Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh called the conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar a case of justice finally delivered to the victims of one of the worst incidents of communal violence In independent India.
“Neither the Congress nor the Gandhi family had any role in the riots,” he said alleging that the Badals were dragging the Gandhis’ names into the case at the behest of their political masters — the BJP — which were shaken by the clear backing for Rahul Gandhi’s leadership in the recent Assembly elections.
Capt. Amarinder said he had been calling through the years for the strictest punishment for the handful of Congress leaders involved in instigating the riots. “These leaders, including Sajjan Kumar, did not have any party sanction and deserved to be punished for their horrendous crime,” he said in a statement. “It was vested political interests that had been trying to draw the Gandhi family into the controversy and the conspiracy for their personal motivations.”
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters that the conviction should not be politicised. “Sajjan Kumar does not hold any position of power in the party. Don’t give a political colour to it as it’s a court verdict,” he said.
Mr. Sibal pointed to the 2002 riots in Gujarat and said several BJP leaders were named. “In the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, we have seen how the cover-up is going on ... Also, what about Justice Loya’s death?”
Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa said: “This judgment is a reminder for the country that those who inflict mindless violence on the weak, destitute, downtrodden and minorities will not be spared by the long arm of justice. However, I urge one and all not to politicise the moment.”
Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema, of the Aam Aadmi Party, said it took very long for the families of the victims to get justice, but the ruling was satisfactory.