Monday, August 08, 2005

Teesta ! Can you condemn now ? SIKH Carnage was organised by Congress leaders: Nanavati

Teesta ,
Can you come out and shout with the same tone as you did for BEST BAKERY and GUJARAT

Come on... admit that you are nasty hypocrite .

Pramod Kumar Singh/ New Delhi

Justice GT Nanavati Commission report on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is certain to resurrect the ghost of the biggest ever holocaust of post-independence India.
Nanavati report tabled 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom

Describing the riots of 1984 as an "organised carnage," the report says, "local Congress leaders and workers had either incited or helped the mobs in attacking the Sikhs. But for the backing and help of influential and resourceful persons, killing of Sikhs so swiftly and in large numbers could not have happened."

Although the report exonerates the Congress High Command, it indicts Delhi Police of dereliction of duty and points an accusing finger at prominent Congress MPs of the time, notably Dharam Das Shastri, HKL Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler.

As regards individuals, the report recommends reopening all such cases against Outer Delhi Member of Parliament Sajjan Kumar, which have been declared "untraced". In the case of Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Jagdish Tytler, the commission is not very clear about the former's involvement but nonetheless seeks a re-examination.

Justice Nanavati in his overall consideration for the genocide that took place on Delhi roads in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 has written: "The systematic manner in which the Sikhs were thus killed indicate that the attacks were organised.

The exploitation of the situation was also by the local political leaders for their political and personal gains like increasing the clout by showing their importance, popularity and hold over the masses. Lack of fear of the police was also one of the causes for the happening of so many incidents within those three to four days. Probably, there was a desire on the part of some persons to teach a lesson to the Sikhs."

That the capital was engulfed in anti-Sikh frenzy at the instigation of Delhi Congress leaders was amply manifested in Sultanpuri area, which housed the lower strata of society. In Sultanpuri, the attacks on Sikhs were on a very large scale and the commission has found the footprints of Outer Delhi MP and Delhi Congress strongman Sajjan Kumar.

The affidavits of persons residing in Blocks A and B disclose that in the morning of November 1, 1984, a mob of about 500 to 600 persons gathered near B-2 park and was addressed by Sajjan Kumar who reportedly instigated them to attack the Sikhs for killing Indira Gandhi. The mob was raising slogans such as "Khoon ka badla khoon". More than 50 people were killed during the attacks and more than 650 houses were looted and burnt.

Sumer Singh, Phota Singh, Sidhouri Kaur, Jatan Kaur and Prem Kaur in their statements before the commission specifically named Sajjan Kumar as the person who addressed the mob on that day and incited it to attack Sikhs. Vidya Devi whose husband was burnt alive named Sajjan Kumar for the death of her husband.

Moti Singh of B Block has stated that on the morning of November 1, Sajjan Kumar clearly told the mob that had gathered near B-block to take revenge and had even promised cash rewards for those who killed specific Sikh leaders.

As if that was not enough, Amarjit Kaur of Chand Colony had spoken about the killing of her husband Captain Nazar Singh Mangat. She had specifically named Sajjan Kumar as the person who led the mob, which killed her husband by burning him alive.

Sajjan has also been named for his role in Nangloi area that also witnessed largescale arson and killing. According to an affidavit filed by Satnam Singh, Sajjan Kumar held a meeting in Matiala and Navada villages near Kiran Garden and instigated them to attack Sikhs and loot their properties. The MP also allegedly distributed iron rods to the mob after which the frenzy began.

Coming down heavily on the conduct of Sajjan Kumar, the commission has asked, "Why so many persons had named him and attributed acts like addressing meetings and inciting people to kill Sikhs and to loot and destroy their properties remains unexplained by Sajjan Kumar. A technical defence taken by him that these witnesses had not named him before the police or in the courts is not a good explanation for disbelieving those witnesses.

The commission is, therefore inclined to take the view that there is credible material against Sajjan Kumar and his associate Balwan Khokhar for recording a finding that he and Khokhar were probably involved as alleged by the witnesses."

Sajjan Kumar was not alone as there were other Congress leaders who took active part in the brutal killing of innocent Sikhs. Om Prakash, the brother-in-law of former Delhi Minister Deep Chand Bandhu had attacked the residents of Nimri Colony in Ashok Vihar. Om Prakash had brought a jeep, which was loaded with inflammable liquid and they started attacking Sikh families in the presence of police officers.

HKL Bhagat, who was virtually ruling Delhi in 1984 has also been accused of leading a mob in Seemapuri area where many Sikhs were killed. Residents of Krishna Nagar filed affidavits alleging that the mob, which killed many members of their families was addressed by HKL Bhagat. Kalyanpuri and Trilokpuri areas were worst affected in East Delhi as the supporters of Bhagat let loose a carnage against hapless Sikhs and there was one Dr Ashok, said to be an ardent supporter of the Congress leader who not only indulged in the killing but incited his ilk to avenge the killing of Indira Gandhi. After the mad frenzy subsided, the victims and their families were asked not to name Bhagat for the killings.

"The commission is of the view that there is a credible material against the Congress leaders and workers. The commission does not recommend any further action against Bhagat in view of his physical and metal condition."

Dharam Das Shatri, the then MP from Karol Bagh led his people to attack and loot Sikh families in Patel Nagar, Karol Bagh and other areas. The situation in Karol Bagh had taken an ugly turn after Shastri allegedly asked local leaders Tek Chand Sharma and Rajinder Pal Singh to kill Sikhs. Shastri had even slapped and threatened the SHO of Karol Bagh if he dared to take any action while his supporters were busy targeting Sikhs.

The commission has noted, "The commission, therefore, is of the view that there is credible evidence against Shastri who was a Congress leader of the locality that he had instigated his men Tek Chand and Rajinder to organise attack on Sikhs. The commission recommends to the government that it should examine the relevant material and direct investigation or further investigation as may be found necessary to the aforesaid allegations".

Jagdish Tytler, who was MP from North Delhi has been also accused of egging his supporters to target Sikhs. Surinder Singh in his affidavit had said that the mob that attacked Gurdwara Pul Bangash and killed Jaswinder Singh and Thakur Singh was led by Tytler. Surinder had claimed that Tytler later contacted him and asked him to sign on the dotted line but he refused. In his cross examination, Surinder Singh stuck to his guns and reiterated that he had not filed any affidavit earlier.

The commission has noted that it appeared that Jagdish Tytler was in some way involved in the attacks on Sikhs or their properties in the area. "The commission considers that there is credible evidence against Jagdish Tytler to the effect that very probably he had a hand in organising attacks on Sikhs. The commission therefore recommends to the government to look into this aspect and take further action as may be found necessary."



Brazen Cong may burn bridges with Sikhs

Sidharth Mishra/ New Delhi

The attempt to brazen itself out of a tight situation will irreparably damage the credibility of the Congress party. The shameless effort to 'exonerate' its two stalwarts from their 'complicity' in the 1984 holocaust against the Sikh community, would definitely mean a loss of moral ground for the Congress and make them unfit to charge their opponents with allegedly perpetrating a similar carnage.
What, me worry?: Union Minister Jagdish Tytler shows a copy of the affidavit outside Parliament on Monday- S Sabu/ Pioneer

The Nanavati Commission report, and the angry outburst against attempts to water down its recommendations, has once again put the charge of orchestrating the carnage like an albatross around the neck of the Congress.

While two individual leaders, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar have a degree of difference in their exoneration or complicity, whichever way you interpret the report, the larger question of the willingness of the Congress to punish the perpetrators of the 1984 riots becomes more urgent than ever before.

The party in the city is sure to face a backlash from the well-knit Sikh community, which did not even hesitate to teach a lesson to Mr Manmohan Singh when he contested the Lok Sabha polls from South Delhi in 1999.

Dr Singh on the eve of the election, committed the blasphemy of blaming the RSS for instigating the riots. The Sikhs promptly came out in large numbers to vote the next morning and ensured that Mr Singh was routed.

Now Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presiding over the biggest ever cover-up of the carnage may well provide the much-needed elixir to a dormant BJP in the Capital. As it is, it was only after several attempts by the Sheila Dikshit government that the Sikh voter was won over ensuring a second consecutive term for the Congress at Player's Building. With Monday's developments, the Congress leaders and cadres would find it difficult to justify the Centre's stand on the issue.

While people would jump to the conclusion that with Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler in a spot, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit would be able to put dissidence behind her, the bigger challenge she would face would be from the voter, as the party goes to polls for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2006.

Despite its dismal performance in the last few polls, the Congress has never been able to rout the BJP in the Sikh-dominated constituencies of West Delhi. A revival of angst against the Congress could be a citywide phenomenon with the Capital's Sikh community hitting back with vengeance.


Diluted ATR Govt's way to limit damage

Pramod Kumar Singh/ New Delhi

The much awaited Action Taken Report (ATR) on the Justice Nanavati Commission report probing the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in reality appears to be an exercise to absolve the government of the recommendations of the commission on technical grounds.

Reviewing the role of Sajjan Kumar for his involvement in the riots, the commission has asked the government to examine those cases, wherein witnesses accused him, specifically and yet no chargesheets were filed and the cases were closed as untraced. Such cases, which deserve to be re-examined, are those arising from First Information Reports (FIR) no. 250/84,307/94 and 347/91 of Sultanpuri police station and Fir nos 325/93, 329/93, 178/84 of Mangolpuri police station and Fir no. 416/94 of police station Delhi Cantt.

The ATR against the observation of the commission pertaining to Sajjan Kumar's role is based on the untraced reports of Delhi. Mentioning the Delhi Police investigations in connection with FIR 250/84 at Sultanpuri, the ATR says that chargesheets were filed against 27 persons. Three accused were convicted while the remaining 24 were acquitted.

Sajjan Kumar's name did not figure in the list of the accused. About FIR no. 371/94 of Sultanpuri, the ATR says that complainant, Ms Anek Kaur on whose affidavit the FIR was registered, denied allegations against Sajjan Kumar in her statement. The case was sent as untraced and accepted by the concerned court. FIR no 347/91 registered at Sultanpuri was lodged on the affidavit filed by Joginder Singh before Justice Jain-Bannerjee Committee. Joginder Singh also retracted from his statement and totally denied the allegations against Sajjan Kumar.

FIR no. 178/84 of Mangolpuri police station was lodged on the written report of Ms Harvinder Kaur regarding the murder of her husband, Dr Iqbal Singh. Sajjan Kumar was not accused by any of the persons who filed affidavits before Justice Nanavati Commission in connection with the incident except Surender Singh.

The ATR says that the government would look into the factual position in this regard to the affidavit of Surender Singh for appropriate action. Delhi Police had chargesheeted 11 persons in connection with FIR no. 416/84 registered at Delhi Cantt. However, the competent court acquitted all of them. The Special Riot Cell on the basis of the affidavits filed before the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission reinvestigated the case. But none of the witnesses whose statements were recorded accused Sajjan Kumar, the ATR mentions.

While dealing with the allegations against North Delhi MP and Union Minister Jagdish Tytler, the commission has said that there was credible evidence against Jagdish Tytler to the effect that probably he had a hand in organising attacks on Sikhs.

The commission has recommended the government look into this aspect. This is what the ATR has to say: "It is clear from this observation that the commission itself was not absolutely sure about his involvement in such attacks. It may be pointed out that in criminal cases, a person can not be prosecuted simply on the basis of "probability". In view of the fact that the commission itself was not certain that Tytler had a role in organising attacks on Sikhs and in the context of the judicial verdicts on the incidents mentioned in the commission's report, any further action will not be justified."

The commission has also indicted the then Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi, PG Gavai. While investigating the gross dereliction of his official duty in controlling the riots, the commission has found him guilty of severe lapses. The commission noted that Gavai did not accord much attention to the need of the hour. Since MMK Wali replaced Gavai in November, immediate administrative action was taken against him, the ATR says.

Similarly, then Delhi Police Commissioner SC Tandon was held directly for the lawlessness that prevailed in the national capital after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Tandon had tried to mislead the commission that he was not informed about the ground reality. The course of events do disclose that the attitude of the Delhi Police was callous and that he was not properly informed about what was happening in the city. Tandon was replaced on November 11, 1984 by the government. The ATR mentions the legal difficulties in taking departmental actions against Tandon since he had retired. However, the government would examine this matter in consultation with the Law Ministry.

Special Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs KP Singh said on Monday that the commission's report does not give a list of specific recommendations. The government has culled out 10 specific recommendations and out of these, the government has adopted nine while in the case of Jagdish Tytler, the government has decided that it can not proceed on "mere probability".

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