If 1984 Victims Had Got Justice, Gujarat Riots Wouldn't Have Happened: Kejriwal

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Arvind Kejriwal said the BJP was only interested in scoring political points over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. (Press Trust of India photo)

New Delhi:  If victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots had got justice then "brutal attacks like 2002 and Dadri" wouldn't have taken place, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today, distributing compensation cheques to the victims on the 31st anniversary of the violence.

Attacking the BJP, which governs the Centre, for the 2002 Gujarat riots and the mob-lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh's Dadri last month, he said the BJP had only tried to score political points from the riots.

"Had '84 riot victims got justice, brutal attacks like 2002 and Dadri wouldn't have taken place. Never before has it happened that the President had to speak up on intolerance," Mr Kejriwal said.

"Centre formed a Special Investigation Team [on the 1984 riots] just a day before 14th February - the day my government came to power. The Centre was scared I will put honest officers in the SIT and the guilty will be brought to the book," he said.

Mr Kejriwal distributed cheques of Rs 5 lakhs each to the victims of the riots, alleging that while the Centre had announced the increased compensation, it had not taken it forward.

"Compensation is fine but when we see our perpetrators walk freely it still boils our blood. We want justice," said one relative of a victim.

"Today when an incident takes place, governments announce Rs 50 lakhs each of the families. Look at us 31 years of agony, and still no justice and then Rs 5 lakh," said another.

The riots took place after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. About 3,000 people were killed in violence by mobs allegedly led by Congress leaders.

The BJP has long championed the cause of Sikhs targeted in the riots and recently announced hike in compensation for the victims' families. But Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party have accused the BJP of trying to win over Sikh voters ahead of elections.

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