Congress party summoned by US Court

New York: A US court has issued summons to India`s Congress party in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, acting on a Sikh rights group`s petition charging it with "conspiring, aiding and abetting" organised attacks on the community.

A federal district court in New York issued summons to India`s ruling party in a class action lawsuit filed by Sikh organisation `Sikhs for Justice` which has offices in New York and India.

The Sikh group has charged the Congress with "conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out organised attacks on Sikh population of India in November 1984".

A statement issued by `Sikhs for Justice` said that the killings could not be described as riots and they were not confined to Delhi alone but were led by Congress leaders in 18 states and 100 cities.

"The gravity, scale and specially the organised nature of these attacks was concealed by the Indian governments` portraying them as `November 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots of Delhi,`" Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice said.

According to the government of India`s record a total of 3,296 Sikhs were killed while a total of 35,535 claims for deaths and injuries were received throughout India, the group said.

The proceedings are still at the pre-trial stage here in New York.