Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is facing legal action from human rights campaigners over longheld accusations suggesting he incited violence against thousands of Sikhs following the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi 30 years ago.
Activists representing the Sikhs for Justice group filed a federal class action suit against Bachchan in Los Angeles on Monday (03Nov14), citing crimes against humanity, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and wrongful death, among a slew of other counts.
The plaintiffs claim the actor stirred tensions between Hindus and Sikhs on 31 October, 1984, after Gandhi was declared dead, and played a key role in the genocide which followed.
Legal papers, obtained by EntLawDigest.com, allege Bachchan "raised the slogans... 'Sikhs have killed Indira...' 'Kill these b**tards, they are traitors'... 'the blood stains should reach the households of Sikhs' and 'blood for blood'".
Sikhs for Justice officials claim, "(The) Defendant's words and anti-Sikh propaganda were like venom being spit out of a cobra, poisoning the minds and hearts of all they touched", leading to four days of attacks on Sikhs living in India, allegedly resulting in the death of 30,000 people.
Bachchan has yet to respond to the lawsuit, although he denied the allegations back in 2011, when he personally visited the home of Sikh leader Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh and pleaded his innocence, according to The Times of India.
Two of Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, were arrested for shooting the politician at the prime minister's residence in New Delhi. They were convicted on conspiracy charges and were sentenced to death by hanging.
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