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Akalis Disrupt Parliament Over ’84 Riots


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Akalis disrupt Parliament over ’84 riots

Aditi Tandon & Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 29

Emotions ran high in both the Houses of Parliament, which saw acrimonious scenes today between the treasury and Shiromani Akali Dal-led opposition, with the latter accusing the government of misusing the CBI for shielding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar.

The Akali MPs, supported by the BJP, Left, AIADMK and the BSP, slammed the government for the exoneration of Jagdish Tytler by a Delhi Court following a closure report by the CBI.

While the Rajya Sabha was adjourned at 12 noon after the opposition MPs (led by SAD’s Sukhdev Dhindsa and BJP’s SS Ahluwalia) trooped into the well of the House, protesting cosmetic action in the case, the Lok Sabha saw unprecedented and heated exchanges between SAD member from Bathinda Harsimrat Kaur Badal and UPA ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The latter termed the 1984 Sikh carnage as “the most shameful event in the Indian history post-Partition” and said the Prime Minister had already apologised for the same in the House, even promised to reopen cases against the accused, if needed.

An unusually ballistic Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bansal accused the opposition of “baking political cakes on the funeral pyres of dead Sikhs”, a comment that infuriated the Akali Dal, with Harsimrat saying the time for government assurances was over and concrete action was now demanded. Her speech carried enough ammunition to evoke angry reactions from Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee who said, “The PM has apologised. How many times should he do that?”

Earlier, after Speaker Meira Kumar disallowed her notice for the suspension of Question Hour, Harsimrat raised the issue in zero hour, recounting the horrors of 1984 riots.

In an emotionally charged reference to the dark days, she recounted the statements of top Indian leaders including former Prime Minister IK Gujral, who recorded “how the President of the time and Home Minister PV Narsimha Rao sat casually as Sikhs were singled out, killed and burnt alive in Delhi.”

“Will anyone in this House put his hand on the heart and say that a single person responsible for the Sikh massacre has been brought to justice in 25 years?” she asked, unable to make her point as the speech attracted sharp reactions from Congressmen. Even MPs from Punjab Pratap Singh Bajwa and Ravneet Bittu joined the UPA ranks in countering Harsimrat, who had to abandon much of her speech.l Say they need action, not assurances

l Govt terms event ‘most shameful’

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