SIT formed by government on 1984 anti-Sikh riots brings closure to some victims: BJP

New Delhi (IANS): Expressing “satisfaction” over a trial court judgement awarding death penalty to a convict and life imprisonment to another in a case pertaining to the 1984 killing of Sikhs, the BJP on Wednesday said the SIT formed by its government at the Centre was responsible for the convictions.

The party also accused the Congress of trying its best to deny justice to Sikhs in the case and said the union government will continue to ensure that the trial is undertaken in a fair manner without any influence or interference.

“Today because of this judicial closure in at least two cases, some sort of balm has been made available for those who have been suffering for the last 30-35 years and the government will continue to ensure that the trial is undertaken in a fair manner without any influence or interference,” Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a press conference at the party headquarters.

“We are satisfied with the court verdict,” he added.

The BJP leader said that there was no role of the government in the process of justice and it was ensuring that the SIT probes the matter “honestly”.

“I can assure you that the inquiry by SIT will continue honestly and every necessary action will be taken,” he said.

Accusing the Congress of doing everything to deny justice to the Sikh community, he said it was because the party wanted to save “its own people”.

“On behalf of the party, I say with a full sense of responsibility that the available evidence clearly shows that the Congress ensured in the last more than 30 years that no fair investigation or trial took place to bring the culprits to book. The eight to 10 committees formed were only an eyewash,” he said.

It was essential that in such a worst massacre, “not only in Delhi but across the country, Sikhs are given justice,” he said.

Prasad challenged the Congress to cite one instance where it tried its best to give justice to the victims.

He said Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister had justified the killings of Sikhs by saying “when a big banyan tree falls, the earth shakes”.

“There can’t be a more irresponsible statement than this. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had apologised and Congress President Rahul Gandhi on one or two occasions had spoken but till date the Congress party has not publicly dissociated itself from that statement of Rajiv Gandhi,” he said.

“Only regret and and tokenism by Rahul Gandhi is not sufficient. Congress will have to answer whether the statement made by Rajiv Gandhi was correct or not. Why does Congress not come openly and put forth its point of view. It should also clarify why Kamal Nath was removed as Congress’ Punjab in charge within 10 days of his appointment,” he asked.

In the second such conviction leading to capital punishment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a trial court on Tuesday awarded the death penalty to a man after holding him guilty of murder while another person was given life imprisonment in the case.