Kusum Lata Mittal Report
C H A P T E R – 2
N O R T H D I S T R I C T
D.C.P. : Shri S.K. SINGH: (From 28.6.83 to 18.8.86)
Addl. D.C.P. : Shri K. MAXWELL: (From 31.12.81 to 25.3.85)
2.1 North District of the Union Territory of Delhi is the largest, both in area and population. It covers part of old Delhi from Red Cross to Alipur and Narela and includes the most crowded places like the walled city, Chandni Chowk and Subzi Mandi. The area of Delhi University also falls within this District. The District is Sub-divided into the following five Sub-Divisions comprising of 15 Police Stations: –
SUB- DIVISION KOTWALI
P.S. Lahori Gate.
SUB DIVISION SUBZI MANDI
P.S. Subzi Mandi
P.S. Civil Lines
SUB DIVISION SADAR BAZAR
P.S. Sadar Bazaar
P.S. Bara Hindu Rao
P.S. Kashmere Gate
P.S. Ashok Vihar
P.S. Sarai Rohilla
P.S. Lawrence Road
SUB DIVISION KINGSWAY CAMP
P.S. Kingsway Camp
P.S. Adarsh Nagar
2.2 The trouble in this District started in the evening of 31st October 1984, particularly in Subzi Mandi area and on Bahadur Garh Road under Police Station Bara Hindu Rao. While in some Police Stations the trouble was contained as soon as it began, in a few other Police Stations the situation remained bad for more than two days and stray incidents continued to occur right up to 4th November 1984.
2.3. One of the precautionary measures of Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) after the assassination of late Prime Minister was to get in touch with the Superintendent of Police, Sonepat on 31.10.84 ( at 11.25 hrs) to ward off the entry into Delhi of Sikhs traveling by road. Besides, the SHOs of Alipur and Narela also sealed the borders fairly effectively as a result of which miscreants from outside Delhi could not enter Delhi in large numbers. Some bad characters, however, did manage to enter North Delhi by trains on 1.11.84, particularly by Jhelum Express.
2.4. While sealing of the borders was a wise decision, changing of a number of SHOs on the night of 31.10.84 and 1.11.84 and replacing them with new persons was certainly not administratively desirable. Among the SHOs changed were Inspector Gurmail Singh (Subzi Mandi), Inspector Trilok Singh (Sarai Rohilla) (both Sikh officers). Inspector Ram Gopal, SHO P.S. Lawrence Road was also replaced by Inspector Asa Ram. In addition to these SHOs, even Shri Kewal Singh, ACP, Subzi Mandi (another Sikh Officer) was transferred in the morning of 1st November 1984. According to the stand taken by Delhi Administrator before Justice Misra Commission, these officers were transferred under orders of Addl. Commissioner of Police Shri H.C. Jatav through D.C.P. (North). The changes at this crucial stage do not appear to be an act of administrative wisdom. If the intention was to remove the Sikh officers, then SHOs at Alipur and Bara Hindu Rao were also Sikhs but they were not touched and both of them controlled their areas reasonably well. Besides this, the change of SHO of P.S. Lawrence Road, who was not a Sikh and was being replaced by another at this critical juncture, was definitely not administratively proper. The new SHO – Inspector Asa Ram has himself admitted that he was new to the Police Station and was not even well aware of the topography. He was therefore not effective.
2.5. The overall picture emerging from the affidavits filed before Justice Misra Commission, affidavits received by this Committee and the records of Delhi Police is that the Police Stations Subzi Mandi, Sarai Rohilla, Adarsh Nagar, Kingsway Camp and parts of Ashok Vihar and Kashmere Gate were badly affected. On the other hand, in the areas of Police Stations of Kotwali, Lahori Gate, Civil Lines, Narela, Bara Hindu Rao, police did reasonably well in controlling the riots. The other police stations can be stated to be neither good nor bad. Specific allegations against individual police personnel are comparatively few and will be discussed while dealing with the Police Station concerned.
2.6. The total number of deaths in this District, as per Ahuja Committee Report was about 151. In addition to this, there were fairly large number of incidents of arson and looting and the loss of property was quite substantial.
2.7. It is not proposed to discuss all the Police Stations in detail, but only the following Police Stations, which were badly affected: –
1. P.S. Ashok Vihar
2. P.S. Kingsway Camp
3. P.S. Adarsh Nagar
4. P.S. Subzi Mandi
5. P.S. Sarai Rohilla
2.8. The officers who have done exceptionally well and deserve to be commended are as follows: –
1. Shri Maxwell Periera, : Addl. D.C.P. (North)
2. Shri H.L. Kapoor, : ACP, Kotwali.
3. Inspector O.P. Tiwari, : SHO Kotwali
4. HC Satish Chander, No. 2/N, P.S. Kotwali.
These officers had done exceptionally good work especially in dealing with the situation outside Gurudwara Sis Ganj in P.S. Kotwali on the morning of 1st November 1984. A big crowd had collected and was indulging in arson and looting and was bent upon attacking Gurudwara Sisganj, which is one of the most sacred religious places of the Sikhs, in Delhi. To encounter the mob, Sikhs in fairly large numbers brandishing swords had come out of the Gurudwara and a confrontation was in the offing. With hardly any force with him, Shri Maxwell Periera stood between two warring groups and persuaded the Sikhs to go inside the Gurudwara. He warned the mob, trying to attack, to disperse and when he found that they were not willing to disperse and were indulging in arson and looting, he ordered H.C. Satish Chander to fire 3 rounds at the mob. As a result, one of the men in the mob dropped dead. Shri Pereira immediately announced a reward of Rs. 200/- to the Head Constable on the spot and within the hearing of the crowd. This resolute and firm stand of Shri Pereira had an instant impact and the mob dispersed. Thereafter, there was no serious incident during the entire period of riots. This incident is being g mentioned, as it proves beyond doubt that where the police officers showed the strength and the determination to check the riots, they could be really effective with very little force.
b) Besides the above, Inspector P.D. Duggal, SHO Lahori Gate Shri Khushwant Singh, SHO Bara Hindu Rao and Inspector U.C. Kataria, SHO Narela have done r4easonably well in keeping the situation under control within their jurisdiction.
(i) P.S. Lahori Gate: – On 31.10.84 when violence erupted, the SHO took effective action, fired 9 MM pistol rounds, arrested 14 persons on the spot, and registered a case of rioting and and decoity against them., Again, on 1st November, the ACP Lahori Gate and SHO resorted to firing at the mob looting shops and arrested as many as 30 people, 26 at one place and 4 at another and resisted 2 cases. Some of the culprits were arrested along with the looted property. Teargas was also quite effectively used against the rioters. As a result, not a single death was reported in this Police Station. There is no affidavit pertaining to this Police Station either in Misra Commission or before this Commission.
(ii) P.S. Bara Hindu Rao: – The first incidents of violence on the evening of 31.10.84 were dealt with effectively, where along with the PS staff, the ACP also reached and fired a number of teargas shells. As many as 14 persons, who refused to disperse even after use of teargas, were arrested on the spot and a case registered on the night of 31st October/1st November itself. On the next day, as many as 32 persons were arrested for looting and arson and a case registered for murder etc. as 2 dead bodies were also found. There was no attempt to minimize the offence. In another incident on 3.11.1984 when a huge mob was looting Azad Nagar Gurudwara, ACP reached their along with the army contingent. Firing was done by the ACP himself and one person was shot in the leg and many others injured. 6 persons were arrested on the spot along with the property looted from the Gurudwara. There are no affidavits pertaining to this Police Station, either before Justice Misra Commission or this Committee.
(iii) P.S. Narela: – Regarding this Police Station, there are no affidavits before this Committee or Justice Misra Commission. There were 6 deaths in the PS but the number would have been much more had the SHO not taken immediate preventive steps as ordered by the DCP The border with Haryana was sealed. About 100 trucks were parked with mostly Sikh drivers at the Sindhu Border petrol pump. The SHO persuaded the drivers to take the vehicles into Haryana and deployed guard at the petrol pump and this contained the trouble in this area.
(iv) In some other Police Stations though the situation was generally satisfactory, some bad incidents did take place. For example, the burning of a large number of taxis at the ISBT under P.S. Kashmere Gate. This incident has been described in the affidavit by Sri Smithu Kothari (2268). He has stated that he saw a mob of about 40 people, systematically setting fire to 20 odd taxies inside ISBT. These persons had 5 litre cans of inflammable material being used by them to set fire to the taxis. He contacted PS Civil Lines but they gave no help, as the place apparently was under a different Police Station. Sri Kothari went to ISBT again and on going around want to the Police Post at ISBT where he saw 6 Constables and an official watching the whole exercise as if it was a show. The policemen refused to take action, when asked by the deponent. The FIR registered at PS Kashmere Gate in respect of this incident (FIR No. 704 registered at 3.30 PM. On 1.11.84) narrates the events. SI Ram Singh, HC Kalloo Khan, Constable Udai Singh, Constable Yad Ram, Constable Ram Kishan were present at the departure block and went there on hearing noises. ASI Amar Nath and Constable Sunder Lal were already present there. Two Sikhs were also seriously injured who were sent to the hospital in the vehicle of Inspector Vigilance Shri Hari Bhushan who had reached there with staff.
2.9 In regard to this incident, the fact remains that the police staff at the ISBT PP took no action to prevent the burning of taxis as has been stated by Shri Smithu Kothari, an independent person who had seen the events first hand. Suitable disciplinary action needs to be taken against SI Ram Singh, who was on duty inside the ISBT. Besides this, major penalty proceedings are called for against ASI Amar Nath, who was in charge of the Police Post at ISBT, and in whose presence the taxis were burnt. The fact, that not a single person was arrested during the arson shows his indifference if not connivance. There is no point in recommending any action against the constables when the officer I/C of the PP himself was not inclined to take any steps to prevent the arson.
2.10. Regarding deployment of special Branch staff in the District, it has been found that the intelligence staff had been sending regular information regarding the various incidents of rioting and there was no attempt to cover up the events. Since the events were occurring at a very fast pace, it was apparently too much to expect any advance intelligence or forewarning by this staff. In the situation prevailing, it was enough that they were continuously passing on the information to the higher authorities as soon as any serious incident occurred at different places. There is, however, only one important event missing from their report, which pertains to the firing by the Railway Protection Force in Sarai Rohilla. However, no action against the intelligence staff attached to the District is called for, as senior officers were interested in blacking out this incident, as discussed later.
2.11. A detailed analysis of the 5 seriously affected Police Station follows:
S.H.O. : INSPECTOR YASHVIR SINGH.
2.12. Police Station Ashok Vihar covers a very wide area with mixed population of the well to do as Jhuggi-dwellers. It has an industrial area under it with a lot of labour population.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BEFORE MISRA COMMISSION
2.13. Out of the affidavits received before Misra Commission, the following 3 pertain to the incidents within the area of this Police Station. The first two have been examined in the Misra Commission.
1. SHRI MAHESH SHARMA S/o. SHRI DESRAJ SHARMA (2280): – He, a non-Sikh, has stated that a huge mob had collected in the morning at about 9.00 AM. On 1.11.84 carrying in their hands iron rods, oil cans, white powder packets, etc. They attacked house No. 617 which belonged to a Sikh and set it on fire. They also looted whatever they could lay their hands on. All the time, two policemen with revolvers are stated to be present. In his cross-examination, he has given the name of one of the two officers as Mange Ram. He has stated to have seen his name on the nameplate of this Police Officer’s uniform. According to him, the policemen appeared to be helping the mob rather then taking any action.
2. SHRI INDER SINGH S/o. SARDAR MOOL SINGH (2526):- He was a resident of House No.617, Nimri Colony which was attacked by the mob as mentioned in the earlier affidavit of Shri Mahesh Sharma. He has named a number of persons who were leading the mob and indulging in looting and arson. He has also mentioned the names of two officers Mange Ram and Raja Ram, both ASIs who were there along with the mob. Both were armed with revolvers but took no steps to stop the mob. According to him, the mob at first attacked the house of a Sikh neighbour Sardar Man Singh, resident of house No.619 in the Nimri Colony. His house is stated to have also been put on fire and burnt. According to him, ASI Mange Ram went into the house, looted the cash which was inside the safe and the deponent claims to have seen Mange Ram stuff the notes in his bag. He made a number of complaints against Mange Ram and the other police officer but no action has been taken. In his cross-examination, he has confirmed allegations made in the affidavit.
Detailed enquiries had been made by the investigating agency of Misra Commission in respect of this affidavit and a number of persons examined. The presence of ASI Mange Ram on the scene was established as indicated by Shri Mahesh Sharma and S. Inder Singh. ASI Raja Ram himself has accepted having been on duty along with the other ASI and 4 constables. During these enquiries, it has also come to light that one Ram Chand Nagoria, Vice President of the Youth Congress (I) of the East District along with a number of other non-local persons was allegedly leading the mob. This enquiry report also mentions that Ram Chand Nagoria had stated that ASI Raja Ram and ASI Mange Ram themselves indulged in the loot in the course of which the revolvers of the ASIs had apparently been snatched away by the members of the crowd when general loot was going on and the revolvers were restored to the ASI’s at the instance of Ram Chand Nagoria.
3. SHRI MADAN MOHAN S/o. SHRI JAGMOHAN NATH (2513): – He was the immediate neighbour of Sardar Inder Singh living in Quarter No.616, Nimri Colony. He has described the attack on the house of Sardar Inder Singh and has also mentioned two Police Men armed with revolvers present there along with the mob.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BEFORE THE COMMITTEE.
2.14 One affidavit of SARDAR MAN SINGHS/o. SARDAR RAM SINGH (211), Nimri Colony, has been received. It relates to the deponent’s house having been burnt as has also been stated in the affidavit of Sardar Inder Singh received in the Misra Commission, which has been discussed earlier. He has given similar details as Sardar Inder Singh and has named Mange Ram and Raja Ram ASIs who were there along with the mob. Both were stated to have been armed with revolvers.
According to the deponent, some inquiries were conducted against ASI Mange Ram by Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) who had recorded his statement but nothing further appears to have been done in the matter.
SEQUENCE OF INCIDENTS
2.15. Incidents of violence in this Police Station started mainly on the morning of 1.11.84. There were attacks on Gurudwaras and the houses of Sikhs at various places and messages in this regard were being received on wireless almost continuously. The serious incidents, according to the police records, were the burning of Gurudwara Phase I Ashok Vihar, Deep Cinema, Shopping Complex in Wazirpur Industrial Area and Nimri Colony. The last serious incident in this Police Station occurred in the Industrial Area on 3.11.84.
2.16. About 10 persons (7 Sikhs and 3 non-Sikhs) were killed in this Police Station.
2.17. 1. FIR No. 502 – was registered on 1.11.84 at 1.35 PM. On a telephonic information from Mukhtiar Singh Pradhan from Wazirpur Industrial Area regarding an attack by a mob on a factory. The mob was stated to have been armed with lathis etc. and indulging in arson. Two Sikhs were also stated to have been beaten with lathis and fell to the ground. On receipt of this information, force was sent to the spot. The factory is stated to have been burnt and the mob started running away on seeing the police. Twelve of the miscreants were arrested on the spot along with lathis and iron rods.
2. FIR No. 503 – was registered on 1.11.84 at 4.20 PM. This FIR covers a number of incidents at various places. Infect, it names specific places where rioting was alleged to have taken place. According to the FIR, the mob was finally encircled near Wazirpur Gurudwara and 14 of the miscreants arrested along with lathis and other weapons.
3. FIR No. 505 – This case was registered on 3.11.84 at 1.20 PM on the report of SI Jagdish Prasad Soni and pertains to incidents of arson in the Industrial Area. The SHO is stated to have reached the spot and fired 4 rounds from his revolver. After lathi charge, the crowd is stated to have been controlled and miscreants were arrested on the spot along with lathis and iron rods. One dead body was also found and one injured person was sent to Hindu Rao Hospital.
2.18. There were widespread incidents in this Police Station but the redeeming feature was that a number of arrests were made on the spot where rioting was going on. While only 3 FIRs were registered, in each of them there are specifically named accused persons arrested along with lathis and other weapons etc. This indicates that at most of the places the police did try to take effective action.
2.19 However, there are specific allegations against two ASIs Mange Ram and Raja Ram. These allegations have come not only from the affected persons but also from independent witnesses who have deposed before the Misra Commission. The enquiries made by the investigating agency of the Misra Commission also proved that the two ASIs were present and were deliberately ineffective. Infect, some of the statements indicate that they participated in the loot themselves. The statement of Shri Ram Chand Nagoria, Vice President of the Youth Congress (I) of East District goes on to show that the two ASIs were so involved in the loot that they even lost their service revolvers, which were subsequently restored to them at the instance of Shri Nagoria. This also shows that Shri Ram Chand Nagoria had control over the mob as only in that case could he have the revolvers of ASIs Mange Ram and Raja Ram restored. The affidavit of Shri Man Singh received in this committee also corroborates what has already been given in evidence before Misra Commission. There appears to be no reason to doubt that these two ASIs were present with the mob when the attacks in the Nimri Colony had taken place. They were armed and took no action to control the riots. If anything, their presence and helping attitude had encouraged the miscreants who indulged in looting and arson. There are no allegations against any other police officer.
2.20. Departmental action for major penalty is called for against ASI Mange Ram and ASI Raja Ram as neither of them is considered fit for retention in the Police force.
SHO. : INSPECTOR DURGA PRASAD
2.21. Police Station Kings way Camp covers the area of new Police Lines and the headquarters of some battalions of Delhi Armed Police. Important localities in this Police Station are Model Town and Gujranwala Town.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BEFORE MISRA COMMISSION
2.22. Seven affidavits were received by the Misra Commission, out of which two persons were examined.
1. SHRI JAIMAL SINGH S/O ARJAN SINGH OF MODEL TOWN (172): He has described how on the morning of 1st November, 1984 some persons were seen moving around apparently to locate some houses according to a list in their possession. A little later a mob started attacking these houses. The policemen were stated to have been standing in a corner near the house of the deponent but they did not help. Instead some neighbours came to their help. He has been cross-examined and confirmed the correctness of his statement.
2. SHRI RAJINDER PAL SINGH S/O SHRI SARWAN SINGH (2674): He has stated that his house was located behind the Police Lines are alleged to have shouted slogans against the Sikhs. Stones were also thrown from the Police Lines in the night of 1.11.84. In his cross-examination he has stated that he tried to contact the Police Lines but no one responded and he was not allowed to take shelter there.
3. SHRI PIARA SINGH S/O SHRI JAGAT SINGH (2733): He has narrated how some persons known to him had led the mob to loot his house and factory. He also narrated everything to the SHO, Shri Durga Prasad. According to the deponent, the SHO along with one S.I. Sat Parkash was seen coming with a mob but instead of helping the deponent, the two police officers were instigating the mob. No action is stated to have been taken by the police on his complaint.
4. SHRI AJIT SINGH SAWHNEY S/O SHRI GURBACHAN SINGH SAWHNEY (131): He has described how in the afternoon of 1st November 1984 his house was attacked by a mob. He went up to the balcony of the first floor of his house and fired in the air. The mob ran away but a little later flying squad and the police party from the PS came to the site. According to the deponent, on seeing the police he went back to the door when a policeman standing near the flying squad took aim at him and fired and injured him in the back. ACP Shri D.L. Kashyap however took him to the hospital for treatment and 2-armed constables were posted by him at his house for the next 2 days. His gun and revolver taken by the police were later returned to him.
5. SHRI J.S. UPPAL S/O SHRI SARDAR SINGH UPPAL (2670): He was a resident of Gujranwala Town and according to him, on the morning of 1st November, a large number of Jhuggi-Jhopri dwellers gathered, raised slogans and burnt a number of houses. The deponent was saved on the intervention of some of the neighbours. He has stated that he approached the Police Station several times requesting the SHO and the ACP that a number of items of looted property could be seen in the Jhuggi’s even from outside, but no action was taken by the police to recover property.
6. SHRI PRITPAL SINGH S/O LATE CHARAN SINGH (37): – A resident of Model Town, he has stated that he know the names of the people who had instigated, organized and participated in the violence but did not want to give their names as he did not expect any action to be taken against them and also there was no guarantee of his security. He has mentioned general matters in his affidavit, which cast a poor reflection on the credibility of the police.
7. SHRI SATWANT SINGH S/O SHRI GURBACHAN SINGH (2562): – He has described how two DTC buses came to Gujranwala Town at about 11.30 AM and crowds alighted from the buses and indulged in arson and loot. They allegedly dragged out two Nihang Singhs (Sikhs), hit them with iron rods and burnt them after pouring some inflammable material. Cars and two wheeler scooters of the residents of Suri Niwas near the Gurudwara were burnt and their house set on fire. A report was lodged to this effect at Kingsway Camp Police Station. The deponent’s factory was also burnt at about 5.00 PM.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE.
2.23. All the affidavits received before this Committee are general in nature and do not name anyone from the police who would have specifically failed in their duty. Instead, one of the deponents, Jathedar Prahlad Singh S/o Shri Mohinder Singh has praised the role of Shri. D.L. Kashyap, ACP, who is stated to have saved the lives and property of a number of Sikhs during the riots.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
2.24. The incidents of looting and arson started in the P.S. in the morning of 1st November. The first incident was at the Taxi Stand of Rana Pratap Bagh where taxis and buses were set on fire. There were incidents of arson and looting in Model Town and the outer ring road. Mukherji Nagar Gurudwara was also set on fire. A number of incidents of similar nature were reported on wireless from different places in the Police Station. For instance, there is a message that 7 dead bodies were found between Chowk Mukarala and Wazirabad on the 4th with more still lying there. The incident of attack on the house of Shri Ajit Singh Sawhney narrated in affidavit No. 131 has also been mentioned in the report of the SHO giving the sequence of events. This report corroborates the statement of Shri Ajit Singh Sawhney and one gun with two empty cartridges and one revolver were taken into possession by the police in the presence and under the supervision and guidance of ACP Kingsway Camp. The deponent in this incident has not made any allegation against the ACP. A large number of incidents have occurred in this Police Station and one Gurudwara in Model Town and one on Lucknow Road were set on fire. However, there are not too many incidents on the 2nd and 3rd November, though stray rioting and arson continued till the 4th November.
2.25. The following cases were registered during this period:
FIR NO. 785 Was registered on 1.11.84 at 6.15. P.M. on a report of SHO Durga Prasad. It mentioned the incident of burning taxis at Rana Pratap Bagh Taxi Stand where he is stated to have dispersed a mob. It has been stated that large crowds were gathering around the Gurudwaras and indulging in arson. It also stated that at various places, dead bodies were found.
FIR NO. 786 Was registered on 2.11.84 lat 10.20 A.M. on a report from S.I. Jai Prakash. The SI had gone on telephonic information to a house in CC Colony. On reaching there, the SI found the rear portion of the house burnt. There is no mention of any loss of life in the FIR.
FIR NO. 787 was registered on 2.11.84 at 11.55 AM on the report of Sardar Bhagat Singh S/o Shri Tara Singh sent to the PS through SI Natarpal Singh. It has been stated in the FIR that at about 9.00 A.M., a crowd collected and attacked his house. The complainant’s father was seriously injured and his scooter etc. burnt. His father was removed to the hospital. No one has been named in the FIR.
FIR NO. 789 was registered on 4.11.84 at 6.30 A.M. on a written report sent by SI Shyam Singh. A timber store was stated to have been burnt and on information on telephone, the SI along with the staff had reached there. The fire was stated to have been extinguished by the Fire Brigade by the time SI reached. There was no loss of life.
2.26. According to the Delhi Ad ministration figures, there were only 9 deaths and as per the affidavits filed before Misra Commission the number of deaths would around 15. The total number of persons killed at the Police Station would be nearer the figure of 15.
2.27. There have been no arrests in this Police Station under any of the registered cases during the period of the riots. However, 14, 18 and 71 people were taken into custody under preventive sections on 2nd, 3rd and 4th November respectively.
2.28. Total numbers of rounds fired during the period are 6 on 1.11.84, 28 on 2.11.84, 14 on 3.11.84 and 3 on 4.11.84. There is no other Police action. Sufficient additional police force consisting of 2 SIs. 13 HCs. And 177 Constables were received at the P.S. on 1.11.84 followed by more force on 2nd and 3rd November. As such, this Police Station also cannot take the plea of non-availability of adequate force.
2.29. The events indicate that the incidents of rioting were not properly monitored and adequate efforts not made to control the situation in this Police Station. The fact remains that no arrests in any of the cases were made during the actual rioting and the rioters not dealt with effectively. Specific allegations have been made against the SHO in the affidavit of Shri Piara Singh. He has named SHO Durga Prasad and SI Sat Parkash as part of the mob. Allegations have also been made against the policemen of the Kingsway Camp Police Lines. The incidents narrated by Shri Rajinder Pal Singh in his affidavit, regarding stone throwing from the Police Lines, show that there was no discipline within the force and the police personnel were not under the control of the senior officers.
2.30. Suitable disciplinary action is recommended against Inspector Durga Prasad and SI Sat Prakash and the police authorities should look into the conduct and indiscipline on the part of the policemen in the Police Lines in Kingsway Camp and take deterrent acltion against them.
SHO: INSPECTOR ROOP CHAND
2.31. Adarsh Nagar Police Station covers a wide area and at the relevant time it had the following three Police Posts under it: –
1. PP Shalimar Bagh
2. PP Jahangirpuri
3. PP Pitampura.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BEFORE MISRA COMMISSION
2.32. A number of affidavits were received before Misra Commission out of which 8 persons were examined. The gist of the important affidavits is as follows: –
1. SHRI PRITPAL SINGH S/O SHRI ATMA SINGH (2298): – He describes how an attack started on the morning of 1.11.84 in Shalimar Bagh. He rang up the police station and was told that they would be coming. He was saved by his neighbours who confronted the mob and did not let them do any physical harm while giving shelter to the deponent and others. According to him, a police jeep also did come with 78-armed policemen but they took no action whatsoever to control the situation.
2. SMT. BALWINDER KAUR W/O SHRI PRITAM SINGH (2546): – There are two affidavits of the same number which, though somewhat different, contain the same material facts. She has described how a mob came to her house on the evening of 1st November and asked for her husband Pritam Singh. The leader of the mob advised them to stay inside their house. However, next morning, her husband saw two policemen on the site and called out to them seeking protection. They refused and went away. Shortly thereafter a big mob came and asked her husband to cut his hair and shave his beard if he wanted to survive. On his refusal, they attacked him and their neighbours and at least 3 people including her husband were killed.
3. SMT. AJMER KAUR W/O SHRI UJAGAR SINGH (2632): – She has described the killing of her husband and4 others and has stated that the crowd also looted their personal belongings. This incident had occurred at Karachi Garden on G.T. Karnal Road under this Police Station.
4. SHRI SURENDER SINGH S/O LATE MOHINDER SINGH OF JAHANGIRPURI (2717): – He has given details of 5 persons having been killed including 3 mentioned by Smt. Balwinder Kaur. He has also named the persons who were leading the mob.
5. SMT. SARABJIT KAUR W/O INDER SINGH OF JAHANGIRPURI (2631): – She was a neighbour of Smt. Balwinder Kaur and Shri Surender Singh and has also testified to the killing of her husband.
6. SMT. CHARANJIT KAUR W/O SURENDER SINGH (140 and 2283): – She has described the incidents in ‘K’ Block in Jahangirpuri where she saw a Sikh driver being killed and burnt.
7. SHRI HARVINDER SINGH S/O SARDAR BIR SINGH (144): – He has described an attack by a mob on him, who robbed him of his watch and gold ring etc. at Adarsh Nagar.
8. SMT. PREM KAUR W/O SHRI RAM SARUP SINGH (141): – She is a resident of ‘J’ Block, Jahangirpuri near the houses of Smt. Balwinder Kaur, Shri Surender Singh and Smt. Sarabjit Kaur. She has described how some of the persons who have been named and are common in all the affidavits were holding a meeting on the roof of the house of their leader on 1.11.84 at 10.00 AM. Her husband and she herself were beaten severely by the people.
9. SMT. MOHINDER KAUR W/O SHRI FAUJA SINGH (2553): – She is also a resident of Jahangirpuri and has given, more or less, the same details as the other deponents of the area and named the same persons who were responsible for all these killings. He husband, her husband’s elder brother and nephew were killed and burnt.
10. SHRI MOHAN SINGH S/O SHRI GURMUKH SINGH (2515):- He is a resident of ‘K’ Block, Jahangirpuri and has described the looting of trucks on GT Karnal Road on the morning of 1.11.84. In the afternoon, the attackers also started attacking the Sikh drivers and he saw one of them being killed. He saw another Sikh being taken to Lakhimpur and then killed. He concealed himself in the house of a Muslim Jhuggiwala. According to him, 3 Sikhs were killed in that section of ‘K’ Block where he lived.
11. SHRI GURBAX SINGH S/O SHRI NARENDER SINGH (2779): – He is a resident of Jahangirpuri. He described how he was beaten half dead and robbed. When he regained consciousness, he found ¾ dead bodies lying about him.
12. SHRI DILDAR SINGHS/O SHRI UTTAM SINGH (2560): – He saw a large mob of 3000/4000 people coming out of Jhelum Express which had stopped near his house on GT Karnal Road. The mob was stated to have been carrying iron rods, spears, kerosene oil cans etc. This mob killed the deponent’s brother and another person by burning them alive. Their house was also completely burnt. He was cross-examined at length in the Misra Commission.
13. SHRI PIARA SINGH S/O SHRI SANT SINGH of ‘D’ BLOCK OF JAHANGIRPURI (2805): – he has described how on the morning of 1st Nov, he was sitting in his shop when he was advised by some people to close it and go home. Soon after, a huge mob came carrying iron rods, spears, kerosene oilcans and white powder packets and started looting and burning. His shop and house were burnt and looted. In his cross-examination, he has stated that he gave a report to the police on 10.11.84 after returning from relief camp but the police did not accept the same.
14. DR. R.P. SANSANWAL S/O SHRI SHIV NATH OF JAHANGIRPURI (2186): – He has stated that the riots were not organized and were apparently a reaction to some misguided Sikhs having distributed sweets etc. on the murder of the Prime Minister.
15. SMT. MANDODRI DEVI S/O LATE HARI SINGH (135): – She has described that her husband was a Police Officer and a non-Sikh and saved a number of people. However, in the process of saving them, he himself got killed.
AFFIDAVIT RECEIVED BY THIS COMMITTEE.
2.33 This Committee pertaining to this Police Station has received fifteen affidavits. They indicate total police apathy to the reports lodged by them. They complain that no proper investigation was done in any case. Most of them have given details of the losses caused to them during the riots. A few have stated that they were not in a position to repay the bank loans obtained by them.
These affidavits stress the usual complaints against most of the Police Station that proper investigation of the cases was never done.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
2.34. There was no incident in this Police Station on 31.10.84 and the trouble started only on the morning of 1.11.84. The wireless log indicates flow of information to and from the Control Room as well as the Police Posts regarding various incidents. Trucks were being set on fire and looted on the G.T. Karnal Road and outer Ring Road. In addition to this, there were a number of incidents of arson at various places including Jahangirpuri. Pitampura and Shalimar Bagh. The incidents had continued on 2nd November particularly in Jahangirpuri. Some incidents had occurred even on the 3rd and 4th November. This shows that the situation continued to remain out of control even up to 4th November.
2.35. The most serious incidents are the killings in ‘J’ Block of Jahangirpuri as narrated by quite a few persons in their affidavits and cross-examination before the Misra Commission. Besides these killings, the others are in respect of truck drivers who were coming from Haryana and Punjab or had already reached and were in their trucks when attacked.
2.36. According to the report of the then SHO Shri Roop Chand, the total number of deaths was only 19. According to the initial figures of Delhi Administration, the total number of deaths was 57. The Ahuja Committee has mentioned 36 deaths. However, it would appear that since this P.S. covers the new Subzi Mandi area where a large number of trucks had come from outside and quite a few drivers appear to have been killed and their vehicles burnt, the total number of deaths should be on the higher side. In any case, the total number of deaths in this Police Station should be closer to the figures of 60.
2.37. As against the large number of incidents occurring in the jurisdiction of this Police Station the FIRs registered are very few, on 1st, 2nd and 3rd November. Only 1 FIR each day has been registered, namely FIR No. 910 on 1st November, FIR No. 911 on 2nd November and FIR No. 916 on 3rd November, 1984.
1. FIR NO. 910- was registered at 5.50 PM on 1.11.84 on a report of the SHO which lumps a large number of incidents at various places including Pitampura, Shalimar Bagh and Jahangirpuri where a number of Gurudwaras are also stated to have been burnt. The FIR mentioned some deaths but did not specify the number. In fact, the FIR covers the whole jurisdiction of the Police Station including all the Police Posts, making both investigation and follow-up well nigh impossible.
2. FIR NO. 911- was registered on 2.11.84 at 11.45 AM on a written respect of ASI Jai Bhagwan. The FIR mentions 5 deaths in Jahangirpuri in ‘J’ Block and apparently corresponds to the various affidavits received in the Misra Commission.
3. FIR NO.916- was registered on 3.11.84 at 12.05 PM. On a report of SI Rajinder Singh and pertains to Jahangirpuri. The SHO was also stated to be present as the mob was trying to burn the house in which some Sikhs were taking shelter. The ACP, Kingsway Camp Shri Kashyap is also stated to have reached the. The ACP is stated to have fired with his service revolver and 30 persons were arrested on the spot. A few were also injured. Loss of life was apparently not allowed to take place.
A number of arrests have been shown in each of these cases but they do not find mention in the statement prepared by the police.
2.38. FIRs 912, 913, 914 and 915 are under section 188 IPC that is breach of section 144 Cr. P.C. It is clear that the police was trying to minimize the offences. All of them were registered on 2.11.84.
2.39. The police records also show that ten .303 rounds on 1.11.84, fifteen .303 and 3 revolver rounds on 2.11.84 and twenty .303 rounds on 3.11.84 were fired.
2.40. While there are no allegations by name against any officer, the situation in Jahangirpuri Colony in particular had been very bad. The affidavits/statements of Smt. Balwinder Kaur (2546), Smt. Sarabjit Kaur (2631), Smt. M Kaur (141) and Shri Gurbax Singh (2779) describe how the local toughs got into the houses of Sikhs and indulged in killings of Sikhs and looting of their houses. Every one apparently knew these persons and in case the police had been active and had wanted to stop them, it could surely have done so. There is also evidence that one of the persons had rung up the police out-posted and a police vehicle had also gone there but evidently no action was taken.
2.41. In the affidavit of Shri Dildar Singh (2560) it has been stated that a big mob had got down from the Jhelum Express, which had stopped at a level crossing. This would show that the rioters had been coming in large numbers from outside in an organized manner. In its written arguments before the Misra Commission, the Delhi Administration has tried to create doubts about the voracity of this deponent by stating that the deponent’s house was one kilometer away and as such he could not have seen any one alighting at the railway crossing. It is not clear as to how this distance has been arrived at by the Delhi Administration because the deponent in his affidavit had mentioned that his house was one furlong away from the railway crossing. Similarly, in the arguments it has been stated that in the affidavit, deponent had telephoned the police but in the cross-examination he denied that and admitted that his brother had telephoned. A perusal of the affidavit of this deponent would show that he had not mentioned that he made the telephone call. It was only during the cross-examination that he had stated about the telephone call having been made by his brother. It thus indicates that wrong and misleading facts have been projected in the arguments of Delhi Administration before the Misra Commission. There appears to be no contradiction in the affidavit of the deponent and his deposition, and it can be relied upon.
2.42. According to the records of the police, there has been no use of teargas and lathi charge and the preventive action had been taken only on 3rd November when only 5 persons were arrested. The only effective action, which appears to have been taken, was the arrest of more than 30 persons as mentioned in FIR 916.
2.43. The facts that the incidents of violence continued even up to 4th November shows that no serious attempt was made at this Police Station to effectively deal with the rioters. In fact, effective action as mentioned in FIR No. 916 was also taken because of the presence of the ACP but the SHO had not risen to the occasion at all.
2.44. Disciplinary action for major penalty is recommended against Inspector Roop Chand, SHO, and Adarsh Nagar for his failure to deal with the situation and his inability to effectively use the force available with him. He has deliberately tried to minimize the incidents and his action in registration only one FIR No. 910 in respect of all the events of all the Police Posts is a serious act of misconduct. He also tried to conceal the gravity of the cases by mentioning minor sections in the FIRs when the offences were of a grave nature as in the FIRs 912-915.
2.45. SI Jai Bhagwan, In charge PP Jahangirpuri, also needs to be dealt with departmentally for his lack of supervision and not taking effective action in controlling the killings in Jahangirpuri. The main culprits were known and yet no effective action has been taken against them, which give the impression that he was in sympathy with the rioters.
2.46. In contrast to these officers, we have the example of Hari Singh, non-Sikh police officer, husband of Smt. Mandodari Devi (135), who even when he was not on duty lost his life, trying to save people during the riots. Both she and her brother-in-law Ganga Prasad were also injured in the process as the crowd prevented them from helping the injured Hari Singh.
SHO:INSPECTORGURMAIL SINGH/ INSPECTOR JAI BHAGWAN MALIK.
ACP:SHRI KEWAL SINGH/SHRI RAGHBIR SINGH MALIK.
2.47. Police Station Subzi Mandi is located in the heart of Delhi and covers some of the most congested areas. During October/November, 1984, it had 3 Police Posts under it: –
1. PP Tis Hazari
2. PP Andha Mughal
3. PP Gulabi Bagh
2.48. ACP Subzi Mandi Shri Kewal Singh and SHO of this PS Inspector Gurmail Singh were changed in the night of 31st October/1st November 1984 under instructions of Addl. Commissioner of Police (Range) Shri H.C Jatav. Whereas Shri Kewal Singh, ACP, had, for all practical purposes, handed over charge on 31st October night itself, the SHO Inspector Gurmail Singh formally handed over charge at 6.00 AM on 1.11.84. These two officers were apparently changed because they belonged to the Sikh Community and were inclined to deal with the situation firmly.
2.49. The reasons given for the transfer of Inspector Gurmail Singh by the Delhi Administration in its arguments before Justice Misra Commission are that he being a Sikh officer was not in a position to face the furious mob when the riots were in full swing. However, in their arguments it has been further stated that on 31st October evening, the SHO Subzi Mandi was moving Around and reaching all places of trouble and the situation, though tense, was under control. It has also been stated that the ACP and SHO, both Sikh officers, were told by someone the some people were resenting their actions and were planning to set fire to the building of the Police Station and they should make efforts to save the same. According to Delhi Administration arguments, the ACP and the SHO, Subzi Mandi reached the Police Station, as they were not prepared to allow any such eventuality to occur and made arrangements to protect the Police Station and simultaneously informed the North District Control Room on telephone.
After making arrangement s, the SHO is state d to have gone towards Clock Tower and ACP towards Malka Ganj Chowk. Shri Kewal Singh, ACP, and Inspector Gurmail Singh, SHO, were at Shora Kothi at 8.32 PM where the situation was bad and ACP asked for clear orders from his superiors to shoot-at-sight. The message was passed from North District Control Room to DCP (North) who asked ACP (HQ) and Addl. DCP (North) to reach there.
2.50. From the above it is clear that the two officers were in the process of taking strong action to check the riots. Surprisingly, however, the Addl. Commissioner of Police, in his statement before the Misra Commission recorded on 24.4.86 has stated that these two officers were “guilty of abandoning their positions of duty during the riots”. These statement Delhi Administration arguments in the Misra Commission clearly show that these two officers were actively involved in tackling the situation. In fact, the message asking for orders regarding shoot-at-sight was sent at 8.32 PM. At 9.22 PM the DCP (North) ordered that all messages meant for ACP Subzi Mandi be passed on to ACP (HQ), which clearly shows that he had, for all practical purposes, been relieved of the charge. The only reason for their removal appears to be that they wanted to use force to save the situation and the Addl. Commissioner of Police was not inclined to let this happen. In fact, this is the only Police Station in this District where on 31st October, 1984 evening itself preventive action was taken, as many as 90 persons were arrested, looted property worth 1 lakh rupees recovered, and a criminal case also registered. The orders of Addl. C.P. to change the SHO and the ACP were apparently aimed at toning down the police action and not on the score of alleged desertion by them.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BY MISRA COMMISSION
2.51. There are 18 affidavits pertaining to this Police Station received in the Misra Commission and out of them, 3 deponents were examined. Details of the important affidavits are as follows: –
1. SHRI K.S. BAWA S/O LATE S.S. BAWA (173): –
The deponent is an old freedom fighter, a recipient of Tamra Patra, and also a veteran Congressman. He has narrated how some miscreants were indulging in looting Indira Market in front of his house. The deponent along with some people apprehended 5/6 persons along with looted property and wanted to hand them over to the police. However, just about that time, Shri H.C. Jatav, the then Addl. C.P., came there and instead of acceding to the request of the local people to provide some policemen to assist them in maintaining law and order, he let off the criminals who had been apprehended. He has narrated how on the morning of 1st November a crowd came to attack his house but he along with his family members was saved by neighbours. No help came from the police when telephonic calls were made. He had also mentioned that one of the Inspectors by the name of Shri Lakhvinder Singh Brar working at P.S. Subzi Mandi could have been given the responsibility of recovering the looted property and apprehending the culprits. He had requested the senior police officers accordingly. Instead, this officer was transferred out. In his cross-examination before the Commission, the deponent has confirmed that the Addl. C.P. Shri Jatav had let off the arrested boys and did not provide protection as requested.
2. SARDAR JASBIR SINGH S/O SHRI ISHAR SINGH (174):- According to the deponent, he himself belonged to a family of Congress(I) supporters and was the nephew of Sardar Kartar Singh Bawa. He has stated that on 31.10.1984 night at 10.30 PM, some miscreants were trying to break open the locks of the main gate of his house. On being advised by the neighbour, he went out of the back door to the house of his uncle Shri Kartar Singh.
He has corroborated how some boys were apprehended around mid-night for indulging in looting and Shri Jatav, Addl. C.P., without doing anything to check the looting, let off the culprits and went away.
3. SHRI NARINDER SINGH BAWA S/O SHRI KARTAR SINGH BAWA (2289): – He has confirmed the statement of his father and others regarding the presence of Shri Jatav in Subzi Mandi in Indira Market area on 31st October night when some of the culprits apprehended by the public were let off by him and no help given. He has stated how when in the relief camp at the Police Station he had requested the Duty Officer to lodge separate FIRs for different victims, nobody listened to him. Only one acknowledgement copy of the properties destroyed was given to the individuals, mentioning, that all the complaints formed part of FIR 633/84. He has also narrated that many affected persons had told the SHO and the ACP that their looted property was laying in the house of the looters but they took no action to recover the same. Whatever recovery was made is stated to have been due to the efforts made by Shri Brar, Inspector of this Police Station. Even in this recovery the goods were those, which had been thrown by the looters on the road to avoid any police action. Inspector Brar was subsequently transferred out of the Police Station in spite of request of the public to allow him to effect more recoveries.
4. SHRI ISHAR SINGH BAWA S/O SHRI SUNDER SINGH BAWA (175): – he is the younger brother of Shri Kartar Singh (173) and was out of Delhi at the time of actual riots. While coming back to Delhi on 1st Nov., he was detained at Narela border by the police because of the riots. He reached Delhi on 7th November 1984 and found that all his household goods had been looted and the same were lying in the Jhuggis where the looters were waiting to dispose them off. He approached the SHO Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik as well as the ACP Shri Raghbir Singh who kept on promising that the goods would be recovered but took no action. Nothing was recovered from the looters.
5. SHRI PRITAM KAUR W/O LATER MANGAL SINGH (2752): – She has narrated how on 1st November 1984 her husband and son were dragged out from the house by a mob and burnt alive. According to her, SHO Jai Bhagwan and ACP Raghbir Singh were present and instigating the culprits. She claims to have heard the police say: ‘Do not spare any one; do not leave any evidence.’ She and the other affected persons were lathi-charged at Police Station Subzi Mandi and police headquarters.
Smt. Pritam Kaur was examined before the Misra Commission and she stood the test of cross-examination. The Delhi Administration in their written arguments had taken the stand that Shri Raghbir Singh, ACP, and Shri Jai Bhagwan Malik, SHO; Subzi Mandi had no occasion to beat the spot of the occurrence because they had not assumed charge by that time. This is totally wrong because according to their own statement Shri Kewal Singh, ACP Subzi Mandi, was withdrawn from duty at 9.22 P.M. on 31.10.84 and higher orders were given to the effect that all messages meant for ACP Subzi Mandi be passed on to ACP (HQ), viz., Shri Raghbir Singh. Similarly, Inspector Gurmail Singh, SHO Subzi Mandi was transferred in the night of 31st October 1984 – 1st November 1984 and in pursuance of these orders inspector Gurmail Singh had handed over charge in the morning at 0600 hrs on 1.11.84. On the other hand, the above-mentioned incident, according to FIR No. 639/84, had occurred in the evening of1.11.84. From this it is clear that Shri Raghbir Singh, ACP and Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik had assumed charge much before the said incident. It is, therefore, clear that Delhi Administration had been blowing hot and cold in the same breath and their arguments before the Misra Commission in respect of these officers were not only incorrect but also misleading.
Subsequently, in April 1985, the police had also destroyed the relief camp of Bajrang Singh in which she was residing. She has also stated in her cross-examination about the relief camp set up by Shri Bajrang Singh and describes how the police demolished it.
6. SMT. BALWINDER KAUR W/O LAKHBIR SINGH (2754):
7. SMT. BALWINDER KAUR W/O JAGJIT SINGH (2755):
8. SMT. SWARANJIT KAUR W/O BALBIR SINGH (2638):
9. SMT. INDERJIT KAUR W/O JASWANT SINGH (2753):
10. SMT. RAJWANT KAUR W/O DARSHAN SINGH (2751): –
All the above named 5 deponents have given similar affidavits corroborating the allegations made by Smt. Pritam Kaur and Shri Bajrang Singh against the police. All of them have alleged that their husband as were almost snatched from them and burnt alive. SHO Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik and ACP Raghbir Singh were stated to have been present and instigating the mob. They have also described that the police had been making persistent efforts to break up the relief camp.
11. SHRI TRILOCHAN SINGH S/O SHRI INDER SINGH (176): – He has stated that he himself is an old Congress (I) worker. He described in detail how on 1st November morning at about 9.00 AM, a number of persons broke open the locks of his shop and looted the goods and burnt them. He had named 7 persons who were part of the mob. According to him, no action was taken against anyone even though he had revealed the names of the culprits to the police.
12. SMT. KULWANT KAUR W/O SHRI NANAK SINGH (2352): – She described how early morning on 2.11.84; some persons looted and burnt their houses. She has also named the persons who were leading the mob but the police refused to record her FIR.
13. SHRI BAJRANG SINGH S/O CH. DALJIT SINGH (27500: – In his affidavit, he has stated to be a Hindu Satnami doing mainly social work. After obtaining written permission of the ACP, he opened a relief camp in Subzi Mandi Police Station for the riot victims. The same was shifted on 5.1.1985 to Delhi Satnami Chowk close by. He organized the camp alone without any help from any individual, organization, or Government. He has alleged that in December 1984 when he undertook a fast unto death pleading for the rehabilitation of the riot affected victims; he was arrested and beaten up by the police. He made a number of allegations against the local police, particularly against Shri Raghbir Singh, ACP, and Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik, SHO. He also alleged that after the announcement of a judicial inquiry by Justice R.N. Misra, persistent efforts were made by the local police to break up the relief camp and apart of the building housing the same was demolished. In his affidavit, he narrated some of the incidents, which he had seen. He had also gone up to the Supreme Court to stop the police from breaking up the Relief Camp.
The proceedings of the Misra Commission dated 6.3.1986 indicate that the deponent had been summoned and he wanted to depose in person. There are clear indications that the police prevented him from coming and he was even shot at and injured when he was going to attend the proceedings of the Commission. This is also apparent from the application of Shri Bajrang Singh dated 2.4.1986 submitted to the Commission. It is interesting to note that Shri Bajrang Singh was being harassed by the police even in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences after being injured as would be clear from the extract from letter No. F-4-VI/ Part B/86/Hosp/MR dated March 19, 1986 from Dr. R.C. Anand, DMS, AIIMS addressed to Shri Bajrang Singh –
“ his bloodstained clothes were handed over to the police at about 4.00 P.M. by the CMO on 6th March 86. The police officers tried to force their entry to Operation Theatre where Mr. Bajrang Singh was kept and the same are resisted by the hospital staff on duty”.
From the above it would be clear that the police was bent upon settling scores with Shri Bajrang Singh who had opened a Relief Camp for riot victims and incurred.
AFFIDAVITS SUBMITTED BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE.
2.52 This Committee stating how the deponents lost goods and property during the riots has received two affidavits. However, the affidavits are general in nature stating that the local police did not save the goods and property and also made no proper investigation.
2.53 Incidents of violence in this Police Station started in the evening of31st October 1984. There are a number of wireless messages from the North District Control Room as well as the Police Station indicating looting and arson at Barafkhana Chowk, Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Punjabi Basti, Malka Ganj and later Indira Market of Subzi Mandi area. A little before 10.11 PM, shops in Indira Market were looted.
2.54. There was a message at 2209 hrs from the Central Control Room about 4 Sikhs having been shot dead in shop No. 411, R. Road. It is surprising that even on such a serious message; the Police Station took no action. There is no mention in the general diary about anything having been done. The reason for this sort of inaction could be that after the SHO and the ACP were changed, the law and order situation in this area deteriorated and a number of incidents of arson took place. These incidents continued on 1st and even upto3rd November 1984. The most serious incident in this Police Station pertains to the killing of10 members of a family of Jaswant Singh of Kabir Basti in the evening of 1st November 1984(affidavit of Smt. Pritam Kaur (2752) in para 2.51 above and FIR 639/84 subsequently).
2.55. The total numbers of deaths in the P.S. are 25 as per Ahuja Committee Report, while the Citizen’s Justice Committee had put the killings at 37, and Total deaths in this PS could have been around 25.
2.56. During the period of riots, 9 cases were registered in this police Station. Some FIRs are discussed below:-
1. Fir No. 633- WASREGISTERED AT 8.10 pm ON 31.10.84 ON A REPORT OF inspector Gurmail Singh and pertains to the Main Bazar in Subzi Mandi area where people were indulging in arson and looting. Rioting is stated to have been going on in Roshan Ara Road, Punjabi Basti, Malka Ganj, etc. Along with the ACP, Subzi Mandi, the situation was effectively tackled and90 persons were arrested under substantive offence and sent to jail.
a. FIR NO. 639 was registered on 2.11.84 at 11.45 PM and pertains to the alleged killings of 10 persons in Kabir Basti. The persons who were killed are stated to have been burnt alive and the household goods looted. The affidavits of 6 widows received in Misra Commission discussed on page 58 of this Chapter describe these killings in a similar manner (Affidavit No. 2638, 2751, 2752, 2753, 2754 and2755). These killings are apparently the most serious in the jurisdiction of this Police Station. The case has been registered on a complaint made by Shri Jaswant Singh of the same locality, the lone surviving male member of the family of Smt. Pritam Kaur (2752). The police filed the case as untraced even though the culprits are named. This may be because the police was itself involved.
2.57. Effective police action in this police station started on 31.10.84. In the first case of rioting registered on that date, 90 persons were arrested. Later, with the change of ACP and SHO, action slowed down. No preventive arrests were made on 31st October and 1st November 1984. On 2nd November, also, only 2 arrests were made under preventive sections. According to the police records while firing took place on 31st October 1984, there is no record of any firing having been resorted to on 1.11.84 although some Firs mention firing which is not substantiated by police records compiled later. Besides, even though crowds were indulging in arson and loot after the transfer of ACP/SHO, there is no mention of any concrete action having been taken to control the situation.
2.58. The occurrence of events and the way they were handled indicate that in the beginning the police was active cute effectively as would be obvious from the arrests of 90 persons at the very initial by Inspector Gurmail Singh and ACP Shri Kewal Singh. It has also been confirmed that these arrested persons were subsequently sent to jail and not let off lightly. This effective action was taken by SHO Gurmail Singh and ACP Shri Kewal Singh and apparently neither the DCP (North) nor the Addl. C.P. had any active role to play in this action. Shri Kewal Singh, ACP, was changed and orders also issued regarding Inspector Gurmail Singh to hand over the office. An unwise trend was set by Shri H.C. Jatav who, during the night of 31st October, went to Indira Market and let off some of the miscreants apprehended by the local people. Not only this, he did not provide any police protection when requested by the deponents. This sort of behaviour would naturally have encouraged the miscreants. The decision to transfer Inspector Gurmail Singh, SHO, and Shri Kewal Singh, ACP, who were inclined to deal with the situation effectively, was also not in public interest. Responsibility for this falls squarely on Shri Jatav, Addl. C.P.®, whose role shall be discussed separately.
2.59. Specific allegations have been made against ACP Shri Raghbir Singh and SHO Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik of Subzi Mandi. The fact that large numbers of people were killed in Kabir Basti in a very cruel manner and dead bodies burnt is obvious from the affidavits of the widows before the Misra Commission. These deponents cannot be said to have been motivated because of the dispute going on between local police and Shri Bajrang Singh, who was running the relief camp. In fact, it would appear that the police officers were making attempts to disperse all these widows, who were likely to depose against the local police having seen and being present at the time of the incidents. They were trying to pre-empt any allegation that might come against them subsequently before the Misra Commission. These events are very —————– on the conduct of the police officers, namely Shri Raghbir Singh, ACP and Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik, SHO.
2.60. Incidents of killings had occurred in this Police Station on 3rd November 1984 also. FIRs 640 and 641 mention deaths and this would show that the situation was not effectively brought under control till 3rd November 1984.
Though8 FIRs – 633 to 641, were registered at this Police Station during the period 1.11.84 to 3.11.84, these were recorded in such a perfunctory manner that they were unlikely to end in conviction. Besides, in respect of FIRs No. 639 to 641, the police do not appear to have bothered to make proper investigations and they very conveniently filed these cases as untraced.
2.61. The unsympathetic attitude and the callousness of the police are also apparent from their treatment of riot victims for whom Shri Bajrang Singh had opened a relief camp. As has been stated by Shri Bajrang Singh, he was constantly harassed by the police, as has been disclosed while dealing with his affidavit in para 2.51 above.
2.62. The conduct of Shri Raghbir Singh, ACP and Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik was extremely suspect and there appears to be no reason to doubt the statements of various deponents. They were responsible for not being able to prevent the large number of killings in Kabir Basti and also subsequently trying to terrorize the victims. They are not considered fit to be retained in the police force. Departmental action for major penalty against them is, therefore, recommended.
SHO: INSPECTOR TRILOK SINGH (A SIKH OFFICER) WAS CHANGED ON THE MORNING OF IST NOVEMBER 1984 AND INSPECTOR RAGHUNATH SINGH TOOK OVER THE CHARGE AS S.H.O.
2.63. This Police Station has one Police Post namely, Inderlok under it and Sub Inspector O.P. Sahai incharge of the same.
AFFIDAVITSRECEIVED BEFORE MISRA COMMISSION
2.64. A large number of affidavits pertaining to this Police Station were received before the Misra Commission, out of whom six witnesses were examined. Some of the important affidavits are: –
1. SARDAR SINGHAHUJA S/O SHRI KHUSHAL SINGH (2330): – He has described the incidents in the afternoon of 1st November 1984 at Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Sarai Rohilla. A mob had attacked the Gurudwara at about 2.30 PM. And the Granthi (Priest) made an announcement on the loudspeaker asking the Sikhs to come over to save it. The Sikhs tried to resist the mob for about an hour. The police then came there and announced that the Sikhs should go inside the Gurudwara. The mob was however not checke3d or controlled and it attacked the Gurudwara. When Sikhs went in, the men of the Railway Protection Force, which has a Unit Line right across the road, opened fire on the Gurudwara and about 100 rounds are said to have been fired killing 3-4 persons. The deponent himself received gun shot injuries and was taken to the hospital. The police later refused to record his report. He has been cross-examined at length in Misra Commission and has confirmed the unprovoked firing by the Railway Protection Force.
2. SHRI RAWAIL SINGH S/O SHRISARDAR SINGH (2374): – He has confirmed the statement of Shri Sardar Singh Ahuja. According to him, the Railway Protection Force killed 5-6 persons in the unprovoked firing. One of the persons killed inside the Gurudwara was also a non-Sikh devotee. The mob entered the Gurudwara, looted and burnt it, after the firing by the Railway Protection Force.
3. SHRIPARTAP SINGH S/O SHRI GURMUKH SINGH (2365): – Granthi of the Gurudwara Sarai Rohilla has confirmed how he announced on the loudspeaker appealing to the Sikhs of the locality to come and detent the Gurudwara. He has corroborated the statement of Shri Sardar Singh and others regarding the arrival of the police. They did not check the mob but asked the Sikhs to go inside the Gurudwara, after which there was firing from the Railway Protection Force Lines and an attack by the mob. About five persons were killed as a result of bullet injuries. The Gurudwara was looted and burnt. The police did not record his report.
In his cross-examination he has confirmed his version.
4. SHRI GURCHARAN SINGH S/O SHRI HARWAND SINGH (2372): – He has confirmed the incident at the Singh Sabha Gurudwara, Sarai Rohilla. He has stated that the police did not record his detailed report saying that such things have happened with numerous other Sikhs. He thereafter did not approach the police as he felt that the mob and police were working together. He was also examined in detail in Misra Commission.
5. SHRI BALVINDER SINGH S/O SHRI TARA SINGH (2331): – He has also narrated the incident at Sarai Rohilla Gurudwara in detail and confirmed the police inaction and firing by the Railway Protection Force. He lost his son in this incident, who was hit by one Sahib Singh, O-3, Moti Bagh, and Sarai Rohilla. He was examined in detail in Misra Commission.
He has also named one Dharampal, Instructor, Dog Squad, Railway Protection Force, who fired at him with a double barrel gun from across the road from which he received injuries on his chest and stomach.
6. SHRI BALBIR SINGH S/O SHRI KULWANT SINGH (2368): – He has also narrated the incident of the Sarai Rohilla Gurudwara and the firing by the Railway Protection Force.
7. DALBIR SINGH S/O SHRI AVTAR SINGH (2371): – He has stated that his shop and factory were burnt in Kishan Ganj. He also named some persons indulging in looting and arson. The police did not record his complaint.
8. BHOLA SINGH S/O SHRI LADHA RAM (2332): – he has described how he was informed by one Hindu boy that the shops of the Sikhs had been marked by certain persons and the next day they were looted and burnt. He has named a number of persons who had indulged in this looting and arson.
His son Shri Gian Singh has also filed an affidavit (2324) confirmed these facts.
9. PARTAP SINGH S/O SHRI HARBANS SINGH (2329): –
He has described how his three trucks parked in Vivekanand Puri were burnt. The police refused to record his report. He states to send a telegram to SHO, Police Station Sarai Rohilla later on but no action has been taken. He has also been cross-examined by the Misra Commission.
10. JAGMOHAN SINGH S/O SHRI JOGINDER SINGH (2669): – He has described the attack on his house in which he and his brother received serious injuries. According to him, the people who attacked his colony in Shastri Nagar were known to him and he has named a number of persons of the locality who were involved in the incident.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE.
2.65. Ten affidavits pertaining to this Police Station have been received by this Committee. These affidavits, however, only make a general complaint of police not having investigated the cases properly and their claims to the losses not having been entertained.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
2.66. From the police records it appears that the Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) had sent a message on 31st October 1984 to SHO, Police Station Sarai Rohilla that no mob should be allowed to gather near Gurudwara. Special attention was to be paid to car parking and market places. These instructions apparently remained only on paper because in Sarai Rohilla three Gurudwara were subjected to attack and arson. Besides, it would be clear from the various affidavits filed before the Commission that a large number of houses, shops and motor vehicles were also burnt in the jurisdiction of this Police Station.
2.67. As already mentioned, the change of this SHO at this critical time was administratively unsound. The incidents of violence in this Police Station had started after the new SHO took charge i.e. on 1st November 1984. Initially the buses were stopped near Inderlok Chowk, followed by looting and arson. The most serious incident, however, was the firing in Sarai Rohilla Gurudwara opposite Railway Protection Force Lines. The first indication that trouble was brewing near this Gurudwara was a message which was received in the Police Control Room at 1501 hours in which it was reported that on Old Rohtak Road near Railway Protection Force Lines, Police Station Sarai Rohilla, people had taken out arms and some trouble was brewing. This message was communicated to all concerned from Additional Commissioner of Police) Range) downwards. From the report of Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) also it is clear that he along with Addl. Commissioner of Police rushed to the spot and sent messages to SHO and Asst. Commissioner of Police to arrive at the Gurudwara. To quote from his report dated the 10th November, 1984:
“ I along with Additional Commissioner of Police (Range), Delhi rushed there and the situation laws controlled. Assistant Commissioner of Police Ashok Vihar also reached there and took charge of the situation.”
If this statement is to be believed, Addl. Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) were the first to arrive and thereafter Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ashok Vihar also reached the scene of occurrence. Dy. Commissioner of Police states that the situation was controlled. However, if the witnesses who were cross-examined at length by the Misra Commission are to be believed, the police did not control the situation, merely ordered the Sikhs to enter Gurudwara and thereafter the Railway Protection Force Jawans started firing indiscriminately. Misra Commission had this incident investigated on the affidavit of Balbir Singh (2368) and came up with a finding which is quoted below: –
“ Firing by Railway Protection Force on Gurudwara Prima facie correct. Forty-seven rounds of .303 ammunition fired as disclosed from the record. Firing was prima facie unwarranted. Police Officers on duty lost total control over the subordinates and the subordinates got arms and ammunitions issued to themselves and resorted to uncontrolled firing.”
This firing took place after 1500 hrs and before 1525 hours as we have a message in the log book of Police Station Sarai Rohilla from G.3 i.e. Additional Commissioner of Police (Range) to the effect that firing is taking place in front of the Railway Protection Force Lines and that SHO, Police Station Sarai Rohilla should also reach there. From this it is clear that Assistant Commissioner of Police had reached the scene of occurrence and they also needed the SHO it assist.
2.68. From the above analysis it would be clear that the police was aware of the trouble at 1501 hrs and even though Addl. Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Commissioner of Police as well as the Assistant Commissioner of Police reached Sarai Rohilla, they did not take effective action and this resulted in loss of life. No preventive action was taken and no arrests were made. The same mob after looting the Gurudwara went to other areas and continued their spree of loot and arson. Incidents in this Police Station continued even on 2nd, 3rd and 4th November 1984. It would thus be clear that the change of SHO of this Police Station proved a disaster and the new SHO was totally ineffective. Besides, the senior officers also did not come to grips with the situation. This was in complete contrast with the way Shri Maxwell Pariera, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, handled a similar situation in Gurudwara Sisganj.
2.69. According to the Police Station records, the number of persons killed in the police station Sarai Rohilla was twelve whereas subsequent investigation by Delhi Administration, Delhi indicates 44 deaths. As such, it can be safely stated that the number of persons killed was about forty-five.
2.70 Only two cases have been registered in this Police Station on 1st November 1984 and both of them are on complaints by private persons sent through Sub Inspector although a very large number of incidents had taken place.
1. FIR NO. 489: -Registered on 1st November 1984 at 6.00 PM. On a report of one Shri Ajab Singh S/o Shri Sohan Singh, Shastri Nagar Colony. He described how he and his brother were standing outside their house at about 4.00 PM. On 1st November, 1984 when a big mob came and started beating the complainant and his brother. He describes how his brother was seriously injured and fell down, besides a few other Sikhs who similarly beaten up. He also narrated how a number of shops were burnt. He has, however, not named any person in the mob but claims to be able to identify them. The report of the Sub Inspector Siya Ram who sent the report to Police Station for registration, also mentioned one person having died. However, this FIR does not incorporate Section 302 IPC, which should normally have been done by the Police.
2. FIR NO. 490: – Registration at 7.00 PM. On 1st November, 1984 on a report of Manmohan Singh S/o Shri Sardar Singh mentions about the incidents at Gurudwara opposite Railway Protection Force Lines. The time of incident mentioned is 3.15 PM. However, this FIR, which was sent for registration to the Police Station by Sub Inspector Om Dutt, does not mention specifically firing from Railway Protection Force Lines. It seems to relate to the same incident because the father of Shri Manmohan Singh was injured in the firing from Railway Protection Force Lines. His father Sardar Singh Ahuja, who has also deposed in the Misra Commission vide affidavit (No. 2330) was injured by a gun shot and removed to Hindu Rao Hospital. One Surender Singh S/o Shri Gurjit Singh got a bullet wound and died on the spot. Besides, when persons had died, the sections under which the FIR was registered should have also included section 302 IPC that has not been done.
2.71. As already mentioned, the main incident pertaining to this Police Station was the alleged firing by the Railway Protection Force at the Singh Sabha Gurudwara in Sarai Rohilla. The fact that this incident occurred and resulted in casualties is also confirmed by FIR No. 490.
2.72. Firing was unprovoked and reflects sadly on the discipline of a sister organization n like the Railway Protection Force. It also reflects on the handling of the situation by the senior officers of the Delhi Police present on the spot. What is most surprising is that no action whatsoever was taken against the Railway Protection Force men indulging in firing. The local police did not register any FIR on its own regarding this incident. As a matter of fact, it appears that the Delhi Police tried to cover up this incident even though very senior officers were present at the spot. The movement chart which the Deputy Commissioner of Police sent vide his letter of 14th February, 1985 is also at variance with the report sent with his letter No. 35533/ C.A.N dated the 10th November, 1984 in which he has changed the timings regarding this incident. Out of the two reports, the sequence of events indicated in his letter of10th November 1984 seems to be more correct. Obviously the situation was not properly handled and this led to loss of life and property. The statement that the situation was controlled is obviously a gross misstatement.
2.73. Shri Dharampal Singh, Dog Squad Instructor of the Railway Protection Force, has been specifically named by Shri Balwinder Singh (2331) and it was the duty of the police to have registered a case u/s 304/307 etc. of the IPC and investigated the same.
2.74. There has also been a total lack of control on the part of the SHO who was present at a large number of places where arson and loot took place but did not take any action. To quote one or two examples, SHO was present in Inderlok from 0945 hrs to 1050 hours on 1st November 1984 according to his movement chart. Shops were set on fire in Inderlok about that time but the SHO does not seem to have taken any action. Similarly, he was present at Kishan Ganj Market from 1055 hours to 1120 hours on Ist November 1984. Shops were looted at about 1115 hours but again no action seems to have bee taken by him. According to his own statement, he was reluctant to use force because of his apprehension that in case he used force he would have to face an enquiry. It appears that the Police in this area neither used tear gas nor lathi charge, nor resorted to firing to control the situation. This reflects very poorly on the caliber of the SHO and his ability to handle the situation. This also explains why he did not register cases when the complainants made such requests. On the other hand, he made attempts to conceal the crime so that he would not be held subsequently accountable.
2.75. Even though the Railway Protection Force is not a part of the Delhi Police, yet it is felt that it would be necessary to recommend criminal and departmental action against the various officials who were in charge of the Railway Protection Force Lines at Sarai Rohilla at the relevant time. Delhi Administration, Delhi should also recommend to the Railway Protection Force authorities to deal with the matter as there is no doubt that there was unprovoked firing from their side which resulted in a number of deaths and also led to the Gurudwara being ransacked and burnt.
2.76. As regards the SHO, Shri Raghunath Singh, there has been a general lack of effective supervision and he did not rise to the occasion. There are many complaints that the police refused to register cases. Suitable disciplinary action as deemed proper may be taken against him.
2.77. Recommendation regarding Additional Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police will be made separately.
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONERS OF POLICE
2.78. The following officers were posted as Assistant Commissioners of Police in the five sub-Divisions of the District: –
1. Shri H.L. Kapur
Kotwali Sub Division
2 Shri Hari Dev
Sadar Bazar Sub Division
3. Shri D.L. Kashyap,
Kingsway Camp Sub Division
4. Shri Mahabir Singh
Ashok Vihar Sub Division
5. Shri Kewal Singh/Sh. Raghbir Singh Malik
Subzi Mandi Sub Division.
2.79. Out of the 5 ACPs, the role of Shri H.L. Kapur has already been discussed earlier and his work has been commended. Shri Hari Dev, ACP and Shri D.L. Kashyap, ACP also handled the situation in Police Stations under their charge reasonably well.
2.80. Shri Mahabir Singh, ACP, was the supervisory officer for the Police Stations Ashok Vihar, Sarai Rohilla and Lawrence Road. There were fairly wide spread disturbances in Police Stations Ashok Vihar and Sarai Rohilla. ACD was moving about in that area, yet the situation had not been effectively controlled in these Police Stations. Another serious omission on his part was regarding the incident in Police Station Sarai Rohilla where the Railway Protection Forc3e4 men fired at the Gurudwara Killing a few people. This incident has been totally blanked out in his report though he was present at the time of the incident. This shows that he was not inclined to recommend any action against the men of this Force. Suitable action as may be deemed proper can be taken by the department against him for not controlling the situation properly in his jurisdiction and for not taking action against the RPF for which he should share responsibility along with his superiors.
2.81. Shri Kewal Singh was ACP Subzi Mandi on 31.10.84 but was replaced the same night by Shri Raghubir Singh Malik. As has been discussed earlier while dealing with Subzi Mandi Police Station, this transfer was affected because both ACP Shri Kewal Singh and SHO Subzi Mandi were inclined to take a tough line against the miscreants. After Shri Raghbir Singh Malik, ACP took over from Shri Kewal Singh, the situation in Subzi Mandi area worsened. There are specific allegations against him as well as SHO Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik. Both these officers were present when killings were taking place and there are allegations that these officers were encouraging the rioters. It is recommended that suitable disciplinary action for major penalty should be taken against Shri Raghubir Singh ACP as well as the SHO of Subzi Mandi.
MR. MAXWELL PEREIRA, ADDL. D.C.P.
2.82. Shri Pereira, Addl. DCP had shown exemplary courage in dealing with the rioters and was very effective in controlling the situation wherever he went. He deserves full commendation for his role in curbing the riots in the areas where he was present.
2.83. The North District had a mixture of good and bad work at the level of senior officers. Taking on overall view, the following recommendations are made in respect of this District.
2.84. The following officers deserve to be commended for their excellent work in handling the riots: –
i) Shri Maxwell Pereira, Addl. DCP (North)
ii) Shri H.L. Kapoor, ACP Kotwali
iii) Inspector O.P. Tewari, SHO, P.S. Kotwali
iv) Head Constable Satish Chander, No.2/n, P.S. Kotwali
v) Inspector P.D. Duggal, SHO P.S. Lahori Gate.
vi) Inspector Khushwant Singh, SHO, P.S. Bara Hindu Rao
vii) Inspector U.C. Kataria, SHO, P.S. Narela.
2.85. Disciplinary action for major penalty is recommended against the following officers: –
i) Shri Raghbir Singh Malik, ACP, Subzi Mandi
ii) Inspector Jai Bhagwan Malik, SHO, P.S. Subzi Mandi
iii) ASI Amar Nath, In charge, PP ISBT, P.S. Kashmere Gate
iv) ASI Mange Ram and
v) ASI Raja Ram, P.S. Ashok Vihar
vi) Inspector Roop Chand, SHO, P.S. Adarsh Nagar
vii) S.I. Jai Bhagwan, P.S. Adarsh Nagar.
2.86. Suitable disciplinary action is recommended to betaken against the following officers for not rising to the occasion and discharging their duties properly and effectively: –
a. Shri Mahabir Singh, ACP, Ashok Vihar
b. S.I. Ram Singh, P.S. Kashmere Gate
c. Inspector Durga Prasad, SHO P.S. Kingsway Camp
d. S.I. Sat Prakash, P.S. Kingsway Camp
e. Inspector Raghunath Singh, SHO, P.S. Sarai Rohilla
SHRI S.K.SINGH, DCP (NORTH)
2.87. Shri S.K. Singh can be said to have generally handled this District well, except for some of the Police Stations like Subzi Mandi and Sarai Rohilla. It seems that his style was cramped by the presence of the Addl. C.P. and he was unable to take effective action in these two Police Stations. This does not, however, absolve him of his responsibility. Both he as well as the Addl. C.P. are accountable for failure to provide leadership and guidance to their subordinates and control situations where they were themselves present. The role of Shri Jatav, Addl. C.P. ® will be discussed separately as he was in charge of the Range which also included East and Central Districts. In so far as North District is concerned for which Shri Singh was in charge, he is certainly responsible for not controlling the incidents in P.S. Sarai Rohilla and P.S. Subzi Mandi in particular. Not only did her not take effective remedial action, he actually allowed the situation to deteriorate for which he should be suitably dealt with departmentally.
2.88. In addition to this, it is also recommended that the incident regarding unprovoked firing by the Railway Protection Force in Sarai Rohilla needs to be probed further by the concerned authorities and suitable punishment awarded to the delinquents.
2.89 The role of the Additional Commissioner of Police ® will be discussed separately in some detail in which his conduct in respect of the three Districts under his charge will be dealt with together.