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Ensaaf in the News

Op-Eds

The Hill – January 26, 2015
Confront India on poor human rights record

India is a natural strategic partner of the U.S. Both countries share wide areas of mutual interests, ranging from counter-terrorism and resolving the Kashmir conflict, to bilateral trade and climate change. Yet, despite these shared interests, the U.S. is too often silent on one of India’s greatest moral and political failures: a commitment to protect human rights. India has a poor human rights record, and has done little to redress widespread and systematic violations, especially in resource rich states and regions populated with religious and ethnic minorities.

TIME Magazine – October 31, 2014
It’s Time India Accept Responsibility for Its 1984 Sikh Genocide

Thirty years later, the government stubbornly refuses to admit its fault in the religious massacre, despite enormous evidence to the contrary. 1984 remains one of the darkest years in modern Indian history. In June of that year, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ordered a military assault on the most significant religious center for the Sikhs, Darbar Sahib (i.e., the Golden Temple) in Amritsar, Punjab. The attack killed thousands of civilians. On October 31, 1984, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards.

LA Times – June 18, 2014
India's incomplete democracy

With the ascension of Modi and the BJP come inevitable concerns about India's willingness to treat all of its citizens equally. And it is not just a problem between the nation's Hindu majority and Muslims, who make up nearly 15% of the population. Another massacre of an Indian religious minority also looms in the national collective memory. Thirty years ago this month, the Indian army went on a murderous rampage through the holiest of Sikh sacred spaces, the Darbar Sahib, known to visitors to India as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, Punjab.

BBC News – June 3, 2014
How Punjab's missing thousands are being forgotten

Thirty years on from the Indian army's raid on the Golden Temple in June 1984, the relatives of those who were "disappeared" in the years after the attack feel their cause has been abandoned, reports the BBC's Jastinder Khera from Amritsar.

The Daily Beast – May 25, 2014
Whistleblower Exposes India’s Murderous Cops

In 1994, a Punjabi cop filed a lawsuit against his colleagues accusing them of the secret torture and killing of innocents. Now, as his case is finally being heard by the Supreme Court, a new documentary traces his long fight for justice.

Christian Science Monitor – March 29, 2013
India won't become 'the world's largest democracy' until it upholds human rights

25 years after India suspended the part of its Constitution that ensures no person shall be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law, Ensaaf Co-Director Sukhman Dhami argues that India will not become the "world's largest democracy" until it "provide[s] truth and justice to its victims and vow[s] to hold due process and human rights protections as sacrosanct."

The Mercury News – November 2, 2009
Bay Area can help seek justice in India massacres

Jaskaran Kaur, Co-Director of Ensaaf, writes about the 25th anniversary of the state-sponsored massacres of Sikhs in India and how the politics of hate motivating such crimes affects the Bay Area.

The Asian Age – February 27, 2007
Injustice Cost Votes in Punjab Polls

Jasmine Marwaha, Program Associate at Ensaaf, and Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch, discuss the cost of ignoring human rights violations and the public interest lawsuit on “disappearances” and mass secret cremations in Punjab.

Boston Globe – July 15, 2005
The Legacy of India’s Counter-Terrorism

Jaskaran Kaur, Co-Director of Ensaaf, writes on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the US, drawing attention to India’s legacy of systematic human rights abuse in Punjab.

International News

Times of India – December 11, 2015
Web tool to report police excesses

Khalra Mission Organization (KMO), Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO) and Ensaaf launched a new web-based human rights tool on Thursday to help empower victims of police abuse to report their experiences to mark the International Human Rights Day.

Human Rights Watch – October 29, 2014
India: No Justice for 1984 Anti-Sikh Bloodshed

Successive Indian governments’ failure to prosecute those most responsible for killings and other abuses during the 1984 anti-Sikh violence highlights India’s weak efforts to combat communal violence.

Amritsar Times – April 10, 2013
Ensaaf Organizes 5K Walk to Spread Truth About the Disappearances in Punjab

The Amritsar Times reports on Ensaaf's 5K fundraising walk—coined "Appear for the Disappeared"—which was held on April 6, 2013 in Fremont, CA and London in remembrance of the individuals who were disappeared by Indian security forces during the Decade of Disappearance.

Times of India (Chandigarh), September 27, 2012
Rights Organization moves US Embassy over Barapind's "Police Torture"

Ensaaf is spotlighted by the Times of India for alerting the US Embassy to the illegal detention and torture of Kulvir Singh Barapind. Barapind was extradited from the US in 2006, despite Ensaaf presenting an application of relief from extradition that provided significant evidence showing he would more likely than not be tortured in India.

TIME Magazine, October 28, 2009
India's 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots: Waiting for Justice

The article discusses the 25th anniversary of the November 1984 pogroms of Sikhs in India, and quotes Ensaaf Co-Director Jaskaran Kaur on the total lack of justice for survivors of the November 1984 pogroms of Sikhs in India. The article also discusses Ensaaf's BART ad campaign.

Hindustan Times, October 6, 2008
Khalra Case Dominates Rights Meet

The article highlights comments made by Ensaaf's Co-Director Sukhman Dhami at a conference organized by the South Asia Forum for Human Rights as part of their Understanding Impunity project.

Rediff, October 19, 2007
Victims of Punjab counter-insurgency still search for justice

The article highlights the testimony of Tarlochan Singh and Mohinder Singh, two survivors whose cases are discussed in extensive detail in the Ensaaf and Human Rights Watch joint report, "Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India." It also discusses the petition filed by Paramjit Kaur Khalra against former Punjab police chief KPS Gill for his role in her husband's abduction and murder.

Asian Age, October 19, 2007
NGOs: Probe Punjab Vanishings

The article discusses the recommendations and cases in the Ensaaf and Human Rights Watch report, "Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India," including quotations from Ensaaf, HRW, and a survivor interviewed for the report.

International Herald Tribune, October 18, 2007
Protecting the Killers

The article discusses the report released by Ensaaf and Human Rights Watch, "Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India."

Hindustan Times (Punjab) – January 3, 2007
Bhalla Commission of Inquiry

The Hindustan Times reports on the second hearing of the Bhalla Commission of Inquiry, highlighting Ensaaf's attendance at the hearing and arguments made by petitioner Committee for Information and Initiative on Punjab.

Times of India (Chandigarh) – May 18, 2006
Anniversary of Disappearance of Sukhwinder Singh Bhatti

The Times of India reports on the 12-year anniversary of the disappearance of human rights attorney Sukhwinder Singh Bhatti, and Ensaaf's communication to the UN Special Representative on Human Rights Defenders.

Times of India (Chandigarh) – May 4, 2006
International Call for Prosecution of Gill

The Times of India reports on the joint letter by Ensaaf, Human Rights Watch, REDRESS, and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, calling for the prosecution of former Director General of Punjab Police KPS Gill for the murder of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra.

Indian Express – January 6, 2006
Withhold Extradition of Kulvir Singh Barapind

Among coverage by the Hindustan Times and diaspora press, the Indian Express covers the call made by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice to withhold the extradition of Kulvir Singh Barapind from the US to India. Ensaaf prepared Barapind's application for relief from extradition under the Convention Against Torture.

The Hindu – November 6, 2005
Report Finds 'Pattern of Abuse' by Security Forces

The Hindu reports on the findings of the joint report prepared by Physicians for Human Rights and the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture on torture and trauma suffered by families of the disappeared and extrajudicially executed in Punjab. The study was organized by Ensaaf; the final report was submitted to the National Human Rights Commission in the Punjab mass cremations case.

Widow Colony – November 2005
Premier of The Widow Colony

In November 2005, Sach Productions screened The Widow Colony in New Delhi. This film, an in-depth look into the lives of the widows of the Sikh men killed in the Massacres of November 1984, includes an interview with Ensaaf.

Frontline – August 27, 2005
Struggle for Justice for Survivors of 1984

Frontline reports on the continuing struggle for survival and justice by Sikhs who survived the 1984 pogroms in India. The article discusses Ensaaf's report Twenty Years of Impunity and its reaction to the government's Action Taken Report.

Indian Express, August 11, 2005
The Failures of the Nanavati Report

In an article covering the Nanavati report on the 1984 pogroms of Sikhs, the Indian daily Indian Express quotes Ensaaf’s reaction.

Human Rights Watch – October 30, 2004
India: Prosecute Killers of Sikhs

In its October 30, 2004 press release calling for the prosecution of the killers of Sikhs in the November 1984 pogroms in India, Human Rights Watch commends Ensaaf's report Twenty Years of Impunity.

International Journals

Harvard Human Rights Journal – Spring 2005
Twenty Years Later

In its Spring 2005 edition, The Harvard Human Rights Journal published a recent development article, “Twenty Years Later: Recent Reports Highlight the Continuing Struggle for Sikh Human Rights,“ discussing Ensaaf's report, Twenty Years of Impunity.

Asian Age – December 17, 2004
Dead End in Punjab

In “Dead End in Punjab,” Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch highlights the need to remember victims who continue to struggle against impunity for perpetrators of abuses against Sikhs in Punjab.

World Policy Journal – August 2004
Waiting for Justice

In August 2004, the World Policy Journal released its summer issue, featuring an article by Barbara Crossette that mentions Ensaaf's work in fighting impunity in India.

US News: National and Local

The Mercury News, November 7, 2009
Ads Seek Justice for Sikh Victims

At the heels of Ensaaf's Bay Area transit ad launch, this article spotlights the campaign and touches on the human right violations of November 1984.

The Nation, August 7, 2009
Corrupt Democracy in India

In her discussion of Human Rights Watch's latest report on police abuse in India, author Barbara Crossette also discusses Ensaaf's work in documenting abuses against Sikhs.

The Nation, October 29, 2008
India's Persecuted Christians

The article discusses religious persecution in India, including the November 1984 massacres of Sikhs and the subsequent decade of disappearances in Punjab.

Washington Post, October 18, 2007
Protecting the Killers

The article discusses the report released by Ensaaf and Human Rights Watch, "Protecting the Killers: A Policy of Impunity in Punjab, India."

The Desi Connect – July 11, 2006
Non-Profit Spotlight

In its July 11, 2006 issue, The Desi Connect features Ensaaf in its Non-Profit Spotlight.

The Record – January 19, 2006
Harvard Law School Record

In its January 2006 issue, The Record, an independent newspaper at Harvard Law School, profiles alumna Jaskaran Kaur, Ensaaf’s Co-Founder and Co-Director.

Appeal-Democrat – June 27, 2005
Remembering June 1984

On June 27, 2005, Yuba City's Appeal-Democrat publishes Daniel Thigpen's article on an event held at the Tierra Buena gurdwara commemorating the June 1984 Indian Army attack on the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex, including presentations by Ensaaf.

East Bay Express – June 16, 2005
Opening Old Wounds

Robert Gammon discusses the Real ID Act of 2005, a law that makes it tougher for torture victims to gain political asylum in the US, in the context of asylum seekers migrating from Punjab to the US after 1984. Gammon cites Ensaaf’s report Twenty Years of Impunity.

Appeal-Democrat – November 22, 2004
Sikhs Remember Carnage

Ching Lee covers the November 20th Remember 1984 event organized by the Punjabi American Heritage Society in Yuba City, CA, which included a presentation by Ensaaf.

India West – November 5, 2004
20th Anniversary

In an article covering the Indian diaspora’s reaction to the 20th anniversary of the November 1984 pogroms of Sikhs, Sarmishta Ramesh discusses Ensaaf's report Twenty Years of Impunity and the Punjab mass cremations case.

METRO – October 13, 2004
Kulvir Singh Barapind

Najeeb Hasan discusses the extradition case of Kulvir Singh Barapind, describing Ensaaf’s work in the case.

India Abroad – July 30, 2004
Operation Bluestar

Aseem Chhabra reflects on Sikh reactions to Operation Bluestar, the Indian Army attack on the Harmandir Sahib complex and 41 other gurudwaras in June 1984. Chhabra discusses Ensaaf’s research on judicial impunity in India and report Twenty Years of Impunity.

Radio Interviews

Radio Intifada – July 13, 2006
Radio Intifada: Focus on South Asia

Neel Garlapati interviews Ensaaf’s Co-Director Sukhman Dhami and HRW/Asia’s Executive Director Brad Adams for KPFK 90.7, Los Angeles' Pacifica radio station. The interview focuses on the case of Kulvir Singh Barapind.

Radio Intifada – December 15, 2005
Radio Intifada: Survivors’ Struggles

Neel Garlapati interviews Ensaaf Co-Director Sukhman Dhami for KPFK 90.7, Los Angeles’ Pacifica radio station. The interview focuses on the systematic human rights abuses that occurred in Punjab during the counter-insurgency movement of 1984 to 1995.

Radio Intifada – August 26, 2004
Radio Intifada

Neel Garlapati interviews Ensaaf Directors Jaskaran Kaur and Sukhman Dhami for KPFK 90.7, Los Angeles' Pacifica radio station. The interview was aired as part of Radio Intifada's program on South Asian Americans Organizing for Change.