84 riots were genocide, says Rajnath

RSTV Bureau
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File Photo (PTI)

Describing the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 as a “genocide”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said several persons who had a “role” in the carnage are yet to be punished.

“In these incidents (anti-Sikh riots), there are several persons who are yet to be punished. I have faith in our judicial system and these persons will definitely get punishment,” Rajnath said on Friday after distributing cheques of enhanced compensation to the riot victims in Tilak Vihar area of west Delhi.

“I know that until these persons are punished, victims will not get relief. I want to assure that government is with you and will be with you in even bad days,” Singh said.

The Union minister distributed cheques of Rs 5 lakh to 17 kin of the riot victims at a function.

According to a senior government official, enhanced compensation to 2,459 people will soon be given after a verification.

Singh also said that he has constituted a committee under a retired judge to look into the grievances of victims of 1984 riots.

“I want to assure that after getting complaints through this committee, government will solve them,” he said.

The Centre had recently announced to provide additional Rs 5 lakh compensation to the kin of Sikhs killed in 1984 riots.

Singh said that he wanted to give its credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Calling the 1984 anti-Sikh riots a “genocide”, Singh said, “It was not riot, it was genocide instead. Hundreds of innocent people were killed. The pain of the kin of riot victims cannot be compensated by even paying crores of rupees.”

Meanwhile, some kin of the riot victims said they want the culprits to be punished instead of the compensation.

“My pain cannot be reduced by money and I want to see culprits being punished. Even after 30 years, main culprits are roaming free,” 70-year-old Amarjeet, whose husband Satnam was killed in the riots, said after receiving the cheque from the Union Minister.

“We cannot expect anything from the government. These riots took place in 1984, but the justice is yet to prevail.

 AAP takes a dig on BJP’s step

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday said the compensation cheques distributed to the families of anti-Sikh riot victims by Union Minister Rajnath Singh in presence of Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay were like “giving lollipop” before the election.

Party’s Delhi convenor Ashutosh said instead of giving the cheques to just 17 families, Singh should have come out with a plan of disbursing the compensation money to remaining victims.

“Now that Delhi elections are round the corner, the BJP has decided to hand over the compensation package to just 17 families. But what about the remanining 2733 people.

“Distributing compensation money ahead of elections while the BJP state president is on dias is nothing but a facade. The BJP is offering lollipops ahead of elections,” Ashutosh said.

The Union Home Ministry has constituted a committee under a retired judge to look into the grievances of victims of 1984 riots.

The AAP had criticised the move saying the Centre should first appoint someone on the SIT announced by then Arvind Kejriwal government to probe the matter.