Holding Rajiv Gandhi responsible for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti on Saturday said Bharat Ratna conferred on the late prime minister must be withdrawn to heal the wounds of the Sikh community.

Issuing a statement in Shimla, Satti claimed that over 5000 Sikhs were burnt alive in the country including the capital Delhi and Rajiv Gandhi had justified it by allegedly saying that when a big tree falls, the earth shakes.

“This statement of Rajiv Gandhi instigated Congress workers to kill Sikhs and no case was registered against the killers at Rajiv’s behest… if some honest police officers registered a few cases, the Congress ensured that the culprits were released,” he said.

“It was due to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar got life sentence for killing Sikhs,” the state Bharatiya Janata Party chief added.

Satti slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for appointing senior party leader Kamal Nath, who was “responsible” for the riots, as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

He also claimed that the recent ‘Hua toh Hua’ remark by Congress leader Sam Pitroda had “rubbed salt on the injuries of the Sikhs”.

Pitroda, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi and Overseas Congress’ head, on Thursday said, ‘hua toh hua’ (So what, it happened) about the anti-Sikh riots.

He made this remark in response to a question on the riots by a newsman in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

The previous Congress government committed a “crime” by conferring the highest civilian award on Rajiv Gandhi posthumously, he said.