Jagdish Tytler

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Jagdish Tytler
Jagdish Tytler.jpg
Jagdish Tytler at Manjeet Bullar Cavalry Gold Cup Polo 2010
Born (1944-01-11) 11 January 1944 (age 70)
Gujranwala, Punjab, British India
Residence New Delhi
Political party
INC
Religion Hindu[1]

Jagdish Tytler (b. January 11, 1944 as Jagdish Kapoor) is a controversial Indian National Congress politician, he is former member of Indian Parliament. He was the Indian Union Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs, a position he resigned from after an official commission of inquiry noted the 'balance of probability' indicated he was responsible for inciting and leading murderous mobs against the Sikh community in Delhi during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, a charge he denies.

Early days[edit]

Tytler was born as Jagdish Kapoor in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan), to a Punjabi Hindu father and Sikh mother.[2]

He was later brought up by eminent educationist James Douglas Tytler, the founder of many public schools including the Delhi Public School and the Summer Fields School.[3] It is said that upon his influence he converted to Christianity and changed his surname.[4] In 2011, his entry into the Puri's Jagannath Temple (which is reserved only for Hindus), caused a huge controversy in Orissa.[5] In response, Tytler stated that he never converted to Christianity, and changed his name only to show his gratitude towards James Douglas Tytler, who highly influenced him.[1]

Active in the Congress' youth organisation and a disciple of Sanjay Gandhi, he was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980. He served as a Union Minister first in the Civil Aviation department and then in the Labor department. He was re-elected in 1991 and served as the Union Minister of State for Surface Transport. In 2004, he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha.

1984 Anti-Sikh pogrom[edit]

The official report of the Nanavati Commission of the Government of India on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots found 'credible evidence' against Tytler, saying he 'very probably' had a hand in organising the attacks. The Indian government, however, decided not to prosecute Jagdish Tytler due to lack of concrete evidence.

Tytler claimed innocence, and maintained that it was a case of mistaken identity. Tytler had not been named by eight earlier inquiry commissions set up to investigate the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. On August 10, 2005, his resignation from the Union Council of Ministers was accepted by the President of India on the recommendation of Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

On April, 2004 the Indian National Congress Party announced Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, R. K. Anand and others allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots, as its candidates for Indian Parliament elections for constituencies in and around Delhi. Sajjan Kumar, R. K. Anand, Darshan Sharstri and H.K.L. Bhagat were accused by several independent commissions of inquiry of being complicit in the riots, including the People's Union for Civil Liberties, the People's Union for Democratic Rights and the Citizen's Justice Committee.

The G.T. Nanavati Commission, which is now looking into the riots, continues to receive affidavits from victims with details of the activities of Sajjan, Anand and H.K.L. Bhagat. Tytler became minister of state with independent charge of non-resident affairs, a post which he relinquished under duress, following the Nanavati Commission's report.

Remarks against Phoolka[edit]

During an interview of Tytler and advocate H. S. Phoolka on NDTV in 2004, Tytler had accused Phoolka of blackmailing him and demanding money from him.[6] Phoolka had filed the case at the Ludhiana court against Tytler accusing him of making defamatory remarks in programmes telecast on NDTV news channel. Harvinder Singh Phoolka, a senior advocate is noted for spearheading legal battle to gain justice for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.[7]

Recently, Tytler was granted bail in defamation case filed by Phoolka.[8]

In an interview to CNN-IBN, Justice Nanavati says the evidence against Jagdish Tytler is not that strong.[9]

Reopening of the case in 2007[edit]

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) closed all cases against Jagdish Tytler in November 2007 for his alleged criminal conspiracy to engineer riots against Sikhs in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984. CBI submitted a report to the Delhi court which stated that no evidence or witness was found to corroborate the allegations against Tytler of leading murderous mobs during 1984[10][11] It was also alleged in the court that then member of the Indian Parliament Jagdish Tytler was complaining to his supporters about relatively "small" number of sikhs killed in his parliamentary constituency Delhi Sadar, which in his opinion had undermined his position in the ruling Indian National Congress party of India.[12]

However in December 2007, a witness Jasbir Singh, who lives in California, appeared on several private television news channels in India, and stated that he was never contacted by Central Bureau of Investigation. India's main opposition party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded an explanation from the minister in charge of CBI in Indian Parliament. However, Minister of State for Personnel Suresh Pachouri, who is in charge of department of CBI, and was present in the parliament session refused to make a statement.[13]

On December 18, 2007, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Delhi court Mr. Sanjeev Jain, who had earlier dismissed the case after CBI submitted a misleading report in his court; ordered India's Central Bureau of Investigation to reopen cases relating to 1984 Anti-Sikh riots against Jagdish Tytler.[14]

December 2008[edit]

In December 2008, a two member CBI team was sent to New York to record the statements of two eyewitnesses, Jasbir Singh and Surinder Singh. The two witnesses have stated that they saw Jagdish Tytler lead a mob during the riots, but did not want to come to India as they feared for their security.[15]

Clean chit by CBI in 2009[edit]

In March 2009, when the CBI filed its final report on investigation into the riots case involving Jagdish Tytler, the BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar alleged that the "such a clean chit ahead of the elections" implied CBI has been misused.[16] Hundreds of Sikh protestors gathered outside the Karkardooma courts and raised slogans against Tytler and other senior leaders allegedly involved in the riots.[16]

Shoe throwing incident instigated by clean chit to Tytler[edit]

On 7 April 2009, India's home minister P. Chidambaram was assaulted by Jarnail Singh, a Sikh journalist during a press conference in Delhi on the issue of clean chit to Jagdish Tytler. Singh, who works at the Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran was dissatisfied with Chidamabaram's answer to a question on the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) clean chit to Jagdish Tytler on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.[17]

Denial of Lok Sabha ticket[edit]

After this shoe throwing incident, Congress party dropped both Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as congress candidates for Lok Sabha 2009 elections.[18] Jadgish Tytler accused the media of victimizing him through a media trial. Tytler blamed the Shiromani Akali Dal and his enemies within the Congress party for scuttling his nomination.[19]

2013 Sessions Court decision[edit]

In April 2013, a Sessions Court rejected the CBI report and ordered investigation against Tytler.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Jagdish Tytler clarifies, BJD cries riots
  2. ^ Bio-Data of Jagdish Singh Tytler
  3. ^ "Bio-Data of Shri Jagdish Tytler". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 
  4. ^ Cong listens to sole - Tytler and Sajjan eased out The Telegraph - April 10. 2009. quote(final para): "He was later brought up by educationist Rev. James Douglas Tytler, the founder of Delhi Public School and several other schools, and converted to Christianity."
  5. ^ Ruckus in Orissa assembly over Tytler's Jagannath Temple visit
  6. ^ NDTV Interview of HS Phoolka and Jagdish Tytler
  7. ^ 25 years after 1984 riots, victims' lawyer soldiers on
  8. ^ Tytler granted bail in defamation case
  9. ^ Justice Nanavati talks to IBN-CNN
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Fresh probe into India politician". news.bb.co.uk. December 18, 2007. 
  12. ^ Re-probe Tytler’s role: Court
  13. ^ BJP to govt: Clear stand on anti-Sikh riots' witness
  14. ^ 1984 riots: CBI to re-investigate Tytler's role
  15. ^ Anti Sikh riots witness to give statement to CBI in US
  16. ^ a b CBI files final report in anti-Sikh riot case against Tytler. Press Trust of India.
  17. ^ The Times of India
  18. ^ Congress drops Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar
  19. ^ Sheila shooed me out
  20. ^ Sessions court rejects CBI’s clean chit to Tytler. The Hindu, 10 April 2013

External links[edit]