Senior Congress leader and former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh Friday said he had heard the names of five party leaders, including Sajjan Kumar, when he met victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.
In reply to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s demand that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi should name the party leaders who were responsible for the riots, Amarinder said, “I was in Delhi from November 1 to 3 after the riots broke out on the night of October 31, 1984 and visited all the refugees who had taken shelter in various gurdwaras there. The names I heard were H K L Bhagat, Dharam Dass Shastri, Arjun Dass, Lalit Maken and Sajjan Kumar.”
Taking the issue further, he said he had also heard the names of several BJP and RSS leaders who were allegedly involved in the riots.
“Let me tell you I heard the names of several BJP and RSS leaders… who were involved in the riots, but you have maintained a sheepish silence on their involvement just because they are your alliance partners and your survival is dependent on them,” Amarinder said, referring to the SAD-BJP government in the state.
He said that 14 FIRs were registered against 49 BJP and RSS leaders for their roles in the anti-Sikh riots. Accusing Chief Minister Badal of trying to gain political mileage out of a sensitive situation and blaming him for various acts of omission and commission before and after Operation Bluestar, Amarinder said that Badal had run away from the situation and hid himself in his farmhouse in Bazpur, now in Uttrakhand.
He also asked the chief minister as why so far he has not uttered a single word against the killing of 35,000 innocent people who died in Punjab during the days of militancy. “Why such cold indifference towards those who were dragged out of buses and trains and mercilessly massacred?”
The market is considered the largest cloth market in Asia and it houses a number of textile units and factories.