New Delhi: Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit has been appointed the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president after Ajay Maken resigned from the post citing ill-health. Dikshit will take charge as the Delhi Congress chief today (Wednesday).

Jagdish Tytler, accused of leading a mob during the 1984 Sikh genocide, was seen attending Dikshit’s induction event.

Tytler’s presence at the function has irked the sentiments of the Sikh community. This could have been avoided by the Congress if they did not invite him at the swearing-in ceremony. But he was given a front-row seat, and this has outraged many.

Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, “What his (Tytler’s) family did earlier, Rahul ji is just continuing with that tradition. It clearly shows that they have no respect for sentiments of Sikhs.”

Tytler’s name is in the list of the main accused in the anti-Sikh riots in the Nanavati Commission report.

Defending his presence at the ceremony, Tytler said that it does not matter what people say about him, as there is no case against him. The Supreme Court has already given the verdict in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, he added.

The 1984 anti-Sikh riots were triggered by the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. According to official reports 2,800 people, including 2,100 in Delhi were killed in the pogrom. Independent sources claim that around 8,000 people, including 3,000 in Delhi had died during the riots.

Tytler’s invitation by the Congress shows that he still enjoys patronage, in a move that many deems a ‘deliberate message’ directed towards the Sikh community.