‘First kill Sikhs, then loot’: Eyewitness account of Jagdish Tytler during 1984 riots, reveals CBI chargesheet

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Saturday accepted Congress leader Jagdish Tytler’s bail bond after granting him bail on Friday in matters relating to charges of instigating violence and murder of Sikhs in 1984. 

The chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case has detailed an eyewitness account who alleged Congress leader incited the mob to commit acts of violence, including killing Sikhs and looting their shops, according to news agency ANI

Most witnesses said they failed to hear what Tytler told the mob but they saw him alight from the car and make a speech that triggered the rampage, reported PTI.

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler is charged with murder and instigating violence leading to the killings in the Pul Bangash area on 1 November 1984.

“He (Jagdish) came out of his car and instigated the mob to first kill Sikhs and then asked them to loot their shops,” the chargesheet said.

The chargesheet also revealed another witness account, where they said they saw Jagdish Tytler saying, “Kill Sikhs, they have killed our mother”. 

“Tytler also said that he had promised large-scale killing of Sikhs and promised full protection but you (people) have betrayed me (Tytler) and let me down,” the charge sheet said, quoting the statement of one of the witnesses.

CBI chargesheet also includes the statement of the son of Jagdish Tytler’s driver.

“Sufficient material available on record to show that Jagdish Tytler was a part of the unlawful assembly committing rioting that has assembled near Gurudwara Pul Bangash,” it added.

The CBI chargesheet has accused Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that rocked the country after the death of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

CBI further said that this unlawful assembly violated the prohibitory orders, instigated, incited and provoked the mob to kill Sikhs.

“Tytler provoked the mob to kill the Sikhs which resulted in Gurudwara Pul Bangash being set on fire by the mob and killing of three persons belonging to Sikh community on 1.11.1984,” NDTV quoted CBI chargesheet detailing an eyewitness account.

“She witnessed a mob looting her shop, but she decided to return back as early as possible. While on her way back, on the Main Road close to the Gurdwara Pul Bangash, she saw a white Ambassador car from which accused Jagdish Tytler came out. Accused Jagdish Tytler instigated the mob to first kill Sikhs and then engage in looting.” the chargesheet added.

“After seeing this, she returned to her house and thereafter took shelter in the house of her neighbour, where she witnessed the bodies of Shri Badel Singh and Shri Gorcharan Singh (an employee of her husband who had stayed at their house in the night of 31.10.1984) being thrown from the roof of neighbour’s house and then carried on wooden-cart along with tyres, and then these bodies were burnt using the tyres. She also saw the Gurudwara Pul Bangash being set on fire by the mob,” it said.

Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court has directed CBI to supply a charge sheet to Jagdish Tytler and listed the matter for scrutiny of a supplementary charge sheet against Jagdish Tytler. The next date of hearing is August 11, 2023.

The 1984 anti-Sikh riots began as a consequence of the assassination of incumbent Prime Minister and Congress leader Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards- Satwant Singh and Beant Singh.

Government estimates project that about 2,800 Sikhs were killed in Delhi and 3,350 nationwide, whilst independent sources estimate the number of deaths at about 8,000–17,000.


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Updated: 05 Aug 2023, 08:47 PM IST

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