Sikh soldiers had left their barracks in the wake of Operation Blue Star on Jun. 10, 1984. They were later abandoned by their units. But 19 years later, they have been honored and given financial assistance. More than 132 former soldiers gathered in Chandigarh on Sunday and Rs. 14 lakh [Rupees 1,400,000] was distributed among them by a trust, which claims to have collected this from donations across the world. Many of the former soldiers claimed they had been promised financial help by the Akali government. 'I did not get any financial assistance from the government. They only promised to help me but later they backtracked,' said Mohinder Singh, a former Havaldar."
"Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sardar Hukam Singh had started this trust called Spokesman in 1951 to safeguard the interest of Sikhs and Sunday's distribution has raised a storm. 'What happened in 1984 was wrong. Everybody resented the attack on the Golden Temple in different ways. But Dharmi Faujis protested by deserting their barracks,' said Joginder Singh, coordination in-charge, Dharmi Faujis."
" 'People are honoured in Gurdaspur. Jagjit Singh Chauhan, the protagonist of the Khalistan movement vows to revive the Khalistan movement. And, today a trust is giving them money. This should be probed,' said Maninder Singh Bitta, president, Anti-Terrorist Front. This event comes just a week after the honoring of Khalistan mastermind Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale by the Akal Takht. Security forces have warned that this could lead to a dangerous revival of divisive sentiment in Punjab."