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 74)
Gujranwala, Punjab, British India
Residence New Delhi
Office Minister of State
Political party Indian National Congress

Jagdish Tytler (b. 11 January 1944 as Jagdish Kumar Kapoor) is an Indian National Congress politician and former member of the Parliament of India.He is most controversial politician having accused in 1984 Sikh genocide. He was the 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 accused of inciting and leading murderous mobs against the Sikh community in Delhi after Sikh bodyguards assassinated Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the 1984 anti-Sikh Genocide, a charge he denies.

Early days[edit]

Tytler was born as Jagdish Kapoor in Gujranwala, British India, to a Punjabi Hindu father and Sikh mother.[1] 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.[2] It is rumoured that upon his influence he converted to Christianity and changed his surname.[3] In 2011, his entry into the Puri's Jagannath Temple (which is reserved only for Hindus), caused a huge controversy in Orissa.[4] Tytler denied having converted to Christianity, and stated that he had changed his name to show his gratitude towards James Douglas Tytler, who had brought him up.[5]

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 Delhi Anti-Sikh Genocide[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 10 August 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 31 October 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 18 December 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 "such a clean chit ahead of the elections" implied that the CBI had been misused. Hundreds of Sikh protestors gathered outside the Karkardooma courts and raised slogans against Tytler and other Congress party 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 thrown a shoe at by Jarnail Singh, a Sikh journalist during a press conference in Delhi on the issuance of a "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, the Congress party dropped both Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as Congress candidates for the Lok Sabha elections of 2009.[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]

2015 ACMM Court decision to examine Abhishek Verma and Amitabh Bachchan as witnesses[edit]

Tytler's erstwhile good friend, High-profile arms dealer Abhishek Verma is the main witness in 1984 Sikh Riots genocide case against Tytler. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Karkardooma Court Judge S.P.S.Laler in December 2015 directed the CBI to record Abhishek's testimony as witness# 8 in this case against Tytler.[21] The other high-profile witness in this case is Amitabh Bachchan.[22]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]