New York: On a complaint by a Sikh group, a US federal court has issued summons against Congress party president Sonia Gandhi for shielding party officials allegedly involved in inciting attacks on Sikhs in November 1984, an attorney said.
In a class action suit filed Tuesday before the district court of Eastern District of New York, "Sikhs For Justice" (SFJ), a US-based human rights group, and other victims of the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence have sought compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi.
According to SFJ attorney Gurpatwant S. Pannun, under federal rules, it has 120 days to serve the summons and complaint on Gandhi who is currently visiting the US for medical check-up.
The suit under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) accuses Gandhi of shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and other Congress party leaders from being prosecuted for their alleged role in the 1984 violence.
The 27-page complaint against Gandhi alleges that between Nov 1 and 4, 1984 about 30,000 members of the Sikh community "were intentionally tortured, raped and murdered by groups that were incited, organized, controlled and armed" by the ruling Congress party.