1984 Sikh genocide verdict: Does Rahul Gandhi’s statement mean he stands by Sajjan Kumar?

In 2014, in an interview to a tv channel, without offering an apology for the 1984 Sikh genocide, Rahul Gandhi had admitted that 'some Congress leaders were probably involved'.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi today while reacting to a media question on Congress veteran leader Sajjan Kumar’s conviction in 1984 Sikh genocide said that he has already made his position on the riots “very clear” and he has “said it before”.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s position on 1984 Sikh genocide is indeed clear. In August this year, he had said that “I have no confusion in my mind about that. It was a tragedy, it was a painful experience. You say that the Congress party was involved in that, I don’t agree. Certainly, there was violence, there was a tragedy.” Essentially, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had absolved his party and party leaders of any responsibility of the genocide which followed his grandmother former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her two Sikh bodyguards.

Considering he said that despite the conviction of Sajjan Kumar by Delhi High Court, Rahul Gandhi continues to believe that neither Congress party nor any of its leaders were involved in the riots, makes one wonder whether the Congress President is now defending Sajjan Kumar. The Delhi High Court in its judgement, while pronouncing Sajjan Kumar’s conviction, had observed that Kumar enjoyed ‘political patronage’ and there were ‘large-scale efforts to protect him’.

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In 2014, in an interview to a tv channel, without offering an apology for the 1984 Sikh genocide, Rahul Gandhi had admitted that ‘some Congress leaders were probably involved’.  When asked if he would apologise for the same, without expressing regret, Rahul Gandhi had said “First of all I wasn’t involved in the riots at all. It wasn’t that I was part of it.” When he was asked if he would apologise on behalf of the Congress party, he had washed his hands off the same by stating that he was not involved in the operation of the Congress party back then.

Recently, Rahul Gandhi appointed Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister despite protests by various Sikh groups for Nath’s alleged role in the 1984 Sikh genocide. Kamal Nath is accused of leading a mob outside the Rakabganj Gurudwara during the massacre. Two Sikhs were burnt to death there. His presence at the Gurudwara was confirmed by a policeman and a journalist who offered formal testimony. Kamal Nath said that he was there on Rajiv Gandhi’s insistence. However, the Nanavati Commission did not find any definitive proof of his involvement.

With Rahul Gandhi’s u-turn on Congress leaders’ involvement in 1984 Sikh genocide where he went from ‘some were probably involved’ to ‘none were involved’ and standing by that position one wonders whether the Congress President has given a clean chit to Sajjan Kumar and stands by him.


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