Date: 08 Nov 2006


COMEBACK POLITICIANS: Sajjan Kumar (left) and Jagdish Tytler may get a chance to return to power.

New Delhi: Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar who were accused of involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots may soon come out clean.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says there is little proof 
against Tytler and Kumar—a fact that may put the two men off the hook 
and could lead to their political rehabilitation as well.

Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were massacred in systematic riots, which started 
after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her 
Sikh security guards on October 31, 1984. It's alleged that the riots 
were planned and led by Congress activists.

Tytler and Kumar were accused of instigating rioters in Delhi, but 22 
years later the CBI's investigations have reached a dead-end and the 
agency is finding it very difficult to take their investigations 

The Justice Nanavati Commission which probed the riots said in 2005 
that that there is "credible evidence" against Tytler and Kumar and 
recommended further action against them.
Tytler resigned as Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs 
after the commission made its report public. The report also led to 
the Government asking the CBI to investigate seven riot cases.

Documents available with CNN-IBN show that now, after a year, the CBI 
has reached a dead end—mainly because witnesses have either changed 
their statements, are untraceable or have died.

Riot Recall 
The anti-Sikh riots took place after the assassination of Indira 
Gandhi on October 31, 1984 in Delhi. Indira Gandhi was assassinated 
by two of her Sikh guards who were acting in retaliation to the 
Operation Bluestar at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. 
Over the next four days nearly 3,000 Sikhs were massacred in 
systematic riots allegedly planned and led by Congress activists and 
The NDA government in 2000 established the Nanavati Commission, 
headed by Justice G T Nanavati, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of 
India, to investigate the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots. 
The commission claimed evidence against Congress leader Jagdish 
Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and H K L Bhagat for instigating the mobs to 
There was widespread protest against the report as it did not mention 
clearly the role of Tytler and other Congressmen in the riots. It 
finally led to the resignation of Jagdish Tytler from the Union 
The Commission also held the then Delhi police commissioner S C 
Tandon directly responsible for the riots. 

Two witnesses had filed affidavits alleging that Tytler was involved 
in riots. Surinder Singh changed his statement several times and his 
third affidavit exonerates Tytler. Another witness, US-based Jasbir 
Singh, has declined to cooperate with investigations.

In four cases against Congress MP Sajjan Kumar, witnesses are either 
untraceable or have died. The CBI has also found out that most of the 
people who submitted affidavits before the Nanavati Commission are 
not actual eyewitnesses In a case in which Kumar was acquitted by a 
lower court, the CBI is trying to record statements afresh and gather 

The agency however says that evidence collected so far is not 
sufficient enough to prosecute the accused. Officially the CBI is 
still carrying out it's investigations, but officers say that after 
22 years they are finding it very difficult to collect fresh evidence 
against the accused. This means that though the victims of the riots 
will get financial compensation, justice might remain elusive. 

The political question now is whether the two leaders will come back 
from political oblivion and whether the Congress will rehabilitate