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Sikh News Akalis raise 1984 Sikh riot issue in House (The Times of India)

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Sikh News Reporter, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Sikh News Reporter

    Sikh News Reporter United States
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    NEW DELHI: The Akali Dal on Monday rattled Parliament, reviving the issue of delay in justice to anti-Sikh riot victims and forcing the Centre to say it would see what can be done to address the grievance.

    The Akalis were peeved at the government allegedly sitting on the CBI demand for chargesheeting the accused indicted by Nanavati commission which include Congress leaders. Leader of Opposition LK Advani demanded a parliamentary committee to expedite action.

    The moving appeal on the riots put in focus Harsimrat Badal, daughter-in-law of SAD chief Prakash Singh Badal and wife of Akali heir-apparent Sukhbir, as allround praise greeted the debutant MP for so succintly putting across the tragedy.

    Harsimrat, weaving her personal experiences of the dark days as a teenagedcollege-goer in the capital into her speech, said even after 25 years, the Sikh community had not got justice for 7,000 deaths.

    The sudden focus on riots appeared abrupt but the SAD MP told TOI the trigger was "a vague government reply" she got on November 24 that sanction for fresh chargesheets on Nanavati report was "under consideration". Nanavati report was submitted four years ago, she said.

    The SAD MPs rushed to the well no sooner the question hour started. When it was taken up during zero hour, the House heard her in rapt silence, with Advani seeking an assurance from leader of House Pranab Mukherjee.

    Mukherjee described the riots as "one of the most tragic events", promising to discuss with the PM what could be done. "Everyone of us feels ashamed ithappened... We cannot get back the lives we lost, we cannot remove the agony (of those affected)...we can take a vow and draw a lesson that in future this does not happen," he said.

    The understated appeal of Harsimrat's plaint could test Congress on minority front as it is getting ready to target Akali ally BJP over Babri demolition in Liberhan debate.

    As an Akali debutant, she touched a relevant subject to generate a larger appeal among party's core constituency.

    Introducing herself as a Sikh woman who related to agony of those who saw their husbands, brothers and fathers burnt alive and hunted down, she said Sikhs who sacrificed the maximum in the freedom struggle and bore the brunt of British cruelty had "never thought they would be targeted by their own".

    "When an ex-PM is killed, the perpetrators are brought to book within four years and a Nalini is in jail for 18 years. But when so many Sikhs die, what happens? I demand an answer from government why the CBI has not been given permission to file chargesheet," she demanded.

    The BJP-SAD tango was evident when later Harsimrat spoke to reporters flankedby BJP leaders. Alleging a gameplan, she said a case for inciting communal violence was attached to the murder case against the accused since charge of communal violence requires a sanction from state and it can help delay the issue.
     
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