H. K. L. Bhagat
Hari Krishan Lal Bhagat (4 April 1921 – 29 October 2005) was an Indian politician of the Congress party. Earlier he served as Deputy Mayor, Mayor of Delhi and as the chief whip of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC).
Mass leader of Delhi
A strong Indira Gandhi loyalist,was known as the uncrowned King of Delhi in the 1980s. He was a mass based leader, and was responsible for a Congress comeback in 1980 and 1983 elections in Delhi. He was known to have a strong group in the Congress Party, he won his first Lok Sabha election in 1980 from the East Delhi constituency in Delhi. He grew in political stature after Congress(I)'s victory in the local elections (1983). He held important ministerial positions, including Information and Broadcasting, and made the state-run TV "Doordarshan" the Congress party's mouthpiece during the mid to late 1980s.
His personal friend, Eminent communist Guru Radha Kishan advised him to take a secular view in 1984 and to publicly support Sikh families, but his armed supporters had different ideas, which led to the end of his political supremacy in Delhi. Bhagat was deserted during the last leg of political life by the same Congress politicians whom he had built and helped.
Later, he was publicly condemned by the Sikhs and social activists like Khushwant Singh, Guru Radha Kishan, Habib Tanveer and Amrita Pritam for his role in Sikh riots in Delhi and lead to his expulsion from the party after few years.
His career declined after losing from East Delhi in 1991. Towards the end of his political career, he was indicted by the Nanavati Commission for his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Riot victims testified that Bhagat led groups of armed attackers and incited them to violence. The Commission concluded that there was "credible evidence" that Bhagat "probably... had a hand in organizing attacks on Sikhs"; it recommended the Government "take further action as may be found necessary." The government ultimately declined to prosecute Bhagat because of his poor health by that time.
Bhagat died in a hospital after prolonged illness and he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He is survived by DPCC gen secretary, his son Deepak Bhagat.
- Nanavati Commission Report: Full text http://www.carnage84.com/homepage/nancom.htm