BJP demands UPA’s statement on anti-Sikh riots’ witness issue

November 30th, 2007 - 7:14 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 30 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today demanded a statement from the UPA government on media reports of a key witness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that he was very much traceable after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) decided to close the case against former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler.
Raising the matter in the Parliament, BJP’s Ravishankar Prasad said, “Since the minister, under whom CBI comes, is present in the house he should make a statement.”
A Delhi court is likely to scrutinise the CBI’s decision to close its case against Tytler in the riots case.
The CBI in its chargesheet of September 29 claimed that Jasbir Singh, who had allegedly heard Tytler inciting a mob for killing Sikhs, could not be examined as he was currently settled in the US, and his whereabouts were not known.
Two Sikh organisations - Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee and November ‘84 Carnage Justice Committee - had on October 4 moved an application seeking a copy of the said chargesheet, so as to aid them in filing a petition against the agency’s claim.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Sanjeev Jain directed senior counsel H S Phoolka, representing the Sikh bodies, to furnish address of Singh as he claimed that the witness had expressed a desire to come forward and record his testimony in the case.
“As I understand, you rely upon the testimony of Jasbir Singh. Give me his address and I would direct the CBI to trace him,” the ACMM said, while directing the counsel to furnish the address of Singh on December 6.
According to the chargesheet, Singh in his affidavit before the Nanavati Commission on August 31, 2000 had averred that “he had overheard Tytler rebuking his men on the night of November 3, 1984 … for nominal killing of Sikhs in his constituency.”
The court, however, did not accede to the request of the counsel for copy of the chargesheet. It had issued a notice to the agency on application of counsel. The CBI raised its objections submitting there was no provision of law which entitled a “third party” such copies.
The case relates to an incident on November 1, 1984 — in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi — when a mob of angry protesters set afire Gurdwara Pulbangash, killing three persons. (ANI)

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