Amid a change of guard in Congress on Wednesday, BJP accused the party of continuing its policy of patronising 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Jagdish Tytler. Taking to Twitter, Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Bagga claimed that Tytler was present at the AICC headquarters in the national capital when Mallikarjun Kharge took over as the Congress president. Posting a photo in which Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Meira Kumar are seen sitting in the same room as Tytler, he slammed the party over its “love” for “killers of Sikhs”.
SAD-turned-BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa also lashed out at the Gandhi family for inviting Tytler to this ceremony. He opined, “The Gandhi family has again proved that they will continue to give security and respect to the likes of Tytler and Kamal Nath by calling the Sikh killer Tytler as the chief guest at Kharge Ji’s oath ceremony. With the help of these murderers, the Gandhi family carried out the 1984 Sikh massacre and is giving its reward to these people till date”.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on Thursday, Tajinder Bagga said, “The entire country knows the role of Congress in killing Sikhs in 1984. Rajiv Gandhi got Sikhs killed. Rajiv Gandhi’s associates Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and HKL Bhagat were at the forefront of killing Sikhs. Some people are in jail today after their crime was proven. By inviting people like Jagdish Tytler to prime events and as the main guest, Congress has proven that it is with the killers of Sikhs even today. Tendering a fake apology and rubbing salt in the wounds by inviting the killers of Sikhs shows that Congress is standing with the killers of Sikhs today.”
“There are only 10-15 persons in the room in the photo shared by me. Only the core team was sitting there. Jagdish Tytler was one of them. The entire country knows his role,” he added.
Alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
A senior leader of Congress, Tytler has served as a Union Minister in the past. However, he has faced a barrage of accusations for the last three decades for his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Along with Sajjan Kumar, he was another mainstream Congress leader who was accused of leading mobs to kill Sikhs. While the Nanavati Commission hinted at his role in the riots, successive Congress governments did not show the inclination to press charges against him. In fact, he was even inducted as a minister after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power at the Centre.
During the second term of the UPA government, the CBI gave a clean chit to Tytler. But a Sessions Court rejected the closure report and ordered an investigation into his role. While there has been public pressure on Congress to cut off ties with Tytler, it has often accommodated him on a public platform. In January 2019, Congress faced a lot of criticism for giving a front-row seat to Tytler during the ceremony of former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit taking over as the Delhi Congress chief.
Stoking another controversy, the anti-Sikh riots accused joined the protest of the Congress party against the Delhi Police’s action at Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University at India Gate on December 16, 2019. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was one of the prominent leaders sitting on a dharna on this occasion. Tytler’s appointment as a permanent invitee to the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee on October 28, 2021, was also staunchly opposed by BJP as well as SAD.