GOVERNMENT ORGANISED CARNAGE [Sarkari Qatl-e-Aam]
P.V. NARASIMHA RAO : THE KINGPIN BEHIND THE CONSPIRACY
Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao was among the privileged three who were installed as union ministers in Mr Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet along with him as prime minister. The reason why he was given home ministry, the second most important portfolio in the union cabinet, was his vast political experienced, both in party and government affairs. The law and order situation went out of control immediately in the wake of Mrs. Gandhi’s assassination. This is something that was obvious to anyone who passed by AIIMS, where she was taken after being shot. The shape of things to come was clear to anybody who cared to see when Sikhs began to be attacked outside AIIMS on the very evening of her assassination.
Presumably, a mini union cabinet was installed by the prime minister to deal with the aftermath of the killing. Why did Mr Rao not call the army that day itself? Why did he not nip the violence in the bud? It is not as though Mr Rao was unaware of the ground situation. His inaction is criminal enough but to presume that he was ignorant about the violence would be to make a mockery of the very institution of governance.
However, even presuming that Mr. Rao was too busy and removed form the situation on the ground and presuming that the entire law and order machinery under him (the Delhi police is part of it) was also unaware of the goings-on, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and another eminent member of parliament informed Mr.Rao about the happenings within hours. They expressed their concern about the situation and asked him to act upon it. Mr. Rao’s reply to all of them was that the situation is under control. Of course, the opposition leaders at that time had no clue as to what he meant by that and it is only later that everybody realised the meaning. The situation was under the control of Congress (I) killers.
Late night on October 31, Mr Rao discussed that law and order scene in the Capital elsewhere in the country with top officials of his ministry but no step to contain the violence was taken as a follow-up.
On November 1, at 5 p.m. , a senior opposition parliamentarian informed Mr.Rao about the need to call the army. At night, when the whole of Delhi was burning, a delegation of the opposition leaders met him and apprised him the situation, emphasising the need to call the army. Mr. Rao’s response was an assurance that curfew will be imposed and army will be called.
On November 2, some opposition leaders again approached the home minister to provide security to Sikh train passengers because, by then, the reports of anti-Sikh violence in trains passing through Delhi had started coming. Mr Rao did nothing. The result was the butchering of Sikh in trains and on railway platforms.
The same night, when some MPs tried to contact Mr Rao again, he made himself unavailable.
It is evident from all these facts that Mr. Rao had no intention to contain the situation. On the other hand, he seems to have deliberately allowed the violence to go on and on, thus becoming the master of ceremonies in the conspiracy to exterminate Sikhs.
It is Mr. Rao people like him, in the higher echelons of power, who were responsible for the genocide of Sikhs, right from the planning to the execution state.
Pick up any part of Delhi and any Congress (I) state, the pattern of violence was the same, which underlines the skill and attention to detail behind it. More than that, the organisation of such well-timed and large-scale violence could not have been possible without the direct involvement of the political powers that be. Mr Rao was among the few such powerful people at whom one can point an accusing finger without the risk of contradiction. But, he was not alone. He could not have been alone. His misfortune is that he was the visible face of the forces who hatched and executed the anti-Sikh plot.
In the preceding chapters, there are many pointers to the direct and indirect involvement of the political big-wigs. Here are a few more:
The signboards on the Sikh-owned shops and factories were not graphic; they were written, in Hindi and English. The mobs who attacked them were not only poor but also unlettered. They were not from the same areas. So, who identified these establishment as targets of violence?
The mobs were led by well-known Congress I leaders and workers. The state-owned, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses were used to transport mobs from one place to another. With whose sanction?
The then home secretary, the senior most bureaucrat in the home ministry, Mr. M K Wali, who had just presided over the killings of thousands of Sikhs, was given the responsibility of supervising the relief work, among other duties as Delhi’s Lt. Governor replacing Mr P G Gavai. It is difficult to figure out who, between the two of them, was being rewarded, or, was it punishment? There is no way to tell.
On November 2, when the anti-Sikh violence was at its peak, Mr Gavai told journalists that the situation is under control.
So, from Mr Rao to the home secretary to the Lt. Governor down to the police chief, the response to the unprecedented violence was uniform. If that is not indication enough of the organised way in which the killing were carried out, nothing else could be it.