‘Rajiv Gandhi didn’t take calls from President after 1984 riots broke out’

The then President Giani Zail Singh’s press secretary alleged that the riots were 'orchestrated and sponsored'.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: January 30, 2014 12:09 pm
Relatives of the victims of the 1984 riots protest in Delhi. Relatives of the victims of the 1984 riots protest in Delhi.

Contradicting Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that the Congress government did everything it could to stop the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in 1984, the then President Giani Zail Singh’s press secretary Wednesday alleged that the riots were “orchestrated and sponsored” and claimed that the then PM Rajiv Gandhi did not even take calls from the President when he tried to get in touch with him to discuss the situation.

Tarlochan Singh, who was vice-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities from 2000 to 2003, also claimed that the 2002 riots in Gujarat were “spontaneous” in contrast to the 1984 riots and argued that the police in Gujarat tried to prevent the rioters resulting in the killing of 137 people in police firing unlike in Delhi where only one person was killed in police action.

Singh joined the NCM as vice-chairman and then became its chairman when the NDA was in power. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Haryana in 2004 with BJP and INLD support.

Indira Gandhi was shot dead in the morning, but the first riots started in the evening. Gyaniji collected this information himself that a meeting of Congress leaders — attended by Arun Nehru and Delhi leaders like H K L Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler and all — took place before Rajiv Gandhi arrived from Kolkata. They decided to give a slogan ‘khoon ka badla khoon’. The first riot then took place near INA market,” he told The Indian Express.

“If it was spontaneous, it should have started in the morning itself. Although it was not officially announced, unofficially everyone knew in Delhi,” he said. Singh said the President got to know about arson and killing across Delhi soon after Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as PM in the evening.

“The President wanted to speak to the PM about the largescale arson and violence in Delhi. The PM did not get back to the President. All night he tried over telephone. Nobody responded. In the morning, he tried to speak to Home Minister Narasimha Rao. He was told that we are all busy in making arrangements for the funeral. He was told that the Lt Governor and the Police Commissioner are taking control. The whole of next day, neither the PM nor the Home Minister took any interest in defusing the situation or help the victims,” he alleged.

Singh said it was curious that although Army was available in the cantonment here, forces were called in from Meerut. “They came by road. They were ordered not to shoot and just to march. The police in Delhi on the other hand was totally with the rioters and even killed Sikhs,” he alleged.

In contrast, he said the Gujarat government officially informed a NCM fact-finding team, which visited Gujarat in March 2002, that 137 people were killed in police firing. “Our impression after going there was that Godhra incident was highlighted so much by television channels. That resulted in the spontaneous attack in the Ahmedabad city. It started early morning,” he said.

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  1. S
    sravan kumar
    Mar 25, 2017 at 9:30 am
    I have my deepest condolenses for the incident.lt;br/gt;then president Zail singh could have taken control over the situation, Even though congress was boiling out of revenge and police was under control of congress leaders. Mr Zail as being the president of india, Supreme commander of Armed forces could have declared emergency and marched Army to control the situation, but he didn't do anything he like all other educated dignities of that time just watched the country burn into fire. sometimes i feel that we are not independent ,we are not democratic lt;br/gt;Recently my father paid 50k as bribe to superintendent of a court. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I wasn't born during this period but who all have died they died in vain.lt;br/gt;People in our country have always been exploited abandoned miss leaded.lt;br/gt;I work in a team where all in their mid twenties and all are from different states and background. There are muslims Jians hindu etc, i can say that it is diverse.lt;br/gt;Lot of time we have discussion and i being a hindu, I always have leftist view in all topics. One such discussion broke out among us and no muslim was near by and all started telling stories of muslims whatever they have felt and understood, and i was mostly against their views because i didn't feel correct to judge anyone by him colour region or religion and at one point all were frustrated by my views and I told them that people like you belongs to no religion ,whenever we fall back or fails we bring this things to get aside and tries to see the wrong part.lt;br/gt;People like you when in riots comes forward to kill the other person. This made them realize for a second, and afterwards they are the same.
    Reply
  2. B
    Balan
    Jan 30, 2014 at 10:22 am
    This is not the first time this has been reported. Please look up old reports.
    Reply
  3. B
    Balan
    Jan 30, 2014 at 10:21 am
    Why the double standard? 1984 is past but 2002 is not! As for India's future in RG's hands, the less said the better.
    Reply
  4. C
    Chandu
    Jan 30, 2014 at 4:21 am
    The truth had to come out one day. God is Great. Truth Prevails, how much ever you try to conceal, hide or lie.
    Reply
  5. C
    Chris
    Feb 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm
    What happened in 1984 was direct result of years of killing of hindu minority folks in Punjab by Bhinderwala and his gangsters, and killing of Indira hi and open support of such acts by Sikh community.Sikhs must reconcile that first before complaining.
    Reply
  6. C
    Chris
    Feb 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm
    What happened in 1984 was direct result of years of killing of hindu minority folks in Punjab by Bhinderwala and his gangsters, and killing of Indira hi and open support of such acts by Sikh community.Sikhs must reconcile that first before complaining.
    Reply
  7. C
    Chris
    Feb 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    recall how Bhinderwala and his gangsters were killing hindus in Punjab for years before that.It was their(Sikhs) own doing.
    Reply
  8. D
    Dinesh Singh
    Feb 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm
    It seems congressis can and did breath after that. Remember Rajiv hi who said " Jab bada ped (tree) girta hai to chote ped to tootate hi hain.
    Reply
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