1984 Sikh victims vote in large numbers after longNovember 29th, 2008 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) The victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi see a new hope in an independent candidate whom they voted for in large numbers Saturday during polling to pick a new assembly for the capital. Many Sikhs, who suffered during the 1984 riots, in the Tilak Vihar constituency of west Delhi said they had not voted for many years but came out in large numbers this time in support of independent candidate Ajit Singh Siddha.
Siddha is fighting the elections on his own after the Congress refused to give him a ticket.
“We have lost all our hopes from the present government and want to bring change. So we are backing Ajit Singh Siddha, who we think understands our grief and the apathy we have faced for the past 24 years,” Amrit Singh Lovely told IANS.
Lovely, who suffered during the 1984 carnage of Sikhs in the aftermath of assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, came out to vote with his family.
The polling started on a low key in the morning, but picked up as the day warmed up with people coming out in large numbers to vote.
“We have requested our community to vote for a candidate who they think can help them get justice,” Lovely said.
Anger against the Congress was visible here and the people criticised the party for fielding former police officer Amod Kanth, who the riot victims alleged, had helped the 1984 rioters.
“The Congress first helped leaders such as Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and H.K.L. Bhagat by giving them senior positions, and to make things worse, it has now given a ticket to Amod Kanth,” head of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims’ welfare society Surjit Singh said.
“What does the Congress want to convey by giving tickets to such candidates?” he asked.
“We want that the Delhi government takes all steps for rehabilitation of the riot victims but it is not possible during the Congress rule. That is why we appeal to our community to punish the Congress and dethrone them,” he said.
Two commissions and eight committees have already gone into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, in which about 2,700 Sikhs were killed by rampaging mobs.
Voting was held Saturday for 69 seats while polling for one seat has been deferred due to the death of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Puran Chand Yogi.