Free Press Journal

Constitute a committee to investigate 1984 riots: Badal to PM


New Delhi: Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal on friday demanded the setting up of a special committee to investigate the 1984 riots during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today.

“The people want to know who was behind it. India should be made clear about it.” said Badal.

The 1984 anti-Sikhs riots were a series of pogroms directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh mobs, in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. There were more than 8,000] deaths, including 3,000 in Delhi.

The sporadic violence continued as a result of an armed Sikh separatist group which was designated as a terrorist entity by the then Indian Government. In June 1984, during Operation Blue Star, Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Golden Temple and eliminate any insurgents, as it had been occupied by Sikh separatists who were stockpiling weapons. Later operations by Indian paramilitary forces were initiated to clear the separatists from the countryside of Punjab.

Badal also said there was a need to seal the India-Pakistan border in Punjab to thwart the smuggling of narcotics.

According to a recent India Today report, the narcotics trade has turned into a hereditary business for families scattered across the 100-odd villages located along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab.

Some of these villages include Rajoke, Bhikhiwind, Alko Kotho, Raja Tal, Pulkanjri, Naushehra Talla, Naushehra Pannu, Dauke and Havelian.

The smugglers reportedly operate under the cover of darkness, often take advantage of any lapses in border patrolling by the security forces, to transport the contraband.
Small consignments are manually thrown over to the Indian side, while large consignments are ferried through long plastic pipes.

Talking about crime in Punjab he added that a special system needs to be made to solve the cases lying pending in police stations.