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’84 riot witness wants to expose Tytler

india Updated: Nov 03, 2007 02:22 IST
Naziya Alvi
Naziya Alvi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

A month ago the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) gave former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler a clean chit in the 1984 riots case, arguing that a ‘crucial witness’ was abroad and could not be examined. But Jasbir Singh, the ‘crucial’ witness, has come forward to depose against Tytler if police protection is ensured for him and his family.

“I would have deposed long back had CBI offered to give us protection”, Singh told HT over phone from New York. He said he left India after being threatened by Tytler and Congress workers considered close to him. When contacted, Tytler said: “This is all nonsense. Jasbir Singh had tried to produce false evidence against me twice in the past but failed. This is his new trick.”

Before leaving India in 2002, the key CBI witness said he was offered money to keep mum on the entire affair. His father and in-laws, who stayed back, were also enticed, he said. “I was threatened after I gave an affidavit describing Tytler as one of the leading conspirators and masterminds of the 1984 massacre.” Continued on Page 6

In the course of the riots that began within hours of Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984, Jasbir charged he heard Tytler expressing disappointment over “nominal killings” of Sikhs in his Delhi Sadar constituency in comparison to East Delhi and Outer Delhi.

Jasbir said 21 members of his family were killed. “One of my cousins was found murdered in 1986 after his mother-in-law agreed to depose against senior Congress leaders,” he said, adding he was worried about his family members in India who are still hounded and cannot trust the police and the CBI. The 1986 murder haunted them each time they thought of sharing Jasbir’s whereabouts with the investigators.

Jasbir says he has furnished two affidavits before the Jain-Aggarwal Committee and the Nanavati Commission on Tytler’s role in the case. He is ready now with the third affidavit, a copy of which he faxed to HT from New York.

What third affidavit says…

“On November 1, 1984, a mob came to our house. The mob was carrying kerosene oil. They burnt our house. We then moved to another house. When the mob was about to burn this house too, my uncle came out and engaged them for a while. While he collapsed we were able to escape. I immediately got my hair cut. I then fell in love with one Sucha Singh who offered me a job at his dairy. On November 3, I moved to his house in Outram Lane. Around 11 p.m., I noticed a group of people standing near TB Hospital gate. When I went close a car arrived. Tytler stepped out of it.... Tytler rebuked the persons forming the group saying they failed to follow his instructions. There have been only nominal killings in his constituency compared to East Delhi, outer Delhi, and Cantt. “How would I be able to claim stakes in future? I had promised large-scale killings of Sikh and sought full protection, but you have betrayed and let me down,” saying this he left.

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