Questioning the role of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal before and after Operation Bluestar, former Congress chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Friday, alleged that Badal went underground at a farmhouse in Bazpur, Uttarakhand, in June 1984, before the military action and had returned only after the operation was over.
He added that the issue was raked up before every election to gain political mileage, but the CM needed to explain his silence on the killing of 35,000 innocent people, who died in Punjab during terrorism. Amarinder also questioned Badal's silence on the alleged involvement of BJP and RSS workers and leaders in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.
He added that Badal had vowed to stop the army from marching into the Golden Temple, but kept quiet when the CRPF cordoned off the area. He claimed that Badal had also refused to take calls from BBC journalists Mark Tully and Satish Jacob. "In a most irresponsible manner, Badal asked Sikhs in the army to carry out a mutiny. At his behest, a number of Sikh soldiers mutinied and spent up to 18 years in jail," he alleged. "Can Badal identify a single person or a single family that he helped during the period?" he questioned.
Rahul can't be questioned for 1984 riots
He added that just as Sukhbir Singh Badal could not be questioned for his father chief minister Paraksh Singh Badal's acts of omission and commission during Operation Bluestar, he was in no position to ask Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to apologise for the riots, as Gandhi was just 13 then.
Names riot perpetrators
Amarinder added that he heard the names of Congress leaders HKL Bhagat, Dharam Dass Shastri, Arjun Dass, Lalit Maken and Sajjan Kumar for involvement in the riots, when he visited victims in various gurdwaras. "The first four are no longer alive and Sajjan Kumar's trial is at its fag-end. We must wait for the verdict."
He added: "I also heard the names of BJP and RSS leaders like Ram Kumar Jain, Pritam Singh, Ram Chander Gupta at the relief camps." He claimed that Badal had not demanded action against these leaders due to the SAD-BJP alliance in the state. He claimed that 14 FIRs had been registered against 49 BJP-RSS leaders for their role in the riots.