February 12, 2015 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi: Indian government is reportedly all set to form another probe panel to “re-investigate” November 1984 Sikh massacre related cases in Delhi. It will be 12th such panel constituted by the Indian government in last 30 days. As previous 11 commissions/ committees were unable to bring the main culprits of November 1984 Sikh massacres to punishment, the effectiveness of another panel remains under question.
The demand for formation of Special Investigation Team (SIT) was raised by certain Sikh circles and Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had recommended formation of SIT during his 49 day terms in 2013-14.
The issue was later picked up by Narendra Modi led BJP government that had constituted a committee chaired by retired SC judge GP Mathur to look into “viability” of SIT. After receiving “positive” report from the Mathur Committee the BJP government has reportedly decided to for SIT. Media reports say that the SIT will be set up in a week and its final modalities are being worked out.
The special probe team is likely to be headed by an officer who will have powers of investigation granted to the police under the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC). The SIT will have powers to summon all records and its work will not be recommendatory in nature. It will also have powers to file chargesheets in court. The SIT can be monitored by a sitting judge if the government desires.
As per government records 3,325 Sikhs were killed in various massacres that took place after assassination of the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Govt. records say that 2,733 Sikhs were killed in Delhi alone. However this data is contested by various human rights organizations and Sikh bodies, who say that around 10 thousand people were massacred throughout Indian subcontinent during the Sikh genocide of November 1984.
It is notable that the Ranganath Mishra commission – the first one set up to probe the killings — was given names, addresses and complete details of 3,870 people killed in Delhi. But the police said 1,419 were killed. The Delhi government filed a list of 2,300 people killed. A separate committee later established that 2,773 people died in Delhi alone.
In Delhi, 587 cases were registered, of which 237 were closed by the police and marked as “untraced”.
In 2005, the GT Nanavati Commission indicted Jagdish Tytler. He resigned as Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs. The government asked CBI to re-investigate the cases. The Nanavati Commission found that there was a colossal failure in maintenance of law and order in Delhi during the genocidal massacres. It expressed dissatisfaction with the then Lt Governor PG Gavai and the then Police Commissioner SC Tandon. The latter, said the commission, did not take strict action against the defaulting police officers nor did he give them directions to be strict with the marauding mobs.
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