Misra Commission Report
BOKARO & CHAS
CHAPTER – 13
A FEW NOTABLE INSTANCES
While dealing with the cases of violence at the three places, it has to be remembered that in each of these places the non-Sikhs constituted the majority of the population and the attack was by the non-Sikhs on the Sikhs. There have been a few instances where the Sikhs being of a considerable number in certain pockets organised themselves in self-defence and were in a position to repel attacks of riotous mobs. The Commission has also come across such instances where though at the initial stages such self-defence arrangements had succeeded, later on better armed larger mobs overpowered them. The Commission, however, came across narrations of touching events where people of the non-Sikh communities readily came forward to extend protection even at considerable risk to themselves. There have been two instances where the protectors have suffered death in the process of extending protection. People in colonies surcharged by considerations of humanity and compassion pooled their resources together of manpower and arms and raised defence units which successfully operated in keeping the mobs away throughout the riots. There have also been instances where some policemen have exhibited a high sense of duty-oriented responsibility and not bothering about their personal safety came to the scenes of violence to extend the protection of law to the victims. Pitched against these are some instances of very low human behaviour. The Commission had to record the sorrowful tale of a young man at Bokaro. In the initial round a small crowd came near their house. The crowd posed to have friendly disposition towards the residents of the house. They were invited inside the house, entertained with tea and in return they assured protection to the family. A little later that mob, with a few others returned there, killed everyone in the house and caused grievous injuries to the deponent. There have been other instances like a demand of money assuring the protection in return. Soon after the money had been paid the killing spree started . There have been several colonies in Delhi where no incident at all took place because the people of the colony showed solidarity and under local leadership showed magnificent conduct backed by proper strength. In his affidavit (no. 169), Shri Avtar Singh, one of the Sikhs residing in Block no. 20, Kalyan puri, has said :
“3. That the Hindus of 19 and 21 blocks did not allow the mob to proceed towards our block. No police came to our block. We remained safe because of the help of block nos. 19 and 21 only.
5. From 31-10-1984 we Hindus and Sikhs joined together and started keeping night-watch and due to that our block remained safe.”
There are several affidavits of this type before the Commission and detailed reference is made to one of them to indicate the pattern. The episodes during the riots were full of exhibition of human behaviour touching divinity on one side as also animal-like conduct of the most base type on the other.