Sikh leaders divided on SIT probe

Amritsar, Punjab: Sikh leaders are divided over the Kejriwal-led Delhi Government’s decision to set up a special investigating team (SIT) to probe the 1984 Sikh genocide. Some maintain it will serve no purpose. But others like senior Supreme Court lawyer HS Phoolka argue that it will help deliver justice to the victims.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has said there is no need for an SIT as several earlier probe panels have already pointed to the role of Congress leaders in the massacre of Sikhs.

Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal has hailed the move, but with a rider. He says the AAP Government in Delhi should refuse the support given to it by the Congress.

But Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjeet Singh GK, a SAD leader, says the SIT is essential to re-investigate the 1984 genocide cases. He wants the Supreme Court to monitor the SIT functioning. He says he will shortly meet the Chief Justice of India to demand that the riot cases in courts be put on the fast track.

The SGPC has been mum on the matter. “We only want that the victims be given justice and the guilty punished. It is for the Delhi Government to see how it can do so,” says Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president.

Dal Khalsa leader Kanwar Pal Singh points out that inquiry commissions in the past have been unable to uncover the truth and prosecute those behind the genocide.

But Phoolka, who has been fighting cases of the genocide victims, is optimistic that the SIT will yield results. He cites the instance of witnesses who deposed before a court 27 years after the genocide and withstood strenuous cross-examination. Five of the accused were convicted, three were awarded life imprisonment and two were given a three-year sentence each, he says.

“It is the system that has caused the delay,” he argues.

New Delhi: Akali activists led by SAD’s Delhi unit president Manjit Singh GK, today protested outside the Congress office here.

They demanded that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi should name the Congress leaders involved in 1984 Sikh genocide. They said the Chief Justice of India must direct the lower courts to expedite genocide cases and the special investigating team (SIT), announced by the DElhi Government, must reopen old cases. The protesters demanded that the Congress must name those behind the genocide so that they were punished as per the law.

Source: The Tribune

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