1984 riots: CBI earns rap for delay in tracing Canada witness
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was pulled up by a Delhi court on Wednesday for the delay in contacting Canadian authorities for tracing a witness of a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was earlier given a clean chit.
The agency delayed writing a letter to the Canadian government seeking details of Narinder Singh, son of a prime witness against Tytler, which it did only on September 8 even though the order to do so was given on July 11. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Shivali Sharma asked the CBI’s superintendent of police, who is supervising the probe, to appear before the court on October 25 to apprise it about the status of investigation.
On CBI’s reluctance in seeking the help of complainant and senior advocate HS Phoolka, who represents the riot victims, in tracing Narinder and other foreign-based witnesses, the court asked, “What is the harm in seeking their help if they can help in expediting the process?” Phoolka is at present also a candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the Punjab assembly polls due early next year.
The CBI, however, said its domestic probe was almost done and it would take some time to complete offshore investigation. “We have made all possible efforts to trace Narinder but he could not be contacted. We have tried his mobile number several times but nobody picks up the call,” the prosecutor said, adding that CBI has also taken help of foreign agencies.
Prosecutor NK Srivastava said they had contacted the Interpol authorities for tracing Narinder but they had asked them to contact the Canadian government.