The anti-Sikh riot victims’ protest and indefinite fast demanding justice turned political with BJP leader Vijender Gupta being booed away by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers at Jantar Mantar on Friday.
Nirpreet Kaur, who lost her father during the 1984 riots, embarked on an indefinite fast to ensure justice for the victims. AAP leaders, including Arvind Kejriwal had joined the protest for a day to express their solidarity.
The fast is the outcome of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal by a Delhi court on April 30 in an anti-Sikh riot case, triggering widespread anger across Delhi’s Sikh community.
The protest started at 11am and saw a series of short speeches, all underscoring the need for unity in their fight for justice. Recalling the loss of near and dear ones, several victims and survivors narrated their horrific experiences during the 1984 riots.
Flashing a copy of the chargesheet, Kejriwal read out the last lines. “It is not only the Sikhs in Delhi who have bore the brunt of the riots. Muslims were massacred in Gujarat and Hindus were killed in Kashmir. First the British divided us and now the politicians have divided us for their vote bank. Now is the time for being united to fight injustice.”
But the otherwise apolitical platform and serene protest was marred by a “political tussle” involving AAP supporters and BJP. Barely few minutes after Gupta reached the venue and sat on the dais, few of the young AAP volunteers and supporters objected to his presence and booed him. After both Gupta and Kejriwal tried to pacify the situation, they left the dais and sat down in front of the dais along with others. Gupta left soon after.
“There could have been BJP and AAP workers clash but I thought, the cause is important, other issues are secondary. We would be joining them on Sunday too,” Gupta told HT later.
Nirpreet Kaur’s demands include: Filing of the charge sheet related to FIR 67/87 and constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case to investigate it independently.