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US appeals court to hear 1984 case against Sonia Gandhi for protecting perpetrators of violence against Sikhs

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Sonia-Gandhi

New York: A US federal appeals court in Manhattan has set August 18 for oral arguments in a case filed by a Sikh rights group against Congress party chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The lawsuit filed by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) accuses Sonia Gandhi of shielding, protecting and rewarding the perpetrators of violence against Sikhs in November 1984 in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The court is set to hear the oral arguments on whether the 1984 claims are barred under US Supreme Court case Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.

It would also hear arguments on if two individuals Jasbir Singh and Mohender Singh are proper plaintiffs on behalf of their family members and whether rights group has associational standing to file the lawsuit.

In June 2014, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against Sonia Gandhi ruling that she is not liable under Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and that the plaintiffs have no standing to bring the lawsuit.

In their appeal, SFJ and 1984 victims invoked the principle of international law that “those who cover up a crime are just as guilty as the ones who commit it”.

The allegations against Sonia Gandhi include shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and other Congress party leaders.

“We have a strong argument that US Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum does not bar the law suit against human rights violators when the victims have no other recourse,” said SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

In September 2013, a class action suit was filed against Sonia Gandhi by SFJ and victims of 1984 under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA). (IANS)

 

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Modi is anti-Dalit, will defeat BJP in 2019: Rahul Gandhi

Gandhi also accused the government of suppressing and intimidating the media

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Rahul Gandhi becomes president of Congress as mother Sonia Gandhi steps down
Rahul Gandhi steps in as President of Congress, Wikipedia

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government of being anti-Dalit and said his party will defeat the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Gandhi, who led his party’s day-long fast at Rajghat to highlight atrocities against Dalits and other communities, said party workers were protesting against an ideology, a way of thinking.

Rahul Gandhi becomes the president of Congress as mother Sonia Gandhi Steps Down
Rahul Gandhi is against Modi and his rule.

“The atmosphere that has been created in the country, it is due to the ideology of the BJP. BJP’s ideology is to divide the country, crush the Dalits, tribals, minorities. We are against the ideology of the BJP. We are standing against it today, we will stand against it throughout our lives. And we will defeat them in the 2019 elections,” Gandhi told reporters.

Asked about BJP Dalit MPs writing to Modi with their complaints, Gandhi said: “You talk to them in Parliament. They also tell us that Modiji is a casteist person, an anti-Dalit person. He has no place for Dalits in his heart, the whole country knows this. It is not a secret.”

Also Read: A voice of his own: Rahul Gandhi tries to impress Lok Sabha with his speech

Gandhi attacked BJP President Amit Shah for likening the coming together of opposition parties to “snakes, mongoose, dogs and cats” climbing a tree trunk to save themselves from floods. He said every person in the country was against the BJP.

“Some days back a BJP leader said that opposition members were animals. The truth is that today every person in the country is standing against the government. The approach that this government has against Dalits, tribals, minorities and farmers, we are standing against it,” he said. Gandhi said the country will not accept that Modi government “spreads violence, hatred in the country… We are standing here against this ideology.”

Raul Maino
Rahul Gandhi says Modi controls the Media. Twitter

Gandhi also accused the government of suppressing and intimidating the media. “You are standing on the other side but in actuality you are standing on our side as we are protecting you also. You are smiling, I know. We are fighting for you as well.” IANS