Welcoming the Karkardooma court judgment, which rejected the CBI’s closure report giving Jagdish Tytler a clean chit in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, Shiromani Akali Dal president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said the ruling was a small victory in the 30-year-long battle by victims’ families.

Mr. Badal asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to take moral responsibility for denial of justice to 3,000 Sikh families, and requested them to make amends by expelling Mr. Tytler and Sajjan Kumar from the Congress.

Mr. Badal also demanded removal of Nagaland Governor Ashwani Kumar, who was earlier CBI Director.

He alleged that the whole exercise, despite indictment of the offenders by various commissions, was aimed at “protecting the inhabitants of 10 Janpath.” The Congress rewarded Mr. Tytler and Mr. Sajjan Kumar with various posts and gave them Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha seats.

Expressing concern over misuse of the CBI to exonerate the main culprits, Mr. Badal said that despite strict objections by its then Joint Director, the Director went out of the way to file the closure report, citing lack of evidence against Mr. Tytler.

In his reaction to the court judgment, Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar demanded that the riot cases be handed over to a fast track court. He expressed apprehension that reopening investigation would mean another decade or so before something conclusive emerged.