On 11 January 2018, the Supreme Court ordered the Government of India to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate 186 cases related to the 1984 Sikh massacre, which had not been investigated by the previous SIT established by the government.
The Supreme Court ordered that the SIT would comprise of a Chairman and two other members. However, nearly five months later, the third member of the SIT is yet to be appointed.
The SIT was ordered to submit its status report before the Supreme Court at the next hearing of the public interest litigation filed on the functioning of the previous SIT by S Gurlad Singh Kahlon. The hearing was scheduled on 19 March. However, the petitioner, Mr. Kahlon, told Amnesty International India that the hearing did not take place and that it might take place when the Supreme Court reopens after the summer vacation.
In May, in response to an RTI application requesting the timelines of operation of the SIT, the Ministry of Home Affairs merely reiterated the elapsed March deadline for submission of the status report and provided no details of further hearings.
The third member of the SIT must be appointed immediately.
The SIT must conduct its investigations in a time-bound and transparent manner.
The SIT must bring to justice all those responsible for the massacres – whether they are political leaders, police or government officials.
For too long, governments have only paid lip service to the victims and survivors of the 1984 massacre. No words can erase the pain and suffering these people have experienced. The only way forward is justice.