Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has demanded the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to inquire into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the Indian capital that had left more than 3000 Sikhs dead.
The riots flared up in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
Court cases for allegedly inciting violence and leading mobs against Sikhs are pending against senior Congress leaders, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar.
Kejriwal told reporters on Wednesday that he would “discuss the SIT formation and its terms in the next cabinet meeting.” The SIT probe was one of the poll promises made by the Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man’s Party).
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The announcement by the Delhi chief minister comes two days after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was asked on a televised interview if he would offer an apology to the Sikhs for the riots that followed his grandmother’s assassination.
While he did not, Gandhi conceded, “Some Congress party men might have been involved in the 1984 riots.”
While doubts were raised on the effectiveness of the investigation to be conducted 30 years after the riots, AAP leader Manish Sisodia told reporters, “Honest efforts will definitely yield results”.
Senior lawyer HS Phoolka, who has been working with the victims of the riots, has joined the AAP. He said, “The decision of the government to form a SIT is a ray of hope for the riot victims that justice would be done to them”.
In 2005, India’s Sikh Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had offered an apology in the parliament for the 1984 riots.
Source: Al Jazeera