Terming the decision of the Supreme Court to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and re-probe 186 cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “historic”, H S Phoolka, the Supreme Court advocate fighting these cases, said Saturday that law will now soon catch up “powerful and influential people like Congress leader Kamal Nath”. “It has been years that some influential people from Congress have been evading law. But now justice will be delivered. It is for the first time that the Supreme Court has shown such seriousness in 33 years on 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Seeing the strong evidence against him, we are now hopeful that he (Kamal Nath) will too will be caught. All Congress leaders including Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Singh and Kamal Nath cannot evade law now,” Phoolka said at a press conference. He said that it the Supreme Court has rekindled the hope of families of the victims who were being told to forget the carnage as it has been more than 33 years now.
“Police, judiciary and other government departments were now telling us to forget it. They were telling us to let bygones be bygones. But the SC has proved that time cannot be a reason for justice not be delivered. The Chief Justice of India has started a new chapter by forming this SIT. Also, Justice S N Dhingra is an upright judge who will do complete justice with the duty given to him,” he said.
Phoolka, who is also a senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader had resigned as the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly to focus on cases of riot victims, said his decision was proven right today. “I can see the results and I can say that my decision to resign as Leader of the Opposition was absolutely right.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Phoolka said that as per official figures, at least 2,733 people were killed in 1984 anti-Sikh riots in which 541 cases were registered. “However, till now, conviction has been announced in only 13 killings. In most cases, one FIR was registered for multiple killings. Of 186 cases that will be re-probed now, there is strong evidence against Kamal Nath in one of it,” he said.
Inviting Punjab’s Power Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh for an open debate on the 1984 riots, Phoolka said the minister should think twice before giving statements. Rana Gurjeet had reportedly said on Friday that “none of Congress leaders were involved in anti-Sikh riots”.
“Firstly, he should listen to the words of his party’s former Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi who justifying the riots said that whenever a big tree falls, earth shakes. Even the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was written in his book that his residence in Ashok Vihar was attacked by a mob and it was only after his Hindu son-in-law came out that they were saved. I invite Rana Gurjeet for an open debate,” he said.
Phoolka said that instead of punishing them, the Congress elevated and promoted its leaders who were involved in the riots. “They were made ministers and given plum posts. There are clear evidence that Congress leaders were then leading the mobs, which were even given the lists of Sikhs’ residences in Delhi, including that of former PM Dr Manmohan Singh,” said Phoolka.
‘Inflammable powder was used in entire Delhi’
Phoolka claimed that an “inflammable powder” which could only be handled by experts was used in entire Delhi to target Sikhs. “It was a powder which led to inferno wherever it was thrown. One needs experts to touch it. Congress leaders were accompanied by those experts and mob and the powder was used in entire Delhi. Experts came overnight. It proves that the entire government machinery was involved in the riots,” he said.
“The pattern was to target gurdwaras first so that Sikhs cannot assemble there. Wherever Sikhs assembled, police reached and disarmed them. Even Sikh police officials and 26 Light Sikh Infantry troops were disarmed so that they cannot fight back,” said Phoolka.
‘Stand on SC judges revolt can impact my fight for 1984 victims’
Meanwhile, Phoolka refused to comment on the recent tussle in the apex court with four senior judges coming out against the Chief Justice in front of media. “It is an issue between groups of judges. If I take an open stand on it, it can directly impact my fight for anti-Sikh riots victims. I do not want to get into this,” he said.