CHANDIGARH: Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will Saturday stage a sit-in at Jantar Mantar in the national capital seeking justice for the families of those killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the party said.
The ruling Congress in Punjab, however, described the proposed demonstration that will be led by SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal as a "political gimmick".
In a statement issued here, SAD's senior vice president and spokesperson Daljeet Singh Cheema said the protest will be held against the massacre of Sikhs "orchestrated" by the Congress in New Delhi and other parts of the country between November 1 and 4 in 1984.
"The protest will open the eyes of the Congress party to the reality that oppressors cannot muzzle the voice of truth," Cheema said.
Lambasting Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar for calling it a "political gimmick", Cheema urged all party leaders and workers to participate in large numbers to give a befitting reply to the Lok Sabha MP.
He also accused Jakhar of "rubbing salt on the wounds of the Sikh community" by opposing the protest and also proving that even after 34 years of the massacre, the Congress still stood behind the culprits.
"By opposing the dharna (protest), Jakhar has tried to gratify Rahul Gandhi (Congress president). Why the Congress party is so upset?" Cheema said.
"Is seeking justice for thousands of innocent Sikhs butchered by an unruly mob apparently instigated by Congress higher ups a crime," he added.
However, in a statement here, Jakhar said that the agitation reflected the "political hypocrisy" of the Akali Dal. The Congress leader said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, of which the SAD is an ally, must expedite the probe into the riots.
Jakhar said that the SAD must quit the NDA alliance before launching an agitation.
Sukhbir Badal should pressurise the Narendra Modi government to expedite the investigation in the pending cases and reach a conclusion before the 2019 general election, he said.