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HomeEditorialAmitabh Bachchan provoked the anti-Sikh riots in 1984?

Amitabh Bachchan provoked the anti-Sikh riots in 1984?

Kamal Nath, Lalit Maken, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, HKL Bhagat all these Congress leaders were involved and many proofs have been made against them, which went wrong as CBI always gave them clean chit under pressure of government. Even Amitabh Bachchan as per some Sikhs who was a close associate of Rajeev Gandhi made a provocative statement “Khoon Ka Badla Khoon Se Lenge” meaning “Blood for Blood” which was shown on DD Channel. Those days Sikhs were being dragged out of their homes to be butchered. Killings were carried out in various ways, each more spine chilling than the other. Some victims were beaten with iron rods until all that was left of them were a few last breaths. Many were burnt alive after being garlanded with kerosene-soaked tyre lit with much ceremony.

Two Sikh bodyguards assassinated Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Hours after her death, Delhi and other cities with Sikh population witnessed large-scale rioting. Over the next few days, horrific mass killings of Sikhs took place. The carnage of 1984 is perhaps the worst human tragedy, India has faced. And what intensified the pain of the riot victims was that even over three decades later; none of the main accused in the case was prosecuted.

After a 34-year-long wait, the Delhi High Court convicted a senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in one of the multiple anti-Sikh riots cases. The verdict came on a day when the Congress formed governments in three states – MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in 2018 – and the new MP Chief Minister was also charged with inciting mob violence during the riots. Kamal Nath (presently the CM of Madhya Pradesh) was there at the plot where many Sikhs were killed. While defending himself Kamal Nath once confessed that he was there to save people not to kill them. As far as judiciary is concerned there are no charges against him till now. After 1984 he has been elected at various ministerial posts. In recent election when Congress won in MP while BJP lost after 15 years of ruling, Akali Dal one of the allies of BJP raising voice against Kamal Nath to destabilize Congress.

The root cause of anti-Sikh riots in 1984 was the words of Amitabh Bachchan. Indira Gandhi was already dead by that time so none of the blame can be attached to her. There was an article, in Times of India “1984 riots: ‘Why nobody noticed Amitabh Bachchan spewing venom in India’.

A prime witness in 1984 anti-Sikh riots said that everyone who had been watching Doordarshan saw how superstar Amitabh Bachchan provoked the rioters. Following Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, India erupted in riots against Sikhs in 1984. Recently, a US-based Sikh human rights group lodged a criminal complaint against Bachchan in Australia for instigating and abetting 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Australia’s ‘Criminal Code Act 1995’ states that Australian courts can have jurisdiction over cases involving crimes against humanity irrespective of whether the offence was committed in Australia or not.

Apart from Sajjan Kumar, there were many political leaders, who volunteered the riots, but most of them are having good life even today. Law could not do much against them. H.K.L. Bhagat, then the Minister of state (Information and Broadcasting). Babu Ram Sharma, Member, Municipal Corporation (Ward No. 58) reported to be the right-hand man of H. K. L. Bhagat, was responsible for loot, arson and murder in trance-Yamuna areas-Babarpur, Chajupur Colony Gonda, led people on motorcycle with megaphone. Sajjan Kumar, Cong. (I) then the M.P. from Mangolpuri has paid Rs. 100 and a bottle of liquor to each person involved in the killing. Lalit Maken, Cong. (I) the then Trade Union Leader and Metropolitan Councilor, paid mob with Rs. 100 each plus a bottle of liquor. A white ambassador car reportedly belonging to him came four times to the G.T. Road area near Azadpur. Instructions to mobs indulging in arson were given from inside the car. Dharam Das Shastri, Cong. (I) MP from Karol Bagh reported to be carrying voters list with him at Prakash Nagar for identification of Sikhs. On November 5, according to newspaper reports, he along with other Congress-I leaders tried to pressurise the SHO of Karol Bagh Police Station to release the persons who arrested during the police raids to recover looted property.

Dr. Ashok Kumar, Member of Municipal Corporation, Kalyanpuri reportedly held a meeting in Kalyanpuri, following which violence broke out immediately. According to many eyewitnesses, he led mobs that indulged in loot, murder, arson and rape. Sukhan Lal Sood, Metropolitan Councilor, according to eyewitnesses, was seen leading mobs, which indulged in loot, murder, burning and rape. He had come with petrol and serial lists and addresses of Sikhs in the locality. The women refugees recognised him and drove him out. Jagdish Chander Tokas, Member of Municipal Corporation Munirka (Ward No. 14) reportedly led a mob to R.K. Puram Sector IV and V. Ishwar Singh, Member, Municipal Corporation, Mangolpuri (Ward No. 37) allegedly led the mobs that indulged in looting, burning, rape and murder in Mangolpuri area. Balwant Khokhar, then the Youth Congress-I Leader, Delhi, identified as one of the persons responsible for instigating looting and arson in Palam Colony area.

Faiz Mohammad, Youth Congress-I Leader, Delhi, named by refugees in Shakurpur camp and in Mangolpuri for being a part of the mob indulging in looting, arson and murder. Satbir Singh, Youth Congress-I allegedly brought busloads of people from Ber Sarai to Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School (Munirka). They burnt school buses and parts of the school building. He was reportedly involved in looting and beating of Sikhs that carried on throughout the night on November 1. List is too long and justice is too short.

Irony is that, entire establishment and government bodies, volunteered in violence, there are many questions yet to be answered. For example, who ordered around 46 Indian Railway trains to stop and allow the death squads to hunt down Sikhs? Who ordered the Fire Brigade not to save Sikh property? Who gave the order for the police to travel through areas spreading rumours that Sikhs had poisoned Delhi’s water supply and trains arriving from the Punjab were filled with Hindu bodies? Who ordered Medical staff in hospitals not to treat Sikhs? Who authorized the use of Delhi Transportation Company buses to transport the mobs? Who supplied the mobs with money and weapons? Who was involved in the pre-planning, possibly months before the assassination? Was the government aware leaders of Congress (I) & the Police met on night of October 31? Who authorised the use of government-issued voter and ration lists, which were used to identify Sikh homes? Why were Doordarshan TV and All India Radio allowed to repeatedly broadcast crowds chanting anti-Sikh slogans? 

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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