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NDP leader says Canada should declare anti-Sikh violence in 1984 a genocide

Last Updated Mar 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm PDT

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks at an availability following caucus meetings in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. Singh says Canada should declare as a genocide the anti-Sikh violence that took place in India more than three decades ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Canada should declare that the anti-Sikh violence that took place in India more than three decades ago was a genocide.

Singh — who spent much of this week defending himself following the emergence of several videos showing him appearing at various events where others promoted Sikh independence and violence — says there is clear evidence attacks on Sikhs by Hindus which followed the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 were not spontaneous, but rather organized by government.

He says recognizing it as a genocide decreases tensions between Sikhs and Hindus and can help everyone heal from the wounds that remain open even though the events happened so long ago.

When he was an Ontario MPP in 2016, Singh introduced a motion to label the attacks as genocide and while that motion failed, an almost identical one introduced by a Liberal MPP last year did pass.

That motion angered the Indian government and was among the sources of tension surrounding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India last month.

Singh tells The Canadian Press today he doesn’t have an immediate plan for his party to introduce such a motion in the House of Commons, but says it would be very appropriate to do so.