A sting operation by investigative news portal Cobrapost that decided to revisit the Sikh carnage of 1984, which involved interviewing eight officers of Delhi Police, reveals most of them candidly admitting to their failure as a force, with some of them confessing that the top brass of the police force colluded with the Congress government of the day to teach Sikhs “a lesson”.
The Cobrapost undercover interviews were conducted with the following police personnel:
- Shoorveer Singh Tyagi, Station House Office (SHO) Kalyanpuri;
- Rohtas Singh, SHO Delhi Cantonment;
- S.N. Bhaskar, SHO Krishna Nagar;
- O. P. Yadav, SHO Srinivaspuri;
- Jaipal Singh, SHO Mehrauli.
- S.C. Tandon, then police chief who conveniently parried all questions
- Gautam Kaul, then additional commissioner of police, straightaway rejected the idea that he had any first-hand knowledge of rioting
- Amrik Singh Bhullar, then the SHO of Patel Nagar, who had named some local leaders in his affidavit, accusing them instigating and even leading the frenzied mobs.
The Cobrapost, on its website, listed the following as the findings of the probe:
- The police force had succumbed to anti-Sikh sentiments, thus abetting rioting and arson, even encouraging rioters
- Repeated warnings about the simmering communal sentiments against Sikhs in their areas went unheard by senior officers
- While news of arson and rioting bombarded the police control rooms, only two per cent of the messages were recorded
- Police logbooks were conveniently changed to eliminate evidence of inaction on the part of senior officers
- Some officers did not act for fear of punishment being transferred
- Some police officers dumped bodies of victims somewhere else to minimize riot-related crimes in their areas
- The police did not allow the riot victims to file FIRs or when they filed FIRs, they clubbed disparate, unconnected cases of murder and arson in one FIR
- Messages were broadcast directing police to not take action against rioters who were shouting slogans of ‘Indira Gandhi zindabad’
- The government of the day did not allow the police to act while creating an impression that the police were not performing their duty
- Senior officers like did not allow their subordinates to open fire on rioters
- Police officers did not act even when some press reporters informed him of killing and arson by rioters all around Delhi
- Even the Fire Brigade refused to move to areas where cases of arson had been reported by police.