Monday, November 29, 1999

`Amarinder`s statement on 1984 riots contrary to facts`

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New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has not spoken the truth in exonerating his Congress colleagues Jagdish Tytler and Kamal Nath of alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, according to a lawyer of the carnage victims.'Amarinder Singh's statement is contrary to facts. I am surprised because I know his views regarding these cases were different when he was the convener of the forum that started legal battle against Tytler,' said H.S. Phoolka, a Delhi High Court lawyer who has spearheaded a long-drawn-out campaign for justice for the victims of the 1984 carnage that followed the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.Phoolka said the forum that was formed in 1985 had given 'me instructions to vehemently pursue the case against Jagdish Tytler'.'This was during the period when you were the convener,' Phoolka said in a letter to Amarinder Singh, who in an interview to a national daily Sunday said Tytler and Kamal Nath were not involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots.But the victims' lawyer insists that the former chief minister was not speaking with a clear conscience.'You have mentioned that Nov 2 (1984), you visited Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib and the people named other Congress leaders and not Jagdish Tytler. (But) riots were still going on in that area on Nov 2. There was no relief camp at the gurdwara. The people, who were held up inside the gurdwara were worried about their own lives,' he said in the letter.Denying that Kamal Nath's name had figured in the riot cases suddenly, as Singh said in his interview, Phoolka said: 'Let me remind you that Kamal Nath's name figured in the Indian Express Nov 2, 1984, and in the Statesman Nov 3, 1984.''The employees of the gurdwara have named Kamal Nath. The police records also show the presence of Kamal Nath at the gurdwara Nov 1, 1984,' the lawyer said in the letter, asking Amarinder to immediately withdraw his statement.'This statement coming from a Sikh leader of your stature, would seriously hamper the campaign for justice,' he said.

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