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BJP Attacks Govt For Inaction On 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots

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BJP Attacks Govt For Inaction On 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots

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BJP attacks Govt for
inaction on 1984 anti-Sikh riots

PTI - New Delhi - December 14, 2009

BJP on Monday attacked the Government for "inaction" on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and borrowed Home Minister P Chidambaram's words to project that the riots were carried out by political leaders and workers, an allusion to the ruling party.

Participating in a Calling Attention motion in the Rajya Sabha on the issue, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley asked the Home Minister to "is he willing to judge the party (Congress) and his Government" on whether it was "majorityism" and "xenophobia" that led to the massacre.

During the debate on the Liberhan Commission report last week, Chidambaram had said majorityism could be based on ideology and politics and not religion. Majority based on religion would be a "step short of xenophobia", he had said.

In the riots, following killing of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Jaitley alleged that different institutions including police and judiciary had collapsed.

The senior BJP leader alleged that there were no masses, only political leaders and workers were there in the riot. Even a convoy of the then President Zail Singh was attacked at AIIMS, he added.

He described the riot as State-sponsored killing and said both police and political establishment turned deaf ears to the entire episode. "The then Prime Minister almost rationalised the killing," he said.

The House witnessed protest from BJP, JD-U, CPI-M and SP when P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, ruled that the quote attributed to the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi cannot go on record unless authenticated.

Jaitley succeeded in bringing on record Rajiv Gandhi's quote that "when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little" as he quoted a foreword written by Khushwant Singh in a just-released book.

When Praveen Rashtrapal (Cong) raised the issue of Gujarat riots, Jaitley said 300 people had died in police firing there. "While 3,000 people were massacred in 1984, was there a single case of police using batons or tear gas," he asked.

The Leader of Opposition alleged that judges and CBI officials are being "rewarded" after retirement for helping the Government.

Without naming former chief justice of India Ranganath Mishra, he said the (Mishra) commission was appointed to go into the anti-Sikh riot after the Ved Marwah committee was wound up.

Putting a question mark on the credibility of the Mishra commission report, he said, "After retirement (from Supreme Court) he (Justice Mishra) joined Congress and became an MP. After his retirement from Parliament, he was appointed to head another commission."

Jaitley was also very critical of appointing a former CBI Director, who over-ruled his junior officer in deciding to close the case against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in an anti-Sikh riot case. "The former police officer is now looking into Centre-State relations," he said.

Jaitley also quoted Chidambaram saying "I am happy that my friend is acquitted by court."

The BJP leader then remarked, "The accused friend (Kumar) will be pleased if not prosecuted."

Stating that the track record of the Government is dismal and insensitive to the whole issue, he pointed out that there cannot be any action against any officer as it is time barred.
 

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