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AAP, BJP Sikh leaders release Rajiv Gandhi’s video ‘justifying’ 1984 riots

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New Delhi: Demanding that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna award be withdrawn, AAP leader and senior advocate HS Phoolka and BJP’s RP Singh on Thursday released the old video of the former wherein he can be seen justifying the 1984 anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi saying “when a big tree falls, the earth shakes”.

The video was released by Phoolka and Singh on Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary on Thursday during a press conference in New Delhi.

Phoolka has been fighting for securing justice for 1984 Sikh riots victims. He demanded that Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna Award be withdrawn for his provocative remarks, accusing him of justifying the 1984 ‘genocide’, The Indian Express reported.

“In 1984, on this day, nation’s prime minister had justified the killing of 3, 000 Sikhs in his address at the boat club in the national capital. He had said that when a big tree falls then the earth shakes. Instead of punishing the culprits of such mass murder, he was justifying it,” said Phoolka.

“A Prime Minister who takes three years even to count the dead bodies of innocent citizens killed in open broad daylight in the capital, a Prime Minister whose party was responsible for a massacre, cannot be a Bharat Ratna. We demand Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna’s be taken back,” he said.

Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said Indira Gandhi taught the nation to stay united and people must follow that path.

“We must learn as much as we can from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Maulana Azad…Indira Gandhi taught us how to stand united,” the Congress president said in her speech to commemorate the 98th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi at the Indian Youth Congress convention here.

“She dedicated her life to the unity of our country,” she said.

Sonia Gandhi said the late prime minister always stood for inclusion and equality, and lauded her for her farsightedness and ushering in Green Revolution in India.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Sikhs In U.S. To Donate Funds, Food To Unpaid TSA Workers

Leading the community efforts, Khalsa is currently working with several local grocery stores that are eager to offer foodstuff at discounted prizes. 

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Photo: metro.co.uk

Two Sikh communities in the US state of Indiana will donate funds and food to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers, as they remain unpaid due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.

The Sikh community of Fishers, Indiana, and Gurinder Singh Khalsa of SikhsPAC, a national Sikh political action committee, are coordinating with Mario Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, and Aaron Batt, TSA Federal Security Director, to support TSA agents, who are impacted by the shutdown, the American Bazaar news portal reported on Thursday.

“The community has come forward and is keen to support the workers who are undergoing the crisis of missing their paychecks,” Khalsa told the portal.

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Sikhs in US to donate funds, food to unpaid federal workers,representational image

He said that $5,000 in gift/grocery cards and more than $5,000 worth of hot food will be delivered to the TSA agents at the Indianapolis Airport on January 28.

Leading the community efforts, Khalsa is currently working with several local grocery stores that are eager to offer foodstuff at discounted prizes.

“We are looking at the places that can offer us good discounts so that we can deliver maximum stuff to workers affected,” he said.

TSA official Batt said the communities’ efforts were “overwhelming and amazing”.

To ensure that the community is able to offer helping hands to federal workers until the shutdown ends, the Sikhs in Fishers have vowed to encourage more Sikh temples and faith-based organisations in the state to come forward in assisting in the coming weeks if needed.

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Leading the community efforts, Khalsa is currently working with several local grocery stores that are eager to offer foodstuff at discounted prizes.  ( IANS)

“Our community kitchen will continue serving every Sunday and we will deliver hot food weekly to our TSA public servants on a weekly basis until the shutdown is lifted,” Khalsa said.

TSA falls under the Department of Homeland Security and has about 60,000 employees.

Its workers are one of the lowest paid employees and have been working without pay since the shutdown began on December 22.

Also Read: Are Indian Scientists’ Minds Cluttered With Prejudices?

TSA also has a much larger minority concentration of employees with about 22.9 per cent of them being African American employees, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The partial government shutdown continues as President Donald Trump demands $5.7 billion for a wall along the US-Mexico border and Democratic lawmakers decline to approve it.

Roughly 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or are working without pay since then. (IANS)