Former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Congress party citing a recent statement by former Union minister and Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Akali Dal leader has alleged that then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was “supervising the killings”.
“Jagdish Tytler has revealed that Rajiv Gandhi travelled with him across the city in 1984. It means that the then PM was supervising the killings,” said Badal.
He further said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) must look into the information revealed by Tytler as it is a “very serious issue”.
This came after media reports quoted Tytler as saying that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had gone to different parts of Delhi while the riots were on and was angry with MPs from the Congress party as they were told by the party high command to contain the situation.
Notably, earlier this month, the Supreme Court constituted a new Special Investigation Team (SIT) to re-investigate 186 1984-anti-Sikh riot cases that followed the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Retired justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra has been named the head of the SIT. Retired IAS officer Rajdeep Singh and IPS officer Avishek Dullar are the other two members of the committee that would re-investigate the cases.
The committee has been directed to file an interim report within two months in the Supreme Court.
A total of 3,325 people were killed in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and other states in the riots after Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths.
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots are considered one of the most violent cases of communal hatred after the partition in 1947. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2011 World Report stated, "The government has yet to prosecute those responsible for the mass killings of Sikhs that followed the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Delivery of justice for mass violence against Muslims in Mumbai in 1992-93 and in Gujarat in 2002 has been slow."