President’s intervention sought for justice to Sikhs

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Wednesday sought the “personal intervention” of President Pranab Mukherjee “to direct the union government” to file a fresh appeal against Sajjan Kuamar in an anti-Sikh riot case.

Accompanied by top leaders of national and regional parties, Badal and Shiromani Akali Dal leaders requested Mukherjee “to direct the union government for filing a fresh appeal against Sajjan Kumar and expediting investigation against Jagdish Tytler for perpetrating … violence against innocent Sikhs in the 1984 genocide”.

“The all India non-Congress party delegation primarily demanded setting up of SIT (special investigative team) under the direct command of the Supreme Court to conduct a day-to-day hearing against those responsible for killing thousands of men, women and children in the 1984 massacre,” an Akali Dal spokesman said.

The delegation included former deputy prime minister and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Telugu Desam Party leader Namo Nageshwar Rao, among others.

Anti-Sikh riots, allegedly instigated by Congress leaders, broke out between Nov 1-3, 1984, following the assassination of then prime minister India Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in New Delhi Oct 31, 1984.

“Innocent Sikhs were killed every minute on the roads of the capital. Sikh community in particular and the nation in general were anguished on the failure of the government to deliver justice to them till date,” the memorandum submitted to the president said.

The delegation also demanded that the SIT under an officer not less than the rank of inspector general (IG) from outside the Delhi Police, should be constituted to investigate the cases threadbare. They also sought an enquiry into the role of some police officers.

“Badal apprised the president that a ray of hope was seen when some cases were lodged against the guilty and subsequently trials were initiated, but to the utter surprise of Sikhs, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) gave clean chit to one of the prime accused Jagdish Tytler while another one Sajjan Kumar was acquitted,” the spokesman said.

Leaders of Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janta Dal and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) were also part of the delegation.

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