SUBZI MANDI POLICE STATION
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: -
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
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.
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.
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.
the period of riots, 9 cases were registered in this police
Station. Some FIRs are discussed
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.
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.