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’84 riots: govt forms 2 panels for relief
Opposition motion on Nanavati report defeated in RS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 11
The Opposition-sponsored motion on Nanavati Commission report was today defeated in the Rajya Sabha by voice vote after Home Minister Shivraj Patil announced setting up of two committees to ensure due compensation to victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Winding up the day-long special discussion on the motion, Mr Patil said the committees would sort out all issues with regard to compensation to victims “within one-two months”.

Admitting that compensation provided in some states was not adequate, he said the Government without any discrimination will ensure that other victims got compensation on par with those in Delhi.

Refuting the opposition charge that the Centre was trying to protect the “guilty”, the Home Minister, who made some philosophical notes, assured the members that any person found responsible for the riots will be dealt with as per the law.

Criticising the opposition for drawing political mileage on such an issue, he appealed to the members not to fish in troubled waters. “Don’t disturb society in this fashion.”

Noting that all 10 recommendations of the Nanavati Commission had been accepted by the government, Mr Patil said the most important of them all was that pertaining to compensation which had been implemented in toto.

Making a point-by-point rebuttal of the Opposition charges, Mr Patil said there was no substance in the Opposition’s allegation that the riots were a “government organised activity” as the Nanavati Commission, which was appointed by the then NDA government, had clearly stated that there was absolutely no truth in the allegation that Rajiv Gandhi or any high ranking Congress leader was involved in the riots.

Mr Patil also defended the delay in the tabling the Commission’s report along with the ATR, saying the government needed time to look into the report and also the FIRs filed against political leaders and police officials.

With regard to Dharma Das Shastri, he said the government had accepted the recommendation to initiate action against him.

In case of Mr Tytler, he said the commission’s findings were ‘ambiguous’ as it suggested that there was no credible evidence and action could be taken against him if the government found it safe as he had “very probably” a hand in organising the riots.

In case of Sajjan Kumar, the government would initiate action only in one case where witness Sunder Singh had lodged a complaint against him and for Union Minister H.K.L. Bhagat, the government was in conformity with the commission’s recommendations not to initiate action against him in view of his poor physical and mental health, Mr Patil said.

As regards the police officers named in the report, Mr Patil said most of them are now retired and thus departmental action cannot be initiated. However, he assured that wherever criminal cases could be initiated the government will act.

Earlier, the BJP-led NDA kept up pressure on the Manmohan Singh government to take immediate action against all those indicted by the Nanavati Commission despite resignation of Jagdish Tytler as Union Minister.

The CPM, outside supporter of the UPA government, said it was unhappy over the action taken report and was rejecting most of its portions.

Initiating a discussion on the Nanavati Commission report under rule 168 that entails voting, after suspension of the Question Hour, BJP leader Rajnath Singh said the names of several Congress leaders were also mentioned in the report and the government should act immediately.

Congress members were on their feet when Rajnath Singh without naming Sonia Gandhi referred to her as a “super Prime Minister” to whom, he said, Tytler preferred to hand over his resignation rather than to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

When Congress member Janardhana Poojary tried to quote the rule book and objected to member’s comments, Mr Rajnath Singh said he had not named anybody.

Mr Nilotpal Basu (CPI-M) said his party had rejected major parts of the report because it has not taken forward recommendations of earlier reports and “had turned the clock back”.

Samajwadi Party’s Janeshwar Mishra remarks that some RSS members were seen indulging in anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur led to strong reaction from BJP benches.


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