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Shocking,for he was pro-UPA govt: kin of shoe-hurling scribe

‘Khalsa Niwas’ at D-167 in Lajpat Nagar-I became a sudden centre of attention on Tuesday afternoon as neighbours,political leaders and mediapersons thronged the four-storey house.

‘Khalsa Niwas’ at D-167 in Lajpat Nagar-I became a sudden centre of attention on Tuesday afternoon as neighbours,political leaders and mediapersons thronged the four-storey house.

This was after one of its residents,journalist Jarnail Singh,became an equally sudden centre of attention for political parties,the media and the public alike.

“My husband is a calm and composed man; he never loses his temper,” said wife Gurmeet Kaur,still trying to come to terms after Singh hurled a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram over a question related to the CBI’s clean chit for Congress candidate Jagdish Tytler during a press conference. “I am really shocked at what he has done. I am still unable to believe it,” she said.

Singh,his elder brother Jasbir Singh said,has always been a religious man. An early-riser,there was no break on Tuesday,too,he said. Kaur added that her husband woke up early,offered his prayers,dressed as usual in a shirt and trousers,and left for the press conference.

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Then suddenly became the most talked-about person in the Capital in a couple of hours.

While the otherwise quiet neighbourhood was abuzz with activity on Tuesday afternoon,leaders from the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP councillor from Lajpat Nagar spent some time with family members. The Akali Dal has promised Singh Rs 2 lakh for making Sikhs all over the country “proud”.

Yet,despite the political turmoil Singh has forced upon the nation,his family members said the man himself is a non-political person,and in fact “pro-UPA government”. Emphasising that his brother’s shoe-hurling incident should not be viewed politically,Jasbir Singh said,“We condemn the manner of his protest — we are sure he did it in the spur of the moment. Otherwise he was very pro-UPA.”

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Singh told Newsline over the phone that his method of protesting may be wrong but “the issue of the 1984 riots is big”. He said: “It is wrong that Tytler was given a clean chit. Chidambaram said he is happy that his colleague has been released (so) I protested because he heads the Home Ministry and the CBI is under him. When I threw the shoe,I never intended to hit him — I was just registering a protest.”

Jasbir said their family was never directly harmed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “Lajpat Nagar was a safe place even during the riots. That’s why I feel it was not personal on Jarnail’s part — he must have done it in the spur of the moment,” the elder brother said.

Whatever step Jarnail Singh has taken reflects the anger against the establishment for not giving justice to families of 4,000 people killed in the 1984 riots. Singh did not have anything personal against Home Minister P Chidambaram — we will support him completely,with both legal aid and with his job.”
Manjeet Singh GK,President,Shiromani Akali Dal,Delhi

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“We are a secular party and believe in taking along all sections. The matter has ended anyway since the Home Minister did not file a case and Jarnail Singh has been let off.”
J P Aggarwal,President,Delhi Congress

“Jarnail Singh’s action represents the view of the Sikh community as a whole. The CBI report and the Congress’s decision to field both Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler have again provoked the community and reminded them of the massacre.”
Jagdish Mukhi,BJP candidate,West Delhi

“The CBI comes under the Home Minister and he cannot absolve himself of his duty. Not only Jagdish Tytler,the CBI is also trying to shelter Sajjan Kumar. The chargesheet in three cases registered at Delhi Cantonment,Seemapuri and Mangolpuri police stations against him is pending for the last three months.”
H S Phoolka,advocate fighting the victims’ case

“For me,the case is closed — you newspaper people will have to decide what you must do with your colleague.”
Jagdish Tytler,Congress candidate,NorthEast Delhi

“We had a meeting with the Akali Dal in the afternoon and we have decided that each protestor should courier a shoe to Sonia Gandhi at 10 Janpath.”
R K Singh,general secretary,Delhi BJP

First published on: 08-04-2009 at 01:25:41 am
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