Nanavati report: Centre must take action

The Nanavati Commission’s report on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots has at last been tabled in Parliament together with an ‘Action Taken Report’. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has played up the finding maintaining that only “local level leaders” of the Congress were found to be involved in instigating the violence and in participating in it.

Justice Nanavati has said clearly that he had to go by the evidence placed before him. We know how common and easy it is to have statements withdrawn or changed, or simply not to record them. It is also a fact that political parties and police forces have chains of command and rules which ensure that a person cannot act without the knowledge, permission or assistance of a higher up.

I wonder if the Home Minister would care to explain it all in a “Why Action Is Not To Be Taken Report” in public interest, of which he speaks constantly.




The old saying ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ has proved true in the case of the Nanavati Commission report. Even a layman will say that someone must be held responsible for the massacre. Surprisingly, however, successive commissions have failed to submit any clear-cut report, fixing responsibility. This is sheer wastage of time, money and energy.

The Opposition parties have got a point, lodging protests in the streets and stalling the functioning of Parliament. But little will happen as the government has determined not to take action against those who have been indicted in the report on the basis of “credible evidence”.

S.K. KHOSLA, Chandigarh


Probity demands that all those who are in front of the needle of suspicion should resign from the constitutional posts and openly confess if they had participated in the revenge killings of the Sikh community. The guilty leaders should seek forgiveness from the nation, the Sikh community in particular.



The Nanavati Commission report has indicted some Congress leaders on the basis of “credible evidence”. Why is, then, the Centre shielding them? Unfortunately, our criminal justice system seems to be of two types — one for the majority and the other for the minorities. Though so many Sikhs were killed in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination, not a single culprit has been tried for the killings, let alone putting them behind bars for the heinous crime.



“Callous” is the word I will use to describe the Centre’s attitude towards the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre. The content in the government’s Action Taken Report is aimed at undermining the Nanavati Commission report rather than making an objective analysis for the scope and extent of punishment to be given to bashers of Indian secular democracy and justice system.

Indeed, August 8, 2005 would go down in the history as a day when the faith and the aspirations of people in the system received a major blow from the government.



Justice Nanavati has pinned Union Minister Jagdish Tytler for 1984 riots. The government seems to have absolved him. If I were Jagdish Tytler, I would have offered my resignation long back. This could have pacified the hurt Sikhs somewhat and saved the Congress and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from embarrassment.

K.S. BHALLA, New Delhi


It was very saddening to read the Centre’s response to the Nanavati Commission report. I wonder if India has any fragment of rule of law  left now. The guilty, especially the most powerful ones, are never brought to justice but protected by numerous layers and nets of bureaucratic, judicial and governmental machinery.

I wish to know if the guilty of 1984 riots happen to be privileged men with immense power. Does it mean that it would be impertinent to try them before the court? The government’s sanitised response has brought shame to whatever is left of Indian democracy.

On the other hand, I earnestly urge the Sikh community not to play into the hands of dirty politics of demagoguery and hatred. The Congress’ rivals are gloating at its dilemma instead of admitting their own black spots. I think the Congress can give them the best response by coming to terms with its past follies and bringing to justice its black sheep who have brought disgrace to the country.

RAJIV THIND, Christchurch (New Zealand)

Diversify tree plantation

According to a recent report, Punjab has about 15 million Eucalyptus trees, far outnumbering any other tree species. One must note that Eucalyptus is not a native of India. It was rather introduced in the subcontinent by the British as a plantation tree. Though it grows fast (40 cum/ha/year), it consumes huge quantities of water and nutrients, thereby robbing the soil of its nutrients and precious underground water.

It is time the state government encouraged multi-utility indigenous species like neem, sagwaan, shisham, kikar etc. Also let it be a community effort.

RAJBIR SINGH, Chandigarh

Keep it at 58

It is not advisable to raise the retirement age of government employees either in Punjab or Haryana as thousands of young engineers, doctors and post-graduates are jobless. Those reaching the superannuation age of 58 years have already enjoyed the fruits of their long tenure in government and their own kith and kin and many others are waiting in the wings for jobs.

A.N. BHANDULA, Panipat


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