Heated exchanges in Punjab assembly over 1984 riots

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Chandigarh, Mar 4 (UNI) The Punjab Assembly today witnessed sharp exchanges between the Treasury and Opposition benches when a ruling party member sought to blame the Congress for the 1984-anti Sikh riots during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the Governors address.

Participating in the debate, Virsa Singh Valtoha (SAD) said that even to this date the victims of the 1984-riots had not got justice.There has not been a single conviction of those who were involved in the riots, he claimed while mentioning the name of a prominent Congress leader of Delhi who had been blamed by some of the victims for instigating the mob to attack Sikhs.

This immediately brought many of the Opposition members on their feet, with leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal protesting in a forceful manner and pointing out that the member should confine himself to the Governors address. The member should not dig up old issues and confine himself to current ones, she added.

Later participating in the debate on the address, Mrs Bhattal claimed that communal harmony had taken a back seat in the last one year, that is ever since the SAD-BJP came to power in the state. In this context she refered to attacks on Dera Sacha Sauda members during the last one year.

" Even to this day Premis (Dera members) are not safe in Punjab", she claimed while alleging that the state government took no action against those who instigated the violence against the Dera supporters. The Congress is a secular party and respects all religions unlike others who target those who do not vote for them, she added.

Mrs Bhattal went a step further to remind the BJP of the terrorism days in Punjab when the party stood alongside the Congress to fight this menace. " You did not even have the courage to criticise those who assassinated Akali leaders", she claimed with reference to Akali leaders.

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