1984 riots victim seeks deeper probe against Tytler

The widow of one of the men killed during the anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi has asked a Delhi court to order further investigation into the alleged role of former Congress MP Jagdish Tytler in the attack on Gurdwara Pul Bangash where three men were killed by a mob on November 1, 1984.

During arguments in the court of additional sessions judge Anuradha Shukla on Tuesday, advocate H S Phoolka said while the CBI closure report in the case stated that Tytler was present at Teen Murti Bhavan with senior officials and politicians, the CBI had not questioned any person to establish that he was actually present there.

The case against Tytler was filed in 2005 in accordance with the recommendation of the Nanavati commission. In 2008, the CBI filed a closure report stating that a video CD submitted by Tytler showed that he had not been present at the scene of the crime but was at Teen Murti Bhavan with Indira Gandhi's body.

The protest petition filed by Lakhvinder Kaur against the report points out that the CD did not contain any date or time at which the video was shot, and the other persons visible in the CD had not been questioned to verify the duration of Tytler's alleged presence at Teen Murti Bhavan.

"Indira Gandhi's former secretary R K Dhawan, former additional commissioner of police Gautam Kaul and film actor Amitabh Bachchan are also seen near the place where Tytler is shown to be standing. These three persons are natural witnesses to prove the genuineness and reliability of the undated and untimed CD. Why were they not examined by the CBI," Phoolka said.

He argued that the CBI also failed to record the testimony of Resham Singh who in 2008, sent a letter via a US-based attorney, that he had been present at Gurdwara Pul Bangash and had seen Tytler "instigating" the mob with slogans on November 1.

Singh had relocated to California and had expressed his willingness to get his statement recorded by the CBI.

Phoolka told the court that a special team of the CBI, which had been sent to New York to record the statements of witnesses in December 2008, had been approached by Singh's attorney but did not record his statement.

"Resham Singh and his lawyer Gurpatwant Singh have sent letters and emails to CBI stating his willingness to record his statement. The lawyer even met CBI SP Sanjay Ratan during the time that the CBI team was in New York, but the team did not record his testimony on the ground that they had been ordered to record statements of only two witnesses," said Phoolka who produced copies of the letters and emails in court.

The court will hear further arguments from the petitioner on February 19.

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