1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom Sajjan Kumar's Goons Attack Jarnail Singh, The Journalist


Jun 1, 2004
Sajjan Kumar's Goons Attack Jarnail Singh<small>by TEHELKA and NEWS REPORTS</small>

<!-- <small>March 12th, 2010</small>-->

Jarnail Singh, the Sikh journalist who challenged India's Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram last April to act - albeit 25 years late - on his nation's crimes against innocent Sikhs in 1984, was attacked outside the Karkardooma court in Delhi on Wednesday, March 10, 2010, by goons hired by Sajjan Kumar - the Congress leader who had led the murdering mobs in 1984, and who was in court this morning to answer to criminal charges and seek bail.
"I was pushed and manhandled by Atma Lubana while leaving court," Jarnail said.
He has filed a police complaint against Lubana, who is employed by Sajjan Kumar and has a lengthy history of intimidating eye-witnesses who have spoken out and/or given evidence against Sajjan Kumar's crimes. "The people who jostled me were supporters of Sajjan Kumar. One of them even threatened me with dire consequences."
Jarnail was in court to oberve proceedings with Nirpreet Kaur, CBI witness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Sajjan Kumar is an accused.
"At the last hearing, Nirpreet was threatened by Sajjan Kumar's men. I had gone to give moral support to her and Anwar Kaur, another witness testifying against him. The goons attacked me because they wanted to scare the witnesses," he said.
"I am fine ... there is nothing to worry about,"Jarnail Singh assured the readers of sikhchic.com during a phone call from his home in Delhi. "If their intention is to scare me or silence me, it simply won't work. All I know is that Justice must prevail!"
Meanwhile, Sajjan Kumar and nine others were granted bail on Wednesday in two cases relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms.
[Courtesy: Tehelka; first published - October 2005]
Justice Nanavati recommended that all the seven cases against Sajjan Kumar, including FIR No 307/94, be reinvestigated.
This particular FIR had been lodged on the basis of an affidavit filed before the Ranganath Mishra Commission of Inquiry by a widow, Anek Kaur, in 1985.
In the affidavit, she gave graphic details of how Sajjan Kumar, other Congress leaders and the police had turned murderous that day. Her house, she said, was surrounded by a mob led by Congress leader Jai Singh. The police were inciting the mob to kill Sikhs and burn their houses. She also stated that Sajjan Kumar and another Congress leader Jai Kishan had come in a jeep and when she had run up to them for protection, Jai Kishan had said that only six Sikhs were left and that he would get them killed.
Sajjan Kumar had also stated that they should be beaten to death. Anek's husband Vakil Singh was beaten and left for dead - he died three months later. Based on this and other evidence, Nanavati recommended a reinvestigation but the government in its Action Taken Report, denied the allegation and said that Anek Kaur had subsequently (in 1994) withdrawn her statement against Sajjan Kumar. Thus, the government felt that since there was no fresh evidence, it would not be just to reopen the case.

While the government found no justification to reopen the case, Tehelka investigations revealed that witness Anek Kaur was 'won over' and her statement changed.

Tehelka traced out her family as Anek Kaur died about four years ago. Her mother-in-law Sahibzadi disclosed that one Rathi had obtained Anek Kaur's thumb impression on a paper and used to buy rations for them regularly. Vakil Singh's sister Mishri Kaur, who used to accompany Anek Kaur, told Tehelka that Sajjan Kumar had offered them an apartment to change Anek's statement. Another offer was made by Sajjan Kumar that he would sponsor their expenses for as long as they live in lieu of a changed statement. The family was paid for about two years. This entire conversation was captured on a spycam.
Here is the edited conversation:

Tehelka: What had Sajjan Kumar asked Anek Kaur, can you share that with us?

Mishri: Gawahi badal do, poora kharcha milega, muawza milega aur flat dilwa doonga (You will get an apartment as well as compensation, just get Anek Kaur's statement changed).

Tehelka: Did this happen before your eyes?

Mishri: Yes. This was in my presence, kehta tha, byan badal do, jab tak zinda rahoge, poori zindagi ka kharcha doonga, ek do saal diya bhee bus uske baad nahin (He said he'll take care of all expenses as long as we lived, he gave money for about one or two years, then stopped)

Tehelka: What happened after that?

Mishri: Then Rathi came in the picture, Rathi, Inspector Rathi, would accompany Anek to the court, would also bring his vehicle. He used to give Rs 200 every month and in addition also hand over Rs 50 to Rs 100. Jai Kishan, the local MLA, had also given Rs 1,200.

Tehelka: And then?

Mishri: Paisa Rathi kha gaya (Rathi took away all the money), usne Anek se angootha lagwa liya (Rathi had taken Anek's thumb impression on a paper). I had complained against Rathi to the court and police headquarters.
Tehelka: Did you not approach Sajjan Kumar for the promised apartment and the money?

Mishri: Yes, twice I had gone to him but he refused to speak to me, baad mein aana (come later), I was thrown out of his place. This was some time around the last elections.

Tehelka: What happened to Anek Kaur?

Mishri: She was sick and died about four years ago. Before her death she told me and her daughter as well that take money from Sajjan or else depose against him, take it that he is the murderer of your parents.

Tehelka: So she changed her statement?

Mishri: She did not change her statement but Rathi took her thumb impression and gave her only Rs 200.

That the government was on the side of the guilty is also clear from another case. According to the Nanavati report, one Kher Singh had filed an affidavit before Jain-Banerjee Committee and stated, "that on that day in the morning, he had seen local MP Sajjan Kumar addressing a crowd of persons and telling them that Sikhs had killed their mata and that no Sikh in the area should be spared. At that time Ishwar Singh, Hardwari Lal and other local persons had raised slogans against Sikhs".
The report further states, "This witness therefore rushed back to his house. Dr. Iqbal Singh Chadha, Resham Singh and Ajit Singh were burnt alive. When the mob came near his house, the neighbours told the mob that nobody was present in the house and so he was saved. He was rescued by the military on November 3, 1984. Kher Singh had later on approached the police and told them that he was a witness to the murder of those three persons but the police told him that as no case was registered with respect to their murder, her (sic) could not be recorded."

Regarding this incident FIR no 178 was recorded only on November 15, 1984. No one was arrested in this case and the case was filed as untraced. Justice Nanavati observed in his report, "it appears that in respect of death of Iqbal Singh Chadha FIR No 178/84 and the case was then filed as untraced.
Kher Singh had specifically stated that he was the eyewitness to the murder of Dr. Iqbal Singh Chadha yet his statement was not recorded with the result that he was not even cited as a witness. Thus even though eyewitness was available, the police did not investigate the case properly and closed it as untraced."

While Justice Nanavati states an eyewitness was available, the Action Taken Report states the contrary. It states, "no eyewitness came forward to give give any specific evidence or clue about the incident. Therefore the case was sent as untraced which was accepted by the competent court."
Interestingly, the police refused to record the statement of eyewitness Kher Singh but lodged an FIR based on the complaint of Harvinder Kaur, wife of Dr Chadha, who had not named any person as she had not seen the incident.

March 12, 2010