Badal rejects Kejriwal's demand on 1984 riots probe
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Wednesday rejected a demand by his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Addressing the media in Goniana village in Muktsar district, 240 km from here, Badal said there was "hardly any need for it (SIT probe) as several earlier high level inquiries conducted on the matter have pointed towards the role of Congress leaders in this planned mass massacre of Sikhs".
He said the "need of the hour was to take exemplary action against the Congress leaders involved in this dastardly act so that succour could be provided to the victim families".
It was time to give justice to the victims instead of setting up another SIT, he said.
Reacting sharply to a statement by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that certain Congress leaders could be involved in the 1984 riots, Badal asked Rahul Gandhi what deterred the Congress and the union government from acting against the party leaders involved in the heinous act.
Thousands of Sikhs were killed in various parts of India, especially in Delhi, in November 1984 in the aftermath of the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards.
Badal said Rahul Gandhi owed an answer to the public about why the Congress leaders involved in the riots have not been punished so far.
"Instead of taking any action against these tainted leaders, the Congress party has not only been protecting them but they were rewarded by the party with pivotal posts, which reflected the anti-Sikh stance of the Congress," the chief minister said.
The names of Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and H.K.L. Bhagat (now deceased) had figured among those accused of instigating mobs during the riots.
(Posted on 29-01-2014)