A US-based Sikh advocacy group has approached the Belgium government seeking criminal prosecution and arrest of Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, who is scheduled to visit Belgium next week, for his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
In a letter sent to Belgium Prime Minister Yves Leterme, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has said Nath should be denied entry into the country and criminal prosecution must be initiated against him.
Nath is scheduled to attend and address the 5th EuroIndia Summit on October 13, 2011 in Leuven, Belgium.
SFJ Legal Advisor Gurpatwant Pannun said Belgium's law provides for "extra territorial jurisdiction to criminally prosecute individuals for crimes against humanity and genocide committed outside Belgium".
Belgium's law does not provide immunity to any head of states or dignitaries, he said citing the criminal prosecution case initiated against Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of Israel for his role in the 1982 Sabra-Shatila massacre in Lebanon.
"Nath's entry will be a black spot on Belgium's impeccable record of commitment to human rights and will violate Belgium's long held position on crimes against humanity," SFJ said in the letter sent to the Belgian premier.
"We strongly demand that Kamal Nath should be banned from entering into Belgium permanently and instead Belgium should initiate criminal prosecution of Nath for his role in massacre of Sikhs in November 1984".
The letter cited Nath's role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.
In April 2010, SFJ had initiated civil proceedings against Nath in US Federal Court here after which summons were issued to the minister.
SFJ said the Sikh community will hold a protest rally in Leuven on October 13 against Nath.
Sikh Group Seeks Action Against Kamal Nath in Belgium
Yoshita Singh | New York
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