Cong allowed militancy to grow, used ‘Operation Bluestar’ as poll tactic: Jaitley
New Delhi [India], Nov 21 (ANI): A day after a Delhi Court pronounced the punishment for two convicts in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley trained guns at the Congress rule and held the party responsible for letting militancy grow in Punjab in anticipation of polls at the end of 1984. Terming Operation Bluestar - an operation to eliminate terrorists holed up in Amritsar's Golden Temple - a 'historic blunder', Jaitley said, "Anticipating elections towards the end of 1984, the Congress Party Government allowed the militancy in Punjab to go unchecked. It wanted to strike on election eve. The terrorist built up within the Golden Temple went unchecked. Those, whom the Congress had created to counter the Sikh influence of Akali Dal had gone out of control. The Operation Bluestar proved to be a historic blunder. It was poorly planned and terribly executed." "There were no intelligence inputs with regard to the number of militants and their ammunition that they had collected within. Many innocents got killed in the process. But the biggest damage was both to the highly revered Sri Harminder Sahib, The Akal Takht and to the Sikh psyche. Bluestar succeeded in hurting the psyche of India's most patriotic community. A myopic Government did not consider the political cost of this move," he wrote in a blog post. Blaming the then Congress Government of inciting mob violence after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Jaitley said, "The Congressmen led groups of mourners and protesters shouting "Khoon Ka Badla Khoon". This provocative slogan was shown on television on Doordarshan continuously in round-the-clock telecast. Anti-Sikh violence started in several parts of the country. Delhi was the worst affected. Congressmen led violent mobs. The Police colluded with them. It did not fire, lathi charge or even teargas the mobs. The rioters were given a free hand to kill and loot. Places of worship of the Sikh community were damaged. Sikh houses were burnt. Their trade establishments were looted. Thousands of innocents, men, women and children were burnt, were mutilated. The Police did not even register the First Information Reports." Elaborating on how justice was denied to the victims of the riot, Jaitley wrote in his blog, "The victims and the community were crying for justice. Those Congressmen who led the mobs were made Members of Parliament and even Ministers. There were no arrests, no prosecutions and no convictions. The Civilised Indians and the Sikh Community developed serious doubts about our capacity to deliver Justice. It was only stray cases in which justice could be secured." Lauding the efforts of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government thereafter, Jaitley said, "The First NDA Government led by Shri Atal Bihar Vajpayee appointed the Justice G.T. Nanavati Commission of Enquiry. The Commission prepared an excellent Report giving details, Police-station wise, where the accused were prima facie guilty of crimes and the status of each case. It recommended action." He further accused the Congress of attempting to purport the proceedings in the cases that emerged. "Some people were prosecuted as a result of these cases. In two to three decades even evidence starts disappearing and evaporating. Many witnesses had died. Some shifted out of the country. It was again Shri Narendra Modi Government which in 2015 appointed a Special Investigative Team (SIT) headed by Justice G.P. Mathur, a retired Judge of the Supreme Court," he wrote. Emphasising on the efficiency of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley said, "The SIT detected a large number of cases where the accused were prima facie guilty but even charge sheets have not been filed. The case in which Delhi Court yesterday has convicted two people, sentencing one of them to death was prosecuted after decades by this SIT. Subsequently, this SIT got subsumed in another SIT headed by Justice S.N. Dhingra, a retired High Court Judge. The subsequent SIT was appointed by the Supreme Court." "Yesterday justice has been done in one case where two accused have been punished, one with a life sentence and the other with a death sentence. There are thousands of such cases which required a similar punishment in 1980s itself. The period from 1984 to 1998 was one of cover-up where all cases were buried - as though, the 1984 genocide had not happened. The two NDA Governments led by Shri Vajpayee and Shri Modi in which the Akali Dal led by Shri Prakash Singh Badal has been an important constituent made significant efforts to investigate the cases where evidence was still available," he concluded.
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