An interview he gave to a Punjabi TV channel this week to plead his “innocence” in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has landed senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in fresh trouble.
In the interview telecast on ABP Sanjha on Thursday, Tytler is heard saying he wrote a letter to the Akal Takht, the highest temporal body of the Sikhs, to clarify his position.
The Akal Takht has, however, denied receiving any letter from Tytler.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer HS Phoolka, who has been fighting cases of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, too went on air on Thursday, saying he had sought an appointment with Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh to present “proof” against Tytler.
However, speaking to HT over phone on Friday, Tytler denied having written any apology letter. “Two years ago, at the behest of a Sikh gentleman from California, who told me I should clarify my position to the Akal Takht, I handed him a letter addressed to the Akal Takht explaining I was not guilty. I had written that I belong to a Sikh family and was in Amethi the day former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated. The next day I was with her body for several hours when people were paying their last respects and it was telecast on Doordarshan,” he said.
Being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation for his role in leading mobs that attacked Delhi’s gurdwara Pulbangash on November 1, 1984, in which three Sikhs were burnt alive, Tytler accused Phoolka of spreading “white lies”.
“He is doing it to bolster his prospects to become the Punjab chief minister. I had agreed to be interviewed by a Punjabi news channel to clear my name and said only if I am proved guilty, will I seek forgiveness,” Tytler claimed.
Phoolka, on his part, contends that Tytler himself mentioned about writing to the Akal Takht in his interview to ABP Sanjha. “The promos showed him saying he is ready to seek forgiveness, to which I had reacted. I don’t know the contents of the letter. I had sought time from the Akal Takht head and was told I could meet him today (on Friday) in New Delhi. But it was cancelled and I have been informed that I would be given time to meet him at Amritsar next week,” Phoolka said.