Not many may know but Delhi witnessed an alleged Congress sponsored mass killing of Sikh families in 1984. It occurred because two Sikh bodyguards assassinated the then prime minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October to avenge Operation Blue Star in Punjab and military action in the Golden Temple complex.
Over 3,000 Sikhs were reportedly killed in Delhi. Unofficial estimates suggest about 8,000 – 17,000 Sikhs were killed in 40 cities across India while Rajeev Gandhi, the father of present –day Congress president Rahul Gandhi was the Prime Minister of the country!
It needs to be mentioned that the Operation Blue Star was a military operation carried out between 1 and 8 June 1984, ordered by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to remove militant religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed militants from the buildings of the Harmandir Sahib or, the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar city of Punjab.
But what happened in Delhi following the killing on Indira Gandhi was an unprecedented mayhem against innocent Sikh families who were not even aware that the prime minister had been shot dead by her body guards.
In Delhi, Sikhs were butchered; women were physically harassed and traumacised for several days. Properties worth crores of rupees were looted. Sikh families kept fleeing from one place to another to hide. Various Hindu families gave them shelter in their houses. Hundreds of kids were saved by making them wear girl frocks to hide their Sikh identity.
But several Sikhs were hunted out by Congress supporters. They were killed in broad daylight despite Delhi Police presence, some of them were allegedly killed by dragging them out of their houses by forcing them to wear burning tyres around their neck. Some were thrown into burning articles of their own houses. Kids underwent inexplicable trauma for years.
And, today the same Congress party shamelessly appears befooling the same community by supporting various Congress leaders who were linked to the pogrom!
Congress has now included some Sikh leaders to silence any criticism and wash its blood-soaked hands. Don’t know how did the party once led by the same Rajeev Gandhi today claims to have compassion for Sikh families? The Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, son of Rajeev Gandhi and grandson of Indira Gandhi, has recently made Kamal Nath, another accused of 1984 anti-Sikh riots the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Another accused, who was later let off by the some court for lack of proper evidence of delivering provocative speech at that time, Jagdish Tytler can be found on posters of the Congress party.
It looks adding insult to injury to witness only one such criminal and popular Congress leader Sajjan Kumar getting lifer after 34 years!
(The writer is a Delhi-based senior journalist, who was 8-year-old during anti-Sikh riots in 1984.Email:sandyindiaaware@gmail.