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Rahul Gandhi: Congress party was not involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi has denied the involvement of the party in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 which was followed by the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. The statement had created a huge uproar and the ruling BJP is planning to target the Gandhi scion on this.

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Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to the UK, told an audience of UK-based parliamentarians and local leaders on Saturday that his party was not involved in the riots. He called the incident as a tragedy and since the matter is sub-judice, he did not comment further on the details.

Answering the question Rahul said, as reported by NDTV, “I think any violence done against anybody is wrong. There are legal processes ongoing in India but as far as I’m concerned anything done that was wrong during that period should be punished and I would support that 100 per cent. I have no confusion in my mind about that. It was a tragedy, it was a painful experience. You say that the Congress party was involved in that, I don’t agree with that. Certainly there was violence, certainly, there was a tragedy.”

Soon after his comments, Akali leader Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged that the Congress president is trying to protect his party leaders involved in the “genocide”. He said, reports PTI, “Rahul Gandhi has rubbed salt into the wounds of Sikh ‘quom’ (community) by saying that Congress was not involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots.”

It is to be known that senior Congress leaders — Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar — have been named in the case. Reacting to Gandhi’s comments, Badal asked, “Why was Jagdish Tytler removed from the ministry in the Manmohan Singh-led government.”

In the riots, nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed after Indira Gandhi was shot by her Sikh bodyguards. In 2005, then prime minister Manmohan Singh and then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had apologised for the riots.

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