Akali Dal gives two day ultimatum to Govt on Sajjan

Akali Dal leaders, protesting the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 riots case, today gave two-day ultimatum to the government to accept their demand of death penalty to Kumar and an SIT probe failing which they will intensify the agitation.

A five-member delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal leaders today met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna and put forward their demands.

"The LG had called us for a meeting and told that the government was worried over the way protests were happening in Delhi. He said that we should take back our protest," National Vice President of Shiromani Akali Dal, Omkar Singh Thapar said.

The capital has been witnessing protests since last Tuesday after a court acquitted Kumar in an anti-Sikh riot case.

"We asked him to accept our demands, which are death penalty to Kumar and a probe into the 1984 riots by the Supreme Court monitored special investigative team, to which, LG assured us that he was speaking to higher ups and soon arrive at a solution and asked us to stop the protests," Thapar claimed.

"We have assured him that we would keep protests -- like one that happened at Vijay Chowk, Rajpath or outside Sonia Gandhi's house yesterday -- on hold for two days.

"But if it (assurances by the government) is an eyewash then Akali Dal would be helpless to take the agitation ahead," said Thapar.

The delegation told LG that at the moment, protests were happening at local level but if the government did not take action the entire Akali Dal leadership, including Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal will join the protest in Delhi.

"All the Akali MPs, MLAs, including Punjab CM and Deputy CM are likely to meet the President, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister," he said.

Over 200 Sikhs yesterday staged a protest near Parliament House and blocked traffic for about an hour against the acquittal of the Congress leader and demanding capital punishment for him.

Holding placards and shouting slogans against Congress, the protesters, including women, squatted at Vijay Chowk which is just a few metres away from Parliament House where a large number of police personnel were deployed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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