Kusum Lata Mittal Report
C H A P T E R – 6
W E S T D I S T R I C T
D.C.P. : SHRI U.K. KATNA
6.1. West District of Union Territory of Delhi borders Haryana and had three Sub-Divisions and nine Police Stations under its jurisdiction. Shri U.K. Katna (28.9.83 to 8.7.85) was Deputy Commissioner of Police of this District. The details of the three Sub-Divisions are indicated below: –
I) SUB DIVISION PUNJABI BAGH
A.C.P. : SHRI J.K. SAXENA.
1. P.S. Punjabi Bagh, SHO : Inspector Ram Chandra, From 13.4.81 to 15.2.85.
2. P.S. Nangloi, SHO : Inspector Ram Pal Singh, From 20.9.83 to 15.2.85.
3. P.S. Sultanpuri, SHO : Inspector Hari Ram Bhatti, From 9.11.83 to 19.11.84.
4. P.S. Mangolpuri, SHO : Inspector Rajinder Singh, From 7.6.83 to 15.2.85.
ii. SUB DIVISION TILAK NAGAR
ACP : Shri jagmal Singh
1. P.S. Tilak nagar, SHO : Inspector Jagdish Chand Sharma, from 16.3.83 to 2.9.85
2. P.S. Janakpuri, SHO : Inspector Sheodeen Singh, From 6.7.84 to 15.2.85.
3. P.S. Najafgarh, SHO : Inspector Hawa Singh, From 8.7.83 to 6.9.85.
iii. SUB DIVISION MOTI NAGAR
ACP: Shri Sajjan Singh
1. P.S. Moti Nagar, SHO : Inspector Ved Parkash Gupta, From ————————–
2. P.S. Rajouri Garden, SHO : Inspector Prem Nath Arora, From 21.5.82 to 24.7.85.
6.2. This District was also very badly affected during November 1984 riots. According to Delhi Administration, apart from large number of incidents of arson and loot, the total number of deaths in this District was 616 The Citizen’s Justice Committee placed the number of deaths around 904 before Misra Commission. As the subsequent discussion will show, a number of dead bodies were systematically removed or burnt down either by the mob or the police. Therefore, it is not possible to come to any exact figure of deaths. Perhaps the figure indicated by the Citizen’s Justice Committee would be nearer the truth.
6.3. Evidence forthcoming clearly indicates that the local leaders and the police, especially the SHOs were working in unison. The leaders were freely moving around making speeches and instigating the mobs to indulge in arson, loot and killing. There is plenty of evidence to show that the local SHOs as well as other police staff were hand in glove with them. This would partly explain the lack of action on the part of the police. At certain places, the local SHOs and other staff were not only directly involved but also instigated the mob to indulge in nefarious activities.
6.4. Out of9 Police Stations, the police staff if perhaps only two, viz. Rajouri Garden and Moti Nagar Police stations remained neutral and impartial. The other seven Police Stations were badly affected. Although there were 12 deaths in Rajouri Garden and 7 deaths in Moti Nagar (according to Delhi Administration) the police records indicate that the SHOs of these two Police Stations, managed to contain the trouble. No personal allegations have been made against any police official of these two Police Stations either in the Misra Commission or before this Committee. Therefore, no specific recommendations are made in respect of the police personnel of these two Police Stations. The events in the other seven Police Stations are discussed in the fo0llowing paragraphs in detail: –
SHO : Inspector Ram Chander, From 13.4.81 to 15.2.85
ACP : Shri J.K. Saxena,From 2.11.81 to 14.2.85
6.5. Punjabi Bagh Police Station located on the out-skirts of Delhi has a mixed population, with a few colonies of upper and middleclass and some rural pockets. Three Police Posts in its jurisdiction are: Shakurbasti; Madipur, and Anand Vas.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED IN BEFORE MISRA COMMISSION
6.6. A large number of affidavits received by the Misra Commission indicate that local leaders were involved in the incidents of arson and violence. They were not checked by the local police who appeared to be siding with them. A number of these deponents had been cross-examined by the Commission. Some of the important affidavits giving a picture of the incidents in this area are those given by Shri Tulsi Ram (160); Shri Kuldip Singh (2272); Shri Gurcharan Singh (2274); Shri Virendra Singh (2278); Sh. Pal Singh (2276); Shri Ladhu Ram (2287); Shri Amarjit Singh (2382); Smt. Boori Bhai (2419); Shri Gulshan Singh (2461); Shri Angad Singh (2675); Smt. Gurbir Kaur (2749); Smt. Prakash Kaur (167).
6.7 From the affidavits, the picture which emerges is that the local leaders were roaming around in a white car and a Bullet motorcycle. The police jeep was also moving along with these local leaders. Gurudwaras were attacked in the morning on 1.11.84 and movable property of the Gurudwaras was taken away in two trucks and a matador. The sewadars of Gurudwara Tikana Sahib went to the Police Station for protection but they were beaten up on the instructions of the local leader. Affidavits of Shri Gurcharan Singh (2274) and Shri Gulshan Singh (2461) are relevant in this connection. Both these deponents were cross-examined by Misra Commission.
6.8 After setting the Gurudwara on fire, the mob led by the leaders set fire to Guru Nanak Public School between 11.00 and 12.00 hrs on the same day. Ladhu Ram, the peon of Guru Nanak Public School (2287) and Shri Kuldip Singh (2272), has testified to this. According to them, Head Constable Hamid Khan misappropriated a part of the loot. At about 11.20 AM, Guru Singh Sabha in Bhagwan Dass Nagar in East Punjabi Bagh was set on fire. (Affidavits of Shri Amarjit Singh (2382) and Shri Angad Singh (2675). Shri Pal Singh (2276) stated that his house was attacked and he fired a few rounds in the air from his licensed pistol to scare the mob. His statement is corroborated by Shri Kuldip Singh (2272). However, on hearing the sound of firing, two DTC buses and two mini buses carrying a large number of people came. These were followed by a police vehicle. Being out-numbered Shri Pal Singh managed to escape from the back door and later he was arrested on 3.11.84 and a case registered against him for murder. Smt. Prakash Kaur (167) and Smt. Boori Bhai (2419) also gave vivid description of the attack in their area.
AFFIDAVITS FILED BEFORE THE COMMITTEE
6.9 Only two affidavits have been filed before the Committee which are of a general nature. Inderjit Singh (107) and Shri Manjit Singh (185) have described police inaction and the fact that their FIRs were not properly recorded and no subsequent follow-up was done by the police.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
6.10 There was no trouble on 31st October 1984. However, on 1.11.84, incidents of arson and looting started in rapid succession. Gurudwaras were the main targets followed by Guru Nanak Public School. At 11.20 AM, Gurudwara in Bhagwan Dass Nagar was set ablaze followed by attack on Gurudwara in ‘A’ Block Madipur at 12.40 PM. At about 1.00 PM. There was a serious incident in Samrat Enclave when some member of the Sikh Community started firing at the mob from the roof top of house No. C-64, Raj Nagar in which a number of persons including three inmates of the ———–(two males and one female) were killed according 1450 hrs, the crowd looted Madipur. At 1540 hrs, shops in P&T Colony were looted. At about the same time, the mob tried to set some trucks on fire in Paschim Puri Enclave. At 1720 hrs, Kothi No.33, Road No.1 Punjabi Bagh was set ablaze. On 2nd November 1984, there were incidents of rioting near Samrat Cinema, Shakarpur and one truck was looted and set on fire at Madhuban Chowk. On 3.11.84, one house near Shivaji Park School was set ablaze. Incidents of violence continued upto4.11.84 as would be clear from the messages in the Log Book of this Police Station.
6.11 Although there have been large number of incidents of arson, looting and even killings, only 1 FIR No. 511 was registered by Inspector Ram Chander SHO, Punjabi Bagh at 1.00 PM. On 1.11.84. This is a general FIR, which mentions rioting by both communities. This is of a very general nature and clearly indicates the bias of the SHO against the Sikhs in general. Interestingly, as has been pointed out during the arguments before Misra Commission, this FIR was recorded in more or less the same language as FIR NO. 351/84 of Police Station Nangloi and FIR No. 176/84 of Police Station Mangolpuri. Apparently, the three SHOs decided to record similar FIRs by mutual consultation or under directions from their superiors. Otherwise it would not have been possible for them to use similar phrases and language.
6.12 During the entire period of the riots, —————————- and no arrests were made in this Police Station under substantive offences. Besides, no preventive arrests were made from 31st October to2nd November 1984. It is only on 3.11.84 that 12 preventive arrests are shown to have been made. Throughout the period, there is no mention of any lathi charge to control the mobs. Tear-gas shells were used only at one place in Samrat Enclave when the Sikhs resorted to firing in self-defense on 1.11.84. There is mention of some police firing which was allegedly done in the air. The sequence of events as they emerge from the various reports and log books of the police appear to be as follows:
6.13 House No. C-64, Raj Nagar, Samrat Enclave was gheraoed by an unruly mob of 20-30 thousand people at about 1.00 PM on 1.11.84. SHO, Punjabi Bagh states that he rushed to the spot at about 13.24 hrs and he sent a message to West District Control requesting for additional force and tear-gas. Meanwhile, ACP reached and he found the house had been set on fire. Thereafter, both SHO and ACP continued to send messages through wireless to West District Control for force and tear-gas. ACP also made repeated requests from 1330 hrs onwards to DCP to visit the spot in the interest of the morale of the subordinate staff. The additional force and tear-gas arrived at 14.30 hrs. The ACP used the tear-gas shells to disengage the mob. Fifty-two rounds of .303 and 9 rounds of revolver were also fired by the police. After the firing when the police reached the roof of the house they found 3 dead bodies (2 male and 1 female) lying on the roof. ACP in his report-dated 14.11.84 further reports that 3 infant children were found hidden behind one barsati one they were handed over to their grand mother.
6.14 Apparently, the inmates died as a result of police firing. DCP arrived on the spot at 14.55 hrs i.e. nearly full2 hours after the trouble started and nearly one-hour and25 minutes after the ACP specifically requested the DCP to reach the spot. Although a number of people died there in the incident, the DCP stated in his report dated 31.12.84 that no one was killed in this incident as a result of police firing which is incorrect. The police did not register any FIR regarding this incident in spite of the casualties, which is not understandable.
6.15 That the police action was totally ineffective is also clear from the fact that the mobs continued their nefarious activities unchecked and the situation was not controlled even in places where the ACP and DCP were present. On the other hand, in the arguments of the Delhi Administration before Misra Commission a misleading impression has been given that the police was very active and 10 cases were registered under various sections of the IPC and the Arms Act. Besides, 40 persons were arrested in specific offences and 66 persons were arrested under preventive sections. This is not borne out by the facts as during the period of the riots only one FIR was registered and till the 3rd of November 1984, no arrests whatsoever were made. Action taken after the riots perhaps has been included to give a rosy picture, which is far from the truth.
6.16 The total number of deaths according to Delhi Administration was 27, whereas police records shot about 24. From this it is clear that although the number of deaths was not large the incidents of looting and arson were numerous and remained unchecked.
6.17 The reports of the various officers from SHO upward give an impression that not only did the police take no action to control or contain the situation, but they acted in a partisan manner. This becomes evident from the evidence of various deponents to the fact that police vehicles were present in the initial stages when the Gurudwaras and Sikhs were attacked in the morning on 1.11.84. The report of the SHO dated 18.11.84 has described the attack on Sikh houses in Samrat Enclave, Raj Nagar. In the report he has stated that there was a mob of 20 to 30 thousand people at 1.00 PM. Yet he goes on to say that there was unprovoked firing from the rooftops and four persons were reported killed due to the same. If 20 to 30 thousand people attacked someone’s house, firing in self-defense cannot be termed as unprovoked, since every citizen has a right for self-defense. The SHO has not indicated how the police tried to control or handled the situation. If anything, his report gives the impression that since the Sikhs were firing in self-defense, tear-gas shells were used by the police to flush them out to their houses. ACP (Punjabi Bagh) and DCP (West) were also present at the spot. In report, the 20 rounds of revolver were fired at Raj Nagar under orders of ACP. However, no casualty took place due to this firing. This is incorrect as has been discussed earlier in Para 6.13 because there were a number of casualties.
6.18 An interesting message of ACP, Punjabi Bagh, sent at 1450 hrs reads as follows
“There is a gathering of thousands at the spot which had gheraoed the house and action will be started after 10 minutes. He requested the DCP (West District) to come at the spot so that the morale of the force is kept up.”
The above message clearly indicates the reluctance of the SHO and the ACP to take prompt action to control the situation. ACP sent repeated messages from 1330 hrs to DCP to visit the spot but after so many messages, DCP Shri Katna leaves for the spot at 1403 hrs (according to his own statement) and instead of rushing to the spot, he goes to Moti Nagar and Rajouri Garden and ultimately reaches Samrat Enclave at 1455 hrs. In spite of this serious incident having taken place, no separate FIR was registered.
6.19 Guru Nanak Public School was set ablaze by the mob at about 11.00 AM on 1.11.84. This incident has been left out in the reports of ACP and DCP. The SHO makes a mention of this incident but only shows his visit in the afternoon. Apparently, the ACP Punjabi Bagh and DCP were present at the time when the Gurudwara in Bhagwan Dass Nagar was looted and burnt as well as at the time of the incident of setting fire to the Public School but the action taken by them is not indicated. There was perhaps no will on their part to take any effective action. Not mentioning many of the incidents gives a clear indication that there was a definite and deliberate attempt to minimize the incidents in this Police Station. Not only the police was inactive, they were also, as discussed above, siding with rioters and seemed to be under pressure from the local leaders; hence their partisan attitude.
6.20 While the role of the ACP and DCP will be discussed separately, it is clear that the SHO was inactive, failed to control the situation and permitted arson, looting and killings to continue. He failed to behave as a member of the disciplined force and it is, therefore, recommended that departmental proceedings for major penalty should be initiated against him.
6.21 It is understood that DCP (West) initiated some action against Head Constable Hamid Khan for misappropriation of looted property but the outcome of the inquiry is not known. This needs to be further pursued.
SHO : Inspector Ram Pal Singh from 20.9.83 to15.2.85
ACP: Shri J.K. Saxena
AFFIDAVITS BEFORE THE MISRA COMMISSION
6.23 A large number of affidavits filed before the Misra Commission give a graphic description of the events, which took place during the riots. There was no trouble in this area on 31st October 1984. However, a meeting of the local leaders is said to have taken place during the night intervening 31st October, 1984 and 1st November, 1984. Thereafter, the incidents of arson, loot, violence and killing took place in quick succession.
6.24 Two of the many deponents, viz., Smt. Surinder Kaur (2582) and Shri Gurbachan Singh (2310) were also cross-examined by the misra Commission.
SMT. GURDIP KAUR (2307)—– whose son is a member of the Youth Congress (I), has stated that she was informed that a meeting was held in the colony in which it had been decided that the Sardars were to be killed and the Gurudwaras burnt. She has described in detail how the attack started and Sikh men and women tried to hide in different places. One of her neighbours informed them that three truckloads of persons had come from neighbouring villages and they were coming towards their house. One of the neighbours advised them to hide and the men-folk hid in a tube well. They were, however, attacked and burnt alive. She has given the names of a number of persons whom she recognizes and who were part of the crowd. According to her, the crowd was being paid for the killings at the rate of Rs. 50/- per killing and a bottle of liquor. A number of families were given. Even on the 4thof November 1984, she saw two dead bodies lying on the ground which were being burnt.
6.25.1 SHRI GURBACHAN SINGH (2310)—— has described how crowds came in Haryana Roadways buses and indulged in arson, loot and killing. According to him, the attacks continued till 3rd November 1984. At the Police Station, where some Sikhs were escorted, they were forced to have their hair cut. No action was taken when after the riots a report was lodged at the Police Station naming the ringleaders.
6.25.2 Similar details of attacks have been given by Smt. Krishna (2337); Smt. Updesh Kaur (2555); Smt. Gurcharan Kaur (2557); Smt. Partap kaur(2558); Smt. Surender Kaur (2582); Shri Ishar Singh (2608); Smt. Kuldip Kaur (2538); Shri Puran Singh (2797); Shri Mohinder Singh (2556); Smt. Sushil Kaur (2817); Smt. Gurdeep Kaur (2307) and many others.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED BEFORE THE COMMITTEE
6.25.3 Only one affidavit has been received by the Committee. This is an affidavit of Shri Gurbachan Singh Saluja (213/87). He was running a shop at Chowk Piragarhi, Rohtak Road. He has described that his business establishment was looted and badly damaged by the miscreants and the local police did not stop the mob nor took any action on his report.
6.26 A study of the affidavits and the police records indicate that a large number of persons had come by road and train from outside. As usual, they were set on fire and thereafter houses of individual Sikhs were attacked. A number of attempts were made by various persons particularly the ladies to go to the Police Station and seek help but the response was negative. In some cases, the ladies went to the Police Station Punjabi Bagh but here also they were turned
Away. Incidents of killing continued right up to the 3rd of November 1984.
6.27 The most serious incident was the killing of 9 Sikhs hiding inside a tube-well. Gruesome burning alive of two young girls has been described in the affidavit of Shri Ishar Singh (2608); Smt. Gurcharan Kaur (2557) and Shri Gurcharan Singh (2310). Apparently, the police were moving around in civilian clothes, according to Smt. Gurcharan Kaur (2557), and instead of protecting the victims the police seemed to be part of the mob. (Shri Joginder Singh- 1521). Smt. Pratap Kaur (2558) has stated that the police was pointing out the houses of the Sikhs. She went to the Police Station to lodge a complaint but the police paid no heed. Smt. Krishna (2337) was asked by the police to run away when she went with her complaint. She counted over 100 Sikh bodies on the roads and lanes.
6.28 According to the Delhi Administration, about 122 persons were killed within the jurisdiction of this Police Station. The Citizen’s Justice Committee in their statement put the figures at 146. However, in the police Station records there is mention of 2.11.84. Since a number of dead bodies were disposed of by burning as per the graphic description of the various deponents, the overall figure of deaths in this Police Station could be anywhere between 140 and 150.
6.29 As in the case of Punjabi Bagh and Mangolpuri Police Stations in this P.S. also only one FIR No. 351/84 was registered on 1.11.84 at 4.05 PM. Which covers all the incidents. In his reply dated 7.2.85 to various questions put to SHO Inspector Ram Pal Singh, vague reasons have been given for this illegal action. During the riots, no arrests were made under substantive offences. No preventive arrests were made on 1st and 2nd November 1984 and only 5 persons are shown to have been arrested under preventive sections on 3.11.84. Lathi charge was not resorted to on the 1st of November 1984 and the Daily Diary entry indicates lathi charge only at one place on 2nd November 1984. Police was obviously ineffective because no one was hurt or injured and incidents continued right up to 3rd of November 1984.
6.30 On the other hand, Delhi Administration in their arguments before Mira Commission has given a difference picture, which is not borne out by facts. According to Delhi Administration, 5 Firs were registered; 13 persons were arrested and 52 persons were arrested under preventive sections. These arrests were certainly not made during the period of the riots and give a misleading picture of the police action.
6.33. Although no specific allegations have been made against individual police officers, the study of the records and the affidavits indicate absolute police apathy and inaction. There is ample evidence that deponents especially women went to the Police Stations but they were turned away. What to talk of giving protection, even their FIRs were not recorded. Had the police taken effective action, violence could not have continued right up to 3rd November 1984. The SHO of this Police Station apparently abdicated his charge and the mobs continued to do exactly what they wanted. He is squarely responsible for the total failure and breakdown of the police administration in this Police Station and it is recommended that disciplinary action for major penalty is initiated against him.
SHO : Inspector H.R.Bhatti,(2.11.84 to 19.11.84)
ACP : Shri J.K. Saxena
6.34. Police Station Sultanpuri mainly covers resettlement colonies with sizable Sikh population.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED IN THE MISRA COMMISSION
6.35. A large number of affidavits relating to this a number of deponents were also cross-examined. Some of those who were cross-examined were: Smt. Durjan Kaur (2293); Smt. Jatan Kaur (2405); Smt. Banto Kaur (2424); Smt. Anek Kaur (2427); Smt. Gopi Kaur (2430); Smt. Asudi Bai (2606); and Shri Bhag Singh (2686). The Misra Commission also had the statements of some deponents investigated through its-investigating agency. A number of other deponents had also given graphic descriptions of he sequence of events in this Police Station during the riots, which will be discussed subsequently.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
6.36. A study of the affidavits and police records indicate that there was no serious incident of violence in this Police Station on 31.10.84. However, in the morning of 1st November 1984, a local Member of Parliament addressed a meeting which was also attended by SHO Inspector Bhatti and other police officers of Sultanpuri. In this meeting, the gathering was instigated to take revenge on the Sikhs. Immediately thereafter, violence started with full fury. An attack on the Gurudwara in Budh Vihar was followed by arson and looting in Blocks A & C. In Blocks ‘A’, a number of shops belonging to Sikhs were set ablaze. In Block ‘C’, a Gurudwara was set on fire. In this very incident, an elderly Sikh named Tota Singh was beaten up by the mob and some witnesses saw SHO Shri Bhatti firing at Tota Singh with his service revolver. Tota Singh was removed to hospital in a serious condition where he succumbed to injuries. Violence spread to other areas and continued unabated also on 2nd and 3rd November 1984.
6.37. It seems the pattern, that was followed, was that first the SHO Shri Bhatti and Head Constable Jai Chand ordered and threatened the Sikhs to go inside their houses otherwise they would shoot them. After the Sikhs went inside the houses, they were attacked by the mobs with the full connivance of the police. (Affidavits of Smt. Jatan Kaur –2405; Guddi Kaur- 2680; Chal Kaur-2698; and Shri Moti Singh –2403.) The SHO was allegedly leading the mob and pointing out the houses of the Sikhs. (Affidavits of Ramesh Kaur –2619; Shri Sangat Singh –2493; Smt. Gopi Kaur – 2430 & 2545; Smt. Prem Kaur –2475; Smt. Gulbano Kaur – 2417; and Smt. Guddi Kaur-2680). The SHO was not only leading the mob but also firing at the Sikhs and killing them. He had allegedly fired at Roshan Singh and said, ‘No Sikh can go from here alive while am here’. Havaldar Jai Chand was alleged to have fired at Jarnail Singh and killed him. (Affidavits of Moti Singh –2403; Smt. Prem Kaur- 2474; Smt. Salawati Kaur –2533.) Shri Pinia Singh (2375) and Smt. Gopi Kaur (2430) also alleged that Tota Singh was shot by Shri Bhatti. Shri Bhag Singh (2686) has given evidence to the effect that SHO Bhatti told the deponent that he had been ordered to disarm the Sikhs and took the4 deponent’s gun.
6.38. The police subsequently refused to record the FIRs of the victims. (Affidavits by Shri Kalia – 2348 and Smt. Rajni Devi – 2349.) Sikhs were also humiliated and asked to shave off their hair at the Police Station. (Smt. Anek Kaur –2427. Smt. Salawati Kaur – 2533 and Smt. Gopi Kaur – 2430 & 2545.) The Police disposed some of the dead bodies of the victims off by carrying them away in tempos and by burning. (Smt. Durjan Kaur –2293; Shri Moti Singh – 2403; Smt. Rajni Devi – 2349; and Smt. Jatan Kaur – 2405.) It seems that to ensure that the victims could not escape and the killers were not identified, the electricity was switched off. (Affidavits of Teedee Kaur – 2426 and Smt. Film Kaur – 2428).
6.39. Some Sikhs, who were considered to be influential or could subsequently create trouble, were isolated and taken to the Thana. According to Shri Pinia Singh (2375), the SHO had been acting as follows: –
“ At about 10.00 AM. On 1.11.84, a mob of about 2,000 persons attacked us. In the meantime the police arrived. SHO Bhatti Saheb took us to the Police Station. Other Sikhs were also present there in the Police Station. Bhatti Saheb said that you 15-20 persons who have come here were safe and you will see what happens with others. We saw outside slaughtering was being done. Police was just watching.”
6.40. The affidavits which were investigated by the Misra Commission through the investigating agency also indicate that the allegations made by the deponents were by and large correct.
AFFIDAVITS FILED BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE
6.41. Seventeen affidavits have been received before the Committee. These affidavits appreciate the some Sikh families. Considering the overwhelming evidence against the SHO, these affidavits do not carry any weight.
6.42. According to Delhi Administration, the number of deaths in PS Sultanpuri was 201 whereas according to the affidavits filed by the Citizens’ Justice Committee the figure would be 379. There is enough evidence to show that dead bodies were being burnt or systematically removed soon after the killings. Even the SHO in his statement at one place has accepted that it was not possible to conduct postmortem on all the bodies because quite a few have been burnt. Since the disposal of most of the dead bodies were done in such a manner, as not to leave any trace, there is no doubt that the deaths in this Police Station might have been more. The claims made are not necessarily the correct picture, as many people ran away not to return.
6.43. A number of people of West District fled away in fear to Alwar (Rajasthan) and were too scared of harassment by police and local leaders that they were reluctant to return to Delhi. The Delhi Administration had this matter examined in some depth by the then Deputy Commissioner Shri R.S. Sethi, who after inquiries at Alwar submitted a detailed report dated 17.12.84 which was passed on to the then Police.
6.44. Despite large number of incidents of killings, looting and arson, only 2 FIRs were registered – one each on 1st and 3rd November 1984 respectively. These are of a general nature. In FIR No. 250 of1.11.84 even killings have not been mentioned. The effort of the local police throughout was to minimize and conceal the incidents deliberately.
6.45. During the entire period of the riots, and, in spite of the fact that large-scale killings, arson and loot was taking place, not a single arrest was made under substantive offences. No preventive arrests were made on 31.10.84 and 1st and 2nd November 1984. This was quite natural because the evidence goes to show that police was completely in league with the mob. This also explains why not a single tear-gas shell was fired to disperse the crowd. Though eight lathi charges are alleged to have been made on 1.11.84, there is no mention of the same in the Daily Diary. The police fired some round with revolvers/rifles etc. during the riots not to disperse the crowd but as claimed by the deponent’s to assist the mobs in their nefarious activities.
6.46. Witness after witness had stated that the SHO was fully in league with the mob and the local clearly indicate that he was constantly sending misleading messages. In his explanation, Shri Bhatti has mentioned that due to lack of fire fighting vehicles and adequate force a lot of damage was caused to life and property. He has further added that he had gone to a number of areas and saved Sikhs at great personal risk. He makes a very strange statement when he says that had the police killed the rioters the mob might have looted and burnt the Police Station as had been done on some earlier occasion. This is a very lame excuse and shows his extreme cowardice if nothing else.
6.47. The events of this Police Station are a slur on the name of the local police. Not only has the police extended no help to the affected persons but directly involved itself with the rioters by giving them help-moral and material. It is a shame that people like Inspector H.R.Bhatti, SHO, and Head Constable Jai Chand are still in services and not so far prosecuted in a court of law. There was more than enough evidence to successfully prosecute these police personnel as well as local leaders responsible for these killings.
6.48. Both SHO H.R. Bhatti and Head Constable Jai do not appear fit to be retained in the Police force and it would be a pity if they were allowed to ——— any further. After a lapse of so much time can be done is to deal with them under Article 311(2) (b) of the Constitution for their acts of omission and commission.
SHO : Inspector R.S. Dahiya, From 7.6.83 to 15.2.85
ACP : Shri J.K. Saxena
6.49. Police Station Mangolpuri comprises of23 Blocks of resettlement colonies with a population of about 2.5 lakhs.
AFFIDAVITS FILED BEFORE THE MISRA COMMISSION
6.50. A large number of affidavits were filed before Misra Commission and there were specific allegations against local leaders as well as the police staff not only of the Police Station but also senior officers of the District. Some of the important affidavits were of Smt. Surjit Kaur wife of Shri Beant Singh (77); Shri Ram Saran (78); Shri Lal Singh (87); Shri Natha Singh (88); Shri Tajwant Singh Malhotra (93); Smt. Daropati (2350); Shri Ajit Singh (2388); Shri Gurdip Singh (2399); Shri Gurmukh Singh (2431); Shri Radho Ram Pandey (2435); Shri Saada Singh (2437); Shri Harnam Singh (2459); Smt. Myna Kaur (2462); Shri Amarjit Singh (2483); Smt. Mahinder Kaur (2559); Shri Thakur Singh (2580); Shri Niranjan Singh (2587); Smt. Agya Kaur (2607); Smt. Amrit Kaur (2630); and Shri Ahal Singh (2770).
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED IN THE COMMITTEE
6.51. Only one affidavit has been received in this Committee. It has been filed by Shri Anant Singh (293/87) who has described how his house was looted and burnt and the police did not stop the miscreants. He has also alleged that no action was taken by the police on the FIR lodged by him.
6.52. On an analysis of the various affidavits and the police records, it is apparent that there was no trouble in this area on 31.10.1984. Trouble started on 1.11.84. The initial attacks were on the Gurudwaras in various blocks by mobs led by local leaders. The Gurudwaras of Block G, R, B, D, S, etc. etc. were attacked, looted and burnt unchecked. In the evening of 1.11.84, attacks took place in Rohini Block area. Evidence of Shri Radho Ram Pandey (2435) is relevant in this connection. He has stated that trouble started in the area around2.00 PM. On 1.11.84. He was eye-witness to the attacks and killings. Being the Pradhan of that area, he went to the Police Station. He was told to runaway and safe his own life. The police did not render any help. He has named quite a few persons who were involved the riots. Being a non-Sikh and a representative that area, his evidence becomes quite significant. Incidents of violence, loot, arson and killings continued even on the2ndand 3rd . According to Surjit Kaur (77), the SHO, ACP and DCP were inci—— the killers. The police officers were even directing the killer’s to remove the dead bodies so that no evidence of killings remained. Affidavits of Shri Niranjan Singh (2587) and Shri Ajit Singh (2388) also indicate police involvement in the killings. When the police was specifically approached to render help, they refused to help the deponents. This is not only clear from the affidavits of Shri Radho Ram Pandey (2435) but also Daropati (2350); Harnam Singh (2459) and Myna Kaur (2462).
6.53. The unhelpful attitude of the police is also evident from the affidavit of Shri Ahal Singh (2770) who is a retired Class I Officer from the ISRE Cadre who has been working as a Hony Technical Adviser and Trustee of Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust for the benefit of physically handicapped persons in Delhi. He has described certain events of this Police Station. According to him, the affected people of this area were so scared that subsequently in spite of his efforts and contacts made with senior officers, the riot victims were not prepared to go back to their homes. Surprisingly, the officers who were sent for enquiries were the same SHO and ACP who had been responsible for the killings. Some of the victims were being threatened and chased by the assessing according to Shri Ahal Singh. In one incident when the deponent was complaining to the SHO, a large number of victims came running and they were followed by the alleged assassins. The SHO stated that these people had been bailed out and he found himself helpless. The deponent complained to the Commissioner of Police Shri S.S. Jog on 23.11.84, gave him a complete picture and also told him that the sketchy FIRs would not do as they were inadequate for registering cases. The affidavit of Shri Ahal Singh, who tried to help the riot victims, is indeed Avery telling one and gives a clear picture of the indifference and callousness of the local police.
6.54. The affidavits of Smt. Surjit Kaur (77), Shri Ram Saran (78), Shri Lal Singh (87) and Shri Natha Singh (88) all describe the killings in this Police Station. The names of the killers are well known and they are all quite notorious characters. However, it was only when the army came to this area on the 2nd evening that the situation started getting normalized. During the entire period of the riots, police presence was negligible, ineffective and where it was present they apparently abetted with the criminals rather than take action to control the situation. This is also clear from the fact that they did not register the complaints of the riot victim’s when approached by them at the Police Station.
6.55. The total number of deaths in this police Station, according to the SHO, was given as 19 initially. This figure was later increased to 69. The Citizens’ Justice Committee indicated a figure of 132 deaths, whereas the Delhi Administration has identified 112 deaths. Keeping in view the fact that the bodies of the victims were burnt and disposed of, the figure of 132 might be nearer the truth.
6.56. In spite of the large number of incidents on 1st, 2nd and 3rd November, 1984, it is a matter of surprise that during this entire period only one FIR No. 174 was registered in spite of the fact that over a hundred deaths took place; a number of Gurudwaras were looted and burnt and arson continued unabated. Apparently, the police were concealing and playing down the incidents so that it could not be held accountable for inaction at a later date.
6.57. According to the arguments of the Delhi Administration before Misra Commission, the police of the area was very vigilant and had taken all steps to control the situation. Further it is mentioned that lathi charge was resorted to vigorously to disperse the mob at many places. The police also resorted to firing and 36 persons were arrested under substantive offences and 79 persons were arrested under preventive sections. Besides, 3 FIRs were registered.
6.58. This submission of the Delhi Administration before Misra Commission was very misleading. The police records indicate that no preventive arrests were made on 1st, 2nd and 3rd November 1984. No arrests under substantive offences were made from 1st to 5th November 1984. During the entire period of the riots, no tear-gas was used. Firing was not resorted to on 1st November, 1984 and even when there is mention of the firing on 2nd and 3rd November, according to the SHO’s own statement, it was in the air firing was ineffective. Even lathi-charge was not resorted to on the 1st November 1984. There is mention of lathi-charge only at two places on 2nd November and not subsequently even though the incidents continued on 3rd November 1984. During the entire period of the riots, only one FIR No. 174 was registered. Other cases might have been registered subsequently but the impression given by the Delhi Administration was certainly misleading.
6.59. It is clear from the above that even though outside force had been deputed, the ‘will to act’ by the local police was completely lacking. As a matter of fact, many of the deponents have stated that when they went to the Police Station, they were turned away and no help was given to them. It is only after the army reached this Police Station that the situation started normalizing.
6.60. The supervisory officers, viz., ACP and DCP also did not pay adequate attention nor did they take steps to control the situation. The report of the ACP indicates that he had visited Mangolpuri on the morning of 1st November. After that he only came at the time of evacuation of families on 3.11.84. On 2nd November, the SHO had met him at P.S. Nangloi. DCP is stated to have had a round on 1.11.84 in the morning and later on 3rd November in the evening along with some army personnel. He probably avoided this area after handing it over to the mercy of local leaders.
6.61. SHO Inspector R.S. Dahiya was not only disinclined to take action but also seemed to be actively involved in the attacks on Sikhs. As a matter of fact, the police presence made only matters worse. He did not even bother to get Firs registered. His conduct has been extremely reprehensible. It is recommended that disciplinary action for major penalty be taken against him for dereliction of duty and suppressing the incidents of crime.
6.62. The conduct of ACP and DCP will be discussed separately.
SHO : Inspector jagdish Chand Sharma(16.3.83 to 2.9.85)
ACP : Shri jagmal Singh
6.63. Tilak Nagar Police Station was seriously affected and incidents of arson started in this police Station at night on 31.10.84 at Jail Road and Hari Nagar Depot. On the 1st November, Mayapuri area went up in flames. Incidents of arson, loot and killings continued right up to 3rd November 1984. According to the Delhi Administration, 63 persons were killed during the riots in the area of this Police Station.
AFFIDAVITS FILED BEFORE THE MISRA COMMISSION
6.64. A number of affidavits were filed before Misra Commission. Perusal of these affidavits clearly indicates that the police of this area was partisan and permitted the mobs to carry on their nefarious activities unhindered. Not only that, the police actually took action against the Sikhs trying to defend themselves, arrested and humiliated them.
6.65. Smt. Darshan Kaur wife of Sardar Harbans Singh (2277) has described that on 1.11.84 at about 10 O’clock in the morning, smoke could be seen from Mayapuri area. She has further stated that the Hindus and Sikhs of Fateh Nagar and Shiv Nagar decided to form resistance groups. Her husband being an Ex-Army Personnel briefed them on how to protect the area. They continued to protect themselves as a consequence of which they were safe on 1st and 2nd November 1984. Once or twice policemen came and told them to go inside but the locals did not agree. However, on 3.11.1984, 5-6 policemen forcibly entered their house. Smt. Swaran Kaur and her husband were beaten up by the police. Then her husband was taken to the Police Station where he was again beaten up and tortured. The police took away her husband’s licensed gun, a case u/s 307 IPC was registered against him and whatever money was in his pocket was removed by the policemen in the Police Station. After being released from jail, he used to complain about pain in his stomach. According to the deponent, her husband ultimately died on 13.6.85 on account of the injuries as a result of the beating given by the police.
6.66. Major N.S. Phull, AMC (Retd.) (170/85) has given a vivid description of how he was taken to Thana under orders of Shri Katna, DCP, when he sought the police help to prevent the mob from burning and looting this shop in this area. His licensed pistol No. 815904 with ammunition and cash of Rs. 314/- was seized by the police and when he asked for a receipt, he was beaten up inside the cell, by SI Babu Lal, ASI Attar Singh, Constable Khazan Singh, besides others, whom he could not recognize. Later he was forcibly made to sign a receipt by Sub Inspector Sat Pal Saini. In jail, he learnt that he along with some other Sikhs, have been falsely implicated under various sections of the IPC vide FIR No. 442 of 1984 where he was shown to be leading other persons for looting and plundering etc.
6.67. Shri Kirpal Singh (136/85), Shri Inder Mohan Singh (146/85), Sardar Mohinder Singh (2394/85) and Shri Trilochan Singh (2404) have given similar accounts of police beating and humiliation besides implicating them in false cases. Smt. Kulwant Kaur Gill (182/85) gives details of violence and loss of property.
6.68. It is interesting to note that in this Police Station not only the residents of this area but Shri Piara Singh (2689) resident of Vikas Puri, who went to Tilak Nagar Police Station to seek refuge in the Police Station, was maltreated, arrested and implicated along with other Sikhs in FIR No. 442 mentioned above. Later instead of Rs. 600/-, taken from his pocket, he was offered only Rs. 60/- for which he complained to the DCP.
6.69. In Tilak Nagar, since the residents –both Hindus and Sikhs – had organized themselves into resistance groups, the mob indulging in violence was unhappy. Later, with the active help and connivance of the police, they continued their nefarious activities on 3rd November and were not prevented by the law enforcement agency.
AFFIDAVITSRECEIVED BY THE COMMITTEE
6.70. One affidavit has been filed by major (Retd) N.S. Phull before the Committee which is similar to the one he filed before the Misra Commission. He has mentioned that on his complaint vigilance enquiry was held against defaulting officials. The police records indicate that though he had complained against a number of police officials yet the Police Commissioner’s Office took action against only Head Constable Dharam Vir Singh who was censured and since SI Sat Pal had already been dismissed on some other charges, no further action was taken against him. No action, however, seems to have been taken against SI Babu Lal, ASI Attar Singh and Constable Khazan Singh who beat up Major Phull. Some other affidavits filed before the Committee also indicate police inaction in the area.
6.71. It is sad commentary on the affairs of this Police Station that only one FIR for each day, i.e. 1st, 2nd and 3rd November 1984 has been registered by the police. All the three FIRs are against the Sikhs Only. The arrests were made of only of Sikhs who were tortured and humiliated alt the Police Station. This is also strange as the DCP’s Headquarter is also in this area and these things went on happening under his very nose.
6.72. —– Control the situation and allowed the mobs to have a field day. These mobs looted and burnt Gurudwaras and killed more than 63 Sikhs in this area.
6.73. In his statement dated 15.1.85, the SHO had painted a rosy picture by stating that no unto ward incident took place on31.10.84 and he allegedly controlled a crowd by ‘mini care charge’ on 1st November, 1984. He further stated that on 2.11.84, their were no incidents of arson etc. and only when the Sikhs assaulted a police party in the forenoon, he registered FIR NO. 443. He boasted that due to intensive patrolling, hard work and prompt action, the situation remained under control and there was no loss of life in the area of PS Tilak Nagar.
6.74. Why an officer of the rank of SHO told blatant lies is not understandable because the police records show that in this police Station there was no lathi charge, no use of tear-gas and no firing to control the situation. No preventive arrests were made on 31.10.84, on 1st or2nd November, 1984 and the arrests made under substantive offences were and of the miscreants but of members of Sikh Community who were trying to defend themselves with the help of the members of the other communities of that area. The wireless logbook of this Police Station indicates a number of messages of killings and deaths even on 1st November 1984 and still the SHO has the audacity to say that no deaths occurred in his jurisdiction. On the other hand, Delhi Administration itself after verification has placed the figure of deaths at 63.
6.75. The police in general, and the SHO in particular, have behaved in an extremely irresponsible manner in connivance with the culprits. SHO and other police staff are guilty of gross misconduct for torturing and humiliating the Sikhs whom they arrested apparently without sufficient cause. The SHO- Inspector Jagdish Chand Sharma made no efforts to control the situation and is certainly not fit to be retained in a disciplined force and action for imposition of major penalty is recommended against him.
6.76. SI Babu Lal, ASI Attar Singh and Constable Khazan Singh deserve to be dealt with severely and major penalty proceedings should also be initiated against them.
SHO : Inspector Sheodeen Singh(6.7.84 to 25.2.85)
ACP : Shri Jagmal Singh
6.77. Police Station Janakpuri has a few villages under its jurisdiction besides urban colonies like Janakpuri, Uttam Nagar and Vikas Puri. One Police Post At Uttam Nagar was under the charge of S.I. Iqbal Singh.
AFFIDAVITS FILED BEFORE THE MISRA COMMISSION
6.78. ————– Misra Commission regarding incidents in this Police Station. The names of some of the important deponents were: Smt. Amrit Kaur 9101); Shri Balbir Singh (2305); Shri R.S.Virk (2336); Smt. Swaran Kaur (2338); Shri Lakhbir Singh (2322); Shri Mohan Singh (2335); Shri Apjeet Singh (2353); Shri Mohinder Singh (2355); Shri Buta Singh (2356); Shri Swinder Singh (2358); Shri Didar Singh (2359); Shri Sukhdev Singh (2360); Shri Satnam Singh (2361); Shri Jagjit Singh (2362); Shri Harvinder Singh (2401); Major T.S.Chhatwal (2637); Smt. Manjit Kaur (2786); and Shri Avtar Singh (2826).
6.79. Of the above deponents, Smt. Amrit Kaur (101); Shri R.S.Virk (2336); Shri Balbir Singh (2305); and Smt. Swaran Kaur (2338) were cross-examined by the Misra Commission. Besides, the Investigating Team of the Commission investigated the facts deposed by S/Shri Jagjit Singh (2362); Sukhdev Singh (2360); Satnam Singh (2361); Didar Singh (2359); Swinder Singh (2358) and by and large found the incidents narrated by them to be correct.
AFFIDAVITS FILEDIN THE COMMITTEE
6.80. A number of affidavits have also been received by the Committee. They are of a similar nature describing the apathy of the police and complaining that their FIRs were not recorded at the police station. They also described the losses which they suffered.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
6.81. The police records clearly indicate that when incidents of rioting took place at Hari Nagar Bus Stop. Two injured person’s were admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the early hours of 1st November 1984. Apparently, violent mobs active in Delhi Cantonment and Nangloi etc. spilled over to Janakpuri area and went on a looting and burning spree. From early morning on 1st November 1984,riots took a very serious turn and there were incidents of arson and looting at Pankha Road and Janakpuri in C-3 Block behind Hari Nagar Bus Depot. Many houses, shops and business establishments besides cycles and taxis were set on fire. Violence spread to Navada Bus Stand, Virender Nagar, Janak Cinema and Gurudwara in ‘C’ Block. Killing started on 1st November 1984 and S.S. Mota Singh School was also burnt. Incidents of violence in this Police Station continued on 2nd and 3rd November 1984 even though extra force had been received by 1st November 1984 itself.
6.82. SHO Janakpuri has registered only one FIR attach on 31st October, 1st November, 2nd November and 3rd November 1984. These are of general nature and describe the incidents in this Police Station in general.
6.83. The Delhi Administration on the basis of inquiry conducted has given a figure of 36 persons having been killed. However, the figure should be on the higher side as according to the deponents
6.84. The police records indicate that even though trouble had started in this Police Station on 31st October 1984 and continued up to 3rd November 1984 yet no arrests were made on 31st October or 1st November 1984 either for substantive offences or under preventive sections. As matter off act, no preventive arrests were made in this Police Station through out the period of riots. No use of teargas shells was made nor did the police resort to any lathi charge, although in his statement dated 30.11.84 the SHO claims that the mob was repulsed many times by lathi charge. This is obviously an incorrect statement. Some firing is alleged to have been resorted to. However, this was obviously not effective because no one was hurt or injured and the incidents continued up to the 3rd of November 1984 were under section 188 IPC, more of a preventive nature rather than for substantive offences committed. Police firing, supposed to have been resorted to, does not appear to be correct because the SHO at 0200 hrs on 2nd November, 1984 had sent a report on certain points including firing and he sent a ‘nil’ report. This would show that there could have been no firing on 1st November 1984 and the figures of firing appear to be fabricated and therefore, no reliance can be place on them. It is strange that the Delhi Administration in their argument before Misra Commission have submitted that the SHO formed the Peace Committee of the residents of all communities and “No incident took place after the evening of1.11.84”. This is factually a mis-statement because the police records and log books as well as the statements of the deponents clearly prove that incidents of violence, looting and killing also continued on 2nd and 3rd November 1984. Why such a misleading version was given to Misra Commission totally contrary to facts needs to be probed.
6.85. From the statement of Smt Amrit kaur (101); Shri Mohinder Singh (2355); Shri Didar Singh (2359); Shri Sukhdev Singh (2360); Shri Boota Singh (2356); and Shri Jagjit Singh (2362), it is clear that thepolice was present when incidents were taking place but refused to take effective action. The police used to record FIRs of the deponents, as would beear from the affidavits of Smt. Swaran Kaur (2338); Shri Harvinder Singh (2401); Shri jagjit Singh (2362); etc. According to Shri R.S.Virk (2336) and Shri Sukhdev Singh (2360) the police was actually instigating the mob to set fire to the properties of the Sikhs. This is strange that although a number of persons in—– mob were known to every one yet they were neither apprehended nor charge-sheeted nor cases registered against them which clearly indicates that the will to It was completely lacking and no serious attempt was due to contain or effectively deal with the riots. —-The statement of Shri R.S.Virk (2336) it is also ——– that his scooter had been stolen by one Vedu, local bad character which was recovered through the —— offices of the ACP but it was actually handed over to the owner without any record or entry at the Police Station. This would show that the general practice of recovering stolen property without taking any action against the culprits was being followed in this Police Station also. There are some allegations by name against the DCP, which will be separately discussed. (Affidavit of Shri Harvinder Singh (2401) The callous attitude of the policies clear from the affidavits of Shri Didar Singh (2359); Major T.S.Chhatwal, an Ex-Army Officer (2637) and many others. Shri Didar Singh goes to the extent of stating that when he resisted the mob by firing and the mob fled away, an ASI and a Head Constable brought the mob back. He has directly implicated Shri Sajjan Kumar, a local M.P. under whose directions it is alleged the mobs were being led.
6.86. SHO Inspector Sheodeen Singh and SI Iqbal Singh, In charge of P.P.Uttam Nagar, both failed in their duty to control the situation in their respective areas and they did not take either direct action or preventive action to contain the riots as result of which arson, loot and killings continued in this Police Station for 4 days. They also did not properly utilize the additional force that was deputed to this area and, therefore, are accountable for dereliction of duty and need to be suitably dealt with departmentally.
SHO : Inspector Hawa Singh Rana (8.7.83 to 6.9.85)
ACP : Shri Jagmal Singh
6.87. Police Station Najafgarh covers an area of more than 100 sq, kms. Having about70 villages bordering Haryana. It also includes CRPF Group Centre in Jharoda Kalan. There is one Police post at Kapashera.
6.88. There was no incident in this Police Station on 31st October, 1984 but on 1st November, 1984 there was wide-spread violence from about10 AM onwards in Gaushala, Roshanpura, Kochhar Farm, Dichaun Kala Road kapashera Border and Gurudwara Roshanpura. A number of trucks and shops besides factories were set a blaze. The incidents of violence continued unabated on 2nd November 1984 especially in Jharoda and Kapashera border.
6.89. According to Delhi Administration, 36 persons of this area were killed during the riots. Citizens’ Justice Committee placed the figure at 79, but the Delhi Police gave only a figure of 19. Keeping in view the events of arson, looting and killing and the fact that Delhi Administration was able to get identification done in 36 cases, it is felt that the figure of deaths given by the Citizens’ Justice Committee may be nearer the mark.
AFFIDAVITS RECEIVED IN MISRA COMMISSION
6.90. Two main affidavits received in the Misra Commission in respect of this Police Station were by Smt. Balbir Kaur (2684) ands. Raminder Singh, an ex-Inspector of CRPF, (2677). Besides the set two affidavits, there was a complaint filed by M.S. Sidhu, joint Secretary of the Sikh Samaj Sudhar Sabha, New Delhi, addressed to Shri S.S.Jog, the then Commissioner of police, requesting for registration of a murder case against the police officers for committing triple murder. In this complaint Shri Sidhu has alleged that the SHO Najafgarh along with Ram Chander, ASI, led the rioters to Farm No.2, who killed the husband, brother and a relative of Smt. Hardeep Kaur. Despite her repeated requests to the police, no murder case was registered against the culprits. This complaint was enquired into by the Police Commissioner’s Special Enquiry Cell and the number of statements recorded by the police give an indication that the complaint was prima facie correct.
6.91. Smt. Balbir Kaur (2684) has described the burning of the Gurudwara at about t9.30 AM. And thereafter the mob moved towards her residence at Farm No.2, Papravata Road, Najafgarh, and attacked her house. She has named some of the culprits whom she could identity in the mob. The SHO and ASI reached the spot and the SHO went away promising that he would send a truck to evacuate the Sikhs. After about 2 hours, the mob came again, but the promised truck did not turn up and the ASI and the two policemen, who were kept on duty, also disappeared. The mob attacked her house and killed the male members of the family. She has named one Ranbir who hit her husband. It is only after all this that the police vehicle came and took them to the Police Station. It seems that Smt. Balbir Kaur was separated from her men-folk and while the ASI Ram Chander kept telling her that they had been sent to the hospital, Ranbir later told her he had killed her husband while Hukmi held on to his head so that he could strike a proper blow. It seems clear that this family was not given proper protection by the police.
6.92. S. Raminder Singh (2677), annex-Inspector CRPF, gives an equally gruesome picture of callousness and in difference of the SHO as well as the officers of the CRPF. Being an ex-Inspector of the CRPF, living opposite to the CRPF Lines, Shri Raminder Singh made repeated efforts to seek help both from the SHO Hawa Singh Rana and the CRPF officers from the Commandant Satish Kumar Mohindroo downwards. Neither the SHO nor the CRPF officers gave any help and this is surprising because Raminder Singh was an ex-employee of the CRPF and well-known to them. The CRPF officers were not even prepared to give refuge to the three young girls of Raminder Singh. Even when with great reluctance the CRPF came to help the families of the Hindus and Shri Raminder Singh managed to get into the vehicle, the crowd however still managed to kill his brother. S.Raminder Singh’s affidavit is a sad commentary on the functioning of the authorities whether it be the local police or the CRPF. Apparently, the police of this police Station had no will to act and save the life and property of the citizens. The CRPF officers also behaved in a very shabby manner.
AFFIDAVITS FILED BEFORE THE COMMITTEE
6.93. Three affidavits have been filed before this committee by Shri Tarlok Singh (151/87), Shri Malkiat Singh (186/87) and Smt. Kamlesh Kumari (187/87). They have complained that the police did not register their FIRs, did not investigate their cases and they suffered heavy losses.
6.94. Only 3 FIRs were registered in this Police Station – two on theist and one on2nd November, 1984- in which details in general of looting and killing have been described. Details of the FIRs were asunder: –
(i) FIR No. 256 U/s. 147/148/149/427/436/302/295/395 IPC was registered on 1st November 1984. Time 10.45 AM to 7.00 PM.
“ On being informed by the Wireless Operator H/C Tara Chand, a police party comprising of 13 persons, namely, SI Omvir, SI Bal Kishan, ASI Ram Chander, ASI Jagdish Singh H/C Raj Singh, H/C Raghu Nath, Constables Ravi Dutt, Brijender Singh, Rajveer, Bheem Singh, DAP Arjan Singh, Manohar Lal and Tejpal reached Gaushala Road where disturbance was reported. The police party saw a mob of 300/400,one scooter (two wheeler) DLS 2910 was on fire. When the police interrupted the rioters they ran towards Chawla Stand and started burning the shops. Two shops were totally burnt. In the meantime, the SHO also reached there. On being interrupted, the mob ran towards Bijwasan Road and then at Roshanpura set fire to Gurudwara there. Five houses, one truck and four tractors all belonging to Sardars were set ablaze. The mob also injured many Sardars who ran towards Dhansa Stand. On being interrupted, the mob preceded towards Dharampura and set on fire a thread factory belonging to a Sardar. The mob, by that time had swelled to 1500. Then the mob came towards Chhawala Stand, set a shop on fire and ran towards Najafgarh and set on fire 8 shops and houses. Then the mob proceeded towards Delhi and enrooted burnt a truck parked on the road opposite Nangali Sakrawati. Then the mob proceeded towards Dichau Village and set on fire three buses there. Then the mob entered the PHC Hospital and started beating those Sardars who had come there for dressing and treatment of their injuries. SI Ram Chander, with the help of staff, dispersed the mob and after the mob had left, it was found that it had killed 8 Sardars whose identity could not be ascertained. They received injuries on head, face and forehead etc. Five persons seriously injured by the mob were sent to RML Hospital in a private truck. When it grew dark, the mob left the scene and during the entire period, more force and fire brigade could not come though intimation was sent many times.”
(ii) FIR No. 257 was registered on 1st November, 1984 at 10.00 PM. (PP Kapashera u/s 147/148/149/427/436/302/201/395 IPC.
“ SI Ram Kishan, H/C Sohrab Kha, DAP Jagdish Singh, Driver Devi Singh (Police Jeep No. DEG 4502) were on patrol duty and reached Kochhar Farm, Bijwasan Road at about 2.25PM. The Farm had already been burnt as some anti-social elements had set the building on fire in the forenoon but no body was injured. When the police party reached Bijwasan railway crossing, they found many persons burning between the railways a mob of about 400/500 had collected there. This mob, it is alleged, was dispersed with great difficulty. When the police party proceeded towards Kapashera, it met another police party comprising of ASI Jagdish Prakash, Constables Balwan Singh 10555/DAP, Moti Lal 193/W, Satbir Singh 10477/DAP and Nihal Singh 10508/DAP. They were standing near two trucks HRX 1870 and DEG 1112, both loaded and parked near Kapashera Village. Both the vehicles were on fire. A mob of about 500/600 was standing there. ‘We dispersed the mob which went towards Kapashera border’. In the meantime, 700/800 persons came from Tunda-hera towards Kapashera border and the mob set on fire 13 trucks, one road roller parked at the Gill and Sandhu Petrol Pump. The pump was also set on fire. The mob had also set on fire two Dhabas on the border. In the meantime, there was firing from the roof of petrol pump. Additional force and Fire Brigade did not came.
“ SHO and ACP Transport Nagar also reached at the scene of occurrence and the mob was dispersed. The mob beat and burnt to death four Sardars.”
(iii) FIR No. 258 u/ss 147/148/149/427/541/380 IPC was registered at 5.35 AM. on 2nd November, 1984 on the complaint of a private person, namely, Amir Singh S/o ShriShiv lal. His FIR describes the incident in Kochhar Farm located on Bijwasan Road. A mob of about 150/200 came and attacked the Kothi located inside the Farm. The mob smashed the glasses of the Kothi and tried to set the Kothi on fire.
6.95. A reading of these three FIRs clearly indicates that the police was all along with the mobs and doing precious little to come to grips with the situation and control the riots.
6.96. The inactivity of the police is also clear from the fact that no arrests were made under substantive offences from 1st to 4th November 1984. No preventive arrests were made on 1st November 1984. Even on 2nd and 3rd November 1984, only 4 and 2 persons respectively were arrested which could be considered as negligible considering the magnitude of the violence. Besides, their is no mention of any firing or use of tear-gas to control the riots.
6.97. If the affidavits of the deponents are to be believed, the police was apparently hand in glove with the rioters. This is clear from the fact that the rioters could enter PHC Hospital and beat the Sardars inside the Hospital. It is also clear from the FIR 256 that the Sardars were killed right in the presence of the police officers inside the Hospital.
6.98. In his report-dated 25.11.84, the SHO has stated that even though the policemen were armed, the mobs were too large as compared to the force and as such ineffective. At another place in his report dated 29.11.84, the SHO has stated that the arms were in sufficient to serve the purpose for maintaining law and order. He has himself stated that in the Malkhana he had 3 semi-automatic rifles, one Stan gun, 36 rifles and17 pistols/revolvers. Were all these insufficient? This statement is totally unacceptable because the police records show that not a single shot was fired. Any amount of arms or ammunition would have been useless if he will to take action was lacking.
6.99. The SHO and ASI Ram Chander along with the rest of the staff did not behave like members of the disciplined force and they are guilty of dereliction of duty. Ram Chander SI even disappeared from the scene as per the statement of Smt. Balbir Kaur (2684), when the mob appeared. The conduct of Commandant S.K. Mohindroo and other officials of the CRPF also do not come out in a good light as they acted in a most callous and improper manner by not providing refuge to one of their own Ex-Inspectors whom they knew and who had served in that Unit for more than five years.
6.100. (a) SHO Hawa Singh Rana and SI Ram Chander are certainly not fit to be retained in the police force and departmental action for major penalty should be initiated against them.
(b) Delhi Administration should also take up the matter about the lapses on the part of the senior officers of the CRPF with the appropriate authorities that their inaction and callousness is brought to light and suitable action initiated against them.
THE ROLE OF
THE ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
6.101. As has been indicated earlier, West District had three Sub-Divisions, each under the control of one Assistant Commissioner of police. The role of these three officers is being discussed as under:-
A) SHRI SAJJAN SINGH, ACP, MOTI NAGAR.
There are two Police Stations under Moti Nagar Sub-Division, viz. Rajouri Garden and Moti Nagar. The situation in these two police Stations remained fairly under control after additional police force was provided to these Police Stations. There are no specific allegations against him by any of the deponents. The overall supervision of Shri Sajjan Singh can be considered as satisfactory.
B) SHRI JAGMAL SINGH, ACP, TILAK NAGAR.
This Sub-Division had three Police Station in its jurisdiction, viz., Najafgarh, Janakpuri and Tilak Nagar. Although none has made any specific allegations against Shri Jagmal Singh, the records and incidents indicate that there was lack of supervision on his part and there is no indication of his having come to grips with the situation. The SHOs in three Police Stations do not seem to have been given proper guidance. There is also no indication of Shri Jagmal Singh, ACP , having made any positive contribution in tackling the riots in his area or directing the SHOs to be effective.
C) SHRI J.K. SAXENA,ACP, PUNJABIBAGH
ACP Punjabi Bagh had four Police Stations under his jurisdiction, viz., Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri, Nangloi and Punjabi Bagh. The situation in these Police Station, as has been discussed already, was very bad during the riots and there was connivance between the police and the rioters. It seems that the ACP lacked the will to provide proper guidance to the SHOs which could be partly due to the fact that the rioters had political patronage and the ACP did not want to get involved. He hardly visited Sultanpuri and Mangolpuri and more or less abdicated his charge in favour of the SHOs. He seems to have directed the SHOs to record only one FIR of a general nature and also given them general instructions of what to record. That is why in this Sub Division FIRs 351, Nangloi, 511 Punjabi Bagh and174 Mangolpuri dated 1.11.84 have, more or less ,similar wording and content. Two of the FIRs not only cover the past incidents but also those which followed, which is rather strange. He seems to have helped the SHOs in their cover up job rather than control the situation in his Sub-Division.
6.102. It is understood that both Shri Jamul Singh and Shri J.K. Saxena have since retired from service and as such there appears to be no point in recommending any specific action against them at this stage even though their role during the riots was quite dubious.
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OFPOLICE –SHERI U.K. KATNA
6.103. Shri U.K. Katna was directly in charge of West District during the riots. Shri katna had given a number of reports to the Police Commissioner’s office in connection with the riots vide his letters Nos. 14473/X(W) dated 12.12.84, 52938-391-R (West) dated 31.12.84 and 55/P(W) dated 4.1.85.
6.104. After a perusal of his reports and the police records including the log books, the picture which emerges in respect of this District is some what strange and intriguing. To give a few examples-
(i) At 1358 hrs on 31.10.84, a peculiar collective message was flashed by West District Control to all Police Stations in West District. The strange message reads as under :-
“ Care should be taken while giving weapons to police officers.”
(ii) On 1.11.84 at11.00 AM, there is a message to West Control Room that the DCP ‘is on man-pack and, therefore, he cannot make any log entries and that messages may be recorded by the West Control Room’. From 1100 hrs to 2030 hrs, DCP (West) kept his own log book closed. This exercise was again repeated on 2ndNovember, 1984. The DCP again closed his log book from0900 hrs to 1730 hrs.
It s clear from there cords and on his own admission that throughout the DCP had a driver and one operator with him along with one SI, 4 Head Constables, 7 Constables and half section gas. If the Operator was with the DCP all along, why he should have closed up his log book, does need some explanation.
(iii) Again, there is a collective call recorded in the West District Control Room at 2315 hrs on 31.10.84 that a car No. DHB 6735 with 5/6 occupants is roaming around doing mischief. Similarly, at1722 hrs on 1.11.84, there is another collective call in the log book of West District Control that 5/6 passengers in Car No. DEC 3940 are going around and committing arson etc. and that a watch should be kept on this vehicle. This is from SHO Rajouri Garden. It is understood that DHB 6735 is registered in the name of Prem Shanker Sharma and DEC 3940 in the name of Ram Phal Tyagi, a local leader. However, it is strange that the police does not seem to have made any effort to intercept these vehicle or apprehend the culprits.
(iv) All the above entries lead to only one conclusion that DCP was not inclined to either receive any messages or take any effective action.
6.105. His log book also clearly indicates that he was not issuing any effective orders or giving any guidance to his subordinates anywhere in the District. This ineffectiveness is further evident from and incident at Samrat Enclave, P.S. Punjabi Bagh ( which has been dealt at some length while dealing with that Police Station. In spite of repeated requests from the ACP and SHO Punjabi Bagh, there was avoidable delay in sending the additional force and DCP reached the scene of occurrence long after the incident was cover. Thus, he avoided responsibility and left things to be handled by the SHOs and ACPs. In his explanation, he has stated that no casualty took place due to firing at Rajnagar Smrat Enclave. Whereas, on the other hand, the ACP hasrecordedthattheyfound3dead bodies on there of top in the house at Raj Nagar Samrat Enclave besides casualties which had occurred earlier. Even when he arrived , no arrests were made. It is indeed strange that in an incident in which a number of people were killed and injured, no FIR was recorded. Apparently, this was done as a cover up for the police inactivity and its inability to prevent avoidable loss of life.
6.106. Trouble had started in this District on31st night itself. Unlike DCP(North), DCP (West) does not seem to have taken any precautionary measures to seal the borders and prevent mischief makers from entering Delhi from Haryana. As a result, large number of people came into this District from Haryana in buses and trains and indulged in rioting unhindered.
6.107. The wireless log book of the District Control Room shows a number of messages describing the various incidents but there are no corresponding messages in reply. A unique feature in respect of this District was that the DCP though stated to be on the move, closed down his log book. This indicates complete abduction of authority and he left matters entirely in the hands of subordinates who were acting in a partisan manner.
6.108. Even accepting his own movement chart, DCP has mentioned that on 1.11.84 he went out patrolling in the areas of P.S. Sultanpuri and P.S. Mangolpuri followed by P.S. Tilak Nagar at 0950 hrs from where he left for Bhagwan Dass Nagar via Najafgarh at 1100 hrs. It is note-worthy that the places he visited in the morning of 1.11.84 were the same places where law and order broke down and where local leaders were reported to have made inflammatory speeches and urged non-Sikhs to attack the Sikhs.
6.109. DCP has shown that he was moving around with one Sub Inspector, four head Constables and seven Constables and half section gas. With this force available with him all the time, one would have expected him to take come effective action at least at some of the places during his visit. However, there is no indication of any concrete action being taken by the DCP by way of firing and use of tear-gas to disperse crowds or arrest of any nature preventive or under registered cases. This indicates that either the movement chart which was given by him is not correct or that he was moving around for the sake of formality rather than for taking effective action to maintain law and order in his District.
6.110. There are some specific allegations against him in some affidavits. Major N.S.Phull 9170) has in his affidavit described how he was taken by the DCP to the Police Station where he was beaten up and tortured besides being involved in a false case. This affidavit has already been discussed in detail under P.S. Tilak Nagar. Similarly, Shri Harvinder Singh (2401) has also described in his affidavit how he was running away from the crowds and sought the help of the DCP who allegedly stated : ‘What can we do ? The dead bodies of Hindus filled in the trains are
6.111. The role of DCP in the District has to be judged by the overall supervision which he exercised over the Police Stations. Unfortunately, the facts as they emerge from the police records and affidavits clearly indicate that trouble had started in this District on 31st October, 1984but the police failed to rise to the occasion. No preventive arrests were made on 31st October, 1984 or even on 1st November, 1984 when riots were in full swing and crowds were roaming around indulging in arson, loot and killings. No arrests were made in Nangloi, Punjabi Bagh, Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri, Janakpuri and Tilak Nagar even on the 2nd of November, 1984.
6.112. One would have expected some arrests in the cases registered in specific cases of arson, loot and killings in the presence of the police. However, one finds that no arrests were made in specific cases in any police station on the31st October. On 1st November, 1984 also except for 11 people arrested in Tilak Nagar no arrests were made in any other Police Station. Arrests in Tilak Nagar also were only of Sikhs who were trying to defend their lives and property. On 2nd, 3rd and 4th November, 1984 also no arrests were made in Najafgarh, Nangloi, Punjabi Bagh, Sultanpuri and Mangolpuri. No tear-gas was used except for Samrat Enclave in PS Punjabi Bagh where a Sikh family had opened fire. In fact, the crowds were allowed to roam around more or less unhindered under the guidance of the local leaders. Similarly , except for one or two lathi charges in PS Nangloi do not give any indication of lathi charge having been resorted to, to control the riots. The statements made by the police officers that they resorted to lathi charge are not substantiated by the DDs. Further, it is difficult to place reliance in the figures regarding the number of rounds fired by the police to control the riots as the deponents state that the police was firing at the victims rather than those who were committing the crime. In any case, the police on their own admission did not resort to any firing in Police Stations Najafgarh and Tilak Nagar throughout the period of the riots even though so much trouble took place in these Police Stations. From these figures police action can be considered to be negligible considering the magnitude of the riots in this District.
6.113. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that Sikh residents of this area ran away to Alwar in Rajasthan and were not prepared to return because they felt that they were not going to get any protection from the Administration. The inquiry report of the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi dated 17.12.84 shows the extent of break-down of law and order in this District and the fear of this community because of the attitude of the police. Shri Ahal Singh, a retired officer of the IRSE had also given an affidavit (2770) which has been discussed while dealing with P.S. Mangolpuri. His version is also in consonance with the fading of the Deputy Commissioner who visited Alwar. Shri Ahal Singh while holding the riot victims —————————————- approached the Police Commissioner in an effort to make the senior officers realize the gravity of the situation but he did not succeed.
6.114. One can say without hesitation that the overall performance of the DCP was extremely poor and there appears to be no doubt whatsoever that he was unable to exercise any control over the force. He made no efforts whatsoever to implement section 144 which was promulgated on 31st October, 1984 itself or the curfew which was imposed subsequently. Additional force of two companies from the DAP was made available to him on 1.11.84. This also does not seem to have been properly utilized. In any case , no force was sent to Sultanpuri, Najafgarh and Nangloi which were among the worst-affected areas. The plea of inadequate force does not hold water since the existing force and the additional force made available was not properly utilized. No amount of force would have been able to control the riots in this District since the will to act on the part of the law-enforcing agency was non-existent.
6.115. Shri U.K. Katna, DCP, failed miserably to rise to the occasion and is unfit to head a District. Departmental action for imposing major penalty should be initiated against him.