BEFORE JUSTICE NANAVATI COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
( Witness No : 155 )
Name : Shri Kuldeep Nayer
On 31st October, 1984 I was in Pakistan on that day. While I was on my way from Islamabad to Peshawar and when I had halted for some time at Apptabad , I come to know that there was an attack on Mrs. Indira Gandhi. I, therefore, decided to return to India. I went back to Islamabad and caught the flight on 1.11.1984 and reached Delhi in the afternoon. At the airport I found that the arrival hall was almost empty. I also found one Custom Officer talking with one Shri Jasdev Singh who was a Sports Commentator and telling him that he should not leave the airport till the security people come. The Custom Officer had also told me that there were disturbances in the city and Sikhs were being attacked. After completing the formalities, I left the airport in a taxi. On the way at one place I saw the things were burnt. When I inquired from the taxi driver what had happened, he had told me that some Sikhs were burnt alive there. Throughout on the way from airport to my house to Sunder Nagar, I did not find any policeman.
On 2nd November, 1984, as part of the Citizens Committee (Nagrik Ekta Munch), I visited Lajpat Nagar area. While visiting one of the colonies there, we had found that some Sikhs were being brought out from the houses. When I inquired from one of them, I was told that he was a Post Master and that inspite of his efforts to contact authorities for help, nobody had responded. We, the members of the Committee, then decided to get some help by way of medicines and milk and other eatables and therefore, I had gone to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) alongwith Ms. Jaya Jaietly and returned with some medicines and doctors also in my car. Some days after the riots were over, I had met Lt. Gen. Jamwal and inquired from him as to why army had not come to the help of people in Delhi. He was General Officer Commanding G.O.C. of Delhi. He had told me that they were waiting for orders but they were purposely not called. He did not disclose the purpose to me nor did I inquired about it.
I had come to know about the instances of complicity of bureaucrats and police force. I had gone through the reports of the Commissions and Committees appointed to look into this Anti – Sikh riots but I found that they had not gone into the question of nexus between politicians and erring bureaucrats and policemen. I say so because it is my experience that bureaucrats and the policemen do not act or commit an act of omission of their own , they do it only at the beast of politicians.
Some days after the riots we had gone to meet Giani Zail Singh, who was the then President of India. During the discussion, he had told me that he was literally hurt as he was kept in total darkness about the Operation Blue Star. He had also told me that no papers were sent to me nor he was informed about the riots that had taken place and whatever information he used to get was from Newspapers, friends and from outsiders. He was very unhappy about things that had happened. He would go in silence and then used to say I do not know how he the posterity would judge me in view of these two incidents. His main grievance was that the Government of the day was not trusting him. I, as a Journalist of long standing, formed an opinion, after hearing from others what had happened and watching myself, that the Government of India had done a great harm to the polity of India by not taking prompt action to curb the riots and preventing large scale killing of Sikhs and thereafter by not punishing the guilty.
Cross examination by Shri S.S. Gandhi, Senior Advocate on behalf of Delhi Police.
"I had not personally witnessed any incident".
Cross examination by Shri Ashok Kashyap, Advocate on behalf of Central Government.
I cannot exactly say when the Army was called but my impression is that the Army was called late.
Read over and found correct
(G.T. NANAVATI )