The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to come forward and stand witness against the cold blooded murder of 21 youth whose surrender he had facilitated during the turbulent period of militancy in the State.In a statement here, party leader Virsa Singh Valtoha said it was good that Amarinder had laid bare his conscience and even tried to lighten the guilt of leading 21 youth to their death by getting them to surrender before former Prime Minister Chander Shekhar in 1990-91. He said it was however regrettable that Capt Amarinder had washed his hands off the matter and not done anything in this case despite getting a chance to lead the State as chief minister from 2002-2007. “But all is not lost. Amarinder can make amends for his guilty conscience. He knows when the incident took place. He knows who headed the State police during this period. He should order registration of an FIR against all the police officers responsible for the elimination of the 21 Sikh youth”, the Akali leader said.
Stating that a mere statement that he never talked to Chander Shekhar when he came to know after six months that they had been eliminated was not enough, Mr Valtoha said Capt Amarinder had a responsibility towards the 21 victims who were victim to State repression. “Amarinder should immediately identify the victims and also offer compensation to their families besides ensuring strict punishment to those guilty of this ghastly crime. Then only will there be a final closure to the case”, he added.Mr Valtoha said this was also a fit case of human rights violations and that the State Human Rights Commission should also register a case in this regard. He said the Commission could ask for the relevant records from the State government to identify the accused at the earliest.The Akali leader said in case the chief minister did not act immediately in this matter and apply balm on the wounds of 21 mothers whose sons had been made to disappear by the State, the SAD would take up the matter in the Vidhan Sabha. “We have been pointing out cases of State repression earlier also but now we have a verified case as our own chief minister is a witness to the crime”. Urging Amarinder to act fast in the matter, he said the SAD would do its utmost to ensure punishment to the perpetrators of this crime as well as justice to the families.