The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday accused Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre of being “non-serious” about probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.
Citing documents procured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, senior AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government granted a year’s extension to the special investigation team (SIT) constituted in February 2015 to re-investigate the 1984 cases “without assigning any valid reason”.
Khaira said the SIT, constituted under the chairmanship of Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Dr Pramod Asthana, was supposed to examine records from all police stations concerned and files of justice JD Jain and DK Aggarwal committee and submit its report within six months, but was given an extension on August 22, 2015.
“Unfortunately, the SIT failed to make any meaningful progress in the investigations, after which the Union ministry of home affairs extended its term. The ministry did not specify the reason for extending the tenure, as it served no show-cause notice to the SIT before taking the decision,” he said. The SIT is now to submit its report by August 11, 2016
Khaira said a careful perusal of the circumstances and the information provided under the RTI Act shows that the Modi government is “totally negligent and non-serious” to pursue the investigations. “The government is only pursuing the old agenda of the erstwhile Congress governments to shield and protect the guilty of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,” he said.
Citing an HT report, dated February 2, 2002, which mentioned 49 BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders or workers named as accused in 14 FIRs registered on the recommendations of the Jain-Aggarwal panel, Khaira accused the Centre of slowing the SIT’s functioning “to save the BJP and RSS functionaries”.
Khaira also dared BJP’s alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Badals to clarify “the studied silence being maintained by them over the slow peddling of the SIT”.
“Keeping in view the wilful denial of justice to the victims by the BJP and SAD governments, AAP demands completion of re-investigations by the SIT in the stipulated time. In case, the SIT fails to probe the issue within the time frame, it will be presumed that the two parties have been playing cheap politics over a sensitive issue merely for votes,” said the AAP leader.