Chandigarh: 1984 riot victims welcome verdict, hope ‘big fish’ also get punishedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/chandigarh-1984-riot-victims-welcome-verdict-hope-big-fish-also-get-punished-5456341/

Chandigarh: 1984 riot victims welcome verdict, hope ‘big fish’ also get punished

Reacting over the first death penalty in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, victims said that decision will have an impact on Lok Sabha polls.

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Over 25,000 families of 1984 riot victims are settled in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar. (Representational)

CALLING THE DELHI court’s decision as ‘historic’, 1984 riot victims stated that ‘big fish’ were yet to be punished. Over 25,000 families of 1984 riot victims are settled in Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar. Reacting over the first death penalty in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, victims said that decision will have an impact on Lok Sabha polls.

Surjit Singh, president of 1984 Sikh Katleaam Peerat Welfare Society, said, “The first death penalty has come after 34 years of the riots. Der aaye, durussat aaye (better late than never). Shiromani Akali Dal and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) helped in getting the persons punished. We are thankful to the court. However, still the big fish need to be punished.”

Surjit Singh added,”Court’s decision a few months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls will definitely have an impact over the polls. No doubt BJP government had announced formation of SIT soon after coming to power. No doubt court’s decision has no role in government’s functioning, but it will have an impact over the minds of Sikh voters in the coming polls.”

Agreeing to Surjit Singh’s comments, Gurdeep Kaur, president of women’s wing of the welfare society said,”Yashpal Singh had murdered two Sikhs and still there are many who were the main persons behind these riots and they are still roaming free. They also need to be punished. It is a start and we welcome it. A hope has developed that the rest of the culprits will also be punished.”

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Amarjeet Rajpal, vice-president of the society said,”Our families came to Punjab to start our lives yet again. I can never forget those dark days when our embroidery shop in Jharkhand was ransacked and we had no choice but to save our lives and come to Punjab. It was only in 2006, that we got Rs 2 lakh as relief from government. Out of over 25,000 victim families settled in Punjab, not more than 14,000 have been given flats as per announcements. So, I call this punishment given to two culprits as a very late decision and that too before Lok Sabha polls. BJP wants to lure Sikh voters, but the real culprits need to be punished.”