New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) It is “shameful” that Kamal Nath, an accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has been made in-charge of the Congress party affairs in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said here on Monday.
“This is very shameful move by the Congress party. He (Kamal Nath) is one of the accused of 1984 anti-Sikh riots and Congress has rewarded him for following the orders of Rajiv Gandhi,” AAP leader H.S. Phoolka told reporters.
Phoolka is a senior advocate who has spearheaded the legal battle against the riot accused.
Referring to the anti-Sikh riots in 1984, Phoolka alleged that a mob led by Congress leader Kamal Nath was behind the violence at Gurudwara Rakabganj in New Delhi.
He said Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh was “rubbing salt on the wounds” of riot victims by saying that he had asked for Kamal Nath to be made the in-charge of the state party unit.
“Amarinder Singh is saying that Nath was not involved in the riots. However, on November 1, 1984, a mob led by Kamal Nath was behind the violence which led to the killing of two Sikhs in Rakabganj,” Phoolka said.
“Mukhtiyar Singh, the Manager of the Gurudwara, had also testified this before the Nanavati Commission. This is like rubbing salt on the wounds of riot victims.”
Asked why the AAP was commenting on the internal matter of another political party, Phoolka said he was pointing out at the mentality of the Congress that would have a riot accused “rewarded”.
“This cannot be an internal matter of the party. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots brought disrepute to the entire country… What message do they want to convey? He (Kamal Nath) would give tickets to people like himself,” said Phoolka, referring to the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab.
He said the Congress must immediately revoke the appointment.
“It’s been 32 years and the victims are still waiting for justice. We should convey the message that if you commit a crime, you would be punished, no matter how big a politician you are. But the Congress has not changed in all these years,” Phoolka said.
The AAP also alleged that the central government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party was politicising the 1984 riots by reopening 75 cases related to it.
“An SIT was formed one and a half years ago by Delhi government. But the central government shelved it and formed its team. It didn’t do anything. It was only after the intervention of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that the government decided to reopen the case,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.
“However, the central government is politicising the issue since Punjab polls are due next year. It’s a poll plank. Why did they not do anything for the last two years?” said Sanjay Singh.