Nanavati Commission Report
The report was 185 pages long . The commission submitted its final report in February 2004 detailing accusations and evidence against senior members of the Delhi wing of the then ruling Congress Party, including Jagdish Tytler, later a Cabinet Minister, MP Sajjan Kumar and late minister H.K.L. Bhagat. They were accused of instigating mobs to avenge the assassination of Indira Gandhi by killing Sikhs in their constituencies. The 'PART-IV - ASSESSMENT OF EVIDENCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION is given below:
- 1 GENERAL
- 2 NEW DELHI DISTRICT
- 3 CENTRAL DISTRICT
- 4 NORTH DISTRICT
- 5 SOUTH DISTRICT
- 6 EAST DISTRICT
- 7 WEST DISTRICT
- 8 Affidavit Submitted before Nanavati Commission - against Politicians
- 9 AFFIDAVITS OF PROMINENT PERSONS
- 10 HIGHER UPS
- 11 OVERALL CONSIDERATION
- 12 Related Articles
As the evidence consisting of affidavits and depositions of witnesses revealed involvement of some Congress (I) leaders and workers and also of some local persons, the Commission thought it proper to issue notices to such persons under Section 8B of the Commissions of Inquiry Act. On consideration of the evidence of witnesses and also other material consisting of police records, reports etc. it also appeared to the Commission that conduct of certain police officers and policemen was also required to be inquired into. Therefore, notices under Section 8B were gien to them also. They were all given an opportunity of being heard and to produce evidence in their defence. To the extent it was possible, they were also supplied with copies of the evidence against them. They were also informed, as and when they appeared before the Commission, that they were permitted to inspect the record for preparing their defence.
NEW DELHI DISTRICT
On scrutiny of the evidence relating to the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in New Delhi District it appeared to the Commission that though policemen were posted there, they did nothing to prevent an attack on the Gurdwara or to disperse the mobs which had gathered near the Gurdwara. The evidence of S/Shri Mukhtiar Singh, Ajit Singh, Satnam Singh and Monish Sanjay Suri disclosed that the policemen posted there had remained completely passive and had failed to perform their duty. Their statements show the presence of Sub Inspector Hoshiar Singh and range in charge Shri Gautam Kaul at the time of incident. Therefore, notices were issued to Sub Inspector Hoshiar Singh and Shri Gautam Kaul. As the evidence of those witnesses also disclosed presence of Shri Kamal Nath and Shri Vasant Sathe in the mob and some participation by them, notices were also issued to them.
Shri Vasant Sathe has denied his present at the place of incident. Shri Monish Sanjay Suri, a Journalist and Shri Ajit Singh have not spoken about presence of Shri Vasant Sathe in the mob. He is involved by Shri Mukhtiar Singh for the first time after a lapse of about 16 years. Shri Vasant Sathe in his reply has stated that on 1-11-84 at around 11 a.m. he was present at Teen Murti Bhawan where the body of Smt. Indira Gandhi was kept. While he was there he was interviewed by T.V. crew of Delhi Doorshan in which he had appealed to the people to remain calm and not to indulge in any kind of anti social activities. He had also stated that the Sikh community is very patriotic and they have made a lot of sacrifices in attaining independence and and in the freedom movement and for the mistake of two persons of the community the whole community should not be blamed or condemned. He has denied to have gone near Gurudwara Rakab Ganj on that day at any time. Shri Mukhtiar Singh’s version is that Shri Vasant Sathe and Shri Kamal Nath were together when Shri Kamal Nath was instigating the mob. On consideration of the other material which does not support the version of Shri Mukhtiar Singh and the reply of Shri Sathe, it appears that Shri Mukhtiar Singh had a wrong impression about the presence of Shri Vasant Sathe.
Shri Kamal Nath, in his affidavit, has stated that in the afternoon of 1-11-84, on receiving information that some violence was taking place in and around Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, he as a senior and responsible leader of the Congress Party decided to go there. When he reached there, he found that lots of people were standing outside the Gurudwara and para military personnel were also present. He tried to find out from various persons in the mob as to why they had gathered there and why they were agitated. He was told that some Hindu men and women were kept inside the Gurudwara forcibly and that was the main reason why they were agitated. By that time the Commissioner of Police came there. He felt satisfied that police would be able to control the situation, so he left that place. He has further stated that while he was near the Gurudwara he had tried to persuade the crowd to disperse and not to take law into their hands. He had also told the crowd that since the police had arrived, it was their job to ensure safety of the Hindus, if any, inside the Gurudwara and that the police would be able to control the situation. He has denied that he gave instructions to any one to resort to firing. He has also denied that he had either led that mob or had any control over the mob.
Reply filed by Shri Kamal Nath is vague. He has not clearly stated at what time he went there and how long he remained there. The situation at the Gurudwara had become very grave at about 11.30 a.m. and continued to remain grave till about 3.30 p.m. The evidence discloses that Shri Kamal Nath was seen in the mob at about 2 p.m. The Police Commissioner had reached that place at about 3.30 p.m. So he was there for quite a long time. He has not stated whether he went to the Gurudwara alone or with some other persons and how he went there. He has not stated that he looked for the police or tried to contact the policemen who were posted there for ensuring that the situation remained under control. He left that place after the Commissioner of Police arrived. He has not stated that he met him. He was a senior political leader and feeling concerned about the law and order situation went to the Gurudwara and therefore it appears little strange that he left that place abruptly without even contacting the police officers who had come there. At the same time it is also required to be considered that he was called upon to give an explanation after about 20 years and probably for that reason he was not able to give more details as regards when and how he went there and what he did. Shri Suri has said that Shri Kamal Nath and tried to persuade the mob to disperse and the mob had retreated for some time. Therefore, it would not be proper to come to the conclusion that Shri Kamal Nath had in any manner instigated the mob. Shri Mukhtiar Singh, Shri Ajit Singh were quite far away from the place where Shri Kamal Nath stood amongst the mob and they could not have heard anything that Shri Kamal Nath told to the persons in the mob. What Shri Mukhtiar Singh and Ajit Singh have stated about what Shri Kamal Nath did is by way of an inference drawn by them from the gestures that were made by Shri Kamal Nath while talking to the persons in the mob. In absence of better evidence it is not possible for the Commission to say that he had in any manner instigated the mob or that he was involved in the attack on the Gurudwara.
Shri Gautam Kaul, who was the Additional Commissioner of New Delhi Range, has stated in his explanation that on 1-11-84 he was assigned specifically the charge of looking after law and order arrangement at Teen Murti House and to handle VIP visits. He had also to look after the security of newly appointed Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi. While he was in the premises of Teen Murti House, at about 12.30 p.m., a wireless message was picked up by his wireless operator informing that an agitated crowd was moving towards Gurudwara Rakab Ganj and there was a request for force. After some time another message was heard on wireless that the Commissioner of Police himself was going with an armed force to deal with the crowd. Till about 3.30 p.m. he was busy controlling the crowd at Teen Murti House. After making proper arrangements there he decided to move out for local tour. While driving past Gurudwara Rakab Ganj, he found a group of 40 persons still roaming on the main road. Seeing a police car a section of this group ran away but a small defiant group did not react to his presence. Inspite of his telling them that prohibitory orders against assembling were in force they did not move away so he threatened them that he would return with armed party and deal with them in an appropriate manner and tried to create an impression that he was going with a view to come back with more police force. Thereupon that small group had also withdrawn from that place. He has further stated that at about 4 p.m. he had returned to Teen Murti House. He was further stated that he was near the Gurudwara for about 10 to 12 minutes and it is wrong to say that a mob had tried to enter the Gurudwara in his presence.
What he was stated is not consistent with the other evidence. The situation near the Gurudwara was very tense till about 3.30 p.m. i.e. till the Police Commissioner reached there with a big force. Even thereafter for some time the situation there was not normal. Therefore, it is difficult to believe that he went near the Gurudwara some time between 3.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. and at that time only a small crowd was near it. Shri Monish Sanjay Suri has spoken about presence of Shri Gautam Kaul while there was a big mob outside the Gurudwara and it was making an attempt to enter the Gurudwara. Though there does not appear to be any reason for Shri Monish Suri to falsely say something against Shri Kaul, in view of the discrepancy in his evidence as regards the time when he reached there, the Commission is not inclined to record a finding against him that he failed to perform his duty as alleged against him. The evidence of Shri Mukhtiar Singh and Shri Suri is also not consistent on the point.
Shri Hoshiar Singh, in his reply, has stated that large number of persons returning from Teen Murti House had come near the Gurudwara as there was a bus stand nearby. As they were not able to get buses immediately, they remained near the Gurudwara. They were raising anti-Sikh slogans. Sewadars of the Gurudwara were roaming in the Gurudwara premises with open Kirpans and ‘Bhallas’. Some of them rebuked those persons who were raising anti-Sikh slogans. That had proved the mob and the situation had become tense. So he had informed the Station House Officer Shri T.S. Bhalla about the situation. He alongwith other officers had gone inside the Gurudwara at about 9 a.m. and met Shri Gian Singh who was the Jathedar and advised the persons there to remain inside and to refrain from making provocating gestures. The police had then taken effective steps to disperse the mob and he himself had fired three rounds in the air from his revolver. He denied that two Sikhs were burnt in presence of the police. He has denied that he had given his revolver to a person in the mob and told him to fire at the Gurudwara. According to him what had happened was that someone in the mob had snatched the revolver of Shri Satpal Singh, a Member of Parliament. That was recovered and subsequently deposited in the Malkhana. According to him because of the effective steps taken by him and the other policemen, no person in the Gurudwara was injured. He has stated that right from the 7’O clock on that day he was near the Gurudwara with 5 other policemen. At about 1 p.m., 12 home guards were made available to him.
Thus according to Sub Inspector Shri Hoshiar Singh he had effectively controlled the situation at the Gurudwara. If he is right then it is difficult to understand why the Police Commissioner was required to rush to that place with a big police force at about 3.30 p.m. A huge crowd had remained near the Gurudwara from about 11.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Damage was caused to the Gurudwara and there was great tension. His explanation is not only vague but evasive also. He has nothing to say about how damage was cause to the Gurudwara without the mob going inside the Gurudwara and how the two Sikhs were burnt alive there and why there was firing from inside the Gurudwara. It appears to the Commission that Hoshiar Singh and his men did not take effective steps to protect the Gurudwara and to disperse the mob which had gathered there. Not a single person from the mob which had entered the Gurudwara or was trying to enter the Gurudwara was apprehended by him or by his team. No force appears to have been used by them to check the riotous crowd. The fact that the mob was big cannot justify inaction on his part and the other policemen. It is a clear case of dereliction of duty on the part of Shri Hoshiar Singh and the policemen who were posted there and therefore the Commission recommends that the Government should initiate appropriate action against him and those policemen who were with him.
The evidence of Shri Ram Bilas Paswan (W-135) and the statement of Shri Inder Mohan clearly disclose involvement of Congress (I) workers in the incidents referred to by them. On the basis of the evidence of Shri Khushwant Singh (Witness-7), Ms. Jaya Jaitly (Witness-5), Shri Ashok Jaitly (Witness-24) and other witnesses, the Commission is also of the view that the policemen posted at some places in this area watched the violent incidents as spectators and did not perform their duty of preventing the mobs from doing so.
From the material with respect to the incidents which happened in the Central District, it appeared to the Commission that Congress (I) Leaders S/Shri Dharam Dass Shastri, Tek Chand Sharma, Rajinder Sharma, Hem Chander and Shri Mahesh Yadav were the persons who instigated the mobs or took part in the violent attacks. It also appeared to the Commission that SI Om Prakash and ASI Rameshwar were negligent in performance of their duty when a riotous mob had attacked Marina Store. It also appeared to the Commission that DCP Shri Amodh Kanth and Station House Officer Shri S.S. Manan had not performed their duty properly during the incident which happened on 5-11-84 near the house of Shri Trilok Singh. Therefore, notices u/s 8B were issued to all those persons. Notices to Sub Inspector Om Prakash and Assistant Sub Inspector Rameshwar could not be issued as their addresses did not become available inspite of efforts made in that behalf. Notices were served upon S/Shri Dharam Dass Shastri, Tek Chand Sharma, Rajinder Prasad Sharma, Hem Chander and Shri Mahesh Yadav. Shri Amod Kanth and Shri S.S. Manan were also served with the notices. Shri Tek Chand Sharma and Shri Rajinder Sharma did not file any reply but appeared through their advocate Shri Vinod Khanna who after perusing the record submitted that the allegations made against them are not true. S/Shri Dharam Dass Shastri, Mahesh Yadav and Hem Chander have replied to the notices. Shri Amod Kanth and Shri S.S. Manan have also filed their explanations.
There was an attack on the house of Shri Avtar Singh on 1-11-84. The affidavits of Shri Avtar singh and Shri Chuni Lal and the evidence given by Shri Daljinder Singh indicate that at the instance of Shri Dharam Dass Shastri, who was a Congress (I) MP at the relevant time, Shri Tek Chand Sharma and Shri Rajinder Singh alongwith other persons attacked the house of Shri Avtar Singh. Shri Dharam Dass Shastri, is stated to have gone to the house of Shri Tek Chand on the previous night and instigated him and others who were present there to kill Sikhs and that Shri Tek Chand and two or three other persons who were with Shri Dharam Dass Shastri at the house of Shri Tek chand were seen in the mob which had attacked the house of Shri Avtar Singh on the following morning. The attack had continued for quite a long time and as Shri Tek Chand and those two or three named persons were from the same locality, the witnesses were able to recognize them. Even though a written complaint was given on 1-11-84 to the police for this incident, no offence was registered till 28-11-84. Inspite of the fact that these persons were named in the complaint and an offence was also registered, no further action was taken against them by the police. Shri Dharam Dass Shastri has in his reply denied the allegations made against him. But when a written complaint was made to the police with specific allegations against those persons it was the duty of the police to properly investigate that offence and file a chargesheet against the accused found to be involved. There is further evidence suggesting that Shri Dharam Dass Shastri was actively involved in the riots in this area. There is also evidence of Shri Bua Singh, Amrik Singh and Shri Harvinder Singh indicating involvement of Shri Dharam Dass Shastri in the riots in this area. Bua Singh has stated that Shri Dharam Dass Shastri and Shri Rajinder had come near his house and at that time Shri Dharam Shastri had told Shri Rjainder to get more persons and kill Sikhs. Shri Amrik Singh has stated that while his shop was looted, Shri Rajinder and Shri Dharam Dass Shastri were leading that mob. Shri Dharam Dass Shastri was also telling the mob to burn houses of Sikhs. Shri Harvinder Singh has also stated that Shri Dharam Dass Shastri was telling the persons in the mob to kill sikhs and loot them. It has also come in evidence that on 5-11-84, he alongwith some Municipal Councilors and about 3000 persons had gone to the Karol Bagh Police Station as stated by witnesses S/Shri Pritipal Singh, Ranbir Singh and Monish Sanjay Suri.
Shri Dharam Dass Shastri had requested for cross examination of the persons who have filed affidavits against him and also for permission to produce three police officers as defence witnesses. On his request Shri Amod Kanth who was the DCP at the relevatn time was called for cross-examination. Other request was not pursued. What has been taken out in the cross-examination of Shri Amod Kanth is that Shri H.C. Jatav had not used harsh words against him. Shri H.C. Jatav has, however, reiterated that there was disagreement between him and Shri H.C. Jatav. He admitted that he had issued a clarification in a newspaper and had denied therein that the Station House Officer was manhandled by the Member of Parliament or any other elected representative. The evidence of Shri Amod Kanth and the report made by him to his superior officers on 7-11-84 support to some extent the evidence of these witnesses. The version of the witnesses and Shri Amod Kanth deserves to be believed in absence of a better explanation from Shri Dharam Dass Shastri as to why he had gone to the Police Station. He had gone there with other local leaders for release of persons who were arrested for looting or being in possession of looted goods. Shri Dharam Dass Shastri had condemned the police for arresting the rioters by stating that they could not have been treated as criminals. The report further shows that the police officers were threatened with dire consequences if they took any action against those persons for being in possession of looted property. The Commission, therefore, is of the view that there is credible evidence against Shri Dharam Dass Shastri who was a Congress (I) leader of the locality, that he had instigated his men Shri Tek Chand Sharma and Shri Rajinder Singh to organize 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 with respect to the aforesaid allegations.
Two witnesses speak about the involvement of Shri Hem Chander and Shri Mahesh Yadav, both Congress (I) workers, in the incidents which happened in Inderpuri on 1-11-84. gurcharan Singh has stated that a mob, which had looted his truck at about 11 a.m., was led by Shri Hem Chander and that Shri Mahesh Yadav had come near his house in a jeep and distributed petrol cans to the mob which had thereafter attacked his house and burnt his father alive. Shri Kripal Singh Chawla has also spoken about the role played by Shri Mahesh Yadav and Shri Hem Chander at about 10 a.m. when he was attacked and partly burnt. In their replies to the notices issued to them they have denied those allegations by stating that they had not committed such acts. Shri Hem Chander has also produced a copy of the judgement delivered in Sessions No.73 of 1995 to show that he was acquitted by the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi in that case. A perusal of that judgement shows that the allegations made against Shri Hem Chander and his son was in respect of burning Jagat Singh alive and also for causing damage to his house. In that case Gurcharan Singh was cited as an eyewitness but he could not be examined by the prosecution because he had gone to USA and died there on 20-01-2000. His brother Sukhbir Singh had given evidence regarding the attack and stated that he did not identify anyone from the crowd as he had hidden himself on the second flor of the house alongwith other family members. It was for that reason that the Court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi had acquitted Shri Hem Chander and his son. Therefore, it cannot be concluded from the said judgement that what Shri Gurucharan has said in his affidavit is not true. What Shri Kirpal Singh Chawla has said in his affidavit also remains unshaken. The evidence of these two witnesses establishes that Shri Hem Chander and Shri Mahesh Yadav, who were Congress (I) workers of Rajinder Nagar locality, had taken part in the attacks on Sikhs by instigating the mobs as alleged against them. However, in view of their acquittal by the Court, no further action is recommended against them.
Shri Trilok Singh has made serious allegations against the police, particularly, against DCP Amodh Kanth and Station House Officer Shri S.S. Manan. He alongwith his father and other family members were residing on the second floor of house No.2176 situated in Gali No.1, Chuna Mandi, Pahar Ganj. His uncle’s family was occupying the first floor of the house. There were two shops on the ground floor. Their house was earlier attacked on 3-11-84 and therefore, their family and his uncle’s family had taken shelter in the Pahar Ganj Police Station. On being told by the police on 5-11-84 that the situation in their area was peaceful, they returned to their homes. As stated by Shri Trilok Singh, at about 6.30 p.m. he and his father noticed a crowd near their house. His uncle who has a telephone at his house informed the police for help whereupon ASI Dev Raj with some constables came to their house. ASI Dev Raj left at about 7 p.m. telling them that he was posting some constables and home guards outside their house and therefore they should not worry. After some time he went down to serve tea to the policemen but he found that they were not there. So his father went out of the house to find out if they were there or had gone away. Immediately thereafter he heard shouts “kill the Sikhs”. The mob then started throwing stones at their house. His uncle opened fire to keep the mob away. As a result thereof the mob did retreat. Within a short time more policemen and army men arrived. So his uncle stopped firing. Inspite of that there was firing from outside by the military and the police. The police and the army stopped firing after sometime and then made all their family members to come out of the house and sit on the road. One of them fired a shot at Narinder Singh who was his uncle’s relatives. The policemen beat them with lathis. Thereafter they were made to sit in a truck and taken to Daryaganj Police Station. They were kept in a lock up throughout the night. They were not given any food. They were all sent to jail on the next day at about 8 p.m. They remained in jail till 14-11-84. It is also the grievance of the witness that a false case was registered against them by the police for resorting to firing and killing Mangal and Kishan Bahadur Gurang, though as a matter of fact, they were killed in cross firing between police and the army. His further grievance is though Central Forensic Science Laboratory’s (CFSL) report dated 26-2-85 was received by the police on 30-4-85 clearly indicating that Kishan Bahadur Gurang had not died as a result of any bullet fired from the weapons seized from their house, the government continued to pursue the case for three more years and that no action was taken against the policemen. While giving evidence before this Commission Trilok Singh has further stated that he had withdrawn his affidavit filed earlier because of threats given by the police. In his further affidavit and while giving evidence before this Commission he has repeated the allegations made against the police.
In his written explanation, Shri Amodh Kanth has denied the allegations made against him and the other policemen. Shri S.S. Manan has also submitted written explanation and denied those allegations. Shri S.S. Manan was also examined as a witness (Witness No.79). They have not stated why those allegations have been made against them but they have stated that the full version given by those witnesses is not correct. According to their version Shri S.S. Manan received information regarding firing by some Sikhs in Chuna Mandi area at about 8 p.m. while he was patrolling some other area. So he rushed to that place. He saw that some Sikhs were firing and throwing brick-bats from the roof top of house No.2176 and as a result thereof people were running here and there in the nearby lanes. One person was found lying dead on the road. Shri S.S. Manan, therefore, appealed to those Sikhs to stop firing and surrender. It did not have any effect and the Sikhs inside the house kept on firing indiscriminately. He, therefore, in self-defence fired some shots from his revolver. He also flashed a message for immediate help. Within a short time DCP Amodh Kanth alongwith some army jawans reached that place. They also told the Sikhs to stop firing and surrender. But the Sikhs continued to fire shots. Kishan Bahadur Gurang of the army was hit by a bullet fired by the Sikhs. Only after the inmates of house No.2176 were surrounded from all the sides that they surrendered before the police. As Narinder Singh had sustained a bullet injury, he was rushed to JPN Hospital. Thereafter a joint search party consisting of police and army searched that house and recovered 4 fire arms and three swords. They also recovered 198 cartridges / blank empties of different bores. They have further explained that the subsequent report of the CFSL dated 10-4-85 did suggest that the bullets which had caused death of Mangal Singh could have come from the case of .3006 bullet, shotgun pallet or .32 revolver bullet. They have also explained that relying upon this subsequent report the District and Sessions Court had framed charges in that case and therefore it is not correct to say that the criminal case against those Sikhs was continued unjustifiably for three years. The said case was withdrawn for some other reasons and in larger public interest and not because the CFSL report did not support the prosecution.
What emerges from this and other documentary evidence on record is that the policemen who were posted near their house disappeared after some time. On seeing a big crowd pelting stones towards their house, they got frightened and started indiscriminate firing at the crowd. When ASI Dev Raj reached there he found one person lying on the road and that would suggest that he had died as a result of firing from within that house as there was no firing by any one else by that time. The version of Shri Trilok Singh and Avtar Singh that Kishan Bahadur Gurang had died as a result of cross firing between the police and the army does not appear to be correct. There was no reason for the police and the army to indulge in such cross firing. If the situation had become quiet by the time Shri Amodh Kanth and the army reached there, there was no necessity for them to resort to firing. The facts and the circumstances relating to this incident do show that firing had continued from that house and to neutralize it the police and the army had to fire towards that house. What Shri Amod Kanth has stated in this behalf appears to be more probable as the second CFSL report dated 10-04-85 does not rule out the possibility of the bullet which hit Kishan Bahadur Gurang having come from one of the fire arms ceased from that house. Large number of empties found from that house also indicate that firing from within that house was quite intensive. For all these reasons the allegations made against Shri Amod Kanth that he did not take effective steps to disperse the rioting mob but was strict with the persons who were defending themselves does not appear to be correct. The material on record further shows that Shri Amod Kanth had even opposed his superior officer Shri H.C. Jatav when the latter wanted to treat the persons who had looted articles belonging to Sikhs to be released and treated liberally. The Commission does not find any reliable material on the basis of which it can be said that DCP Shri Amod Kanth and Inspector S.S. Manan had either failed to perform their duties properly or that they had anti-Sikh attitude and therefore misused their position in treating the families of Shri Trilok Singh and his uncle.
The incidents of attack on the house of Camptain Manmohan Singh and the shop of Sahni Paints do disclose that no immediate help was given by the police to those who needed it. Shri Manmohan Singh, Shri Kripal Singh Chawla and Shri Trilok Singh’s evidence disclose that they were required to use their fire arms to defend themselves as no protection was made available to them in time by the police against the attacks on them by violent mobs.
On the basis of the evidence relating to the incidents which happened in this District it appeared to the Commission that the ACP Shri R.S. Malik, SI Ram Singh, ASI Amar Nath, ASI Mange Ram, ASI Raja Ram, Police Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik, Police Inspector Durga Prasad and SI Sat Prakash had not performed their duty property. Accordingly, notices u/s 8B of Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 were issued to them. Out of them ASI Raja Ram could not be served with the notice as he had already expired earlier. Others were served and they have filed their replies. It also appeared to the Commission that S/Shri Jagdish Tytler, Ram Lal, Kaka Bali, Ram Chander Nagoria and Tarvinder Singh Bedi, who were all Congress (I) Leaders or workers, were in some way involved in the attacks on Sikhs or their properties in this area. Notice issued to Shri Tarvinder Singh could not be served as it was reported that he has died. Notice was not issued to Kaka Bali also as he had expired earlier. S/Shri Jagdish Tytler, Ram Chander Nagoria and Ram Lal have sent their replies.
Shri Surinder Sigh (Witness No.147), who was the Head Granthy of Gurudwara Pulbangash, situated near Azad Market while describing the attack on the Gurudwara on 1-11-84 at about 9 a.m., has stated that the mob which attacked the Gurudwara was led by Shri Jagdish Tytler who was then Congress (I) MP of the area. He has stated that Shri Jagdish Tytler had incited the mob to burn the Gurudwara and kill the Sikhs. According to his evidence the mob had thereafter attacked the Gurudwara and burnt it. One Badal Singh was also burnt alive. He has also stated that he was contacted by Shri Jagdish Tytler on 10-11-84 and asked to sign on two sheets of paper. In reply to this allegation Shri Jagdish Tytler has referred to the subsequent affidavit dated 5-8-2002 filed by this witness, wherein he has stated that he does not know what was written in his earlier statement as he cannot read or write English. He has further stated therein that he had not seen Shri Jagdish Tytler in the mob that had attacked the Gurudwara. Shri Jagdish Tytler has also stated that at the relevant time on 1.11.84 he was present at 1 Safdarjang Road where the body of Late Smt. Indira Gandhi was lying in state and that at no point of time on that day he had gone near that Gurudwara. Witness Shri Surinder Singh, during his cross examination, admitted that he had not filed any affidavit earlier either before Justice Mishra Commission or any other authority regarding what he had stated now. It would appear that by itself cannot be a good ground for not beliving him. He has given evidence before this Commission and therefore what he has stated in his subsequent affidavit referred to by Shri Jagdish Tytler is not of much value. What appears from all this is that the subsequent affidavit was probably obtained by persuasion or under pressure. If this witness had really not seen Shri Jagdish Tytler in the mob or if he was not approached by Shri Tytler then he would not have come before the Commission to give evidence or would have told the Commission that the attack did not take place in that manner. For speaking the truth it was not necessary for him to wait till 5-2-2002 and file an additional affidavit. He was not called for cross examination by Shri Tytler.
As stated by Shri Gurbachan Singh (Witness-137) involvement of Shri Jagdish Tytler was also disclosed by the affected persons to the ‘Citizen Commission’ during the inquiry, which it had made within a short time after the riots. That inquiry was made by eminent persons of unquestionable integrity. Shri Govind Narain (Witness – 150) who had assisted the Citizens Committee, whose Chairman was Mr. Justice Sikri, has also stated that witnesses had told the Committee about participation by S/Shri H.K.L. Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler in the anti-Sikh riots. Relying upon all this material, the Commission considers it safe to record a finding that there is credible evidence against Shri Jagdish Tytler to the effect that very probably he had a hand in organizing attacks on Sikhs. The Commission, therefore, recommends to the Government to look into this aspect and take further action as may be found necessary.
On 1-11-84 at about 2.45 p.m. 20 taxis were burnt and two persons were killed at the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT). Shri Smitu Kothari, who had witnessed that incident, has stated that six constables were present near that place when the incident had happened but they merely kept on watching it and did not prevent the mob from committing such acts or make any attempt to apprehend anyone from that mob. The record establishes that SI Ram Singh and ASI Amar Nath were present at the ISBT. If what Shri Kothari has stated is correct then obviously a finding deserves to be recorded against those policemen that they had failed to perform their duty. SI Ram Singh, in his reply affidavit, has pointed out that he and ASI Amar Nath were posted in the departure block of I.S.B.T. and the taxi stand where the incident took place was at some distance from the departure block. Their attention was drawn to the incident because of the noise after the taxi stand was put on fire. What he has stated appears to be true because by the time he reached that place with some constables he received a copy of DD No.20 through police constable Kahaniya Lal with respect to this incident. That would got to show that he was not present when the mob had set the taxi stand and taxis on fire. The documentary evidence on record thus supports the version of Ram Singh. Ram Singh has also pointed out that in the departmental inquiry against him and ASI Amar Nath Sardar Laxman Singh, President of the ISBT Taxi Stand Union and Sardar Jhanda Singh one of the taxi drivers whose taxi was burnt had given evidence to the effect that a mob of about 2000 persons had suddenly come near the taxi stand and started burning taxis. After some time Ram Singh and ASI Amar Nath alongwith the staff had come to that place, resorted to lathi charge and dispersed the mob. SI Ram Singh then removed the injured persons to Bara Hindu Rao Hospital and also rescued about 50 to 60 Sikhs residing there and sent them to the police post for their safety. On the basis of this material he was exonerated in the departmental inquiry. In view of the fact that Shri Ram Singh’s version is supported by the contemporary documentary the version given by Shri Smitu Kothari does not appear to be correct.
Three persons, namely, S/Shri Inder Singh, Maan Singh and Mahesh Sharma have spoken about the looting and burning of houses of Sikhs in Nimri Colony on 1-11-84 at about 9 a.m. Their allegation is that Sub Inspector Mange Ram and his assistant were present when the attacks took place but they did not stop the mob from committing such acts even though they were armed.
Shri Mange Ram in his reply to the notice has stated that on the basis of this allegation he was tried in the court of Additional and District Sessions Judge, New Delhi in Sessions No.32 of 2001 and was acquitted in that case. It appears from that judgement that these witnesses had stated before the court that they were not able to identify any person in that mob. They had not identified Mange Ram. However, in view of the statements of these witnesses, departmental inquiry ought to have been initiated against him to find out whether there was any dereliction of duty on his part. The Commission, therefore, recommends that the Government should direct a inquiry to beheld against him.
These three witnesses have also stated in their affidavits that the said mob was led by S/Shri Kaka Bali, Ram Chander Nagoria (Vice President of Youth Congress), Om Prakash alias Omi, (brother-in-law of Deep Chand Bandhu, a Municipal Councilor belonging to Congress (I)), son of Deep Chand Bandhu, Lovely and Ram Lal. On the basis of their statements an offence was registered and the police after investigation filed a chargesheet against Shri Ram Chander Nagoria, Lovely and others. No chargesheet was filed against Shri Om Prakash or the son of Shri Deep Chand Bandhu. In his reply Shri Nagoria has stated that in the trial before the Court of the Additional Sessions Judge, New Delhi these three witnesses had stated that they were not able to identify any person in the mob, and so all of them were acquitted.
It is not difficult to understand why these witnesses had gone back upon their statements made before Justice Mishra Commission and or before the police during investigation. Though in view of their acquittal for the reasons stated in the judgement in their case the Commission does not recommend initiation of any action against them now, it considers it proper to record a finding that these Congress leaders / workers did participate in the anti-Sikh riots.
Ten sikhs were killed in Kabir Basti area falling within the Sabzi Mandi Police Station. It has been alleged by Smt. Pritam Kaur, Smt. Inderjit Kaur, Smt. Jasvinder Kaur and Smt. Lajwanti Kaur that this incident happened in the presence of ACP Shri R.S. Malik and Station House Officer Shri J.B. Malik. They had also alleged that those two officers were telling the mob not to spare any Sikh and not to leave any evidence. Both these witnesses have responded to the notice and produced all the relevant material relating to that incident and also copies of the record of the departmental inquiry held against them. During the departmental inquiry all these witnesses had stated that their affidavits were obtained by Advocate Bajrang Singh, who had represented to them that they were prepared by him for claiming compensation. They have further stated that the allegations made therein are not correct. None of those witnesses has again reiterated before this Commission the allegations made by them in their affidavits. On an overall consideration of the evidence, the allegations against these officers do not appear to be correct and therefore no action is recommended against them.
Shri N.S. Bawa, an Advocate and a Teacher has stated in his affidavit that during the night between 31-10-84 and 1-11-84 he and his neighbours had apprehended 6 persons out of the mob that was looting nearby shops. He has also stated when Shri H.C. Jatav, who was the Additional Commissioner of Police, came there he had handed over those 6 persons to him. Shri H.C. Jatav allowed them to run away after some time.
Police Inspector Durga Prasad and SI Sat Parkash, according to the affidavit of Piara Singh, had instigated the mob which attacked his factory situated at Mori Gate. He has also stated that Inspector Durga Prasad did not help him in recovering the goods looted from his house even though he had informed Police Inspector Durga Prasad that they were lying in the nearby jhuggis. Shri Durga Prasad in his written explanation has stated that on the basis of these allegations a departmental inquiry was held against him and by an order dated 4-1-2002 he has been reduced in rank by way of punishment. He has further stated that his challenge before the Central Administrative Tribunal has failed but he has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against that order and the same is still pending for final disposal. He has further pointed out that soon after the riots he was able to recover the properties worth Rs.6 lacs. He has also stated that Piara Singh on coming to know that a departmental inquiry was initiated against him voluntarily made a further affidavit stating that the allegations made in the earlier affidavits were not correct. It appears to the Commission that the subsequent affidavit of witness Piara Singh was obtained by Durga Prasad to save himself. Piara Singh’s allegation deserves to be believed as he had no reason to make any false allegation against Durga Prasad, particularly, when Durga Prasad himself has stated in his reply that he has good relations with Piara Singh. Departmental inquiry was thus rightly held against him and he appears to have been adequately punished. So far as SI Sat Parkash is concerned departmental inquiry was held against him also. In view of the weak nature of evidence against him he was exonerated. Shri Sat Prakash has produced all that material alongwith his reply. In view of the affidavit of Shri Piara Singh a separate offence ought to have been registered and the role played by these two policemen ought to have been investigated by an independent investigating officer. But in view of the result of the departmental inquiry against them the Commission does not recommend any further action now.
In this area also at some places like Chandni Chowk, Sarai Rohilla and Adarsh Nagar, the policemen posted there had remained passive and failed to perform their duty of protecting innocent citizens. Further, violent attacks in Chandni Chowk were prevented by timely action taken by ACP Shri Parera and Station House Officer Shri Tiwari. Thus if timely action was taken by the police against the persons indulging in riots probably many lives could have been saved.
On the basis of the material on record with respect to the incidents which happened in this District, it appeared to the Commission that Dr. Chander Prakash who was the DCP of the Area, Shri O.P. Yadav, Station House Officer of Police Station Sriniwaspuri, Shri Rohtash Singh, Station House Officer of Police Station Delhi Cantt., Shri Ram Phal, Station House Officer of Police Station Hazrat Nizamuddin, SI Ved Prakash of Police Station Sriniwaspuri, SI Ishwar Singh of Police Station Srinivaspuri, Head Constable Shakti Singh of Jangpura Police Post and Head Constable Mahinder Singh of Police Station Srinivaspuri had not performed their duties properly and therefore, notices under Section 8B were issued to them. As involvement of S/Shri Hari Chand Saini, Vijay Chaudhary, Himmat Rao, Vijay Kumar Anand, Ajay Satsangi, Yogesh Sharma, Naresh Jain, Suresh Jain, Kalu Ram, Balwan Khokar, Pratap Singh, Sajjan Kumar, Maha Singh and Mohinder Singh was also disclosed, notices under Section 8B were issued to them also. Notices were not issued to S/Shri Naresh Sharma, V.P. Rana, Dinesh Tiwari, Jagdish Mittar and Dharam Vir Solanki as they had expired earlier. Out of these persons, Shri Vijay Kumar Anand and Shri Maha Singh have not filed any reply.
In reply to the notice issued to him, Dr. Chander Prakash has stated that this Commission has no jurisdiction to record any finding against him as in a full-fledged inquiry held against him he has been exonerated by the Inquiry Officer. Against disagreement of the government with the findings recorded by the Inquiry Officer he has filed Civil Writ Petition No.641/1998 in the High Court of Delhi and the same is pending. The Commission is of the view that pendency of the Writ Petition in the Delhi High Court is no bar for this Commission to inquire about his conduct during the riots and in making an appropriate recommendation against him to the Government. Similarly, Shri O.P. Yadav, who was Station House Officer of Police Station Srinivaspuri, has submitted that holding of an inquiry by the Commission against him would be an utter violation of his fundamental right as he has been exonerated in the departmental inquiry held against him. The contentions raised by both these officers are without any substance. The object nature and scope of inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act is quite different. It has a much wider scope than a departmental inquiry or a criminal trial. The bar or violation which they have spoken about may arise at a stage when any action is taken against them on the basis of any recommendation made by the Commission. The Commission is, therefore, of the view that it can look into their conduct also while making the inquiry which has been entrusted to it. SI Ved Prakash has also stated that he has also been exonerated in the departmental inquiry held against him. Sub Inspector Ishwar Singh has also filed a similar reply. Head Constable Mohinder Singh has stated that during his trial before the Court no witness had made any allegation against him. Sikhs were killed and their properties were looted and destroyed on a very large scale in the areas under them. Except pleading inadequacy of the police force, no better explanation is given by any one of them as to why they were not able to prevent such a colossal loss. If all the relevant material is taken into consideration there can be no doubt in the mind of any reasonable person that they and other police officers and policemen in charge of areas where these incidents had happened were negligent in performance of their duties. The Commission recommends that the Government should consider even now if any action can be taken against them. As regards the positive acts of involvement alleged against them, criminal cases as recommended by the Committees appointed earlier by the Government were registered and they were tried by the Courts. Therefore, no further action against them is recommended by the Commission with respect to those allegations.
Narinder Singh, Balbir Singh and Kishan Singh have stated in their affidavits that Yogesh Sharma, Naresh Sharma, Naresh Jain and Suresh Jain had instigated mobs in looting and burning shops of Sikhs. On the basis of their statements they were chargesheeted by the police and were tried by the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi and were acquitted. An appeal filed against their acquittal has also been dismissed by the High Court of Delhi. In view of the nature of evidence against them and their acquittal the Commission does not recommend any further action against them. So also the evidence against Shri Hari Chand Saini and Vijay Chaudhary is not sufficient and reliable enough to persuade the Commission to record any finding against them.
Shri Ajay Satsangi, in his reply, has stated that he was not a Youth Congress (I) leader He was not even a member of any political party. He has been falsely implicated by Shri Mukhinder Singh. If he was a leader of the locality other witnesses would not have failed to name him. Mukhinder Singh’s complaint was recorded and investigated. Therefore, no action is recommended against Shri Satsangi.
Shri Himmat Rai has stated in his reply that on the basis of the complaint filed by Shri Gurcharan Singh he was tried by the Court alongwith Shri Vijay Kumar Anand and three others and was acquitted. Nobody had deposed in the Court that he was a member of the unruly mob which had caused damage to the Gurudwara. From the copy of the judgement produced by him it appears that all the eyewitnesses were declared hostile as they had resiled from their police statements. Shri Himmat Rai was a Congress (I) leader of Lajpat Nagar locality. There is material on record to show that influential political leaders had obtained large number of affidavits from affected and other witnesses declaring that they were not so involved. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why the witnesses in that case has resiled from their police statements. Though no legal action can now be recommended against him, the Commission does come to the conclusion that he had participated in the attack on the Gurudwara.
Many witnesses have stated about the involvement of S/Shri Sajjan Kumar, Balwan Khokar, Pratap Singh, Maha Singh and Mohinder Singh. Jagdish Kaur, Sudershan Singh and many persons from Raj Nagar, Palam Colony have spoken about the participation of S/Shri Sajjan Kumar and Balwan Khokhar in the riots in their area. They have stated that the mobs indulging in riots were led by Shri Balwan Khokhar and other Congress leaders. Sudershan Singh has specifically stated that Shri Sajjan Kumar was giving directions to Shri Balwan Khokhar during such attacks. Amarjit Kaur of Chand Nagar has specifically stated that Shri Sajjan Kumar had led the mob which killed her husband Capt. Nazar Singh Mangat. Surjit Kaur of Tilak Vihar has stated that Shri Sajjan Kumar had brought a truck load of hooligans who had attacked her house. Jagdish Kaur of Raj Nagar had stated that she had heard Shri Sajjan Kumar telling the persons who had gathered near Mandir Mangla Puri, “SARDAR SALA KOI NAHI BACHNA CHAHIDA.” Jasbir Singh of Raj Nagar has also spoken about the involvement of Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Balwan Khokhar and further stated that even though he had gone with a written complaint naming the assailants the police did not take down its complaint and Shri Sajjan Kumar was not put up for trial. Shri Kishandev Singh has also stated that he had seen Shri Sajjan Kumar in the mob which had attacked his house. He has also stated that he had named four persons but only two of them were prosecuted. Similarly, large number of witnesses including some of the above named witnesses have stated that Shri Balwan Khokhar had led the mobs which killed large number of Sikhs. Joginder singh of Raj Nagar, Sampuran Kaur, Jagdish Kaur r/o RZI-129, Raj Nagar-I and Jagdish Kaur r/o WA-58, Raj Nagar have also specifically named him as the leader of the mob which had attacked their houses. Other Congress leaders named by the witnesses are Balram, a Yough Congress (I) worker, Mann Singh Chand, Capt. Bgah Mal, Mahinder Singh and Pratap Singh, who was the Pradhan of their colony as stated by Sardar Prabcharan Singh of Sangroor. Baljinder Singh of Sadh Nagar has stated that Harkesh Vats, Radhey Shyam and other local Congress (I) leaders had attacked the houses and shops in their locality and also killed some Sikhs. Other local persons who have been named by the witnesses as the persons who had taken a leading part in the attacks on Sikhs are Rohtas, Ram Kumar and Ved Prakash. Gajinder Singh, Jagdish Kaur and Smt. Nirmal Kaur of Sagarpur have stated that their complaints were not recorded by the police. Gajinder Singh’s complaint was recorded only with respect to the loss caused to him. The complaints which Jagdish Kaur and Nirmal Kaur wanted to give were not recorded by the police.
In reply to the notice issued to him Shri Sajjan Kumar has filed a detailed affidavit and produced copies of judgements delivered in 8 cases. He has stated that the persons who had given affidavits before Justice Mishra Commission were examined by the police or courts where either they had not named him or they were disbelieved. He has further stated that in all the criminal cases filed against him he has been acquitted by the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi. He has also stated that Shri Balwan Khokhar was tried with him and he also has been acquitted by the Court in all the cases. He has pointed out that witnesses Kher Singh, Raj Kumar and Sudershan Singh had not named him while deposing before the Court and therefore he was acquitted. In those cases they were cited as witnesses. With respect to six witnesses, copies of whose statements were supplied to him alongwith Section 8B notice, he has stated that Jasbir Singh had not stated anything against him in the Court. With respect to Santokh Singh (Witness-133) he has stated that before the Court the witness had only stated that Shri Sajjan Kumar had come in a white jeep in the locality. As regards Jagdish Kaur (Witness-136) he has stated that she had not named him in her statement recorded with the police during the investigation in FIR No.416/84. As regards Kishandev (Witness –144) he has stated while giving evidence before the Court in the case arising out of FIR No.414/84 this witness had not named him. There is ample material to show that no proper investigation was done by the police even in those cases which were registered by them. In fact the complaint of many witnesses is that their complaints or statements were not taken by the police and on the basis of thereof separate offences were not registered against the assailants whom they had named. Even while taking their statements the police had told them not to mention names of the assailants and only speak about losses caused to them. There is also material to show that the police did not note down the names of some of the assailants who were influential persons. One witness has specifically stated that he had named Shri Sajjan Kumar as one of the assailants yet his name was not noted in his statement by the police. In view of these facts and circumstances and considering the fact that Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Balwan Khokhar were influential persons in this area, their acquittal in criminal cases cannot be given much importance and certainly it cannot come in the way of the Commission in recording a finding on the basis of the material place before the Commission. They were the leaders of the locality and therefore, there is no question of their mistaken identity. 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 Shri 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. Other local leaders to whom notices were given have also not given any better explanation. As stated earlier Shri Maha Singh and Mohinder Singh Yadav have not filed any reply. So far as Shri Sajjan Kumar is concerned, there is also evidence of Shri Gurbachan Singh (Witness-137) and Shri Govind Narain (Witness-150) who have stated that in the inquiry which were conducted within a short time after the riots, affected persons had named him as one of the persons who had instigated attacks on Sikhs. Shri Sajjan Kumar’s involvement is also disclosed by the witnesses who have spoken about the incidents in Mangolpuri and Sultanpuri areas also. The Commission is, therefore, inclined to take the view that there is credible material against Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Balwan Khokhar for recording a finding that he and Shri Balwan Khokhar were probably involved as alleged by the witnesses. The DSGPC and CJC have also drawn the attention of the Commission to some cases where Shri Sajjan Kumar though names was not chargesheeted or they were closed as untraced. No useful purpose can now be served by directing registration of those cases where the witnesses complaining about the same were examined before the courts and yet the other accused were acquitted by the Courts. The Commission therefore recommends to the Government to examine only those cases where the witnesses have accused Shri Sajjan Kumar specifically and yet no chargesheets were filed against him and the cases were terminated as untraced and if there is justification for the same take further action as is permitted by law. Those cases which were closed as untraced and which still deserve to be re-examined are those which would arise from FIR Nos.250/84, 307/94 and 347/91 of police station Sultanpuri, FIR Nos.325/93, 178/84 of police station Mangolpuri and FIR No.416/94 of police station Delhi Cantt. They deserve to be re-examined in view of the evidence of (1) Smt. Prem Kaur who has spoken about the incident of 1-11-84 near B-2 Park, (2) Anek Kaur who has spoken what happened on 1-11-84 near E-6 Block when she had approached Shri Sajjan Kumar, (3) Jatan Kaur who has spoken about the incident of 1-11-84 near B-2 Park and (4) Joginder Kaur who had stated about the incident of 1-11-84 and on the basis of whose complaint FIR No.347 was registered on 13-12-91. These are all incidents, which had happened in the area of police station Sultanpuri. FIR 329/93 of Mangolpuri was registered on the basis of statement of Shri Jagjit Singh and that incident also deserves to be re-examined. Didar Singh has spoken about Shri Sajjan Kumar having called a meeting of Congress (I) workers belonging to Patiala and Nawada villages. This incident was covered by FIR 325/93 of police station Mangolpuri. No chargesheet was filed against Shri Sajjan Kumar. Shri Satnam Singh has also referred to this incident. Jasbir Singh was examined as a witness by this Commission and he has stated that even though he had given a statement implicating Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Balwan Khokhar during the investigation of FIR 416/84, no chargesheet was filed against Shri Sajjan Kumar. Similarly, Jagdish Kaur has filed an affidavit and also given evidence stating that Shri Sajjan Kumar had incited a mob on 2-11-84. She had also given statement to the police and FIR 416 was registered on that basis. Yet her grievance is that no chargesheet was filed against Shri Sajjan Kumar.
There is enough evidence to show that the policemen posted in some of the localities of Delhi Cantt., R.K. Puram, Naraina, Hauz Khas, Mehrauli, Lajpat Nagar, Srinivaspuri, Lodhi Colony and Nizamuddin had either remained passive and watched the incidents as spectators or that they had actively instigated or helped the mobs in attacking Sikhs. There is also sufficient evidence to show that the policemen of Delhi Cantt., Srinivaspuri and Nizamuddin had compelled Sikhs who were collectively defending themselves to go back to their houses and their Kirpans and means of defence were taken away so as to render themselves helpless against the attacks. There is also evidence to show that some police officers had remained with the mobs while they were attacking Sikhs. Jagdish Kaur of Delhi Cantt. Has stated that she had heard Station House Officer of the Delhi Cantt. Police Station inquiring from the mob as to how many ‘MURGAS’ (Sikhs) were killed. Malkiat Singh, Secretary to Shri Guru Singh Sabha situated in Naraina Vihar has stated that when he had gone to the police to report about the attack on Gurudwara he was tld by the police that, “Theek Hi To Ho Raha Hai. Intejar Kariye, Apko Bhi Dia Jalaya Jayega.” (right thing is happening, wait you also be burnt). In the Delhi Cantt. Area alone, as found by Ahuja Committee, 341 Sikhs were killed. 385 houses were damaged or burnt. About 150 complaints were filed with respect to those incidents later on by the persons affected. No separate cases were registered on the basis of those complaints. Only five FIRs were recorded by the police. The police had not resorted to firing either on 1-11-84 or on 2-11-84 on which days most of the incidents had taken place. Sub Inspector Shri Ramesh Singh Rana who was in charge of Badarpur area has stated that even when he had reported that the situation in his area was grave and was out of control, he was told by Shri Chander Prakash, DCP of the area, to keep restraint and not to use fire arms. When he had asked for additional staff to control the situation he was told that he was a Jat and that he was more than enough in the area. He has stated that he had also reported 77 deaths in Sagarpur Division alone but he was told by his superior officer not to disclose such a high number of deaths and was also threatened that he would have to face dire consequences if he did so. He has also stated that even though the DCP had wrongly reported to the Headquarters that there were only 20 deaths, later on he was suspended on the ground that he had reported less number of deaths. On consideration of the entire material, the Commission is of the view that these aforesaid police officers did not perform their duties properly. Action by way of Departmental Inquiry was initiated against each of them. It would now be futile to initiated any criminal action against them as the other persons accused of having committed the actual acts of killing or looting have already been tried and acquitted in most of the cases.
The Material in respect of incidents which had happened in this District disclose that some Congress leaders and workers had diretly or indirectly taken part in those incidents. The leaders/workers who have been prominently and repeatedly named are S/Shri H.K.L. Bhagat, Shyam Singh Tyagi, Bhoop Singh Tyagi, Virender Sharma, Dr. Ashok, Smt. Jamna Devi and her sons, Rampal Saroj, Kanak Singh, Duli Chand, Sukhan Lal and Dr. P.D. Verma. Notices were not given to Sukhan Lal, Dr. P.D. Verma, Jamana Devi, Prabhu s/o Jamna Devi and Ram Pal Saroj as they had already expired. Notices were issued to others. In this District large number of local persons had also participated in the attacks on Sikhs. Notices were, therefore, issued to some of those persons who were specifically named by the witnesses including Shri Kishori and Haroo Singh were prominent amongst them. As it appeared that many police officers and the policemen had either failed to perform their duty by remaining indifferent or had helped the mobs in their violent activities, notices were given to all of them including DCP Shri Sewa Dass, ACP Shri R.D. Malhotra, Station House Officer Bhaskar and Shri Shoorvir Singh Tyagi. As police officers Tuli Dass, Mani Ram, Jagdish Prasad and Giri Raj had died earlier, notices were not issued to them. Notice sent to Shri R.C. Thakur who was then the Station House Officer of Police Station Seema Puri could not be served as he was not available at his known address and inspite of efforts made by the police his new address could not be ascertained. Many of the local persons to whom the notices were sent could not be served as they could not be found. Shri H.K.L. Bhagat did not file any reply as he is not in a position to do so. His son appeared before the Commission and submitted medical reports which show that Shri Bhagat is completely bed ridden and he is seriously affected by the brain disease known as ‘dementia’ and it is at an advanced stage.
Shri Sardul Singh has stated some known local persons including Virender Singh, Ashok and Jagdish were in the mob which had attacked his house and killed 7 members of his family. He has further stated that when he had gone to the Police Station for giving his complaint Sub Inspector Tulsi Dass instead of registering it had called the assailants named by him. Virender Singh had come with a revolver and in his presence SI Tulsi Dass had forced him to write that he had no grievance against Virender Singh and others who were named by him. Shri Kishori, Rohtas and others who actually took part in killing Sikhs were prosecuted and so far as Kishori is concerned he has been convicted in some cases and is facing death sentence. The material placed before the Commission does not clearly show how many of the local persons to whom notices were given were tried in criminal cases and what happened in those cases. Except in respect of few of them, witnesses had not given full description or other particulars on the basis of which thepy could have been identified. Some of those persons have been convicted and most of them have been acquitted. In view of long lapse of time, it would be difficult to locate them now. Under the circumstances, the Commission does not recommend any further action against those persons to whom the notices were given and also against other persons who have been named by the witnesses, as the assailants.
Shri Sajjan Singh r/o Trilokpuri has stated that Shri H.K.L. Bhagat was present when 15 persons had come alongwith him had killed Sikhs near his house. Shri Inder Singh has stated that in the month of November, 1984 Shri Bhagat had called him at him residence. He was taken there by Shri Gulati, a Councilor of the area. Five other Sikhs from Farsh Bazar were also there. Shri Bhagat had told them that he was making efforts for providing houses to the residents of Block-32 of Trilokpuri and no one should name him. Shri Bhagat had also sought their affidavits to the effect that he was not involved in the riots. He has stated that again on 27.8.85 Shri Gulati had called him at his residence. At that time Shri Makhan Singh, a Congress worker and President of Congress unit was also there. They had demanded affidavits of Sikhs for producing them in Courts to show that no Congress worker had participated in the anti-Sikhs riots. Ms. Kamlesh has stated that on 31-10-84 she had seen Shri Bhagat addressing a crowd of persons and inciting it to kill Sikhs and as a result thereof on the next day her house and other houses in the locality were attacked by a riotous mob. Shri Bhagat has also been named by Shri Nanki Devi. Smt. Balbir Kaur has stated that on 31-10-84 she had seen Shri Bhagat inciting a mob of about 5000 persons. Some witnesses have stated that they had seen persons who were close to Shri Bhagat leading mobs in their localities. Large number of witnesses have also stated about involvement of Shri Rampal Saroj and Dr. Ashok. Parsa Singh has stated that in the middle of August, 1985 he was called at Kalyanpuri Police Station by Station House Officer Shri Tyagi. He was told by Shri Tyagi that whatever had happened was done at the instance of S/Shri H.C. Jatav, H.K.L. Bhagat and Dr. Ashok and that he should not blame him. A couple of days later he was again called at the Police Station. At that time Shri Shoba Singh, Sahib Singh, Lachman Singh and Anoop Singh were present there. At that time also former Station House Officer Tyagi was present and he had told him to help him by not implicating him. They have also been described as right hand persons of Shri Bhagat. From the evidence of these witnesses it appears that S/Shri Bhagat, Rampal Saroj and Dr. Ashok, who were local Congress (I) leaders, had taken active part in this anti-Sikh riots in this area. All other Congress (I) leaders and workers have denied the allegations made against them. Dr. Ashok has stated in his reply that he was prosecuted in cases arising out of FIR No.426/84 of Police Station Kalyanpuri and was acquitted by the Court in all those cases. Dr. Ashok and Ram Pal Saroj were acquitted because the witnesses did not involve them while deposing before the Court. The reply given by Shri Shyam Singh Tyagi is vague. Shri Bhoop Singh, Duli Chand and Kanak Singh have stated that they have been acquitted in the criminal cases filed against them. On an overall consideration of the material the Commission is of the view that there is credible material against these Congress leaders and workers on the basis of which it can be said that very probably they were also involved in the anti-Sikh riots as alleged against them; but, as they have been acquitted in the criminal cases filed against them, the Commission does not recommend any further action against them, including Mr. Bhagat in view of his physical and mental condition.
So far as the police officers of this area are concerned, many witnesses have stated that DCP Shri Sewa Dass, Station House Officer Shri Tyagi and SI Kapoor had even encouraged the mobs while they were attacking Sikhs. Shri Sewa Dass, in his reply has stated that an inquiry was held against him and he has been completely exonerated in the departmental inquiry. He has also stated that there was no personal lapse on his part. He has stated that most of the persons who have filed affidavits against him were called for giving evidence in the departmental inquiry but they did not turn up and those who gave evidence did not say anything against him. As departmental inquiry was held against him and he has been exonerated, the Commission does not recommend any action against him. Station House Officer Shri Bhaskar, in his reply, has stated that he has filed a Civil Writ Petition No.5241/2004 and 6854/2004 in the High Court of Delhi challenging the inquiry which is being made by the Commission after issuing notice under Section 8B. He has also obtained stay of the operation of the notice. As the matter is sub judice, the Commission does not record any finding as regards his involvement. Station House Officer Shri Tyagi has stated that he was falsely implicated by his seniors and in both the criminal cases that were filed against him he has been discharged. The revision petitions filed against the orders of discharge have been dismissed by the Delhi High Court. In view of his acquittal now, no action is recommended against him. There is scanty evidence against ACP Shri R.D. Malhotra and therefore the Commission does not recommend any action against him also.
The evidence relating to the incidents which happened in this District disclosed that Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Brahmanand Gupta, the two Congress (I) leaders and Nathu Pradhan had taken part in some of those incidents. Therefore, Section 8B notices were issued to Shri Sajjan Kumar and Shri Brahmanand Gupta. Notice was not issued to Nathu Pradhan as he had died earlier. As the witnesses have made allegations against DCP Shri U.K. Katna, Station House Officer R.S. Dhayia, Station House Officer Rampal singh Rana, Station House Officer Sheodeen Singh, Station House Officer Shri H.R. Bhatti, SI Iqbal Singh and Head Constable Jai Chand, notices were issued to these police officers also.
Shri Sajjan Kumar has denied the allegations made against him by Shri Kehar Singh. This witness has stated that on 1-11-84 when he was going to his shop in the morning and when he was near D-Block of Mangolpuri he had seen Shri Sajjan Kumar addressing a crowd near the Congress (I) Office and heard him telling them that sikhs had killed their Maata and therefore no Sikh of the area should be spared. At that time Shri Ishwar Singh and Hardwari Lal were present. Pursuant to this incitement a crowd had then attacked the Gurudwara in the locality and three persons, namely, Dr. Iqbal Singh Chadha, Shri Resham Singh and Shri Ajit Singh were burnt alive. He has further stated that when he had gone to the Police Station and told the police that he had seen the murders of those three persons, he was told by the police that no case was registered in respect thereof it was not possible to record his statement. It appears that in respect of death of Iqbal Singh Chadha FIR No178/84 and the case was then filed as untraced. Kehar Singh had specifically stated that he was the eye witness to the murder of Dr. Iqbal Singh Chadha yet his statement was not recorded with result that he was not even cited as a witness. Thus even though eye witness was available, the police did not investigated the case properly and closed it as untraced. The Commission therefore does not recommend any further action against him pursuant to the evidence of this witness. Shri Sajjan Kumar has denied his involvement and stated that Kehar Singh was examined as a witness in the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi. The witness had not said anything against him and other accused were acquitted by the Court. So far as the police officers are concerned, departmental inquiries were held against them except Shri Bhati and they have been exonerated. Therefore no further action is recommended against them. Shir Bhati’s explanation that the area under his charge was very large and the force was highly inadequate is not a good explanation but in view of long lapse of time and weak evidence against him, no action is recommended against him also.
◘ Dharam Dass Shastri
◘ H.K.L. Bhagat
◘ Jagdish Tytler
◘ Sajjan Kumar
AFFIDAVITS OF PROMINENT PERSONS
Lt. Gen (Retd) J. S. Arora, Kamni Jaiswal, Khuswant Singh, Madan Lal Khurana, Madhu Kishwar, Patwant Singh, Rahul Kuldip Bedi, Ranjit Singh Narula, Shanti Bhushan, Swami Agniwesh
STATEMENTS Given By
Ashok Jaitly, Brig. A S Brar, George Vergese, I K Gujral, Jaya Jaitly, Jaya Srivastava, Khushwant Singh, Kuldip Singh Makhani, Madan Lal Khurana, Madhu Kishwar, Monish Sanjay Suri, P V Narsimha Rao, Patwant Singh, R S Narula, Rahul Kuldip Bedi, Ram Bilas Paswan, Ram Jethmanali, Sharad Yadav, Swami Agniwesh, Tarlochan Singh, Vijay Kumar Malhotra
The Commission had issued notice to Shri S.C. Tandon who was the Commissioner of Police Delhi during the relevant period. In reply thereto he has produced a copy of the statement submitted by him before Justice Mishra Commission with a request to treat the said statement as his deposition before this Commission. In his statement he has explained that as and when he came to know about worsening of the situation in Delhi he gave necessary instructions to his subordinate officers and issued orders for proper maintenance of law and order. He has stated that the police force in the city was highly inadequate and on 30-11-84 itself he had requested the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide him para military force. He had also requested the government to get as much police force from outside as possible. He also pointed out that on receiving messages regarding some serious events he had personally gone to those places to see that proper steps were taken for maintenance of law and order. He has also explained how he had remained busy for the purpose of making arrangements at Teen Murti Bhawan where the dead body of Smt. Indira Gandhi was kept and where large number of VIPs and other persons were likely to go to pay their homage. He had also to make arrangements for the cremation of Smt. Indira Gandhi. He was able to get 17 companies of Central Police Force on 30-11-84. He has further stated that the strength of outside force increased to 51 companies by the morning of 01-11-84. He distributed the force in different areas in accordance with their immediate demands. He met the Lt. Governor on 1-11-84 and informed him about the necessity of requisitioning services of the Army. He also passed orders for imposing of curfew in the areas where the situation of law and order had become serious. He has further stated that there was a meeting between the Lt. Governor himself and Major Gen. Jamwal, GOC Delhi area, in the afternoon. Major Gen. Jamwal had informed him that he did not have enough units and he would be able to cover only two continuous districts i.e. districts adjacent to his Headquarter Delhi Cantt. On his suggestion Mr. Jamwal agreed to deploy one in Central District and one in South District. He has also referred to the attack on Gurudwara Rakabganj and his having gone there. He has stated that when he reached there firing from inside the Gurudwara was continuing so he had jumped into Gurudwara ground and prevailed upon the Granthi to request the persons on the terrace of the Gurudwara not to fire any more. He has also stated that he had brought out from the Gurudwara three Hindu servants with their wives and this had the desired effect of satisfying the mob outside that no harm was done to them. he has also referred to the presence of Shri Kamal Nath and stated that he was helping the police in persuading the crowds to disperse. He has stated that at that time Additional CP/Range New Delhi had also arrived there and he alongwith the DCP of the area had kept the crowd under check. He has referred to his various meetings with Lt. Governor and a meeting with the Home Minister in the evening of 1-11-84.
He has stated that on 2-11-84 he had taken a tour of the East District. The army had moved in to cover all the districts by the late afternoon on that day. He had come to know about the massacre in Trilokpuri at about 6 p.m. and had directed Addl.CP/Range Delhi to proceed to that place and make necessary arrangements. He has stated that as the Station House Officer of that Police Station was found negligent in portecting the Sikhs he was arrested and suspended immediately. He had thereafter personally gone to Trilokpuri and given necessary instructions for protection of the remaining persons and their safety. He has stated that the situation had eased considerably from 4-11-84 onwards. According to him he had not received any instruction from the Home Minister either on 31-10-84 or till the evening of 1-11-84. He has stated that on 31-10-84 he had not received any intelligence report regarding any plan to attack the Sikh community or their properties. Nothing unusual was brought to his notice by the Addl.CP, CID on 31-10-84 or on 1-11-84. Till then he had not received any report about the serious violence that was going on in East District and West District. He has categorically stated that he was not informed about what had happened in Palam in South District and in Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri and Trilokpuri on 1-11-84. He has stated that he came to know about these incidents in Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri and Trilokpuri on 2-11-84. As many incidents had taken place inspite of his orders he believed that tere was some lapse on the part of some individuals to take effective steps and to feed information to the higher officers.
Shri P.G. Gavai was the Lt. Governor of Delhi till 2-11-84. In his explanation Shri Gavai has stated that at about 9.30 a.m. on 31-10-84 he got a cryptic message that there was firing at the Prime Minister’s house. He met Shri Fotedar and Shri Tripathi and then they went to the Prime Minister’s house. Dr. P.C. Alexander was in Bombay and therefore he sent a message to him to come back to Delhi urgently. He had also sent a similar message to Shri Krishnaswamy Roasaheb who was the Cabinet Secretary. The Prime Minister’s death was officially announced at 5.00 p.m. So he went to All India Institute of Medical Sciences and from there went to Prime Minister’s house. At about 9.00 p.m. he met Shri Rajiv Gandhi. After making necessary arrangements for the body of Smt. Indira Gandhi he left at about 10.00 p.m. At about 11.00 p.m. he received a message that that there was arson in South Extension area. He personally went to that place and arranged for fire fighters. After the things became quiet he went back to his home at about 2.00 p.m.
On 1-11-84 at about 7.30 a.m., he went to the Prime Minister’s house. There he met the Commissioner of Police and told him that army will have to be called. The Police Commissioner confirmed that he took that suggestion as the order of the Lt. Governor to call the army. While he was till in the compound of Prime Minister’s house a mob of about 40 persons was seen coming towards the Prime Minister’s house. It was shouting slogans like “Khoon Ka Badla Khoon”. He, therefore, told the Commissioner that trouble had already started and that it was likely to ignite in a major way and that he should immediately take action in deploying the police in sufficient number at apprehended trouble spots. He went back at about 10.00 a.m. Thereafter he contacted the Cabinet Secretary and the Home Secretary and discussed with them the urgent need of deployment of more police on a high alert basis and to get the police force augmented as the Delhi Police force was not adequate. He also told those two officers that amry should be called. They also agreed with him. At 11 O’clock he went to the office of Dr. P.C. Alexander to attend an urgent meeting. Dr. P.C. Alexander presided over the meeting. Besides himself, it was attended by the Home Minister Shri Rao, Home Secretary, General Vaidya and some other officers. In that meeting also he said that the Delhi Police force was understaffed and it was required to be reinforced by urgent augmentation and also about the need for calling the army without waiting even for a moment. Everyone present in the meeting agreed with him. Dr. P. Alexander suggested that the Police Commissioner and the Army authorities should meet in the Police Commissioner’s Office at 5.00 p.m. He returned home at about 12.30 p.m. By about 2.00 p.m. he received a call from Maj. Gen. Jamwal saying that he wanted to see him immediately. He had told him that he should start acting rather than wasting precious time by driving to his house. Maj. Gen. Jamwal insisted that the matter was very urgent and he wanted to meet him. Shri Jamwal informed him that he would not like to meet the Police Commissioner. He also said that he did not have sufficient force but could arrange a flag march only in the adjacent area of Connaught Place. When he told Mr. Jamwal that the flag march must take place in troubled areas he went away little dejected. He attended the meeting with the Prime Minister at 6 p.m. Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Mr. Tandon, and Mr. Fotedar were present. The meeting was in respect of malfunctioning of Telephone No.100. Shri Rajiv Gandhi was very disturbed. The Director of Telephone was, therefore, instructed to attend to Telephone No.100 at once. During the night he had received a call from the Home Minister for some urgent help to someone in distress. He had taken necessary action.
On 2-11-84 he issued a peace appeal in the morning and then went on a tour of the affected areas, like Trilokpuri, Nandnagri, Magolpuri and Shahdara. He was accompanied by Shri H.K.L. Bhagat. He toured the affected areas for about two and a half hours and gave certain spot instructions. He also spoke to Gen. Vaidya about some sluggishness of the armed forces in getting out of their vehicles. While he was still in the midst of his tour, he got a message to reach the Prime Minister’s house. There, besides the Prime Minister, Shri Jagdish Tytler and Shri Daram Dass Shastri were present. On his suggestion, the Prime Minister requested the others to go out and then he had a talk with the Prime Minister for about 20 minutes. He was given hint that he was no more required to function as Lt. Governor. Inspite of that after returning home he arranged a meeting of the political parties. While the meeting was going on he received a telephone call from Dr. P.C. Alexander asking him to go on leave. He was also told that he would be offered the post of Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission, on resumption. He told Dr. Alexander that a Lt. Governor in this situation would not go on leave “either he functions or he resigns.” On 3-11-84 he left Delhi.
He has denied that he had failed to anticipate violence and delayed calling the Army. He has also denied that there was delay in issuing shoot at sight orders and that he was a party to the grand design to teach a lesson to Sikhs. He has also stated that he had told Justice Mishra Commission all that he has stated in his explanation. He has also stated that he has been quoted out of the context or misquoted in the report of the Justice Mishra Commission and a number of items of information given by him like the important meeting with Dr. Alexander are not even referred to in the report. He has denied that he had told Justice Mishra Commission that he had asked for Prime Minister’s interview and that he had said something to justify violence. He has further stated that he resigned owning moral responsibility.
In reply to the queries raised by the Commission, Dr. P.C. Alexander has sent a note on the explanation given by Shri P.G. Gavai. Therein he has stated that he had not called any meeting in his office on 31-10-84. He had not received any proposal from the Lt. Governor about calling in the Army. If the Lt. Governor whished to call the army to assist the police, he did not have to take the Prime Minister’s permission or to seek his intervention. The Lt. Governor could have himself taken action and if there was any problem he could have taken up the matter with the Home Ministry. He has also stated that it would have been against the norms and convention of protocol to call the Home Minister to attend a meeting in his office and for him to preside over such a meeting. He has also denied that he had ruled that the Police Commissioner and the Army authorities should meet in Police Commissioner’s Office at 5.00 p.m. He has stated that on 1-11-84 right from 8 O’clock in the morning till about 1.30 p.m. he was at Teen Murti house. For a short time at about 1.30 p.m., he had gone to the Prime Minister’s house alongwith Cabinet Secretary Shri Krishnaswamy Rao Sahib to recommend to him that army should be called. He has said that at that time they had informed Shri Rajiv Gandhi about the tense situation within the premises of Teen Murti House because of the frenzy of huge crowds which had gathered there. They had also informed him that the Delhi Administration was very ineffective in handling the riots and therefore army should be called. Shri Rajiv Gandhi had agreed with their recommendation. As regards removal of Shri P.G. Gavai he has stated that the said decision was of the Prime Minister himself. He has stated that he does not recall telephoning Shri Gavai to proceed on leave or assuring him that he would be offered the post of Chairman, Union Public Service Commission. He has stated that the Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi was very unhappy at the way the Delhi Administration was handling the situation of violence and the riots in the city. In reply to the questions raised by the Commission, he has stated that the Prime Minister took the decision of calling in the army at 1.30 p.m. on 1-11-84. However, the Army Chief was already alerted both by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary to keep the army contingents in readiness so that they could move in quickly. The direction to call in the army was given to himself and the Cabinet Secretary at 1.30p.m. on 1-11-84. The army contingent which was assigned the task of dealing with law and order situation at the Teen Murti premises reached there at about 3.00 p.m. on 1-11-84. He had no knowledge about the exact time when other contingents reached the affected areas in East and West Delhi. He has stated that probably they had reached there more or less at the same time.
Shri Nikhil Kumar was the Additional Commissioner of Police till 8-10-84. He was on joining time-cum-leave to join his duties at Mizoram. He had come to Delhi from Patna to pay homage to the late Prime Minister. The Commissioner of Police on coming to know about his presence in Delhi and requested him to assist him in attending to the telephones in the office of the Commissioner of Police. He had attended to the work from the afternoon of 2-11-84. he was not posted with the Delhi Police at that time.
Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao has stated that on 31-10-1984 he was at Hanamkonda in Anadhra Pradesh. After receiving the message that Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi has been shot, he returned to Delhi at about 4:40 p.m. He went to All India Institute of Medical Sciences hospital and has a discussion with other leaders. A decision was taken to swear Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister emerged. Then he went to the place where the Congress Parliamentary Board was meeting and completed the necessary formalities for making Rajiv Gandhi as Prime Minister. From that place he proceeded to Rashtrapati Bhawan where swearing in took place. Thereafter, the first meeting of the new Cabinet was held. At that meeting the Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Alexander, the Home Secretary, Lt. Governor of Delhi, Commissioner of Police and one Army Officer were present. There was discussion regarding the date of the funeral and keeping the body at Teen Murti in state and possible happenings in the wake of assassination of Smt. Indiira Gandhi. Cabinet gave general clearance to the steps that would need to be taken including imposition of curfew, deployment of police personnel and also using army units in whatever manner it was required. On 01-11-84, he had issued a public appeal to maintain peace. On that day he remained in touch with the Home Secretary, Lt. Governor and Commissioner of Police. As regards the steps to be taken urgently, suggestions received from the delegations were accepted and sent to the Commissioner of Police and Lt. Governor. Whenever suggestions were received from the delegation, they were duly sent tot the Commissioner with the necessary instructions. Shri Rajiv Gandhi had taken a round of the affected areas on the night of 01-11-98. He had also visited relief camps where the affected persons were taken. He had given on the spot instructions for providing various facilities in the camp. He has denied that at any point of time he was indifferent or that there was any callousness on his part. He has stated that he had remained in touch with the authorities continuously. He has further stated that Minister of External Affairs was absent and therefore he had to help in receiving foreign dignitaries at Teen Murti House.
In this further reply dated 27-08-2004 he has stated that the allegations made against him in the written submissions of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee are baseless and there is no iota of truth therein. He has denied the allegations that he was spending much of his time in making arrangements for foreign dignitaries rather than ensuring the maintenance of law and order. He has stated that whenever some suggestions were received he had immediately given necessary instructions to the Home Secretary and the other persons in authority. He has stated that Shri Patwant Singh and others had met him. As regards the allegation that Shri Patwant Singh and others did not find any hustle and bustle in his residence. He has stated that the entire staff was busy in tackling maintenance of law and order and that he did not want the officers to waste their time at his residence. He had told Shri Patwant Singh and his delegation that he was well informed about the happenings in Delhi and that army was to be deployed by that evening. He denied that he was not aware of the details that he had spent much time in receiving foreign dignitaries. He has described Shri Ram Jethmalani’s impression that he was indifferent to all the suggestions made by him as wrong. He has stated that as he was concerned with the law and order situation he had spent time with them and listened to them. Shri Ram Jethmalani had not noticed any officer there because they were busy in their own work entrusted by him for maintenance of law and order. He says that he was feeling concerned about what was happening. He had told Shri Ram Jethmalani that he would take adequate steps. He has further stated that at that stage there was no time to while away in making tall talks and exhibiting his reactions. When he was contacted by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shri L.K. Advani, he had told them that he was looking into the matter. He denied that the Chief of the Army Staff on his own took the initiative to keep the troops available and called brigades from Meerut and the Home Ministry did not make any effort at all or make any arrangements to protect the life of the citizens. He has further stated that the Home Minister was not competent to call the troops. From where the troops should be called is a decisions within the exclusive domain of the Chief of the Army Staff under the Ministry of Defence. He has denied the allegation that he did not take any steps either to apprehend the culprits or to talk to the President of India and that the inaction of the part of Home Ministry to nab the culprits was a part of the conspiracy and was done with a view to convey a clear message to the desperados and the Congress workers and criminals that the Government will not take any action if the Sikhs are assassinated and stated that is false and frivolous. He has further stated that unless it is urgently required, the Commissioner of Police does not receive instructions directly from the Home Minister. There are several other persons to take instructions and convey the same to the Commissioner of Police. He has denied the allegation that he was totally not concerned about the killing of innocent citizens and stated that it is false. Dealing what Shri Ramvilas Paswant has said he has stated that he was in fact busy in an important meeting and to say that he was avoiding meeting Shri Paswan is not correct.
He has also stated that as the incident took place in the year 1984, it was impossible for him in 2004 to give specific time date and other materials in support of what he has said. He had visited relief camps and that was more important than visiting the places where untoward incidents had taken place. He has also stated that nobody had earlier made any grievance as regards the role played by him and the allegations which are now made after 20 years are really by way of an after thought and made ulterior reasons. As regards the suggestions made by Shri Ram Jethmalani, he has stated that they were required to be carried. He had not thought it fit to give instructions immediately for the purpose of showing or exhibiting his concern. He has stated that he believes in work and not in hustle and bustle and meetings which are non-productive and do not yield any result. He has denied the allegation that his approach was casual and it was not only gross negligence on his part but a connivance with perpetrators of this heinous crime and stated that it is false. He has also denied the allegations that the law was not allowed to take its own course. He has also denied that he had told that Shri Gujral and Shri Patwant Singh that he was required to spend much time in receiving foreign dignitaries and making arrangements for them. He has stated that in presence of Shri Gujral and Shri Madhu Dandawave he had given instructions to carry relief measures to the victims. He has denied that he had avoided meeting Shri Paswan. He has denied the allegations made by Major J.S. Jamwal (Retd.). He has stated that he was fully concerned with the situations and he had taken all positive steps to curb the violence, restore peace and to help the victims affected due to riots. He further stated that if Shri Aurora’s statement is true then he would not have remained silent till the year 2002. In his last reply dated 23.11.2004, he has stated that he had remained in constant touch with all persons in charge of law and order and given instructions to them as and when that had become necessary. He has stated that he had given instructions to deploy police force and to deploy army to curb any kind of violence.
On consideration of their explanations, the Commission is of the view that there was no delay or indifference at the level of the Home Minister. Though some prominent members who had met him during those days carried an impression that the Home Ministers was not that much responsive and sensitive as demanded by the situation, it appears that they carried that impression because of the style of functioning of the Home Minister. He appears to have kept himself informed about the developments in Delhi and had taken appropriate decisions and given necessary instructions in time. So far as the Lieutenant Governor Shri P.G. Gaval is concerned, it has to be stated that the explanation given by him is not satisfactory and does not convince the Commission is recording the finding that there was not lapse at his level. Though he does not appear to have delayed taking-of required actions, it does appear to the Commission that he did not give as much importance to the law and order situation in Delhi as the situation demanded. He was the person responsible for the maintenance of law and order in Delhi and therefore, he cannot escape the responsibility for its failure. Mr. S.C. Tandon was the Commissioner of Police and was directly responsible for the maintenance of law and order in Delhi. It is no explanation to say that he was not properly informed by his subordinates. It was his duty and responsibility to remain aware of what was going on Delhi during those days and to take prompt and effective steps. He should have know that the policemen on the spot were ineffective and inspite of curfew mobs indulging in violence were moving freely and were committing acts of looting and killing also freely. He ought to have taken strict action against the defaulting officers immediately and ought to have given directions to be more strict with the crowds. There was a colossal failure of maintenance of law and order and as the head of the Police Force, he has to be held responsible for the failure. The course of events do disclose that the attitude of the police force was callous and that he did not remain properly informed about what was happening in the city.
The events leading to the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi show that it was not an unconnected event. There was progressive deterioration in the situation in Punjab since 1981. Violent activities of the extremists elements in Punjab had increased. Many Hindus were killed by the Sikh Extremists. Manoeuverings by the political parties during this period to gain political advantages and exploitation of the tension had led to a smouldering resentment against the Sikh Community. Probably, there was a desire on the part of some persons to teach a lesson to the Sikhs. The assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh security guards appears to have triggered the massive onslaught on the lives and properties of Sikhs in Delhi.
Smt. Indira Gandhi was a popular leader. She was the Prime Minister of India. It was, therefore, not unusual that on coming to know about her assassination by her Sikh security men, the people reacted angrily. The first sign of such public resentment resulting in an angry outburst in Delhi was at about 2:30 p.m. on 31/10/1984, when the public suspected that Smt. Indira Gandhi had succumbed to her injuries and started assaulting passersby Sikhs. It was again noticed at about 5:00 p.m., when the cars in the entourage of President Giani Zail Singh was stoned at AIIMS. Soon after the death of Smt. Indira Gandhi was announced on All India Radio, crowds had gathered in several parts of Delhi and become violent. The Sikhs were beaten and their vehicles were burnt. Till then, the attacks were made by persons whon had collected on the roads to know what had happened and what was happening. They were stray incidents and the attacks were not at all organized. The mobs till then were not armed with weapons or inflammable materials. With whatever that became handy, they manhandled Sikhs and burnt their vehicles. There were stray incidents of damaging houses or shops of the Sikhs. From the morning of 01/11/1984, the nature and intensity of the attacks changed. After about 10:00 a.m., on that day slogans like “Khoon-Ka-Badla-Khoon Se Lenge” were raised by the mobs. Rumours were circulated which had the effect of inciting people against the Sikhs and prompt them to take revenge. There is evidence to show that at some places, the mobs indulging in violent attacks had come in DTC buses or vehicles. They either came armed with weapons and inflammable materials like kerosene, petrol and some white powder or were supplied with such materials soon after they were taken to the localities where the Sikhs were to be attacked. There is also evidence on record to show that on 31/10/1984, either meetings were held or the persons who could organize attacks were contacted and were given instructions to kill Sikhs and loot their houses and shops. The attacks were made in a systematic manner and without much fear of the police ; almost suggesting that they were assured that they would not be harmed while committing those acts and even thereafter. Male members of the Sikh Community were taken out of their houses. They were beaten first and then burnt alive in a systematic manner. In some cases, tyres were put around the necks and then the were set on fire by pouring kerosene or petrol over them. In some case, white inflammable powder was thrown on them which immediately caught fire thereafter. This was a common pattern which was followed by the big mobs which had played havoc in certain areas. The shops were identified, looted and then burnt. Thus, what had initially started, as an angry outburst became an organized carnage. The cause for the events which had happened on 31/10/1984 can be stated to be the spontaneous reaction and anger of the public because their popular leader and the prime Minister of the Country was killed. The cause for the attacks on Sikhs from 01/11/1984 had not remained the same. Taking advantage of the anger of the public, other forces had moved in to exploit the situation. Large number of affidavits indicate that local Congress (I) 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 the Sikhs so swiftly and in large numbers could not have happened. In many places, the riotous mobs consisted of outsiders, though there is evidence to show that in certain areas like Sultanpuri, Yamunapuri, where there are large cluster of Jhuggis and Jhoparis, local persons were also seen in the mobs. Outsiders in large numbers could not have been brought by ordinary persons from the public. Bringing them from outside required an organized effort. Supplying them with weapons and inflammable material also required an organized effort. There is evidence to show that outsiders were shown the houses of the Sikhs. Obviously, it would have been difficult for them to find out the houses and shops of Sikhs so quickly and easily. There is also evidence to show that in a systematic manner, the Sikhs who were found to have collected wither at Gurdwara or at some place in their localities for collectively defending themselves were either persuaded or forced to go inside of their houses. There is enough material on record to show that at many places, the police had taken away their arms or other articles with which they could have defended themselves against the attacks by mobs. After they were persuaded to go inside their houses on assurances that they would be well-protected, attacks on them had started. All this could not have happened if it was merely a spontaneous reaction of the angry public. The systematic manner in which the Sikhs were thus killed indicate that the attacks on them were organized. It appears that from 01/11/1984, another ‘cause of exploitation of the situation’ had joined the initial ‘cause of anger’. The exploitation of the situation was by the anti-social elements. The poorer section of society who are deprived of enjoyment of better things in life saw an opportunity of looting such thins without the fear of being punished for the same. The criminals got an opportunity to show their might and increase their hold. 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 the fear of the Police Force was also one of the causes for the happening of so many incidents within those 3 or 4 days. If the police had taken prompt and effective steps, very probably, so many lives would not have been lost and so many properties would not have been looted, destroyed or burnt.
As the attacks on Sikhs appear to the Commission as organized, an attempt was made to see who were responsible for organizing the same. Some of the affidavits filed before the Commission generally state that the Congress Leaders/Workers were behind these riots. In Part-III of this report, the Commission has referred to some of the incidents wherein some named Congress(I) Leaders/Workers had taken part. No other person or organization apart from anti-social elements to some extent, is alleged to have taken part in those incidents. Smt. Indira Gandhi was a Congress (I) Leader. The slogans which were raised during the riots also indicate that some of the persons who constituted the mobs were Congress (I) workers or sympathizers. It was suggested that Shri Rajiv Gandhi had told one of his officials that Sikhs should be taught a lesson. The evidence in this behalf is very vague. It is also not believable that Shri Rajiv Gandhi would have started so to an official assuming that some conversation took place between him and that official. It does not become clear that in respect of which subject the conversation had taken place and in which context Shri Rajiv Gandhi is stated to have said, “Yes, we must teach them a lesson”. The evidence on the other hand suggest that Shri Rajiv Gandhi had shoed much concern about what was happening in Delhi. He had issued an appeal for remaining calm and maintaining communal harmony. In view of the complaints received by him, that people were not able to contact the police on Telephone No.-100, he had immediately called some police officers and told them to take immediate action so that anyone who wanted to contact the police could so. He had even visited the affected areas on the night of 01/11/1984. There is absolutely no evidence suggesting that Shri Rajiv Gandhi or any other high ranking Congress (I) Leader had suggested or organized attacks on Sikhs. Whatever acts were done, were done by the local Congress (I) leaders and workers, and they appear to have done so for their personal political reasons. If they were the acts of individuals only, them the killing of Sikhs and looting of properties of Sikhs would not have been on such a large scale. Therefore, what those local leaders appear to have done is to take help of their followers and supporters in inciting or committing those acts. However, for the reasons already stated earlier, the Commission is not in a position to recommend any action against them except to the extent indicated earlier while assessing the evidence against them.
As regards, the role of police officers, the Commission examined voluminous evidence consisting of registers maintained at the Police Stations, Movement Charts of the Station House Officers and other policemen during the days of riots, the daily diaries and the First Information Reports. This exercise has consumed much time of the Commission. However, with the help of the parties and lawyers appearing before the Commission, it was possible to examine this record closely. After close scrutiny of all these material, the Commission agrees with the findings recorded earlier by Justice Mishra Commission and by the Committees, which had looked into their conduct. The Commission has nothing further to add and therefore, does not think it necessary to burden this report by referring to the evidence and instances which go to show that either, they were negligent in performance of their duties or that they had directly or indirectly helped the mobs in their violent attacks on the Sikhs. As appropriate actions were initiated against them, the Commission has thought it fit not to recommend any further actions against them. However, the Commission would like to emphasize that as a result of not recording separate FIRs, not recording statements of witnesses as stated by them and not investigating the cases properly, it has now become difficult for the Commission to make any recommendation against many of the persons, who have been named by the witnesses as the persons who had indulged in violent acts against them or their family members or had facilitated the same.
The Commission also agrees with the findings recorded by Justice Mishra Commission as regards the delay in calling the army. Therefore, in this respect also, the Commission is not inclined to refer to all the evidence and record its own findings so as not to burden this report unnecessarily. The Commission also agrees with the recommendations made by Justice Mishra Commission for preventing happening of such events again. The Commission would, however, like to recommend that such riots are kept under check and control and there should be an independent police force which is free from the political influence and which is well-equipped to stake immediate and effective action. It is also necessary and therefore, the Commission recommends that if riots takes place on a big scale and if police is not able to register every offence separately at the time when they are reported, the Government should thereafter at the earliest take steps to see that all complaints are properly recorded and that, they are investigated by independent Investigation Officers. Only if such an action is taken by the Government, people would feel that law is allowed to take its own course and the guilty would be punished properly. The Commission also recommends that the government of India and the State Governments should see that all the affected persons throughout the Country are paid adequate compensation on an uniform basis. It appears that in come states, the High Courts have directed payment of higher compensation of Rs. 3,50,000/- for the loss of life to the dependents of persons killed and those states have paid the compensation accordingly. But in some states, smaller amounts have been paid. It has also been brought to the notice of the Commission that as a result thereof, the dependents have been required to file writ petitions individually in High Courts to get such relief and those petitions have remained pending for a longtime. The Commission, therefore, recommends that the Government of India should take steps to see that all of them are paid compensation uniformly at an early date. The Commission also recommends by way of rehabilitation of badly affected families, that the Government should consider providing employment to one members of that family if that family has lost all its earning male members and it has no other sufficient means of livelihood.
In the end, the Commission records its appreciation for the assistance rendered by Shri K.K. Sud – Additional Solicitor General, Shri H.S. Phoolka and Shri S.S. Gandhi – Senior Advocates, to the Commission in conducting this Inquiry. The Commission also records its appreciation for the assistance rendered by the Staff.
JUSTICE NANAVATI COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
1984 ANTI-SIKH RIOTS