05 October 2007

Still more on Mr. Jagdish...

84 riots: Tytler's clean chit questioned

Sunetra Choudhary
Wednesday, October 3, 2007 (New Delhi)
Congress leader Jagdish Tytler has much to thank the CBI for. The agency that has given him a clean chit in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case seems to have failed to follow up crucial testimony of a witness.

The testimony of Jasbir Singh incriminating Tytler takes the case to an entirely different angle of conspiracy. But in its chargesheet the CBI simply said: ''Jasbir Singh could not be examined as he is abroad.''

What CBI has lost by not tracking Singh is the testimony he gave to the Jain Aggarwal Committee and the Nanavati Commission.

In his affidavit Jasbir Singh said:

''I overheard Jagdish Tytler rebuking a group of men at the TB Hospital on November 3,1984, after Indira Gandhi's assassination. Tytler was shouting at them and telling them there had only been nominal killing of Sikhs in his constituency, so his position in front of central leaders was compromised. Tytler reportedly said he had promised large-scale killing of Sikhs.''

''This testimony is the one that shows that there was a conspiracy. CBI should not close the case till they find this man,'' said H S Phoolka, Counsel for victims.

CBI has a standard defence for these cases, they say they were handed the case 20 years too late and so no evidence, no witness.

However their critics point out that the agency didn't try hard enough. Now the justice for carnage committee is filing a protest petition against the clean chit of Tytler.

--And from The Hindustan Times:
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, October 04, 2007
First Published: 19:31 IST(4/10/2007)
Last Updated: 19:38 IST(4/10/2007)

Court questions CBI clean chit to Tytler in 1984 riots case

A special court on Thursday questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for giving a clean chit to former union minister and Congress MP Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in which nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed.

It directed the agency to continue the probe and asked it to file its reply by Nov 29.

... the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), a 'mini parliament' of the Sikh community, filed an appeal in the court questioning the CBI's decision even as thousands of Sikhs protested the agency's move.


Tytler was facing the charge of inciting people to violence on Nov 3, 1984, after the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Some 3,000(?) Sikhs were killed in the riots and thousands were injured. No reliable estimates are available on the damage to property but this is believed to run into billions of rupees.

The government had on Dec 29, 2006 announced a Rs 7.14-billion package for the victims to cover deaths, injuries and loss of property. (And how much, pray tell, is a dead Sikh worth?)


Last year, the central government had directed the CBI to reopen cases against Congress leaders Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and Dharam Das Shastri who were named by the Nanavati Commission for their role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

In his two-volume report on the riots, Justice GT Nanavati had observed that there was "credible evidence against Tytler to the effect that he probably had a hand in organising attacks on Sikhs".

Till now only 25 people have been convicted for the carnage. Among them is Kishori Lal, known as the "butcher of Trilokpuri" (the worst affected area of Delhi), who was sentenced to death seven times by the lower courts. The Supreme Court commuted them into life terms. (And again I ask, in slightly different words, how much is a Sikh's life worth?)

As many as 253 people were acquitted and 241 remained untraced. Investigations are pending against one and 42 are awaiting trial. Cases were withdrawn against three people and 11 first information reports were quashed.


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