Where ever Sikh congregated, Police asked them to surrender the weapons and dispersed them so they cannot protect themselves. Police assured Sikhs that they going to give them protection. They took the weapons from Sikhs and triggered the mob to kill Sikhs. If Sikhs refused to give up the weapons they have arrested them but not the goons. It was not an isolated incident. All over Delhi, the same strategy was adopted. There are two to three instances where Sikhs refused to listen to police and confronted police and the mob, only they come out to safety.
Had police stayed inactive Sikhs would have defended themselves. The number of deaths would have been lot low than Moreover, deaths are the number of deaths only in Delhi. There were deaths in other parts of India as well. Sikhs were trapped with a great planning. Had Sikhs knew that Police is part and parcel of this planning; Sikhs would have fought for themselves and came alive out of Delhi. Cases were registered against quite a few Congress leaders, and ironically these cases are still in court past 30 years this heinous crime.
You have a lot of hot debates on these issues on TV under your sleeves. You have debated with Sajjan Kumar, Titler and other prime accused, personally. What do you think, do they have any remorse for what they did or they are sticking to the same guns that no court have proven them guilty and so they are as clean as anybody. In fact, these leaders were actively in full public view managing these riots. All the important Congress leaders were actively involved in spreading the hate wave and were fuelling the riots. I asked him, who was the face of the mob.
He had seen them around Titler. I questioned him; do you think all these goons were acting alone, without the permission of their bosses? Sajjan Kumar was overseeing all the area of violence personally. He made sure Sikhs were killed in front of him. The world knows he was carrying a revolver around and targeting Sikhs.
The well-drafted plan was executed openly. They openly did the meetings and provoked the general public to participate in the Sikh genocide.
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Though the Sikhs believe they were denied justice for over 34 years, Mr Phoolka's efforts are finally coming to fruition with the sentencing of former MP and Congress leader Sajjan Kumar. Did you actually get anything out of the legal proceedings, what is your analysis of this lengthy tussle with the authorities? Has anybody been ever charged for their crimes in this saga or was the same old story repeated by the judiciary that in light of the lack of evidence we cannot charge anybody and the suspects get vindicated?
In July , we were preparing to file affidavits for the Mishra Commission. Mr G Tohra had kindly offered us his residence to work on the legal proceedings and we used to work from 7 in the morning to midnight every day. I responded by saying that we have two options to move forward, either we keep quiet on this matter or we let government to take autonomous decisions based on the self-formulated committees who will ultimately come to the conclusion that all this violence happened due to the wild celebrations carried out by Sikh people in Delhi and due to this provocative gesture by the Sikhs, the people of Delhi could not hold back their emotions and killed or injured very few Sikhs.
When the-then home minister released an official statement that in total people have died in the entire nation, we followed up by making a comprehensive list which indicated that people, approximately , actually died. Ironically, the New Delhi Police declared the official figure to be 1, Finally, they released the correct figure two and a half years later. Alternatively, we decided to adopt a strategy which will go in the history books as the resilient nature of Sikh community who fought hard for their rights.
That we did not give up easily despite the non-cooperative attitude of the authorities. We felt that whatever the result of this battle, we will try our best to win it and this we strongly felt as our moral duty to stand our ground. Consequently, they did start to acknowledge that injustice has been served on the Sikhs and they admitted openly in their public lectures that the response of Sikh community is being well documented.
They also encouraged us to formulate the affidavits so that proper action against the guilty party can be taken. Ironically, the Congress party rewarded the accused politicians by promoting them in the political ranks, by making them parliamentarians. However, because of our constant pressure, the two chief accused Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler are neither in the national parliament nor serving in the state assembly. The reason that they were not given any cabinet ministry is that of our vigilance and unwavering pressure.
The fact that we are still talking about the Sikh genocide thirty years later is a testament that this issue has been kept alive all these years. Had we not raised our voice, people would vaguely remember this as a very insignificant event and call it as minor riots. So this would have happened exactly had we not offered our resistance. Jews are hunting the Nazis till this date and they are making sure that Nazis are properly prosecuted for their alleged role in the mass murder of Jews.
This is what those communities are known for, relentless persistence. Although the Sikh massacre happened 30 years ago, the authorities are still scared of the fact we are pursuing this issue as if it happened only yesterday. It would be foolish to believe that this incident only happened once, provided the similar circumstances it can be repeated. So we are just trying to safeguard our future in this democracy by exercising our rights safely and justly. This is what we are trying to do to bring awareness to the people.
Secondly and most importantly, we want to send a strong message that the rule of law is above and beyond all, that no one is greater than the law of people. This is the very message that we would like to send throughout the nation so that wherever the riots are taking place, those rioters and politicians shall be aware of the consequences that even after years later, they can be charged in the criminal justice system. At the opening ceremony of that book, Salman Khurshid, a prominent Congress party leader, lauded our efforts by acknowledging that this book is a message to those people who are involved in such activities that even after a long span of time your past can catch up with you.
He further mentioned that Sikh people have changed the history books with their efforts. Therefore, regardless of the resulting fighting, this battle is of paramount importance and we will fight this battle till our last breath and we consider this as our greatest moral duty. Justice delayed is justice denied, thirty years have gone past and the victims are patiently waiting for the outcome. Is that all you are going to get or the courts are just ignoring your pleas by postponing the hearings?
Where to go from here? There are two cases pending investigation, one against Sajjan Kumar and the other one against Jagdish Tytler and there is an ongoing case against Sajjan Kumar. It took the authorities three years to even register a complaint against the accused, let alone the investigation. However, they showed some form of investigation on paper and closed the case in after completing the charge sheet.
The normal court proceeding should have taken place within four to five days and the main accused, Sajjan Kumar, should have been tried in the court. They voiced their concerns that you are covering up this matter by protecting the accused.
I wrote a letter to Sukhbir Badal recently and send him a reminder that your party in the past was protesting vehemently about registering the case against Sajjan Kumar. Now that you have taken office, this is the time to bring that issue into the limelight again and you have forgotten about it altogether.
I reminded him that his party is in power now and they should get this done. Also, that their party was protesting that Congress party is protecting the suspects. Unfortunately, this is a fact that whoever brought up this issue, did this for purely political reasons but nobody had the righteous intent. Secondly, cases were dissolved by the local police by not filing the complaints in the first place. The police closed these cases altogether without any due investigation.
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