Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31 and the day after that, anti-Sikh riots broke out in Delhi and other parts of the country.
A few years ago, ‘When a tree shuk delhi’ was printed on a look at these riots.
There is a series of rumors about the horrors of the riots, the casualties and the pain of their families and the alliance of the police with the politicians.
“When Indira ji was assassinated, there were some riots in our country, we know how much anger has come to the people of India, how bad the anger came and for a few days people felt that India is shaking. If a big tree falls, then the earth shakes a bit. ”
November 19, 1984: These words were said in front of the people who gathered in the boat club, the son of Rajiv Gandhi, the then prime minister and successor of Indira Gandhi.
There was no mention of thousands of Sikhs who became orphans and homeless, but these statements were like sprinkling salt on their wounds.
This message came from- ‘It was as if trying to justify these killings.’ This statement made a lot of sensation at that time and Congress party has to make a lot of efforts to justify it.
Party leader Salman Khursheed says, “What is the reason for this and what other reason it was said, it can be asked only by the person who says what. Understand what the understanders understand, on time, on the context, in mind about it What is it, depends on it. ”
Khurshid says, “I knew Rajivji, my late leader, a person of sensitive and generous character. I do not believe that he would have said such a thing in a narrow way.”
He says, “Even then, if he was a Rajiv, then he himself said that I did not want to say this, there is so much sorrow in my mind too, I was also sitting at the loss of somebody. I know that What is the pain of losing. ”
Violence started at the time when the news of Indira Gandhi’s assassination was heard, then the then President Giani Zail Singh returned to Delhi after completing his travel time of Northern Yemen.
When Jhel Singh was going to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to visit Indira Gandhi from the airport, then the attack on his motor convoy near RK Puram was attacked.
Tarlochan Singh was then the press officer who later became the Chairman of the National Minorities Commission.
He said, “Giani went straight to AIIMS from the airport and his car was at the front, behind him was the secretary and my car behind him.
Tarlochan explains, “Some people came with burning torches in front of my car and the torches were thrown over us. But the driver saved me somehow and brought me to the house.”
He says, “As soon as the wise Giani came down from AIIMS by sighting Indira, people surrounded him and tried to stop his car. The security personnel of Giani ji kept them safe from there after a lot of hardships.”
This was the beginning. No one had imagined what was going to happen with the Sikhs in the next two days.
On November 2, 1984: Indian Express correspondent Rahul Bedi was sitting in his office. They came to know that there was murder in Block No. 32 of Trilokpuri.
Bedi explains, “A person named Mohan Singh came to our office and told me that there is slaughter in Trilokpuri, after which I went there with my two companions, but no one has allowed us to reach there because through that block Thousands of people were gathered. ”
Bedi explains, “When we reached there in the evening, we saw that the body and limbs of the people were scattered in some 2.5 yards long street, the condition was that it was also difficult to walk in that street. Was not replaced
Says Bedi, “Women and children were not left in. Later, it was known that 320 people were murdered, I could never forget that terrible thing, it was the time of seven to seven o’clock in the evening. 8-10 thousand people were surrounded. However, there was a siren in all around. ”
Police roles doubtful
Another accident happened with the Indian Air Force’s Group Captain Manmohan Veer Singh Talwar, who had been honored with the Mahavir Chakra in 1971. A crowd of five thousand people surrounded their house and set fire to it.
Even after our great efforts, the sword was not ready to tell us that “do not abuse old wounds.”
Yes, nowadays Jasvir Singh, who lives in California, USA, narrated his story.
Jasvir explains, “I had a joint family in Shahdara crossing Yamuna, 26 people of the family were murdered, ask our mothers and sisters how they have been living the life of widows for 33 years.”
Jasveer says, “Our family killed the whole family in the family. The father’s head was raised from the head of the child. Someone became a liar, someone got addicted to the smack.”
Raising the biggest question on the role of the police. Police not only ignored complaints, but in many cases cooperated with the crowd in the attacks on Sikhs.
Harvinder Singh Foolka, co-author of “When a Tree Shuk Delhi”, a lawyer fighting on behalf of the Sikhs after the riots, says, “The police acted against them instead of saving the Sikhs.”
“At Kalyanpuri police station, about 600 people were killed and most of the killings took place on November 1. Police detained 25 people there and all were Sikhs,” Foolka said.
They say, “No one was arrested except on November 2 and so much so that the police caught the Sikhs and handed them over to the crowd.”
‘Was there any plan’
The question arises that all this happened suddenly or there was a plan for it.
Manoj Mitta, author of the book, believes that everything happened at the behest of political leaders.
There was sporadic violence on the first day i.e. on October 31, but what happened on November 1 and 2 could not have happened without any plan.
Mitta says, “On the day that Indira Gandhi was assassinated, you can say natural things that happened on that day, but on that day no Sikh was murdered.”
They say, “The beginning of the murder took place after the whole 24 hours i.e. the following day, one day.”
Mita says, “Leaders held meetings in their respective areas and the next day people came out with full preparations with weapons, the police was ignoring them and helping them.”
Harvinder Singh Foolka also argues that the manner in which these incidents were executed clearly shows that everything was planned.
They said, “The crowd had a list of who had a Sikh in which house they were provided thousands of liters of kerosene, and the flammable powder was given to them, which were in the hands of the iron rods, Had been. ”
Game of politicians
One question arises that why did the police do this? Why did not he fulfill his duty? After all why police became a toy in the hands of politicians.
Senior police officer Ved Marwah was given the responsibility of investigating the role of police in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
They say, “Police are like a tool and you can use it as you like, the police officers who are too ambitious see what politicians want from them, they understand things in gestures. There is no need to give an oral order. ”
He explains, “In areas where there was no puppet on the gestures of police leaders, the situation remained under control, for example, there is such a large gurdwara in Chandni Chowk, where no one’s life was harmed, because at that time Maxwell Pereira was Deputy Commissioner of Police. He made sure that there was no disturbance in the Chandni Chowk. There was a disturbance in the police station where the police started knocking in front of the pressure of politics.
21 years after the riots, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologized for this in Parliament and said that whatever happened, his head leaned towards shame.
But the government’s duty was fulfilled only by saying so? Did this erase the memories of India’s worst execution?
Salman Khurshid, senior Congress leader, says, “The answer can only be given to those who expect justice. I can say that if justice has been received, then they will say that where you have seen pain, how can you say that justice is achieved? Or did not get that? The one who has hurt, the one who has been hurt, can give the answer. ”
Even after 1984 the riots in India have not stopped. Bhagalpur riots of year 1988, Mumbai riots of 1992-93 and the 2002 riots of 2002
But how many people are punished for riots? This is probably the reason why such incidents happen in today’s India