Riots are always a blot on the conscience of any nation, and as much as we talk about the 2002 Godhra riots, the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 are also a bitter reminder of the bestiality that we, as a nation, are capable of. Twenty eight years have passed since the riots – that some reports suggest was orchestrated by the Congress. Yet victims who are fighting for justice, say precious nothing has been done to bring the guilty to book.
HS Phoolka, a senior lawyer who has been fighting the case for many years said that there has been very little actually done on the ground to ensure that justice is served, and said that there was every evidence to suggest that the guilty were protected – both then and now – by some very powerful people.
” The cases were not registered at all. Even when they were registered, most of the cases were closed,” he told CNN-IBN.
Phoolka said that in addition to the paucity of cases that were actually filed, the investigations had been so badly conducted that even the courts had repeatedly criticised the police. He alleged that one of the prime accused, Sajjan Kumar was helped thanks to forged documents.
And the rot just didn’t stop at investigations and prosecution.
The lawyer also referred to the Mishra committee report which clearly said that despite the availability of a 5000 strong army, they were not deployed to stop the riots.
There is also evidence, according to him, that then Home Minister Narasimha Rao had agreed to call in the army to put an end to the carnage, but had been dissuaded by someone, possibly higher up in the Congress, to ignore the call.
But despite the odds stacked against him, Phoolka is not ready to give up and has already chartered his future course of action.
“We will submit an appeal to the Supreme Court to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the matter to be supervised by the Supreme Court after a candlelight vigil on the 3rd of November.”