Anti-Sikh riots: US court summons Kamal Nath

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by notinlove, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. notinlove

    notinlove Regular Member

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    New York, Apr 7: The US federal district court has summoned India's Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath in connection with the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots case following a case filed by a Sikh outfit.

    Buzz up!
    The civil case under the Alien Torts Claims Act was filed by two Sikhs, Jasbir Singh and Mahinder Singh on behalf of the New York based organisation, Sikhs for Justice.


    In their petition, the petitioners appealed for compensatory and punitive damages for several allegations including crimes against humanity, degrading treatment and wrongful killing.

    Expressing shock at the summon, Nath, who is on a visit to US questioned why the petition was filed 25 years after the incident took place. He said that he was 'surprised and appalled' at the allegations being raised at this point in time.

    "I really have no clue about it. I don't have a basis and I don't know the authenticity. I don't know the validity. It was for the first time that I saw it," Nath said when asked to comment on the case.

    As per the notice served to Nath, he has to respond within 21 days. A default jugdement will be passed on the matter in case he fail to respond to the summon within the prescribed time.

    Nath said that he would reveiw the matter and see it is all about.

    "A piece of paper was given to me. I will have to see what the piece of paper is all about," he said.

    Stating that he has never been summoned in the case before, Nath asked why the allegations were made 25 years after the incident and that too in a foreign country.

    "Nobody has ever charged me in India. But if the United States charges me 25 years later for something that has happened in India...well it just reflects on the authenticity," he said.

    "For the last 25 years I wasn't involved...suddenly in 2010 I get involved...There was nobody who stood up and said that he was a victim or that I was in any way connected. So I'm surprised and appalled," he added.

    Explaining the filing of the petition in US, the petitioners' attorney, Gurpatwant Pannun, said that the matter was taken up in the US court because it was not possible to try human rights violator in India.

    "In India it is impossible to hold human rights violators," Pannun said.

    Pannun said that Jasbir Singh has lost 24 members of his family in the riot, while Mahinder, who was two-years-old at the time of the incident, lost his father.

    He said that Sikh group decided to move the US court as it had lost hope on acquiring justice in India.

    "We waited for all these years because commissions were being set up...there was hope but because of his position Kamal Nath has successfully avoided justice for 25 years," said Pannun.

    http://news.oneindia.in/2010/04/07/anti-sikh-riots-us-court-summons-kamal-nath.html
     
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  3. notinlove

    notinlove Regular Member

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    Sikhs protest Kamal Nath's presence in US

    New York, Apr 9: Protesting against Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath's presence in US, 100 Sikhs under the banner 'Sikhs For Justice' took out "Justice Rally" on Thursday, Apr 8, outside McGraw-Hill's headquarters in Manhattan where Nath was addressing the Global Construction Summit.

    Buzz up!
    The organistation had filed a petition in the US Federal Court accussing Nath of instigating the mob during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.


    "We want to put him behind bars. Anyone guilty should be behind bars," said Avtar Singh Pannu of Queens, the group's coordinator.

    The organisation's attorney, Gurpatwant S Pannun said that Nath "a violator of human rights who led the mobs that torched Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib and in which many Sikhs were burnt alive," should not be allowed to be in US.

    Holding out banners which read 'Stand for Justice' and 'Demanding Justice', including a black inner tubes to symbolise the tires that were burned during the riots, the protestors took to the street to voice their protest.

    "We want to create awareness within ourselves and the international community and embarrass Kamal Nath and the people who invited him here," said Ranjit Singh, former president of Sikh Youth of America.

    On Apr 7, the US court issued a summon to Kamal Nath in connection with the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots case following a petition filed by Sikhs For Justice.

    Kamal Nath had expressed shocked on the summon, especially since it was filed 25 years after the incident.

    "For the last 25 years I wasn't involved...suddenly in 2010 I get involved...There was nobody who stood up and said that he was a victim or that I was in any way connected. So I'm surprised and appalled," he had said.

    http://news.oneindia.in/2010/04/09/sikhs-protest-kamal-naths-presence-in-us.html
     
  4. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    What jurisdiction does a US court have ? I have never heard of Kamal Nath figuring in 1984 riots either. From what I know He is infact good friends with many Sikhs from his Doon school days and his sister lives in Chandigarh as well.
     
  5. notinlove

    notinlove Regular Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^ no idea , this was in todays hindu as well
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Under Alien Tort Statute he can be summoned to the court.

    Alien Tort Claims Act


    The Alien Torts can only be used if there were Americans in either role, as an aggressor or victim, involved on foreign soil.The reason being that some of the victims of 1984 sikh riots are neutralised american citizens.So kamal nath has been summoned under the ATCA by the usa court which grants them this jurisdiction.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Case Against Kamal Nath


    'The unanswered questions about his role in the Rakabganj Gurdwara episode might well hold the key to uncovering the high-level conspiracy behind the 1984 carnage'

    With the public spotlight on Mr Jagdish Tytler and Mr Sajjan Kumar, the role of Mr Kamal Nath, minister of road transport and highways, in the 1984 carnage is treated as a forgotten, closed chapter. However, the ghosts of 1984 are back to haunt Mr Nath. On a visit to the USA, the minister found himself summoned by a US federal district court in a civil case filed under the Alien Torts Claims Act, where the petitioners have sought compensatory and punitive damages for several allegations including crimes against humanity, degrading treatment and wrongful killing. Mr Nath, PTI reports, needs to respond within 21 days otherwise the court will give a default judgement on the matter.

    Mr Nath is quoted as follows in the wire agency feeds:

    "A piece of paper was given to me. I will have to see what the piece of paper is all about," he said. Nath stressed that he had never been charged in any court and questioned why these allegations were being raised more than two decades after the tragedy and that too in a foreign land.

    "Nobody has ever charged me in India. But if the United States charges me 25 years later for something that has happened in India... well it just reflects on the authenticity," he said.

    "For the last 25 years I wasn't involved... suddenly in 2010 I get involved... There was nobody who stood up and said that he was a victim or that I was in any way connected. So I'm surprised and appalled."

    Mr Nath may not have been charged in a court of law in India, as he says, but his "involvement" in the 1984 cases is a matter of much documented record as Manoj Mitta and HS Phoolka point out in their book. Extracts from the chapter titled: A Tale of Two Gurudwaras

    ***

    [Page 49] ...Rakab Ganj Gurudwara, despite being across the street from Parliament House, was subjected to a prolonged siege in which its periphery was damaged, and two Sikhs were roasted alive. The attack on Rakab Ganj Gurudwara was also remarkable for the fact that it was probably the first, and so far, the only instance in the history of mass violence in India, where a political leader admitted to being on the spot. And such an instance ironically occurred in the immediate vicinity of India's parliament.

    The leader in question was Kamal Nath, who was at the time of the 1984 carnage, an up and coming Congress MP from Madhya Pradesh, and is now a cabinet minister holding a key economic portfolio in the Manmohan Singh government. In a siege that lasted over five hours, Kamal Nath is said to have been there for over two hours.


    Given the strategic location of Rakab Ganj Gurudwara, Kamal Nath's presence there was confirmed by two of the senior-most officers, Commissioner Subhash Tandan, and Additional Commissioner Guatam Kaul, as also by an independent source, The Indian Express reporter, Sanjay Suri.

    This is more than could be said about any of the Congress MPs from Delhi, whether HKL Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar or Dharam Dass Shastri, as the charge of their complicity was based entirely on the testimony of victims...

    [Page 51]..Police Commissioner Subhash Tandan, and Additional Commissioner Gautam Kaul... did not even cane the mob, let alone resorting to tear gas or firing...

    [Page 51-52] Emboldened by the police's obvious reluctance to take any action against miscreants, the mob at Rakab Ganj Gurudwara laid siege to it for over five hours, indulging in various forms of violence...the mob killed two Sikhs...

    [Page 54-57] Another distinguishing feature of the Rakab Ganj episode was the evidence of political complicity: the presence of Congress MP Kamal Nath on the spot for a major part of the siege. That he was there at all, for whatever reason, was extraordinary, given that the other Congress leaders were discreet enough not to hobnob with mobs in places where they were liable to be noticed by journalists....

    Since Kamal Nath spent two hours in front of Rakab Ganj Gurudwara on 1 November, The Indian Express reported the next day that he had led the mob. The inference of his complicity was no reflex action, as made clear by journalist, Sanjay Suri, in his report as also in his affidavit before the Misra Commission, and oral deposition before the Nanavati Commission. Suri found that Kamal Nath was 'controlling the crowd' which he said was 'looking to him for directions.' Though he could not vouch for what exactly Kamal Nath had told the crowd, Suri said that 'some mobs had charged at the gurdwara' in the Congress leader's presence. Equally significant, he testified that while all that drama was going on, the bodies of those Sikhs were 'still burning on the roadside.'

    Thus, the Rakab Ganj Gurdwara episode provided the first and perhaps the only contemporaneous report of a Congress leader's involvement in the carnage. A day later, on 3 November, The Statesman referred to Kamal Nath's presence at Rakab Ganj while analyzing the carnage: 'Policemen criticized the role of politicians too. Several councillors, they alleged, interceded on behalf of violent mobs when policemen tried to stop arson. Officers wondered what Mr Kamal Nath was doing at Rakab Ganj.'

    Such public exposure of Kamal Nath ensured that Tandan and Kaul had no option but to admit his presence at Rakab Ganj, in their reports, which were placed before the two judicial inquiries. Incidentally, Kaul disclosed that Kamal Nath had turned up at Rakab Ganj saying that he had been sent by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. And when Kamal Nath himself was served a notice by the Nanavati Commission almost two decades later, by when he had become commerce minister in the Manmohan Singh government, he too acknowledged his presence at the scene of crime. But Kamal Nath, of course, denied the allegations of journalist Sanjay Suri; and victim, Mukhtiar Singh, that he had led the mob or had any control over it.

    The Nanavati Commission on its part held that Kamal Nath's reply was 'vague'. The Congress MP was unable to explain why he was in front of the gurdwara for about two hours, which, as the commission said, was 'quite a long time'. The commission also found it 'a little strange that he left the place abruptly without even contacting the police officers who had come there.' If he still escaped indictment, and the Manmohan Singh government averted a major embarrassment, they should consider themselves lucky.


    Reversing a principle of accountability, the commission chose to limit the blame for the entire Rakab Ganj episode to the junior-most police officer on the spot, Sub- Inspector Hoshiar Singh, and his constables. The commission did not deign to explain how the buck stopped with the lowly sub-inspector, when the two senior- most officers of Delhi Police, Tandan and Kaul, were directly involved in an operation in which the siege went on for five hours, the gurdwara was damaged, and two Sikhs were killed, and yet, no action was taken against any member of the mob. But then, had it extended the responsibility to those senior officers, as was logically expected of it, the commission could not possibly have spared Kamal Nath either.

    To be fair, the commission did not quite exonerate Kamal Nath. 'In (the) absence of better evidence,' it said, 'it is not possible for the commission to say that he had in any manner instigated the mob or that he was involved in the attack on the gurdwara.' In other words, it only gave him the benefit of the doubt. And it did so mainly on two grounds. Since he was called upon to explain his conduct at Rakab Ganj Gurdwara after a gap of about twenty years, the commission felt that 'probably for that reason he was not able to give more details as regards when and how he went there and what he did'. But then, by that logic, the commission could well have let off other leaders too, which it did not. The likes of Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar cannot be blamed if they felt that the commerce minister got preferential treatment although the evidence against him was stronger.

    The other major ground cited by the Nanavati Commission to let him off was, ironically, the very testimony that damned him the most: namely, the evidence adduced by journalist Sanjay Suri. The independent witness who corroborated the allegation of victims that Kamal Nath had led the mob at Rakabganj was also found to have said a thing or two in his favour. The commission held that it would 'not be proper' to come to any conclusion against the MP since 'Shri Suri has said that Shri Kamal Nath had tried to persuade the mob to disperse and the mob had retreated for some time.' That was, however, a selective reading of Suri's evidence. He did say in his affidavit of 1985 that he had seen Kamal Nath keeping some of the members of the crowd 'under some control' when they made 'weak attempts' to enter the gurdwara. But the same affidavit disclosed that what he had seen outside the gurdwara was 'a crowd of about 4,000 men led by Congress-I leader Kamal Nath.' Further, when he deposed orally in 2001 before the Nanavati Commission, Suri said that Kamal Nath 'was controlling the crowd and the crowd was looking to him for directions' and that even in the leader's presence 'some mobs had charged at the gurdwara.

    On balance, there was enough evidence before the commission to recommend a CBI probe into his role. Having spent two hours with the mob in front of Rakabganj Gurdwara, having done nothing to help the two Sikhs lying in a critical condition, having allowed the mob and the police to carry on with their hostilities against the targeted community, Kamal Nath was clearly part of the problem, not the solution. The unanswered questions about his role in the Rakabganj Gurdwara episode might well hold the key to uncovering the high-level conspiracy behind the 1984 carnage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
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  8. mehwish92

    mehwish92 Founding Member

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    Here's something I find interesting...it says that Amitabh Bachan was involved in provoking genocide against Sikhs.

    http://amitabhbacchan1984.blogspot.com/

    What do you have to say?

     

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