Sikh News The 1984 Anti Sikh Pogroms - Part 2

Jul 10, 2006
The 1984 Anti Sikh Pogroms - Part 2
By SSNews, V Sundaram, newstodaynet
Nov 8, 2006, 17:38

'Falsehoods not only disagree with truths, but usually quarrel among themselves.' - Daniel Webster

Indira Gandhi and her Congress Party were rooted in their self-embracing certainty and unabashed political arrogance when they took the fatal decision to send the Army to the Golden Temple at Amritsar in June 1984. When the army ransacked the sacred shrine it was viewed as an outrageous act by the Sikh community as a whole in India and abroad. The elemental Sikh passions rose to Himalayan heights proving right what Gautama Buddha said nearly 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ: 'There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.'

In the aftermath of Army action whose code word was 'Operation Bluestar' Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards at her official residence in New Delhi on October 31, that same year. The killing was reportedly a reprisal for ordering the army to enter the holiest of Sikh shrines. This triggered anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi which were mainly organised by the Congress Party in which nearly 3300 innocent Sikhs, men, women and children were brutally murdered by mobs in JUST ONE DAY.

These systematic riots were planned and led by Congress activists and sympathisers. To be precise, on November 1, 1984, a huge mob from the suburbs of Delhi descended on various localities where the Sikhs were concentrated. They carried iron rods, knives, clubs, and combustible material, including kerosene. They had voters' lists of houses and business establishments belonging to the Sikhs. People swarmed into Sikh homes, ripping the occupants to pieces, chopping off the heads of children, raping women, tying Sikh men to tyres set aflame with kerosene, ransacking and burning down the houses and shops. They stopped buses and trains, in and out of Delhi, pulling out Sikh passengers to be lynched or doused with kerosene and burnt.

The then Congress government was widely criticised for doing very little at the time, if not acting as a conspirator, especially since voting lists were deliberately and systematically used to identify families for planned killing and extermination. Thus New Delhi and parts of north India witnessed a systematic, well planned and state-supported violence of genocidal proportions against that community. It is also a solidly known fact that a large number of the men were forced to witness the rape of their wives and daughters before being killed or burned alive in front of their families. Reports from the relief and rehabilitation camps pointed to the systematic decimation of the Sikh male population, particularly those of working age. Thus the Congress Party covered itself with eternal infamy and disgrace.

This ghastly tragedy took place not in a remote village on the border of China in Arunachal Pradesh but in New Delhi, the capital city of India. The President, the Home Minister and all the other leading Ministers in the Government showed their indifference and impotence in that moment of unprecedented crisis and disaster. The newly elected Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, son of the assassinated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, allegedly made an abominable observation on the Sikh carnage, which only showed the extent and magnitude of his petrified adolescence: 'When a big tree falls, the earth is bound to shake.'

Perhaps Bernard Shaw had the political criminals in India after independence in view when he wrote; 'My way of joking is to tell the truth.'

Let me now narrate the truthful jokes about the innumerable COMMISSIONS OF ENQUIRY set up from time to time after the 1984 riots. The truth is under the political guidance of the Congress Party from 1984 to 1989 and from 1991 to 1996, many of the primary accused were either acquitted or never charge-sheeted. Ten commissions and committees have so far inquired into the riots. The most recent Commission was headed by judge G.T. Nanavati who submitted his 185-page report to the Home Minister, Shivraj Patil on February 9, 2005 and the report was tabled in Parliament on August 8, 2005. The commissions below are listed in the order they were formed.

Marwah Commission (1984)

This Commission was appointed in November 1984. Ved Marwah, Additional Commissioner of Police, was assigned the job of enquiring into the role of the police during the 1884 carnage. Marwah almost completed his inquiry towards the middle of 1985 when he was directed by the Central Government not to proceed further as the Misra Commission had been appointed by then. Complete records of the Marwah Commission were taken over by the government and were later transferred to the Misra Commission. However, the most important part of the record, namely the handwritten notes of Mr Marwah, which contained important information, were not transferred to the Misra Commission.

Dhillon Committee (1985)

Dhillon Committee headed by Gurdial Singh Dhillon was appointed in 1985 to recommend measures for the rehabilitation of the victims. This committee submitted its report by the end of 1985. One of its major recommendations was that the business establishments, which had insurance cover, but whose insurance claims were not settled by insurance companies on the technical ground that they were riot covered under insurance, should be paid compensation under the directions of the government. This committee recommended that since all insurance companies were nationalised, they be directed to pay the claims. However, the government did not accept this recommendation and as a result these claims were rejected by all insurance companies throughout the country.

Misra Commission of Enquiry (1985)

The Misra commission was appointed in May 1985. Rangnath Misra, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Misra submitted his report in August 1986 and the report was made public, in February 1987. There was only one term of reference to this commission, i.e. whether the violence was organised. Justice Misra stated that it was not part of his terms of reference to identify any person and recommended the formation of three committees. He said it was not. The commission and its report have been widely criticised as biased and politically motivated, thus resulting in a miscarriage of justice. The whole of India knows that Justice Misra was a chosen political favourite of the Congress Party.

Kapur Mittal Committee (1987)

The Kapur Mittal Committee was appointed in February 1987 on the recommendation of the Misra Commission. This committee submitted its report in 1990.

Jain Banerjee Committee (1987) This committee was to recommen registration of cases. This committee recommended registration of cases against Sajjan Kumar (pictured right) in August 1987, but no case was registered.

Ahuja Committee (1987)

The Ahuja Committee was the third recommended by the Misra Commission to ascertain the total number of killings in Delhi. This committee submitted its report in August 1987 and gave a figure of 2,733 as the number of Sikhs killed in Delhi alone.

Potti Rosha Committee (1990): The Potti Rosha Committee was appointed in March 1990, by the V.P. Singh Government, as a successor to the Jain Banerjee Committee. When the goons of the Congress party intimidated the Judges in September 1990, Potti and Rosha decided to disband their inquiry.

Jain Aggarwal Committee (1990): It was appointed in December 1990 as a successor to the Potti Rosha Committee. This committee recommended registration of cases against H.K.L.Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Dharamdas Shastri and Jagdish Tytler (pictured top left). No action was taken.

Narula Committee (1993): The Narula Committee was appointed in December 1993 by the Madan Lal Khurana government in Delhi.

The Nanavati Commission (2004): Justice Nanavati (retired Supreme Court Judge) Commission was appointed in February 2004 by a unanimous resolution passed in the Rajya Sabha.. The commission submitted its report in February 2004. The Commission outlined evidence against Congressmen Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and H.K.LBhagat, saying they had instigated the mobs to violence. The Commission also held the then police commissioner S.C. Tandon directly responsible for the riots.

There are many Sikhs who still feel bitter about the way they were targeted after Indira Gandhi's assassination and the complicity, of Congress politicians in the riots. Their wounds have not healed even after 22 years. When I switched channels on the afternoon of he 3 November, I saw a television programme in which a spokesman of Sikhs for Justice was being interviewed by a correspondent of CNN-IBN. The spokesman said the following:

The Sikhs never forgive their enemies

Sikhs are patient, but once they know they are being taken for a ride, they will not hesitate to resort to other means.

Only when Sonia Gandhi is removed from the Congress will justice be done.

When I tried to view this particular television news later on their website, I was unsuccessful. I fail to understand why the contents were deleted. The UPA Government subscribes to the philosophy that the Indian State will be best ordered when the good and the decent have no command and the wicked have!! I would like to remind them about what George Washington said: 'Government is not reason, it is not eloquence ' it is force! It is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.'

Judged by any standard we have an irresponsible Government in New Delhi today.

(The writer is a retired IAS officer)



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