Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tytler was present when Sikhs were killed: Priest

Tytler was present when Sikhs were killed: Priest

February 21, 2008 21:20 IST

The head priest of a Delhi-based gurdwara, believed to be an eyewitness in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, deposed before the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday that Congress leader Jagdish Tytler led a mob which killed three Sikhs during the carnage.

Bhai Surinder Singh, head 'granthi' of Majnu-Ka-Tila gurdwara in north Delhi, also alleged that Tytler was 'plotting' to eliminate him after his ruse to send him abroad did not work.

Coming out of the CBI's Sector-30 office in Chandigarh accompanied by his lawyer Navkiran Singh, he told media persons that he saw the Congress leader 'instigate' a mob, which placed burning tyres around the necks of three Sikh youths, killing them.

He said he was an eyewitness to the whole episode and had not come out in the open before as he was 'afraid of being killed. But now, with the Akal Takht and SGPC's backing, other witnesses will also be ready to depose'.

The 'granthi' alleged his family members were being lured with the assurance of a passage to Canada [Images] to dilute the case but 'I will stay until I get justice'.

His advocate, who is also representing the other key witness US-based Jasbir Singh, alleged that Bhai Surinder was earlier 'forcibly made to sign a blank paper and retract his statement under pressure of the investigating agencies'.

"Tytler was present when the Sikhs were killed. I have made a detailed statement before the CBI in this connection," he said.

Bhai Surinder was in the CBI office for around three hours recording his statement before Deputy Superintendent of Police S S Kishore of Delhi Police.

Bhai Surinder had also sought protection from Punjab police, his lawyer said.

All-India Sikh Students' Federation chief Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad has, meanwhile, given a call for protests in the national capital on February 25, 26 and 27 to press for speedy justice to the riot victims.

He said, "For the last 23 years, successive governments have tried to make the Sikh community forget the Delhi riots. The Coordination Committee of Sikhs for Justice has enough documented proof that members of organised gangs killed Sikhs at the instance of Tytler and other Congress leaders."

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