A day after Overseas Congress' head Sam Pitroda made a distasteful remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims, the Congress party on Friday distanced itself from the comment, warning its leaders to be "careful and sensitive" about the remarks they make. Pitroda is a close aide of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Earlier on Thursday, Pitroda had brushed off the 1984 riots saying "happened in 1984, so what". Pitroda had said, "What about 1984? It happened in 1984, so what? (1984 ko hua toh hua. Ab kya hai 1984 ka? 1984 mein hua to hua)."
In a statement released by the party, it asserted that it supports "justice and stern punishment for those found guilty", adding that "any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary including Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of the Congress party".
"Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary including Shri Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of the Congress party. We advise all leaders to be careful and sensitive," read the statement.
"Violence and riots are unacceptable and unpardonable in our society. Indian National Congress and its leadership have strived to ensure justice for 1984 riot victims. We continue to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty in 1984 riots," further read the
"We abhor violence of any kind, against any person or a group of people based on their caste, colour, region or religion. This is the essence of India," added the statement.
The anti-Sikh riots took place after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. According to news agency ANI, citing official records, about 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India, including 2,100 in Delhi.