SGPC chief meets survivors
Bathinda February 22:
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President, Avtar Singh Makkar, accompanied by two executive members of the committee met six families of Bathinda, which claim to be the survivors of the 1984 Sikh riots that took place in Hond Chillar village in Rewari district, Haryana.
After listening to the survivors, the SGPC chief assured them of providing the best possible assistance to get compensation and bringing the culprits to book. The SGPC chief said he had formed separate panels to collect the details and probe the matter, adding that the committee would also form a panel of top criminal lawyers to pursue the case in courts.
Describing the killing of Sikhs as a “well-planned” conspiracy, Makkar said he had been told that many of the officials had allegedly connived to shield the accused. “As the survivors of the massacre have told me that the then Haryana Chief Minister, Bhajan Lal, had also played a role in covering up the matter, we regard him as an accomplice of Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, the prime accused in the 1984 riots,” said Makkar.
“As we have taken up the responsibility to fight for the cause of the riot victims, we shall collect all information required from the revenue, municipal and electoral records. FIRs and the action taken by the police will also be studied in-depth. Once the process is completed, the future course of action will be chalked out on the basis of the facts,” he said. The SGPC chief also demanded a high-level probe by the Centre, saying, “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is also a Sikh, must show concern and immediately order a probe into the matter. The inquiry must be conducted by a senior judicial officer.”
When asked why the issue had surfaced after 26 years and that too when the SGPC elections are just a few months away, Makkar said politics had nothing to do with it. “We are surprised that such a brutal act took place in a village but was not noticed. Much to my shock, a family (survivors of the massacre) from Ludhiana was very close to me but never shared its experience with me earlier. But I assure you that the fight is to help the survivors to get their rights and not to gain any political mileage,” he said.
Meanwhile, some of the riot victims accused the district administration of indifference. They alleged that despite submitting applications for the red card and other benefits, the officials concerned never took them seriously. Taking serious note of the complaint, Makkar directed the SAD’s Bathinda in charge, Sarup Chand Singla, to pursue their case seriously. Makkar said he would personally visit the village on Tuesday.