The gang burned at least two Sikhs alive during attacks that day – Kamal Nath was party to this.
The following information has primarily been compiled from Ensaaf’s report Twenty Years of Impunity: The November 1984 Pogroms of Sikhs in India (2nd Ed., Ensaaf: 2006), available at Ensaaf's website.
Kamal Nath currently serves as India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry.
Allegations against Kamal Nath
On October 31, 1984, two of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguards assassinated her. From November 1 to 4, Indian state institutions, such as the Delhi Police, and Congress (I) officials perpetrated mass murder of Sikhs and later justified the violence in inquiry proceedings.
When Indian Express reporter Monish Sanjay Suri went to Gurudwara Rakab Ganj in Delhi around 4 p.m. on November 1, he saw Additional Commissioner of Police Gautum Kaul standing on one side as Congress (I) leader Kamal Nath led a mob of 4000 people. In an affidavit to a government inquiry commission, Suri stated:
Outside the Gurdwara I saw a crowd of about 4,000 men led by Congress-I leader Kamal Nath. At the time I went there the crowd was on the road. Some were making weak attempts to enter the Gurdwara, but the Congress-I M.P. and other leaders of the same party who were with him were keeping them under some control….Leaders of the crowd seemed fully in charge. At one point a group charged towards the Gurdwara gate to a side near which Mr. Kaul stood. But seeing them he [Kaul] retreated instead of checking them.
The gang burned at least two Sikhs alive during attacks that day. (46) In their book, When a Tree Shook Delhi, reporter Manoj Mitta and attorney H.S. Phoolka, write: “Further, when he deposed orally in 2001 before the Nanavati Commission, Suri said that Kamal Nath ‘was controlling the crowd and the crowd was looking to him for directions’ and that even in the leader’s presence ‘some mobs had charged at the Gurdwara.’”
The Nanavati Commission
As discussed in detail in Twenty Years of Impunity, various government committees and commissions have whitewashed the massacres.
On May 8, 2000, the Government of India appointed the latest inquiry commission, the Nanavati Commission of Inquiry, to examine the massacres of Sikhs in November 1984. (130) The major failings of the Nanavati Commission’s report include its:
·Incomplete and understated description of the massacres;
·Use of euphemisms and imprecise and legally irrelevant language when stating findings against perpetrators;
·Limitation of the inquiry to Delhi alone; and
·Failure to identify the organizers of the massacres. (131)
For example, even after acknowledging that the massacres were organized, Justice Nanavati omitted mention of crucial evidence that demonstrated the organized nature of the attack on the Sikh community, such as: the use of government-issued voter and ration lists to identify Sikh residences and businesses; the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib and the forced removal of Sikh articles of faith; the refusal of medical care; the systematic disabling and neutralization of police officers who attempted to quell the massacres; and the manipulation of police records by senior officers in order to destroy any paper trail of the violence and shield criminals from the possibility of effective prosecutions. (132)
In 2003, the Nanavati Commission issued notice to Kamal Nath that it was likely to issue negative findings against him. (95, 96) Nath denied inciting the mob to attack Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, maintaining he was attempting to disperse the mob instead. (96) Ultimately, Nanavati discounted the two witness affidavits, and therefore stated that he could not reach a conclusion on Kamal Nath’s role in the attack on Gurdwara Rakab Ganj. Justice Nanavati disposed of Indian Express reporter Monish Sanjay Suri’s affidavit because of a slight discrepancy in his stated time of arrival, between his original affidavit (4 p.m.), and his testimony over 20 years later before the Commission (between 2 and 4 p.m.). However, Justice Nanavati did not apply the same logic to the accused Kamal Nath’s affidavit. There, he acknowledged that Nath’s reply was “vague,” gave no information on when Nath got to the Gurdwara and for how long Nath stayed, failed to explain why Nath did not contact the police to quell the violence, but in the end allowed for the lapse of over two decades: “At the same time it is also required to be considered that he was called upon to give an explanation after about 20 years and probably for that reason he was not able to give more details as regards when and how he went there and what he did.” (fn 900)
New York, USA: Kamal Nath MP and Union Minister of India for Road and Transport who is currently in United States to attract investors and met World Bank officials and other investors was indicted by the Nanavati Commission on allegations that he lead the mob that killed Sikhs during November 1984 massacre of Sikhs.
The Commission established by the Indian Government in 2000 to investigate the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots in which thousands of Sikhs were massacred was headed by G.T. Nanavati, retired Justice of Supreme Court of India. Witnesses Monish Sanjay Suri a reputable journalist, Mukhtiar Singh manager of the Gurdawara, Ajit Singh, and Satnam Singh testified that Kamal Nath lead an armed mob that attacked and demolished Gurudwara in Rakab Ganj in November 1984. In that incident several Sikhs were burnt alive by the mob lead by Kamal Nath. Others against whom credible witnesses, testimony and evidence of involvement has been found are Jagdish Tytler who was till recently a Congress (I) MP and union minister; Sajjan Kumar another Congress (I) MP and Amitabh Bachan a very well known movie star. Bachan was seen by thousands of people on National TV inciting the viewers to kills Sikhs with statements such as “Blood for Blood” on October 31, 1984.
According to attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and advocate Navkiran Singh, legal advisors for Sikhs for Justice a NY based human rights advocacy group although Kamal Nath was indicted by the high ranking investigation commission headed by Justice G.T. Nanavati in 2005, the Indian Government and its prosecuting agencies failed to file any charges or prosecute Kamal Nath and instead he was rewarded with a cabinet post. Attorney Pannun stated that US Immigration and Nationality Law which governs the entry of foreign nationals to the US prohibits issuance of Visa and admission to US of individuals with known history of human rights violations.
Attorney Pannun further stated their organization will file an official protest with Secretary US Department of State, US Attorney General and US Department of Homeland Security and will lobby to stop visits of Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and Amitabh Bachan, known human rights violators and killers of hundreds of Sikhs to the US. In the past Indian politicians such as Narendra Modi, sitting Chief Minister of Indian state of Gujarat who was involved in the killing of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 was twice refused visa and entry into US.
As per April 2009 Amnesty International Report twenty-five years after the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in India, following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, the country’s government has failed to bring to justice those responsible. Sikh massacre victims await justice in India, 25 years on | Amnesty International (As stated in the report by Ramesh Gopalkrishan, Amnesty International’s South Asia Researcher “The CBI’s admission of failure to gather sufficient evidence could very possibly lead to the court clearing Tytler of all charges – in effect, ending the judicial process against any of those accused of responsibility for the 1984 massacres,”).
Sikhs For Justice, a New York based human rights group is campaigning to get justice for November 1984 victims with the support of All India Sikhs Students Federation, President Karnail Singh Peermohammad.
Source: Punjab Newsline