Congress leader quits over Tytler clean chit, Sikh leaders shocked

April 3rd, 2009 - 12:25 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chandigarh, April 2 (IANS) The Sikh community in Punjab Thursday voiced its disappointment over the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a senior Congress leader quit the party and other leaders condemned the CBI move.
Former Punjab assembly deputy speaker and former Congress legislator Bir Devinder Singh resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party, saying he could not be associated with a party which was siding with perpetrators of violence against Sikhs in 1984.

Hundreds of Sikhs were killed in anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and other places across India following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

Former union minister Tytler, who was accused of leading mobs against the Sikhs, was given a ‘clean chit’ by the CBI in the riots case.

Tytler, incidentally, is the Congress candidate for the northeast Delhi Lok Sabha seat.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal termed the clean chit to Tytler as an “outrage against humanity”. He said the Congress was trying to decorate known killers of Sikhs with party tickets.

“I call upon the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to intervene even at this late stage to ensure that the CBI is not allowed to be used as a tool to shield the killers of thousands of innocent men, women and children. His silence at this hour could prove to be a historic failure to discharge his basic constitutional responsibility,” Badal said in a statement here.

The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, too condemned the clean chit to Tytler.

“The anti-Sikh attitude of the Congress has again been exposed. It has become clear that the CBI works in tandem with the Congress,” SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said in Amritsar.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal said that if the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, of which the ruling Akali Dal is a partner, was voted to power, the cases against Tytler and other leaders who led the anti-Sikh riots would be re-opened and investigated.

Radical Sikh group Dal Khalsa also condemned the CBI move to favour Tytler.

“This is shocking. It clearly shows that laws for one community in India are different compared to the minorities,” Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh said.

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