Kill Sikhs, they have killed our mother, Tytler told mob”: Witnesses

“Kill the Sikhs….they have killed our mother,” Congress leader Jagdish Tytler shouted, as he came out of a white ambassador car that pulled up in front of Gurudwara Pul Bangash on November 1, 1984. Soon, three people at the Sikh shrine lay sprawled, dead.

The statement is part of a supplementary charge sheet filed against the former Union minister which led to his appearance, for the first time, Saturday before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidhi Gupta Anand as an accused in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Three people were killed and a gurdwara was set ablaze in the Pul Bangash area in New Delhi on November 1, 1984, a day after the then prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.

One of the statements claims that after alighting from the car, Tytler rebuked his supporters assembled there, saying, “I had completely assured you that nothing would affect (harm) you. You just kill the Sikhs.”

“Accused further said that despite this, least number (very few) of Sikhs have been killed due to which he has been put to shame. He also said that there has been only nominal killing in his constituencies (assembly constituencies under his Delhi Sadar Lok Sabha seat) compared to East Delhi and North Delhi, and thereafter he left in a huff,” the statement said.

Some of the witnesses claimed though they did not hear what exactly Tytler told the mob, people gathered there “became violent after that (i.e. after the visit of accused) and began to attack the Gurudwara Pul Bangash and set it on fire.”

Most witnesses said they failed to hear what Tytler told the mob but they saw him alight from the car and make a speech that triggered the rampage.

Another statement claimed that on November 3, 1984 Tytler went to a hospital in the national capital and rebuked a group of people gathered there, saying his instructions had not been followed “faithfully”.

“Accused Jagdish Tyler also said that his position has been greatly compromised and lowered in the eyes of central leaders. As per this affidavit, accused told the persons present there that only nominal killing of Sikhs has taken place in his constituency as compared to East Delhi, Outer Delhi Cantt. etc.

“Tytler also said that he had promised large-scale killing of Sikhs and promised full protection but you (people) have betrayed me (Tytler) and let me down,” the charge sheet said, quoting the statement of one of the witnesses.

The final report by the CBI said it also included the statements of witnesses who claimed they had not named Tytler, or retracted their statements naming him, because they were “under threat from Tytler”.

“In view of the facts and circumstances mentioned above, it is submitted that during investigation sufficient evidence have come on record that the accused Jagdish Tytler was part of the unlawful assembly committing rioting that had assembled near Gurudawara Pul Bangash on November 1, 1984, violating the prohibitory orders…

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“(He), instigated, incited, provoked the mob to kill the Sikhs which resulted in Gurudwara Pul Bangash being set on fire by the mob and killing of three persons belonging to Sikh community and also promoted enmity between different religious groups,” the CBI said in the charge sheet.

The court on Saturday accepted the bail bond furnished by Jagdish Tytler in connection with the case, noting that he has already been granted anticipatory bail by a sessions court.

A sessions court had on Friday granted anticipatory bail to Tytler in the case on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and surety of the like amount.

The court had also imposed certain conditions on Tytler for bail, including that he will not tamper with the evidence or leave the country without its permission.

The CBI has invoked charges under Sections 147 (rioting), 109 (abetment) read with 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), among others, against Tytler. 

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