New Delhi — Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, (retired) convener of the Sikh Forum on Tuesday urged the Government to give the Misra Commission (instituted to inquire into the riots in the capital, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi) an independent investigative machinery to find out the true facts about the riots.

The commission, he said, should also have the authority to provide security to the witnesses who may volunteer or be persuaded to depose before it. “Otherwise, with the prevailing fear of the police and the gondas, who are roaming about freely and are constantly threatening those who may complain against them, there is little likely hood that many victims would be willing or able to file affidavits before the commission, he said.

He also said the government notification calling for affidavits had showed complete disregard to the circumstances in which rioting and killing took place, the protection that the culprits have continued to receive all these months and the state of insecurity in which the victims find themselves in. Lt-Gen. Aurora also felt that the commission should be asked to inquire into the causes and courses of the disturbances, complicity of certain political groups and factions in the carnage, adequacy of administrative means taken to prevent such disturbances and recommend measures for preventing the recurrence of such incidents.

The Sikh Forum also alleged that since the transistor bomb incidents the police in Delhi and elsewhere was carrying out indiscriminate searches, arrests and interrogations. But unfortunately because of intimidation and fear of harassment, people are not ready to come forward to make these complaints publicly, he said. “Now that the police is armed with Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, one shudders to think how much more terror the police can create,” he added.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 9, 1985