Misra Commission Report
C) REPRESENTATION OF PARTIES
Different groups and parties applied to the Commission at the three places for being allowed to participate in the inquiry . These applications were made at different times and were disposed of as and when made . On October 18, 1985, the Commission directed a consolidated list of individuals and / or societies permitted to participate before the Commission in respect of the inquiry at Delhi to be drawn up and notified. The Commission did not intend to shut out the inflow of information and , therefore , accepted all the requests . The following were the groups or societies which were permitted so far as the inquiry at Delhi is concerned :
- Citizens Justice Committee ;
- Shiromani Akali Dal ;
- Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee ;
- Citizens’ Committee for Peace and Harmony ;
- Vidhi Chetna ;
- Citizens’ Forum for Truth ;
- Arya Samaj ( Nagrik Suraksha Samiti ).
Apart from these , the Union of India and the Delhi Administration were to participate in the inquiry. An application was filed on behalf of Nagrik Ekta Manch for being permitted to participate in the inquiry . The Commission did not agree to accede to the request but gave limited leave to the Manch to appear before it and participate in the inquiry confined to cross-examination of deponents from whom the Manch claimed to have obtained some affidavits and filed the same before the Commission. On January 10, 1986, two applications were filed , one on behalf of People’s Union for Democratic Rights and the other on behalf of People’s Union for Civil Liberties. The Commission refused to accept these applications by order dated January 21, 1986.
At the inquiry at Kanpur, the Citizens’ Justice Committee, the Kanpur Riots Inquiry Co-ordination Committee, All India Motor Transport Congress, U.P. Motor Transport Association, City Lok Dal, Akali Dal (Master Tara Singh Group), National Integration Central Peace Committee and Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, appeared and asked for permission to be represented in the inquiry. By order dated December 12 ,1985, the Commission accorded permission to each of them. The Kanpur Youth Bar Association agreed to get represented by an Advocate during the hearing when the prayer on its behalf was not accepted. On that day the Commission directed that no further request for being impleaded/represented in the inquiry would be accepted. The Union of India and the Government of Uttar Pradesh were duly represented before the Commission at the Kanpur inquiry. On January 13, 1986, an application was made by the Secretary-General , All India Quami Ekta Committee, Kanpur, for being impleaded as a party before the Commission. By an order of that date, after hearing the applicant through its Advocate, the application was rejected. The Commission has been informed that a writ petition was filed in the Allahabad High Court challenging the order and when the High Court declined to interfere an unsuccessful attempt was made before the Supreme Court.
In the inquiry at Bokaro, the CJC, the Guru Singh Sabha, Bokaro Riot Victims Rehabilitation Committee, apart from the Government of Bihar and Union of India, appeared. Twenty local groups filed applications on December 13, 1985, for being impleaded. By then the last date for filing of affidavits had expired and by an order made on that day, the Commission indicated that no opportunity would be available to the parties to file any affidavit but leave was granted to them to watch the proceedings, if they so liked, with liberty to suggest questions to the Commission in course of cross examination of witnesses, if any Parties appearing before the Commission for the Delhi inquiry were called upon to disclose their stand in writing in regard to the first aspect referred to it. The CJC adopted the following stand :—–
From the materials available to the Committee, prima facie, it appears that the violence in Delhi was premeditated , organised and was perpetrated methodically in a systematic manner so far as to lead to the irresistible conclusion of central direction, guidance and control. This task was without doubt performed with the complicity, connivance and active involvement of the administration as well as the members of the ruling party.
The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee adopted an allied stand by stating :
The stand of the DSGMC is that the mass violence and carnage which took place in Delhi and other parts of the country from 31st October to 7th November, 1984 , on the assassination of the Hon’ble the then Prime Minister , Shrimati Indira Gandhi, was an organised violence. It was committed in the same pattern not only in Delhi but also in other parts of the country including and Bokaro against the Sikh community.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (L) adopted this stand. The Nagrik Suraksha Samiti (Arya Samaj) adopted the following stand :
The stand of the Samiti is that the riots , arson and looting which took place in the wake of assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi were not the handiwork of any organised group of people. To say that the riots were organized is wholly incorrect. The fact and the truth of the matter is that riots , arson and looting which took place immediately on the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi were all sporadic and spontaneous and got erupted on grave provocation and anger on account of the tragic assassination of the late Prime Minister, Shrimati Indira Gandhi who was greatly loved and respected by the people at large.
Mrs. Gandhi’s tragic assassination aroused a sudden and tremendous feeling of shock, distress and an uncontrollable anger amongst the people. A section of the people who could not control themselves reacted sharply; and in the spate of anger, went on a spree killing, looting and burning shops and houses belonging to members of the Sikh community. The said unidentified section of the people had in their mind the events that had taken place in Punjab earlier and had known the atrocities committed by some members of the Sikh community as extremists. The assassination of Smt. Gandhi was the most heinous and sinful act of a handful of Sikhs but the people in their anger went to take revenge on members of the Sikh community as the assassins belonged to the said community
Some other parties took a similar stand.
The Union of India did not adopt any stand and informed the Commission that the question has to be inquired into and decided by the Commission and Central Government had no view to express. It assured all co-operation in the inquiry and said that the Report was awaited.
The Delhi Administration denied the allegation of organised violence and stated that all possible steps were taken to quell the riots at shortest time possible.
At Kanpur, the Kanpur Riots Inquiry Co-ordination Committee which emerged as the spokesman of the victims implicated the District Administration — the District Magistrate and the Police in the main — for what happened and also contended that the riots were organized. The State Government, on the other hand, denied all that and maintained that every possible steps had been taken to meet the riotous situation and restore normalcy.
At Bokaro, on behalf of the victims the stand taken was of negligence of the local administration and the lead and help extended by local leaders. The State of Bihar denied the allegations and maintained that prompt steps were taken by the Administration as a result of which the situation was brought under full control within a few hours.