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1984 anti-Sikh riots: Punjab Congress, CM asked to break silence on SIT reopening 7 cases

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Punjab Congress, CM asked to break silence on SIT reopening 7 cases
September 11
10:55 2019

NEW DELHI: BJP leader Tarun Chugh Tuesday asked the Punjab Congress and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to “break their silence” on a Special Investigation Team (SIT), set up by the Home Ministry, deciding to reopen seven 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases where the accused were either acquitted or the trial closed. The BJP national secretary alleged that Congress leader Kamal Nath, now Madhya Pradesh chief minister, has time and again been accused of leading a mob outside a gurudwara.

“Not only the Sikhs but the entire Punjabi community is looking up to Capt Amarinder Singh. He always harps on his resignation from the Congress after Operation Blue Star, but has always defended the perpetrators of 1984 Sikh killings,” Chugh said. He said with home ministry giving nod to reopen the case, “one can hope for justice which has been eluding the Sikh community for over three decades.”

Alleging that in 1984 Congressmen were leading mobs “hunting for the lives and properties of Sikhs”, Chugh said as a result of which more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed. The BJP leader asked the Punjab chief minister and the state Congress to break their silence over the SIT reopening seven anti-Sikh riot cases.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve to impart justice to the Sikh community, dozens of accused, including former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar, have been convicted in various courts of law, he said. According to a Home Ministry notification, the SIT has taken up the discharged cases for scrutiny or preliminary enquiry. The seven anti-Sikh riot cases were registered in 1984 at police stations in Vasant Vihar, Sun Light Colony, Kalyanpuri, Parliament Street, Connaught Place, Patel Nagar and Shahdara.

The SIT has issued public notices asking individuals and organisations to provide information related to the seven cases. The SIT was set up on February 12, 2015 following a recommendation by the Home Ministry-appointed Justice (retd) G P Mathur committee. The three-member SIT comprises two Inspector General-rank IPS officers and a judicial officer. It has so far re-opened around 80 out of the 650 cases registered in connection with anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Gandhi was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

A total of 3,325 people were killed in the riots in which Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths, while the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.

Last year, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was sentenced to life for his role in the anti-Sikh riots. PTI

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