Demanding revelation of names of Congressmen who were allegedly involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, scores of Sikh protesters led by Shiromani Akali Dal and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) held a protest outside Rahul Gandhi’s residence on Monday.
“We want Mr. Rahul Gandhi to reveal the names of those involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. We have given him a 72-hour ultimatum, after which we will protest outside the Prime Minister’s house,” DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK said.
In a recent interview to a TV news channel, Mr. Gandhi had said that “some Congressmen were probably involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and they had been punished for it”.
The protesters raised anti-Congress slogans and held up black flags and placards, demanding justice for thousands who were killed in anti-Sikh riots in October 1984 following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
DSGMC also served langar to around 200-odd protesters who had gathered outside Mr. Gandhi’s residence at 12 Tuglak Lane.
Some women also tried to take the langar food inside the Gandhi’s house, but they were denied permission by police personnel.
“I have seen my son being killed. Why these police personnel did not act when Sikhs were being massacred in 1984? We want all those guilty to be punished,” said Lakshami Kaur, one of the riot victims.
The protesters also demanded ex-gratia relief, jobs and residential allowance for riot-victims.
“In 2005, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had apologised for the riots and promised an allowance of Rs 715 crore. The ex-gratia in the case of death, jobs and compensation for damaged property were also enhanced but we have received no relief so far,” said Kuldip Singh Bhogal, President, All India ’84 Riot Victims Relief Committee.
Asked about the Delhi government’s decision to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the riots cases, he said, “We have been demanding an SIT for the past 25 years, if Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is really with us, we welcome him.”
Several protesters also accused Mr. Gandhi of “rubbing salt on wounds of victims of 1984 riots.”
In the interview, Mr. Gandhi had insisted that the Congress government in 1984 “was not aiding and abetting the riots” but had tried to stop the violence.
Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar are facing allegations of involvement in the riots.