BEFORE JUSTICE NANAVATI COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
( Witness No : 8 )
Name : Shri Madan Lal Khurana, S/o Shri S.D.Khurana
I have filed an affidavit dated 20.8.2000 before this Commission (the affidavit is taken on record and marked as exhibit No. W8/1). My affidavit may be treated as my examination-in-chief. I further say that, I was Chief Minister of Delhi from 2nd December, 1993 to 2nd February, 1995. In November 1984 I was staying in Kriti Nagar area of Delhi ( F-104, Kriti Nagar, New Delhi). In November 1984 I was Leader of Opposition in Metropolitan Coucil of Delhi and General Secretary of Delhi State BJP. What ever I have stated in para 2 was also brought to the notice of Ved Marwah Committee. This I had given in writing. From 1980 onwards till November 1984 according to me a systematic propaganda was going on whereby the Sikh Community was described by the Government agencies, media and the authorities as Terrorists. Thereby an atmosphere was created where in the Sikhs not only in Punjab but outside also were seen as terrorists. Before 1980 the persons belonging to sikh community were treated as bold persons and they were known for their bravery but as a result of atmosphere created after 1980 they were looked upon with suspicion. During this period when ever an incident had taken place in Punjab it was highlighted and an impression was sought to be created that the persons involved were sikh extremists. During that period even in Delhi, Sikhs were seen with suspicion and many times they were stopped and searched by the police. I know a few incidents where the police had searched even important personalities because of suspicion. Turban of Mr. Vasant who was the Chairman of Punjab Electricity Board and Shri Justice Bains were removed by the police and they were searched in Delhi. The anti Sikh feeling was so high that when President Shri Zail Singh went to AIIMS on 31st October, 1984 to inquire about the health of Mrs. Indira Gandhi his car was also stoned. According to me Government was painting --- sikh community for political reasons and the government wanted to teach the Sikhs a lesson because of the happenings in Punjab.
I know that the office bearers of BJP party and RSS had instructed BJP workers to rush to the help of sikh community. The instructions were given to the workers on 1st November, 1984 onwards. On the 1st of November, 1984 during our meeting in the BJP office Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had informed us about an incident which had taken place opposite his residence. He was then residing at 6, Raisina Road, New Delhi. Opposite his residence there was a taxi stand. He heard some noises from that place. Even though he was sick on that day he had come out and on seeing a mob attacking sikh taxi drivers he had rushed to that place. He had prevented the mob from doing any further harm and had remained present at that place till the mob had dispersed. On 1st November, 1984, I visited Sujan Singh Gurudwara situated in Karol Bagh. I had also gone to Palam Gaon and some Trans Yamuna areas. When going Sujan Singh Gurudwara I passed by Patel Nagar and Kirti Nagar and while going to Palem I had passed through Hari Nagar and Najafgarh Road. I had seen mobs causing damange to the shops and the houses of Sikhs. They were raising anti-sikh slogans. They had with them Sticks, Iron Bars and Petrol tins. At one or two places I had seen the mob playing drums also ( Dholak ) and some persons in the mob were also dancing. In Kriti Nagar I had seen a mob looting one watch shop belonging to a sikh. I told the mob not to do so and because of my efforts the mob has dispersed. If I had not dispersed the mob in all probability it would have leaded to looting of other shops also. I had also passed through Kriti Nagar and Patel Nagar on 2nd November, 1984 also. The events which I have noticed on 1st November, 1984 were continuing on 2nd November, 1984 also. I had not noticed any policemen on the roads during those three days. I had also not come to know about any firing by the police or use of tear gas or lathi charge by the police for controlling the mobs. When I visited Sujan Singh Gurudwara I found many persons from Parah Gunj area taking shelter there. Many persons taking shelter there knew me because Pahar Gunj was my old constituency. Some young Sikhs came and complained me that inspite of attacks on them the police had not at all rendered any help to them or had tried to protect them or their properties. They have also stated that if this goes on then they would one day become terrorists and teach the government a lesson about what can happen if Sikhs are treated in this manner. I got worried after hearing such words and therefore in our party meeting I told my colleagues and others that if this feeling is entertained by the sikh youths then it would lead to the division of the country and therefore we should make serious efforts and to see that they do not carry such an impression. Thereafter our efforts to help the Sikhs were intensified.
What I had noticed during those three days was that all the violence was one sided. They were not riots in the sense that two opposite parties and groups were fighting against each other but what had happened was that only persons belonging to one community were attacked and that too it was happening due to the indirect support of the Government. I say that it was a indirect support by the government because no action was taken by the Government to prevent those events nor any effort was made by the Government to help the sikhs. Even though the police was not able to control the riots the military was not called inspite of the demand made by us and others. According to me it was a case of general massacre.
I also feel that the Government was interested in the massacre. I feel so because right form 1984 to 1992 no action was taken against those who were responsible for not performing the duties and in many cases even the offences were not registered. In 1994 when I became the Chief Minister of Delhi I took steps as narrated in para 11 of my affidavit for seeing that the justice was done to sikh community and to see that the culprits were punished according to law. I am producing the report of the Justice Shri R.S.Narula Committee which was appointed by me to look into the incidents of November 1984 riots and advised me for taking appropriate action. During 1st, 2nd , 3rd November 1984 when I visited various areas I had found that the mobs were moving freely on the roads and there was no signs of curfew at that time.
In addition to what I have stated in para 5,6 and 7 of my affidavit, I say that when I received a call from the then President Gaini Zail Singh I told him that he was the President of India and it was really surprising that he was required to telephone me for obtaining a dead body of one person. He had told me that, that was the position at that time and that on one day he would met me, and let me know what was the real position. He had also told me that in the prevailing circumstances nobody was listening to him.
On 3rd November, 1984 an all party meeting was called by the Lt. Governor. That was the first meeting called by any authority for obtaining support of the political parties and others. The meeting was fixed at Raj Niwas. When my neighbour came to know that I was going towards Raj Niwas she had told me that Shri Harbhajan Singh Bhatia who was having a shop in Sabzi Mandi had not returned from three days. She requested me to go to that place and bring him back to the house. After reaching Raj Niwas I had sent my driver to Sabzi Mandi where Mr. Bhatia was having his shop. He was found hiding in the shop. My driver had then brought him in the car upto Raj Niwas and when I went to my car I noticed that he was sitting on the floor of the car. I had told him to sit by my side but he refused to do so on the ground if he sits on the seat he would be noticed by the crowd because of the turban and face that he is a sikh man and therefore mob may attack my car. That was the state of his mind.
While going to Raj Niwas I had seen three trucks in front of Sabzi Mandi Mortuary. I saw that dead bodies were throwing into those trucks like potatoes bags. I went near that place and inquired as to why they were doing like that. I was told that those dead bodies were taking to electric crematorium for mass cremation. I had mentioned about this incident in the meeting which had taken place at Raj Niwas. In the meeting which was on 3rd November, 1984 all the political parties had complained as to why such a meeting was not called earlier. In that meeting Shri Mahender Sathi who was then the Mayor of Delhi had narrated his own experience. He had told in that meeting everyone that for three days he had been contacting Delhi Government, Central Government and police for help but no help was rendered by any one of them. The only help which he got was from the BJP Opposition Leader in the Corporation Shri Shanti Desai who is now the Mayor of Delhi. Mrs. Shanti Desai had gone personally to the place of sister of Shri Mahender Singh Sathi along with the local BJP Councellor. Councellor had arranged for the safety of ---. Shanti Desai then contacted Shri Balwan Singh another councellor from Palam area and requested him to go to Sathiís house. Mr. Balwant Singh wife alongwith a group of women had gone to Sathiís house and remained present outside of Mr.Sathiís house and to see that no harm was done to Mr. Sathi. Mr. Mahender Singh Sathi is now Finance Minster of Delhi.
On 3rd November, 1984 while the meeting was going on Mr. Gavai the then Lt. Governor received a call after attending that call he informed us that he was removed and that now whatever he wanted to say will have to be told to new Lt. Governor.
On 5th a delegation of BJP leaders headed by Mr..Kedernath Saini had called on the new Lt. Governor Mr. M.N.K.Walli when we had inquired as to how many Sikhs have been killed he told us that not more than 2 or 3 dozens Sikhs have been killed during those days. When we complained about mass cremation his reaction was casual and not satisfactory because of the casual replies given by him we fell that it was no use of talking with him any further. We therefore, protested and just walked out from the meting. On 5th after meeting with the Lt. Governor we had gone and met our party president Mr. Atal Bihari Vajapayee and appraised him with the efforts that had taken place with the Lt. Governor. He then advised us to collect with the help of BJP and RSS workers information regarding the number of murders that had taken place. The BJP and RSS workers then moved from house to house and collected the information and the detailed information of 2800 cases murder of Sikhs was given to him. He had then released the lists of those persons with full names and address. It had taken about one week time to collect all these datas. Then Mr. Vajpayee released the list and that was the first time the people of India were told about the number of deaths of Sikhs that had taken place in Delhi. The fallout of the publishing of the list by Mr. Vajpayee was that the BJP had to pay a very heavy price for it. In the elections which had followed soon thereafter the BJP lost very heavily and secured two seats in Parliament. That was all because of Congress ------. That BJP had not conducted any survey in Punjab when so many Hindus were killed by extremists and that by publishing the list of dead Sikh persons it was trying to Champaign the cause of the Sikhs. Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had also stated that after we are defeated in the election ----- though the party had to pay a very heavy price for publishing the list ----- as yet by doing so rendered service to the nation. The idea behind publishing the list was to instill the sense of faith in the sikh people that there are persons in the country who feel for them. This was also done with a view to secure unity of the country and that is the reason why I said that by publishing the list BJP had rendered service to nation.
After I had become the Chief Minister of Delhi a survey was conducted by the Times of India about what people of Delhi wanted the new Khurana Government to do. 70% people had stated that they wanted the Khurana Government to see that those who were guilty for 1984 sikh killings were punished appropriately. I had appointed the Justice Narula Committee even though 8 years had lapsed as I was of the view that it should be recorded as part of history of this country that no earlier ruler had massacred his own people and it was for the first time in 1984 that the government had permitted such massacre and that as no justice was done. It was the Chief Minister of Delhi who wanted to be recorded that even after lapse of 8 years he wanted that guilty should be punished.
Further examination in chief deferred.
Read over and found correct
(Madan Lal Khurana) ( G.T. NANAVATI )
16th May, 2001 16th May, 2001