1984 riots were ”sponsored” by Congress: BJP
New Delhi: BJP on Thursday alleged that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in which Jagdish Tytler is facing charges were "sponsored" by the Congress at the behest of the Gandhi family and sought to know why the ruling party has been silent on the issue for the last 28 years.
The main Opposition also said there are no similarities between the 1984 "massacre" and the 2002 post-Godhra riots and claimed that prompt action was taken by the government in the latter case.
"We welcome the court decision to reopen the case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre.
He is a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee and even contested the 2004 elections. The riots were actually a Congress-sponsored massacre of the Sikhs," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.
She claimed that the riots, allegedly involving some Congress leaders including Tytler, had the support of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his family.
"Rajiv Gandhi had said (after Indira Gandhi's assassination) that when a big tree falls the earth shakes. No statement has come from the family even after 28 years. Why are they silent? If there had been any sensitivity in the family they would have apologised," she said.
Other than Tytler, Congress leaders H K L Bhagat, Dharam Das Shastri, Sajjan Kumar and Kamal Nath have been named by various committees which have probed the 1984 riots, according to the BJP.
The party insisted that the anti-Sikh riots cannot be compared to 2002 Gujarat riots.
"In 2002 it was a riot. I would not justify it for even a minute. But the administration responded by calling in the army. In 1984, it was a one-sided massacre. People were not allowed to lodge an FIR. Army was deployed in Delhi only on the third day and in other places only on the fourth day," Sitharaman said.