November 2, 2009 2:53:51 am
In trilokpuri,the Trans-Yamuna resettlement colony that was the site of the worst Sikh killings in the aftermath of Indira Gandhis assassination,two gurudwaras in Blocks 31 and 36 have held fast to a tradition where they remember the dead and pray for three days and nights. Langars are organised for hundreds of Sikh families coming from as far as Bihar and Punjab.
They call it Shaheedi Diwas.
The three-day ceremony began on Saturday at the gurudwara in Block 36 and will continue through Monday.
We remember the dead and pray that such a thing never befalls us again, Nazar Singh,the sevadar of Trilokpuri Block 36 gurudwara,said.
Outside the gurudwara,seven people were killed. Nazar Singhs father Santosh Singh was also killed during the riots. The mob pulled him outside and stabbed him right in front of his house. The gurudwaras themselves were torched and razed. They were rebuilt later.
In the Block 31 gurudwara,where the mob stormed in and killed at least 20 Sikhs in the compound on October 31,Mircha Singh,the 85-year-old granthi (keeper of the Sikh scripture),has never celebrated Diwali since 1984.
He still remembers the last time he celebrated the festival.
It was on October 26. All of us in the area celebrated it together, he says,sitting cross-legged inside the gurudwara.
Everyone ran to the gurudwara when news of the riots spread on October 31. Over 500 people were killed in the area, says Singh,who took refuge with a Hindu family.
There are no Sikh families left in the nearby blocks now,including Block 32 right across the road.
Mircha Singh will hold the solemn ceremony in November,attended by families from Tilak Vihar,the resettlement colony where Sikhs were accommodated after the riots.
Sikhs take out protest march for justice
A group of Sikhs on Sunday staged a protest in the Capital demanding justice for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Members of the All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) took out a march from Gurdwara Bangla Sahib to Jantar Mantar. Raising slogans demanding punishment to the perpetrators of the riots,they also demanded that the Parliament acknowledge the
riots as genocide.PTI
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