Bathinda, Punjab: Contrary to the claim of Congress Deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Captain Amarinder Singh, mentioning the involvement of the BJP leaders too in the 1984 Sikh genocide, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court, HS Phoolka, who is fighting longest legal battle to get justice for victims of 1984 Sikh genocide said that only small time leaders of party had then joined the Congress and were involved in Sikh genocide whereas the BJP leaders, including former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee, senior BJP leader LK Advani, Madan Lal Khurana and others took a strong stand against the genocide.
Phoolka, who was here to meet his brother in Bathinda, condemned the duality in Bathinda Member Parliament Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s face for not even once raising the issue of the 1984 genocide since its alliance partner BJP has come into power at centre.
“There weren’t any prominent BJP leaders rather they were of very low level leaders in party and most of these leaders having communal mentality had totally dripped towards Congress. Former BJP, MP Ram Gopal, then had fully supported the Congress. BJP leaders had then had taken strong stand against the genocide. Top BJP leadership was running against riots and the BJP leaders like Vajpayee, LK Advani and Madan Lal Khurana took strong stand against the riots. For this BJP’s stand against the riots, many communal-minded BJP workers and leaders joined the Congress then.”
Earlier, in February this year, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had named some BJP-RSS leaders allegedly responsible for the ’84 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi. Along with some congressmen, Captain Amarinder Singh maintained that a total of 14 FIRs were registered “against 49 BJP-RSS leaders for their role in Sikh genocide of 1984. Besides some Congress leaders, including HKL Bhagat, Dharam Dass Shastri, Arjun Dass, Lalit Maken and Sajjan Kumar, Captain, who claimed to be the first man to reach victims maintained that he had then heard the names of several BJP and RSS leaders like Ram Kumar Jain, Pritam Singh, Ram Chander Gupta involved in anti-Sikh riots. “In the Infamous Missing Charge-sheet a case against Sajjan Kumar was registered at Nangloi Police station, Delhi in 1987 and in 1992 chargesheet signed by investigative officer and the DCP was made but till date, the challan has not been filed in the court,” said HS Phoolka.
“When the Congress was in power at the Centre, Harsimrat Kaur Badal raised this issue a number of times but since the BJP had come into power, she had failed to raise the issue even a single time in the parliament,” added Phoolka. Phoolka felt that justice to the victims in negligible as around 30 people have been convicted in only 12 registered cases whereas official data of the government reveals about 3,000 Sikhs were killed alone in Delhi.
“Thirty years have passed to the mayhem followed with the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi leaving thousands of Sikhs killed across the country but the Justice to victims of 1984 genocide is hanging.”
Phoolka claimed that the victims of 1984 had been given inadequate compensation and that too in bits and pieces. “A compensation of Rs 10,000 was given first in 1985 and then in 1987. In 1996, 97 and 1998, victims were given 3.5 lakh whereas around 70 injured victims got Rs 2,000 in 1985 and among these was a victim with 80 per cent injury and survived. In 2006, after the Nanawati Commission and orders of the High Court some victims were given 1.25 lakh compensation. The Punjab government has totally failed to compensate the ’84 victims’ while the leaders given the task to compensate victims got involved in corruption in providing compensation.”