The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) 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.
"Rahul Gandhi has rubbed salt into the wounds of Sikh 'qaum' (community) by saying that Congress was not involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots," Badal told reporters on Saturday, 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 H K L 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.