Union Minister Anurag Thakur dismisses Congress’ Bharat Nyay Yatra, evokes 1984 riots

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Union I&B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur addresses the media.

Union I&B Minister Anurag Singh Thakur addresses the media.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Union Minister Anurag Thakur dismissed the Congress party’s announcement on Wednesday to hold a ‘Bharat Nyay Yatra’, labelling it a spurious attempt to provide justice by “those who could not provide justice to the victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984”.

The Congress had, at a press conference earlier in the day, announced it would be undertaking the Bharat Nyay Yatra, to be led by Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi from Manipur to Mumbai, passing through 14 States and 85 districts from the east to the west of India in 67 days, beginning January 14.

“How can those who could not provide justice to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, which took place during their regime, for several years, do justice to anyone,” Mr. Thakur said, reacting to the Opposition party’s announcement. “How will those who induct members of the tukde-tukde gang, and create division on the lines of caste and region, provide justice?” he asked.

The phrase tukde-tukde (splintering) gang came into use after the 2016 turmoil in Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and has since been used by the BJP to accuse some of “anti-nationalism”.

Mr. Thakur went on to credit Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and provide justice to its victims.

Mr. Thakur said that the people of the country had recognised “their real face — who call Bhagvan Ram imaginary, whose alliance partners show Sanatan Dharma in a poor light [in a reference to remarks by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin], and who insult Hindus.”

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