Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

Statement Before Nanavati Commission

Statement Before Nanavati Commission

'I had noticed that Mr.Kamalnath was controlling the crowd and the crowd was looking to him for directions'

(Witness No : 17)
Name : Shri Monish Sanjay Suri, S/o Late B.N.Suri
Age : 44 Years
Occupation : Journalist
Address : 44, Nehru Apts, Kalkaji, New Delhi.
4, Highcroft Avenue, Wembley HAU 1TG, UK


I was shown the photocopies of the three affidavits, I say that they are the true copies of the original affidavits filed before the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission. (the affidavit is taken on record and marked as exhibit No. W17/1). My affidavit may be treated as my examination-in-chief. I further say that, at present I am working for India Abroad Group and Outlook Magazine and now I am staying at London. In November, 1984 I was staying at Malviya Nagar. After going to my office on that day I moved around the city and I noticed that there was large scale burning of vehicles and shops. The crowd has also tried to check our car to find out whether there is any Sikh inside. I had seen smoke coming out from various places. I had not seen policemen trying to stop the mob in indulging such acts. I had gone to the Vasant Vihar Police Station and I noticed that the policemen were sitting in the compound of the police station. I tried to get the information from SI (Press), in police control room. He informed that some rioting is going in the city. But I was not able to get exact details from him. Normally, in such circumstances, SI (Press) briefs the press about incidents. I had seen mobs moving everywhere. Some of them were moving in trucks, tempos and other vehicles.

When I had gone near the Rakabgunj Gurudwara I had noticed that Mr.Kamalnath was controlling the crowd and the crowd was looking to him for directions. I also noticed that he had control of the crowd. I had not heard Mr. Kamalnath either giving any positive direction to the crowd to do something or not to do something. I had seen Kamalnath speaking to different people in different mobs near Gurudwara. Even while when Mr. Kamalnath was present some mobs had charged at the Gurudwara. I had noticed the presence of the police on one side of Gurudwara. Mr. Gautam Kaul who was then the officer in-charge of that range was also present. When one mob had tried to charge at the Gurudewara in the presence of Mr.Kaul no attempt was made by him and his subordinates to prevent that group form doing so. He had himself stepped aside. I remained near the Gurudwara for about an hour. I had seen the movement of the police during my stay there but I also noticed that they were not checking the movement of the mob. Some policemen had arrived in trucks.

I had visited many areas on 2nd November, 1984 also. I had noticed mobs roaming about and looting going on. I had also seen some dead bodies lying on the road. I had not noticed policemen trying to control the mobs anywhere. Very probably on 2nd November, 1984 I had gone to Sultanpuri. I had noticed dead bodies lying on the road. When I went further inside Sultanpuri, I had seen a mob of 25 persons, many of them were wearing white Kurtas and Pyjamas. They told us not to proceed further as they were there to protect the remaining Sikhs. Even then we proceeded further and met one person who was sikh, who has shaved his hair, he told us that if nothing was done for them immediately the mob, which was standing there and which have advised us not go further, would kill them. Realizing that it was no use of contacting the police and there was immediate need of army help we returned from that place. While returning again we were stopped by the mob and manhandled. Anyhow, I managed to drive out from that place. In the evening when I went to Durgapura Chowk I had noticed that dead bodies were removed from the road as that was the route form which Mr.Rajiv Gandhi was to pass. However, in the side lanes more dead bodies were still lying there. I was told that the police had removed those dead bodies. On 3rd November, 1984 evening I noticed the presence of army and I had also noticed that in some areas curfew was being imposed. The curfew was imposed in the sense that because of the presence of the army the movements of the mobs were less.

Cross examination by Shri S.S.Gandhi, Sr. Advocate on behalf of Delhi Police.

I might have gone to Gurduwara some time between 2 and 4 O’ clock. I cannot remember the exact time now. I do not remember whether I had seen any other senior officer there. I had not gone inside the Gurudwara. Near the Gurudwara I had seen two dead bodies of the Sikhs who were burnt to death. I cannot say at what time those two Sikhs have been burnt. It is not correct to say that I had not seen the dead bodies of those two Sikhs near the compound wall outside the gate of the Gurudwara. One could go to Teen Murthi House via Rakabgunj Church road. It is incorrect to say that when I had gone there between 2 PM - 4 PM I had not seen the mob at that place. It is incorrect to say that after 3 PM the police had come near that place and disperse the mob and when I had gone there I had not seen any mob there. It is incorrect to say that mob had not charged at the gurudwara in my presence at about 4 PM. It is true that even though I had filed 3 affidavits before Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission I had not stated anything about my visit to Sultapuri and what I had seen there. I had visited many other places and I had not mentioned about all those places. I cannot say when those persons were killed. I cannot say whether they were killed on 1st or 2nd. I had not seen any killing at all. It is incorrect to say that I had not met Mr.Sewadas.

I cannot say whether after the meeting in Karol Bagh Police Station on 5th November, 1984 the police had stopped recovery of looting properties and arresting criminals. I had noticed that police had recovered good amount of looted property and I had also noticed that alongwith the recoveries made some persons were also arrested. I had found Mr. Dharma Das Shastry trying to get those persons released. I cannot say whether they were released or not.

Cross examination by Shri S.K.Sud, ASG, on behalf of Central Government :

I cannot say whether the persons who had rounded by the police were formally arrested or not. I had heard Mr. Dharma Das Shastry and Mr. Motilal Bakolia shouting at the police to release their men. They were shouting in a very aggressive manner. I had noticed Mr. Dharma Das Shastry and the Addl. CP trying to bring pressure on the police to release his persons who were detained there. Mr.Dharma Das Shastry and Mr. Bakolia had continued to pressurize the DCP and SHO for long time to release those persons who are detained there. I had seen the presence of army from the evening of 2nd November, 1984.

Recalled for Cross examination by Shri S.S.Gandhi, Sr. Advocate, on behalf of Delhi Police.

Mr. Jatav had not given any instructions to his subordinates to release any persons in my presence.

Read over and found correct

Monish Sanjay Suri

30th May, 2001