New Delhi, Sep 10: Raking up the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said the Central government had failed to address grievances of the victims and accused the UPA government of interfering in the religious affairs of Sikh community.
Speaking at the National Integration Council meet here Badal said, “The shoddy and even criminal manner in which cases related to the 1984 massacre of innocent Sikhs have been dealt with is a case,” which reflected the failure of the system to address “genuine grievances”.
“The role played by the central government in the 1984 riots and its subsequent justice delivery requires introspection,” he said.
“The Union Government has been unnecessarily interfering in the matters of Sikh religion. Such interferences usually lead to radicalisation and it becomes a tool in the hands of fundamentalist forces in the country,” the Chief Minister added.
Badal's comments come at a time when the SGPC elections are set to be held in Punjab.
He also criticised the proposed Communal Violence Bill, saying it could lead “to avoidable confrontation between the Centre and the states”.
“Section 20 of this bill defines organised communal and targeted violence as internal disturbance, bringing it within the meaning of article 355 of the Constitution, and thus creating a role for the Centre here,” Badal said.
“Since law and order is a state subject, section 20 of the proposed bill is a direct transgression into the states' authority by the Government of India,” he added.
Badal also claimed that under the proposed Bill, there is ambiguity in the selection of members of the National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation.
“Section 72 calls for a judicial enquiry by a sitting judge of the concerned High Court into the cases of communal violence, which is bound to create confusion as investigations in the same are also taken up by national and state authorities,” he said.
The Chief Minister said in order to fight communal violence, “a dedicated and well trained force on the pattern of RAF needs to be raised by the Government of India and placed at the disposal of sensitive states.”
Speaking on the problem of naxalism, Badal said, “A special economic package must be given to states wherein the naxal is likely to surface rather than only to those who are already affected by it.”
Badal added that “the need of the hour is to make a comprehensive citizen charter and standard efficiency scales to be set up in every government department and agency.” PTI