Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said “Congress was not involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots”, in which nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed, mostly in the national capital when the party’s government was in power at the Centre.
To a question being asked by the CNN-News18 at an event in the UK Parliament about the 1984 riots, Gandhi 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.”
Later, during an interactive session at the London School of Economics (LSE) when he was again asked about the anti-Sikh riots and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on it, Gandhi said: “When Manmohan Singh spoke, he spoke for all of us. As I said earlier, I am a victim of violence and I understand what it feels.”
“So, I am against any sort of violence against anybody on this planet. I get disturbed when I see anybody being hurt. So, I condemn that 100 per cent and I am 100 per cent for punishment for those involved in any violence against anybody. That’s crystal clear,” said Gandhi.
He further explained that people who haven’t had violence inflicted upon them, think that violence is what you see in movies. “That’s not what it is. I have seen people who are loved very much being killed.”
“I have also seen the person (Prabhakaran) who killed my father (Rajiv Gandhi) being killed. When I saw Prabhakaran lying on the beaches in Jaffna, when I saw him being humiliated, the way he was, I felt sorry for him, because I saw my father in his place and his children in my place,” he added.
“So, when you are being hit by violence, when you understand it, it has a completely different impact on you. Most people don’t actually understand violence. It’s a horrible thing,” he added.
Some Congress politicians, including Sajjan Kumar, have been accused of leading the killer mobs. They have denied the allegations. (Agencies)