Centre's move to re-open 1984 riots cases 'an eyewash': Phoolka
Chandigarh (Punjab), June 12 : Senior lawyer and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader H.S. Phoolka on Sunday alleged that the Centre's move to re-open 75 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots was aimed at giving a political edge to the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab ahead of next year's assembly polls in the state.Phoolka told ANI this is unfortunate on part of the BJP and the Akali Dal as they have attempted to make it an election issue.
"When the elections are coming close then they will start speaking. We have been watching this since last 32 years now and this time again they did it, they are not serious about anything. Wasting one-and-a-half year on it is joke with the country. The whole country wants justice in the matter," Phoolka said.
Escalating his attack on the Centre, Phoolka said this step may have been taken under pressure from AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
"The SIT was appointed one-and-a-half year back. They are starting a process now, that too after Kejriwal had written a letter to (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi that the SIT is just an eyewash. Now, the only apprehension is this is may be under the pressure of Kejriwal or this may be another eyewash just to do a drama. So, a lot needs to be answered by the SIT as well as by the Modi government," he added.
The Central Government's SIT is all set to re-open and re-investigate 75 closed cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the national capital.
The SIT decision came a week after Kejriwal wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi seeking status of the report of the probe.
"The SIT failed to reopen even a single case," Kejriwal said, pointing out that it was formed on February 13, 2015, just two days after the AAP won the Delhi assembly polls "to prevent us from forming an effective SIT".
"I would urge you to either get your SIT to do something or kindly wind up this SIT and allow the Delhi government to set up an SIT which will do proper investigations and get justice for the victims," he added.
Pointing out that the SIT was formed last year to file its report on August 12, 2015, Kejriwal said, "It is one-and-a-half years, yet the SIT has made absolutely no progress."
According to reports, Delhi had 237 anti-Sikh riot cases that were closed because of non-availability of victims or lack of evidence.
After reviewing their documents, the SIT has decided to re-open around 75 cases.
The SIT will issue advertisements regarding these cases and ask the victims and the witnesses to join the probe.
Over 3,000 people were killed in the riots in retaliation against the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
Reportedly, the Delhi Police registered 587 cases in connection with the riots. Later, it closed 241 cases but four were re-opened in 2006 and one in 2013, which led to the conviction of 35 people. The rest of the 237 cases remained closed.