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Set up SIT for Sikh ‘genocide’, Punjab CM Badal asks PM Modi
IANS & The Hindu | New Delhi | 1 February 2015:: Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday sought the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in constituting a special investigation team (SIT) to probe all cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. In a letter to Modi, Badal said the “genocide” of Sikhs was a “pre-planned” incident at the behest of Congress leaders. Badal urged the central government to take an immediate call on the recommendations of the Justice (retd) GP Mathur panel, constituted by the Centre in December last year, to re-investigate several cases related to anti-Sikh violence that broke out in November 1984 after the assassination of the-then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The chief minister said the Shiromani Akali Dal has been struggling to get justice for the victims of the 1984 riots in Delhi and other parts of the country. He said that on the Akali Dal’s demand, the Justice Mathur panel was constituted in December 2014, by the central government to examine the possibility of setting up of an SIT for re-investigating the 1984 “genocide”.
Badal said the panel had, in its 45-page report, suggested setting up of an SIT. Demanding re-investigation of many cases where crucial evidence was overlooked and cases were closed by Delhi Police even without sending them to courts, Badal said all such cases needed to be reopened. [Read complete story of this part in TOI here].
The Justice G.P. Mathur panel has recommended fresh probe into the anti-Sikh riots cases through a Special Investigation Team, sources said.
The government is likely to accept the recommendation of a committee led by former Supreme Court judge G.P. Mathur to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The panel, set up on December 23 last year, submitted its report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week.
However, a move in this regard by the government is expected only after theFebruary 7 Delhi Assembly elections as the Model Code of Conduct is already in place here.
The riots, which followed assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, claimed over 3,000 lives, of which 2,000 fell prey to violence in Delhi.
Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned whether the development was an “electoral ploy or gimmick of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to woo voters ahead of polls”.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and senior advocate H.S. Phoolka sought to question the “leak” to the media.
“A leak which has come out in the Media that Justice J.P Mathur in his report has stated that SIT is necessary to punish the guilty of November 1984 Carnage. If it is true, this finding of a retired Supreme Court Judge is a severe indictment of NDA government, which continued to stall the functioning of the SIT ordered by Kejriwal government in February 2014,” Mr.Phoolka said in a press statement.
Akali Dal leader and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Committee chief Manjit Singh G. K. welcomed the move and said the SIT should be set up at the earliest.
“Akali Dal has been fighting for a long time for justice for the 1984 riots and now we are thankful to the Prime Minister who created this committee,” he said.
Earlier, Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission had recommended re-opening of only four of the 241 cases closed by police, though the BJP had wanted the re-investigation of all the other 237 cases.