The year 1984 marks a black spot in the history of Congress rule in India, no matter how many times Congress tries to shun the issue and the controversies surrounding the name of important leaders of the party, truth finds its way out. Following the party line of ignoring the issue, Sam Pitroda, a senior Congress leader with much ease reduced the entire incident to any other criminal offence. In an exclusive interview to the Republic TV, Amarinder Singh, Punjab’s CM has shown his discontentment over Pitroda’s statement. He now blames his party members for the 1984 riots in Punjab.
Sam Pitroda in an unapologetic manner said, “I don’t think so, this is also another lie. What about 1984 now? What have you done in the last five years, talk about that. What happened in 1984, happened. What have you done? (Ab kya hai ’84 ka? Aapne kya kiya 5 saal mein, uski baat kariye. ’84 mein hua to hua. Aapne kya kiya?” Amarinder, expressed his concerns over the statement made by his party member and said that Pitroda shouldn’t have referred to the incident so casually.
He further added by saying, “It was sad but certainly, the authorities of the time, the military, the police and all have to be questioned. Even today you don’t forget to think because it has gone in the past. Why didn’t the police act for instance? Who didn’t let them act? It is the job of the police to act. You don’t have to be told to act. Somebody is doing something, you act. Then the army was called in. It was some hours later when the things started cooling down. In 2-3 days there were a lot of casualties. I was there and I will tell you who were the five people involved in it. I have named them amples of times. Arjun Das, Lalit Makin, some minister who was there. Like that there were five people. Sajjan Kumar was very much in it and there were two more, Bhagat and one more. They are all Delhi politicians,”
Captain Amarinder belongs to the royal family of Patiala and is a known name in the Sikh community. He chose to condemn the comments of Sam Pitroda. In his statement he also mentioned that the police forces, should have acted while the innocents were being massacred. He mentioned Congress leaders like Arjun Das, Lalit Maken and HKL Bhagat (former Union Minister under Rajiv Gandhi’s government) who were involved in the brutal killing of Sikhs in 1984.
It is clear that the issue of 1984 riots is soon to bring rift among senior leaders of the Congress Party. Amarinder Singh, taking stand against his party member is a proof that the Congress party has difference of opinion over the issue. Leaders in the grand old party hold different stands on the brutal massacre and will not stop to object the intellectual brigade of the party.
Ensuring justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots has been a key endeavour of the Modi government. Towards the end of 2018, 34 years after the riots took place, the case saw its first convicts, and in December, in a landmark win for Sikhs, the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was reversed he was handed a life term for his role in the horrific violence.