While the victims of 1984 Sikh massacre have welcomed the delayed verdict, their agonies and sufferings will continue to last interminably for another 34 years, if the perpetrators are not brought to justice
There is a famous adage which goes something like, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’. In the context of the recent judgement by Delhi High Court sentencing Sajjan Kumar for his involvement in 1984 Sikh massacre, justice has been delayed for 34 long years. Howsoever the judgement might have been delayed, it was utmost important to punish the culprits, whose hands are smeared with innocent Sikh blood. It is a big consolation for not only those who lost their near and dears in front of their very own eyes but also it is equally important for those people who have rendered political and legal support to the victims.
Dead body of Sikhs lying on road after the massacre
Today, Gandhi family stands thoroughly exposed for the covert and overt role they played in the massacre of around 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi alone. To add insult to injury, it not only has been shielding the culprits, but it has been providing political patronage to the perpetrators including conferring upon them ministerial posts. As political observers have noted in various quarters, attempts were made by the Congress party to subvert the process of the law to protect the goons. However, one cannot but salute the grit, determination and perseverance of the 80-year-old Jagdeesh Kaur who remained unfazed, despite threats to her life. She gave her eye-witness account in the court which helped in nailing down Sajjan Kumar. Role of lawyers and other individuals, who helped victims in fighting extraordinary long legal battles, has also been commendable.
Actually, it completely wrong to call 1984 Sikh killings, a ‘riot’. In fact, it was a massacre of particular community. As the eyewitness accounts have emerged, the perpetrators were carrying out the instructions of their political masters, and in many incidents, leaders of the Congress party themselves at the forefront of pogrom, leading the marauding mobs to indulge in indiscriminate and inhuman killings of innocent Sikhs.
Moreover, instructions were given particularly to the law enforcement agencies also to turn a blind eye to the heinous crimes. Besides, so many Congress party members, four prominent leaders, HKL Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and Kamal Nath were seen inciting the crowds. Thankfully, HKL Bhagat is no more; Justice demands that after the conviction of Sajjan Kumar, the remaining two also should be brought to book and punished appropriately. It is highly unfortunate that despite grave allegations against Mr Kamal Nath, Congress party has rewarded him with the chair of Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh. The immediate provocation for the massacre of the Sikh brethren is said to be the assassination of Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards. How can a community that has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the nation by sacrificing their life, be held responsible for the mindless act of two security personnel? Nobody but the Congress party owes an answer to the Sikh community and the Nation.
The alleged roles of Congress leaders in the 1984 Sikh Pogrom
- Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been convicted by the Delhi High Court over his role in the deadly anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984, and has sentenced to life imprisonment.
- During the “84 Sikh pogrom”, HKL Bhagat allegedly led murderous mobs killing and looting Sikhs in Delhi. The Nanavati Commission indicted him for his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom.
- Jagdish Tytler, a former MP from Congress is accused of killing three Sikhs outside Gurudwara Pulbangash in Delhi. Surinder Singh, the head Granthi of Gurudwara said in an affidavit in January 2002 that Tytler a local MP led the mob that had attacked his Gurudwara.
- Member of Parliament, Lalit Maken was a leader of Congress party with close connections to the Gandhi Family. He reportedly distributed the mobsters with Rs.100 notes plus bottles of liquor. A white Ambassador car reportedly belonging to him came four times to the GT Road area near Azadpur.
- A confidante of Sanjay Gandhi during the 1970s, Kamal Nath’s role in the 1984 pogrom is yet to be fully explored. A senior journalist Sanjay Suri who was working with a leading newspaper claimed to have seen Kamal Nath on November 1, 1984, leading the rioting mob at the Gurudwara Rakabganj Sahib, which is right next to Parliament.
- Arjun Das, a Congress-I party activist who was one of the prime accused in the genocide of Sikhs in 1984. Arjun Das was seen leading the mobs outside the All-India Medical Institute when the first violence against Sikhs broke out. He was also accused of attacking the cavalcade of President Giani Zail Singh when he visited All India Medical Institute.
- The then Haryana Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhajan Lal incited the killing of Sikhs and organised the attacks on Sikhs in Haryana during November 1984. As per reports, he sent the police recruits from Madhubani to kill the Sikhs.
- Dharam Das Shastri was Member of Parliament from Karol Bagh. During the “84′ Sikh Genocide”, he is alleged to have provided the list of Sikh houses and shops with the electoral roll as the source.
- A close associate of Rajiv Gandhi and former MP Arun Nehru had approved the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi. The whole operation was directed by Arun Nehru who usurped the functions of the home minister and ensured that 6,000 Sikh policemen were disarmed and sent home from active duty in the afternoon of October 31, 1984. (Source: MyIndMakers)
Moreover, if we analyse the sequence of events which triggered Sikh militancy in the eighties, in Punjab, we will discover that power-hungry Congress party was solely responsible for the Khalistan problem which claimed the life of Indira Gandhi. To wrest Akali Dal’s hold on Punjab, Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi started patronising Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Pakistani spy agency ISI was looking for such an opportunity when it could launch a wave of violence in support of separatist elements in Punjab; it gladly grabbed it with both hands when offered by myopic politicians of this country. Foreign nefarious designs succeed then only when they converge with political machinations done by local politicians. Nobody but Congress party is responsible for a decade of terrorism which the state of Punjab had to go through.
Unfortunately, even today the ISI is trying hard to disturb peace in Punjab. For its sinister design, it has roped in mischievous elements based in countries like Canada and UK. These groups are ensconced in safe havens in foreign countries hence immune to the consequences of terrorist violence. It is incumbent upon us Bhartiyas to stand united and to defeat the unholy nexus of ISI and its partners in crime.
Intense nationalism and patriotism have always been an integral part of the Sikh DNA. They have to ensure that no enemy of this country can succeed in their evil designs. The least that can be done at present is to punish all those criminals who are found guilty of killing innocent Sikhs in the 1984 massacre. All institutions of the government have to play their assigned roles.
CBI, which unfortunately closed the case of Sajjan Kumar, has reopened it and Modi Government, spearheaded by Home Minister Rajnath Singh should be congratulated on this initiative. More such steps by other government agencies are required. Jagdish Tytler’s video, in which he is seen admitting to his crime, has been making rounds for quite some time now. The court must take the cognizance of it. Based on the evidence and eyewitness accounts, he should be punished as soon as possible. Police authorities have to support the victims’ petitions with proper
documents and judiciary on its part has to fast-track the cases, as justice delayed is justice denied.
(The writer is Mumbai-based columnist)