A day after a Delhi court awarded death sentence to one person and life imprisonment to another in connection with the 1984 anti-sikh riots, the BJP accused the past Congress governments of denying justice to victims of the riots.
BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the probe carried out by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the Narendra Modi government led to the sentencing. “We (BJP) are satisfied,” Prasad told reporters at BJP headquarters and added that people needed to be told that the Congress had, during its rule, tried to ensure that the Sikh riot victims did not get justice. Prasad also said the Congress did this to save its own people.
“On behalf of BJP, I say with full responsibility that the available evidence clearly show that Congress party ensured in the last 35 years that no fair investigation or trial was allowed to take place to bring the culprits to book,” Prasad said. The Law minister said BJP wanted to assure the Sikhs, especially those whose families had suffered, that the SIT would probe the cases without any undue interference and act against the guilty.
Prasad pointed out that Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded his mother Indira Gandhi as prime minister, had said the earth shook when a big tree fell. He said Congress hasn’t so far publicly dissociated itself from Rajiv’s “irresponsible statement which rubbed salt into the wounds of the riot victims”.
He asked the Congress to answer why no action was taken against the culprits during its over-two-decades-long rule following the riots. Prasad claimed that the previous Congress governments set up several committees to probe the riots only to delay justice and that the party never acted on reports of those panels.
He said the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government constituted the Nanavati Commission, which had said the riots were organised. The report of the commission was submitted when the Congress came to power in 2004 and its government took no action, Prasad alleged.
In a blog post, Finance minister Arun Jaitley said Operation Bluestar hurt the psyche of India’s most patriotic community and a myopic Government did not consider the political cost of that move. Jaitley wrote that the fallout of the operation at the Golden Temple was the assassination of the Prime Minister, which was one of the most unfortunate acts in Indian history.
Jaitley further wrote that the Congress Government tried to misrepresent facts. “The victims and the community were crying for justice. Those Congressmen who led the mobs were made Members of Parliament and even Ministers,” Jaitley wrote.