Fresh probe likely into 1984 riots; Opposition says poll 'gimmick'

New Delhi, Feb 1: A fresh probe is likely to be ordered into the 30-year-old anti-Sikh riots of Delhi, with a government-appointed committee recommending setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), a move slammed by the opposition as a poll "gimmick".

The committee, headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice (retd) G P Mathur, was set up on December 23 last year to look into the possibility of re-investigation of the 1984 riots.

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It submitted its report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week, recommending setting up of an SIT for a fresh probe into the riots that followed assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, the sources said.

An order to this effect is likely after the February 7 Delhi Assembly polls as the Model Code of Conduct is in place in the national capital now and no such announcement can be made, the sources added. 3,325 people were killed in the riots.

Of them, Delhi accounted for 2,733. Rest were killed in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states. Opposition parties slammed the move, saying it was an attempt to influence voters in Delhi as less than a week is left for polling.

"It is deprecating. Justice cannot be an electoral gain.. Is it only an electoral ploy or gimmick of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to woo voters ahead of polls? If it is so, then it is deprecating," said Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Questioning the timing, he asked whether the Prime Minister and his government were "sleeping" for nine months and now suddenly woke up when only a week is left for polling in Delhi.

He said if fresh probe is ordered into anti-Sikh riots, similar actions should be taken with regard to riots in Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar and Mangolpuri in Delhi.

Aam Aadmi Party leader H S Phoolka said the "leak" about the move "appears to be a poll gimmick" as it has come on the eve of elections here.


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