Toronto, Jun 29: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, Jun 28 urged the Sikhs in Canada to keep the past behind them and move forward by assuring the community that his government is doing everything possible to heal the wounds of the 1984 riots.
Manmohan Singh said that the riots were a horrible tragedy which should not have happened. The riots had followed the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Oct 31, 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards.
PM said that his government opened the issue of compensation to the victims in 2005.
He said though it is difficult to forget a tragedy, the community should not dwell too much on the past and play its larger role in India.
However, he stated, it is very disappointing that some groups were trying to keep the issue alive to further their separatist agenda.
The Prime Minister's remarks came in the meeting which also included Indo-Canadian MP Sukh Dhaliwal, who recently introduced a motion in the Canadian Parliament to declare the 1984 riots a "genocide".
Ujjal Dosanjh, former Canadian Health Minister, warned that many groups were using the issue to further their Khalistani agenda.
"Justice for the riots victims is far from their mind," said Dosanjh.
Ontario province minister Harinder Takhar termed the meeting with Manmohan Singh, as "historic and very positive for India and Canada."
Manmohan Singh also paid his respects to the Kanishka victims at the Air India Memorial, before leaving for India. He was accompanied by Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to the memorial.