From whom Akalis seek justice for 1984 massacre of Sikhs?

Jagtar Singh

Chandigarh, February 7: It seemed ironic as Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal was seen talking to a news channel yesterday demanding justice in the case of anti-Sikh violence in November 1984 in Delhi and arrest of senior Congress leader in Delhi Jagdish Tytler. Party MPs Prem Singh Chandumajra and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa have raised this issue in the two Houses of Parliament during the last 24 hours.

The Akali leaders late last evening met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Chandumajra succeeded in talking to Prime Minister Narendra Modi too.

Rajnath has promised to refer the latest ‘evidence’ against  Tytler to the SIT probing  the cases that earlier were ordered to be filed.

The latest bout of politics over this 33 year old issue has been triggered by a video purportedly of Tytler that surfaced earlier this week in which he is heard admitting to be instrumental in the killing of  100 Sikhs during the mayhem following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The video has been made public by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management  Committee president Manjit Singh GK. It has gone viral.

Both Akali Dal president Sikhbir Singh Badal and his protégé and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Gobind Singh Longowal have also taken up this issue.

A fresh case has been registered in Delhi on this basis and the complainant is BJP leader R P Singh too. Tytler has termed the video as fake and morphed.

The basic issue is as to from whom are the Akali leaders seeking justice? Harsimrat  Kaur Badal is a minister in the Modi cabinet. The Police department in Delhi is under the Union Home Ministry. It is ironic that the party is seeking justice from its own government. This government has been in power since 2014.

The Akali Dal was  part of the Atal Behari Vajpayee government earlier in which Sukhbir himself was the minister of state.

It is the Congress that is blamed for complicity in this anti-Sikh violence. It was the dance of barbarity for three days in Delhi. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had virtually justified the killings saying “The earth shakes when a big tree falls”. That is all there.

It is not the Congress that is in power but the Akali Dal is now part of the government from which the party leaders are seeking justice.

The Akali Dal should tell the people as to when the party took up this issue formally with the Modi government. Has Harsimrat Kaur  Badal ever led a deputation of the party MPs who are there during sessions to the Prime Minister?

Would  the party withdraw Harsimrat  Kaur Badal from the Modi government on this issue  and going a step further, the party come out of alliance with the BJP?

These are the issues that must be clarified by the Akali Dal rather than exploiting such issues whenever some election approaches.

One can recall a very passionate speech made by Harsimrat Kaur Badal with the thumping of desks from the BJP in the Lok Sabha during the earlier Dr Manmohan Singh government on this issue. She has carved out a place for herself in the power elite over time.

However, the issues concerning Punjab remain unresolved. Justice has eluded the victims of this violence all these years for which, the Akali Dal too should share the blame.


Jagtar Singh


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