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US court summons Amitabh Bachchan for ‘instigating’ 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Updated October 28, 2014

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Amitabh Bachchan has been accused of raising the slogan 'Khoon ka badla khoon' (blood for blood) after then Indian PM Indira Gandhi was shot by her Sikh guards.—Photo by AP
Amitabh Bachchan has been accused of raising the slogan 'Khoon ka badla khoon' (blood for blood) after then Indian PM Indira Gandhi was shot by her Sikh guards.—Photo by AP

Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has been summoned by a federal court in Los Angeles for his alleged involvement in instigating the deadly November 1984 riots against the Sikh community in India, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.

The mega star has been accused of raising the slogan “Khoon ka badla khoon” (blood for blood) on October 31, 1984 when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her two Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for ordering a raid on the faith's holiest temple to crush a separatist revolt.

Bachchan has been given 21 days to respond to the charges of human rights violation.

“If you failed to respond, judgement by default will be entered against you for relief demanded in the complaint,” reads the summon issued by the US federal court on Oct 27.

The 35-paged long complaint has been filed by a member of New York-based Sikh for Justice (SFJ), Gurupatwant Pannun and two alleged victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the communal riots, which Sikh activists claim was ‘state-sponsored genocide’ claiming over 30,000 lives nationwide.