New York: A federal court in New York has issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for 'shielding and protecting' the leaders of her party, who were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in India in 1984.
The summons was issued by the US Eastern District Court of New York after a rights group – Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) – and two victims of the riots filed a complaint before it.
Reacting to the development, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in New Delhi that they were not aware of any of these facts. "Summons issued almost 30 years after the event when the Congress president is on a medical visit is, to put it mildly, astonishing. Undoubtedly, appropriate legal action will be taken," Singhvi said.
According to US laws, the summons needs to be personally served to Gandhi, who is currently in the US for medical treatment, before it can have any legal implications. In the past the SFJ had led similar unsuccessful efforts against several Indian leaders, including Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and Union Minister Kamal Nath.
In the September 3 class-action lawsuit filed in Eastern District Court of New York, SFJ and the two victims sought compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi for her alleged role in 'shielding and protecting' Congress leaders from being prosecuted for their 'crimes against humanity'.
Next: Nawaz Sharif sent bouquet to Sonia Gandhi in Delhi hospital: Report
Nawaz Sharif sent bouquet to Sonia Gandhi in Delhi hospital: Report
Islamabad: Amidst simmering tensions between the two countries, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent a bouquet of flowers to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi when he learnt of her visit to hospital last week, a media report said on Wednesday.
Gandhi was taken to the hospital in New Delhi on August 26 after she felt unwell during a debate in parliament. On Sharif’s directive, Pakistan's Foreign Office asked its High Commission in New Delhi to have flowers delivered to Gandhi, The Nation reported.
The bouquet was sent with a 'get well' message and warm wishes on behalf of Sharif, the report said.
Tensions between the two countries escalated since five Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Pakistani troops on the Line of Control on August 6. Since then, there have been frequent exchanges of fire at the LoC.
Pakistani has claimed that four of its soldiers, including a captain, have died along the ceasefire line. Both sides have accused each other of violating the 2003 ceasefire agreement on the LoC. The tensions have cast a shadow on bilateral ties.
All eyes in Pakistan are set on a possible meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. Pakistan has said its army was not involved in the killing of the Indian soldiers.
Sharif has also said he is looking forward to a possible meeting with Singh.
On Tuesday, Indian High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan paid a courtesy call on the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz.
Raghavan described the LoC incident as unfortunate and stressed the importance of resuming the bilateral dialogue process. Aziz said there was hope in Sharif's government about picking up the threads from the Lahore Declaration of 1999 and embarking on a new phase of Pakistan-India relations.