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9 Commissions, 21 years but justice denied: Akali Dal

Tuesday 9 August 2005

Special Correspondent

Demands Jagdish Tytler’s resignation, registration of cases against Sajjan Kumar

Sprinkling salt on wounds of Sikhs: BJP No indictment, no evidence, says Congress

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday expressed its dissatisfaction with the Action Taken Report on the Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission of Inquiry, saying it was like "sprinkling salt on the wounds" of families who had lost members in the "massacre of Sikhs" that took place in 1984.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) said the community was once again denied justice, for which it had been waiting for over two decades. It demanded the resignation of Union Minister Jagdish Tytler and registration of cases against Sajjan Kumar. The former Union Minister, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, said, "Nine Commissions, 21 years have gone but those affected are awaiting justice. While the Commission report itself did not offer much, the Government cannot let off those who have been mentioned."

The Congress, however, rejected the demand. When asked whether the party felt Mr. Tytler should put in his papers in view of the Commission’s findings, party spokesman Anand Sharma said, "There is no indictment, no evidence. Not actionable."

"Whitewash report"

BJP spokesperson V.K. Malhotra told mediapersons that it was not an action taken report but a "whitewash report." There was no doubt that the riots were a "planned massacre."Mr. Malhotra said "it was highly objectionable" that such a "whitewash report" had been presented by the Government when Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister. The Congress objected, saying it was condemnable to drag Dr. Singh’s religion into the issue.

On the comments by the Supreme Court with regard to the Gujarat riots and the role of the Narendra Modi administration, Mr. Malhotra said 200 people were killed in police firing and none during the 1984 riots.

"No mention of Rajiv"

The BJP found fault with the Commission’s report, saying there was "no mention of the then Union Home Minister [P.V. Narasimha Rao] and Prime Minister [Rajiv Gandhi]." The only point of "satisfaction" for the party was that the issue would be debated in Parliament; its MPs had already given notices for this.

At a meeting on Monday, National Democratic Alliance leaders decided to meet the President and also organise a "nationwide agitation," Mr. Malhotra said.

Replying to questions, Mr. Sharma said the Commission had "merely" said that Mr. Tytler "very probably" had a hand in organising the attacks. "There cannot be any prosecution under criminal law for probability." He stressed that the Commission had made it clear that the ruling party as also its leadership was not involved in the incidents.

In a statement, the Chairman of National Minorities Commission, Tarlochan Singh, said justice was denied both by the probe body and the Government. The Government had come up with excuses not to take action in cases where there were some references.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rajya Sabha leader Nilotpal Basu said while the party was "neither disappointed nor satisfied" with the ATR, it would peruse the report before offering any formal reaction.

See online : The Hindu

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