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'84 riots: Rahul's effigies burnt in Punjab

Posted on Jan 31 2014 | IBNS

Chandigarh, Jan 31 : Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday burnt the effigies of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi across Punjab in protest of his recent comments on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Earlier on Thursday, members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and Shiromani Akali Dal held a protest outside the headquarters of the Indian National Congress in New Delhi over the issue.

"We want justice, we want an SIT probe. We want the guilty to be hanged," said one of the protesters.

"The Congress is responsible for the 1984 riots," he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday met Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and demanded a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

"I met the Lieutenant Governor today and sought a SIT probe into the 1984 riots. He is very positive about it," Kejriwal told reporters.

"We will discuss forming of the SIT and its terms in the next cabinet meeting," he said.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he will not apologise for the comments on 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

"I was not involved in the riots. I was not a part of it. So there is no question of apology," said Rahul Gandhi.

While Rahul Gandhi in a TV interview attacked BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the Gujarat riots and defended his own party in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots after India Gandhi's assassination, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the Gandhi scion on the issue and asked him to explain the remark of his own father after the post-assassination massacres.

BJP senior leader, MP and deputy leader of Opposition Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Rahul Gandhi for accusing Modi and reminded him of the statement by his father and late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made after the Sikh riots.

"His allegations against the Gujarat Government of encouraging the riots of 2002 not only shows his ignorance but also an attempt to indulge into rank falsehood. The Gujarat Government did it best to prevent riots and SIT constituted by the Supreme Court after extensive investigation found all the motivated allegations against Sh. Narendra Modi to be false and baseless, which has also been accepted by the Court," said Prasad.

"Today, there is peace and amity in Gujarat and many persons have been convicted and in case of many trials is going on. On the contrary the way in which he sought to defend the Congress Government in relation to 1984 riots is deeply condemnable. What has Rahul Gandhi to say on the famous statement of Rajiv Gandhi - 'when big tree falls, the earth shakes' and the manner in which Congress leaders involved in the massacre where shielded by the Government and the investigating agencies which has compelled the courts to make adverse comments," asked Prasad.

"He did not utter a word why it took so long to call the army in Delhi in 1984. Mr. Rahul Gandhi kept completely quiet on the recent communal violence in UP and also Assam," said Prasad.

Attacking Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots, Rahul Gandhi said: "The difference between the 84 riots and the riots in Gujarat was that in 1984,Government was trying to stop the riots."

"The government in Gujarat was actually abetting and pushing the riots further," he said.

Rahul Gandhi, however, admitted 'some Congress' members were probably involved in the 1984 riots.

"Some Congressmen were probably involved," the Congress vice-president told Times Now news channel.

When asked about apologising over the 1984 riots, he said: "I think that riots, as all riots, were a horrible event. Frankly, I was not in operation in Congress party."

The riots erupted in Delhi and elsewhere following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Oct 31, 1984.

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