Jalandhar: Almost 27 years after the anti-Sikh riots took place, the Punjabi and Sikh communities have moved on but it would be unfair to ask them to forget the wounds as asked by Home Minister P. Chidambaram recently, senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh has said.
Amarinder Singh, who is the Punjab Congress president, said that even though Punjabis and Sikhs were large-hearted, the wounds of the violence in the 1980s and 1990s were hard to forget.
"The guilty must be brought to justice for people to come to terms with their loss," Singh told reporters on Thursday.
"Punjabis, and Sikhs in particular, are enterprising and large-hearted people. They are forgiving and the community has certainly moved on. But it would be unfair to ask them to forget the wounds so easily," the former Punjab chief minister said.
Singh said that the community still remembers the 18th century `ghallughara` (holocaust) in which thousands of Sikhs were killed by Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Abdali`s forces.
"How can anyone expect them to forget the tragedy that occurred just over two decades back," he said.
Chidambaram had at a function in Delhi asked the Sikh community to "forgive, forget and move on" on the issue of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Hundreds of Sikh community members were massacred in Delhi and other places in a backlash against the community after two Sikh bodyguards of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi assassinated her at her residence in New Delhi Oct 31, 1984.
Senior Congress leaders and other party activists were accused of leading the rioters against the Sikh community.