A day after the Supreme Court’s decision to set up a fresh SIT in the 186 anti-Sikh riot cases, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today said it was high time that justice be provided. He also said that justice continued to elude victims even more than 30 years after the incident. “It is high time that justice be provided in these cases,” the chief minister said here, welcoming the court’s decision to constitute a fresh Special Investigation Team (SIT) to monitor the probe. Singh, who had quit as MP in protest against the riots, said, “More than 30 years have passed since the gory violence, which claimed many lives and left many others homeless, and while various commissions had been set up to investigate the cases, justice continued to elude the victims.”
“Several names had cropped up in connection with the riots, and it was now up to the SIT to verify the allegations and bring the investigation to its logical conclusion,” he said. The Supreme Court yesterday had said it would constitute a fresh three-member SIT, to be headed by a former high court judge, to monitor the probe into 186 anti-Sikh riot cases, that followed the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, in which investigations were closed.
To a question on the ban announced by certain elements on entry of Indian officials in Gurdwaras in Canada and the US, the chief minister said anyone, be it Sikh or non-Sikh, can enter the ‘guru ghar’ (abode of the Guru) to pay his respects or partake the ‘langar prasad’. It was against the ‘Sikhi’ (tenets of Sikhism) to stop anyone from entering the gurdwaras, he said, condemning the ban as “totally” wrong.
It was for the management committees of the Gurdwaras, as well as the Sikh community, in these countries, to put a stop on such acts, he said, pointing out that never had any person been barred from entering a Gurdwara. On the issue of political conferences at Shaheedi Jor Melas, Singh said the precedent laid in the case of the Fatehgarh Sahib Jor Mela should be followed for all other such melas, like those in Maghi and Chamkaur Sahib.
Political parties had acceded to the Jathedar Akal Takth’s call not to hold any political conference in Fatehgarh Sahib, he said. They should now follow the same tradition for similar melas. If the SAD has planned to hold political conferences there, it was up to them to explain and justify their act, the chief minister said. Singh, however, made it clear that he was not against holding of political conferences at other Jor Melas which were not related to martyrdom.