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Nanavati Report - Politicians 'incited' Sikh riots!!!

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Politicians 'incited' Sikh riots

An Indian government inquiry into the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 has said that some Congress party leaders incited mobs to attack Sikhs.

The riots were sparked by the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984.

More than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the rioting.

The inquiry was begun in 2000 amid dissatisfaction, particularly among Sikhs, with previous investigations.

The latest inquiry also severely criticises the police for failing to act in the riots.

'Credible evidence'

The 339-page inquiry report by former Supreme Court judge, GT Nanavati, was tabled in parliament on Monday.

It said that recorded accounts from witnesses and victims of the rioting "indicate that local Congress leaders and workers had either incited or helped the mobs in attacking the Sikhs".

The investigation found "credible evidence" against Congress federal minister Jagdish Tytler "to the effect that very probably he had a hand in organising attacks on Sikhs".

The inquiry recommended further investigation into Mr Tytler's role.

But an "action taken report" by the government which was also tabled in parliament, said the inquiry "was not absolutely sure about [Mr Tytler's] involvement in the attack".

"It may be pointed out that in criminal cases, a person cannot be prosecuted simply on the basis of 'probability'," it said.

The investigation also found "credible evidence" against Congress leader, Dharam Das Shastri, in instigating an attack on Sikhs in his area.

It also recommended examination of some cases against another Congress leader, Sajjan Kumar, for his alleged involvement in the rioting.

Mr Kumar had been cleared of leading a mob by a sessions court in Delhi in 2002 because of lack of evidence.

The inquiry said there was "absolutely no evidence" suggesting that Mrs Gandhi's son, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, or "any other high ranking Congress leader had suggested or organised attacks on Sikhs".

The report said that the police "remained passive and did not provide protection to the people" during the riots.

"There was a colossal failure of the maintenance of law and order," the report said.

Relatives of the victims of the riots who spoke to BBC were sceptical about the investigation.

"What is the use of this report? It practically exonerates most of the Congress leaders we had accused of leading the mobs. Nothing will happen to the big leaders," said Gurdip Singh, whose father Harbhajan, was killed by the rioters.

The inquiry is the latest in a number of investigations that have been launched into the riots, including one to report on the ongoing investigations.


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