th August, he described the Congress as well as the AAP as “anti-Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat”. Asking people to ensure a “complete wipeout” of both the parties in the upcoming assembly polls in the “larger interest” of the state, Badal said that the Congress had harmed the state “religiously, economically and socially” and AAP was treading on the same path.
Badal said it was Congress which perpetrated “planned attack” on Sri Harimandir Sahib as well as the 1984 Sikh genocide, which tormented the Sikh psyche. However Badal failed to look at his own party’s track record on what it had done to bring the culprits to justice and succour to the victims or their families.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has been in power, along with its partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for nearly a decade and had also had a stint in late 1990s. There could have been no better opportunity to bring the perpetrators to book with the BJP now also enjoying a comfortable majority in Lok Sabha.
Simply blaming the Congress, which of course does not deserve any sympathy on this count, and not initiating prompt and time bound action rings his criticism hollow and few Punjabis, particularly Sikhs, would be prepared to swallow Badal’s rhetoric hook, line and sinker.
The short lived first Kejriwal government had announced formation of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to reopen the closed cases pertaining to the 1984 massacre. However the proposal had got stalled after the fall of the government. Then just two days before Kejriwal was to take oath after a remarkable victory, the Modi government had announced setting up of an SIT in February 2015. It was supposed to submit its report within six months and was later given an extension of one year. However no significant progress has been made by it till now.
“The SIT has made no progress. Now an apprehension is growing in the minds of people that the SIT was just an eyewash to prevent us from forming an effective SIT,” Kejriwal mentioned in a letter to the prime minister recently. “I would urge you (Modi) to get your SIT to do something or wind it up and allow the Delhi government to set up an SIT which will do a proper investigation and bring justice for the victims,” he added.
Senior advocate and AAP leader H S Phoolka too had reminded SAD of its promise for reopening and re-investigating 237 cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riots which were closed but has pointed out that little has been done for securing justice for victims or punishing the guilty.
There were reports in media recently that the SIT was likely to re-open around 186 cases related to the 1984 massacre in Delhi and states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Over 3,000 Sikhs were killed and as many as 2,733 deaths were reported in Delhi alone. A total of 587 cases were registered by the Delhi Police, of which 241 cases were later closed. Four of these cases, however, were reopened in 2006 and one in 2013. A total of 35 persons have so far been convicted in the cases. However none of the big guns, who reportedly instigated the mobs, were tried and punished and this has always remained a sore point with the Sikhs.
AAP leader Bhagwant Mann has said that the Congress had a poor track record in dealing with such cases and it was equally true of the BJP and its electoral ally SAD. He said the leaders of these parties had been only shedding crocodile tears with an eye on the elections.
[su_pullquote]The attack on Sri Darbar Sahib in June 1984 and the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984 are both one of the most shameful events in the history of India.[/su_pullquote] They continue to put a distance between the nation and many Sikhs around the world. The country has not given justice on either count.
Instead politicians continue to prey on sentiments and rake these issues up near elections. When in power, they seem unwilling to do anything. If Badal is sincere in his contempt of Congress for the attack, why not ask for an enquiry into the attack on Sri Darbar Sahib and why not use visits to the PM for a quick result on the SIT. After all Akali Dal and BJP are partners in power.
Justice should not be the hostage of electioneering politics. It has to be delivered on its own merits. As for the Bengal Congress tweet, Rahul Gandhi should come clean on what his position is on his father’s statement, “When a big tree falls, the ground shakes”.  This tweet gives him an opportunity to condemn it and to extend an apology to the victims. He can also give his support to ask for a speedy SIT.

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