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Affidavit Before Mishra Commission

'Outside the gurdwara I saw a crowd of about 4,000 men led by Congress-I leader Kamal Nath... I saw the bodies of two men, both Sikhs, still burning on the roadside'

Affidavit Before Mishra Commission
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Sanjay Suri recounted his experience with Mishra Commission 

... when the Mishra Commission was instituted into the killings, I filed three affidavits before it, where I had seen police inaction and the presence at least of Congress leaders. My affidavits were turned down in what seemed like Kafkaesque fashion - I could not prove I was there and therefore it could not be established that I had seen what I had seen.

They asked me at the commission whether I could produce an independent witness who could prove that I had been there. Then they asked me to produce a logbook from The Indian Express which might record where all I had been at precisely what time. I was outraged by the demands, and said so. Which reporter goes anywhere with an independent witness in tow, who would in any case then not be independent, and who keeps such logbook? Calm down, don't react, a court official told me with a professional smirk. I was just being naïve, wasn't I, too immature to know the ways of courts, and of the manner of handing out justice known to that Supreme Court judge who sat on his exalted seat in that room.

I presented the affidavits again before the Vaidyanathan commission and someone asked where precisely I was at how many minutes to 4pm. I couldn't remember 17 years later then where I had been to the minute. I doubt I would have remembered the next day.

The fact is that one inquiry commission after another led to nothing. The only report that mattered was never made public - the inquiry by Ved Marwah, later the police commissioner. I am convinced that the report by Marwah - as bright and upright an officer as any the Indian police have ever had - is the most full account that exists into what happened, and particularly of the failings of the police. Which is why no government has made that report public.

This is one of the three relevant affidavits, the one that pertains to Mr Kamal Nath's presence at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj:

I, Monish Sanjay Suri, S/o Late B.N. Suri aged 29 years residing at P-4, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi – 110017 do hereby solemnly affirm and state as under:

1) On the evening of November 1, I went to Gurdwara Rakab Ganj about 4 PM on haring of trouble there. I was assigned to go there because I am a staff reporter with the Indian Express. I had been there for a short while when I saw Mr. Gautam Kaul, then Additional Commissioner of Police, New Delhi range standing to a side.

2) Outside the gurdwara I saw a crowd of about 4,000 men led by Congress-I leader Kamal Nath. At the time I went there the crowd was on the road. Some were making weak attempts to enter the Gurdwara, but the Congress-I M.P. and other leaders of the same party who were with him were keeping them under some control.

3) I learnt that earlier in the day there had not been such control, and that the mob had tried to enter the gurdwara. They retracted when some men fired from within the Gurdwara. After that at least two Sikhs outside the Gurdwara were lynched by the mob. When I reached there I saw the bodies of two men, both Sikhs, still burning on the roadside. There were rumours that four non-Sikhs had been burnt inside the Gurdwara, but the police said they had entered the Gurdawara, searched every place but found no hostages or bodies. 

4) As is evident from television shots that day, Mr. Gautam Kaul was conducting mourners at Teen Murti house when firing, killing and burning was taking place close by in the area under his charge. When he did come, he stood to a side without making any efforts to check the crowd. Leaders of the crowd seemed fully in charge. At one point a group charged towards the Gurdwara gate to a side near which Mr. Kaul stood. But seeing them he retreated instead of checking them. The police officer was obviously a passive spectator to commands by Congress-I leaders.

 

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