The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying by disagreeing with the view his party was involved in the "genocide", he had "rubbed the salt into the wounds" of the Sikh community.
Hitting out at the Congress president, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged that Gandhi was trying to protect those Congress leaders who were involved in the "genocide".
"Rahul Gandhi has rubbed salt into the wounds of Sikh 'quom' (community) by saying that Congress was not involved in 1984 anti Sikh riots," Badal told reporters here today, adding, "It shows the thinking of Gandhi towards Sikh community."
Describing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots a "very painful tragedy", Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit to the UK, said, "I have no confusion in my mind about that. It was a tragedy, it was a painful experience. You say that the Congress party was involved in that, I don't agree with that. Certainly there was violence, certainly there was tragedy."
Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the riots in 1984 following the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards when the Congress government was in power at the Centre.
"I want to ask Rahul if Congress leaders were not involved in anti-Sikh riots then why it withdrew tickets given to Congress leaders HKL Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. Why was Jagdish Tytler removed from the ministry in the Manmohan Singh-led government," Badal asked.
Asserting that then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also apologised for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, he said the fight to bring justice for the victims of the riots will continue.
A complaint was filed against Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a court here today seeking registration of a defamation case against him for allegedly tarnishing and lowering the image of the country.
The complaint was filed by advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Hari Prasad here, which fixed September 4 as the date for hearing the matter.
Ojha contended that Rahul Gandhi had “justified terrorism and explained the emergence of Islamic State (IS) group due to increasing unemployment and likened it with that of India, which is an insult to the country”.
The Gandhi scion, during his visit to Germany and Britain, had said that terrorism was on the rise in India due to increasing unemployment, Ojha said in his complaint.
He also held Indian culture responsible for violence against women, the complainant said, adding that the Congress chief had “tarnished and lowered the image of India internationally on foreign soil”.
Gandhi had “deliberately made such statements with an intention to create tension in the country” and the remarks have led to protests and demonstrations against him, the complaint said.
Ojha further said that he was hurt by the Congress leader’s comments which he read in various newspapers and saw on TV channels.
He filed the criminal complaint case against Rahul Gandhi under various sections of IPC including 153B (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 500 (defamation) and 504 (insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace).
If convicted by the court, the charges attract a minimum of two to three years of imprisonment with fine or both.