New Delhi: Congress leader Sheila Dikshit hit back at senior advocate HS Phoolka over his claim that instructions to ‘kill’ during 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, which took place after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, had come directly from the Prime Minister’s Office.
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“Why would Rajiv Gandhi do that? His mother had been killed, he was deeply hurt. Does the BJP act like this? I am really disappointed,” the former chief minister of Delhi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Earlier in the day, Phoolka told ANI, “There is enough evidence on record to show that in 1984 when the Sikhs were being killed, the instructions were coming directly from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Army was not called in… We have placed our evidence on record before the Nanavati Commission as well as Mishra Commission.”
Explaining further, he reportedly said, “Shanti Bhushan was Law Minister during Morarji Desai government. Shanti Bhushanji has given his own affidavit before the Nanavati Commission. He says on November 1 morning he went to Narasimha Rao, who was Union Home Minister at that time and he asked Narasimha Rao to immediately call the Army as innocent citizens are being killed… Narasimha Rao agreed with him.”
Adding, he said, “Narasimha Rao called on the RAX phone, which is a direct phone between the ministers. And he says Narasimha Rao tried to convince the other person on the line to call the Army. After some time, Narasimha Rao put down the phone and sat quietly. Shanti Bhushanji says he was there for about two-three minutes, Narasimha Rao didn’t say a word. So, Shanti Bhushanji said he got up and went away.”
Phoolka said the then Prime Minister Charan Singh along with Devi Lal, Sharad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan asked the President to immediately call the Army.
“So, the President wanted to call the Army, Home Minister wanted to call the Army, who is the one who can veto them? It’s the Prime Minister’s Office. We have placed evidence on record that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers were even monitoring it,” Phoolka said.
“On November 1, an Army unit came and that Army unit in Safdarjung Enclave was trying to save the Sikhs who were under attack. One officer came and stopped them. He said there are no orders for the Army to move in. After 15-20 minutes that Army unit was directed to report to the cantonment. When they went to the cantonment, they were asked to confine to barracks and their arms were taken away,” he added.
“5,000 Army personnel were available in Delhi on November 1, 1984. If that Army could have been deployed, it could have saved 2,000 lives. This was directly the Prime Minister’s Office, who was managing and controlling it,” he said.
Phoolka said that “due to the sheer power of the government and their influence, they have suppressed all this evidence.”
“But there is enough material to show, it was directly Rajiv Gandhi’s office, which was giving the directions to kill the Sikhs,” he added.
(With ANI inputs)