Fresh trouble is looming over Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath as the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday (September 9) cleared a proposal to reopen the 1984 Sikh riots case. The MHA's decision came in the light of two witnesses volunteering to depose against the Madhya Pradesh CM.
The move comes only days after the MP CM's nephew, Ratul Puri, was arrested in connection with the AugustaWestland case. Former Union Minister and Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was also arrested last month by the Central Bureau of Investigation, for his alleged role in the INX Media case.
Kamal Nath, along with senior Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, was accused of instigating violence in 1984 after the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up by the Narendra Modi government in 2015, following a recommendation by the Home Ministry-appointed Justice (retd) G P Mathur committee.
Sajjan Kumar was convicted by the Delhi High Court in one of the cases in 2018, coincidentally on the same day, Nath took his oath as the CM of Madhya Pradesh.
Nath was acquitted by the Nanavati Commission after hearing the witnesses who had alleged that the Congress leader had led a mob outside central Delhi's Rakabganj gurdwara and two Sikhs were killed in his presence. Nath had claimed that although he was present, he was trying to calm down the mob.
However, with the witnesses - Sanjay Suri, who now lives in England, and Mukhtiyar Singh, who is now in Patna - showing readiness to depose against him, the 72-year-old Congress leader could face trouble.
"I will depose before the SIT whenever asked to do so," Suri told IANS.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi on Monday, Siromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, "In an anti-sikh riot case registered at Parliament Street Police Station, there are two witnesses Mukhtiar Singh and Sanjay Suri, who had filed affidavits before the Nanavati Commission regarding the lead role played by Kamal Nath and Sathe during the genocide."
Sirsa also urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to seek Nath's resignation.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal demanded his removal from the post of the CM of Madhya Pradesh.
Now that the case against #KamalNath has been reopened, he should be removed from the post of Madhya Pradesh CM. Case witnesses should be given protection as they get ready to depose. Also, I urge citizens who have any info about the '84 riot cases to come forward fearlessly./2— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) September 9, 2019
Nath has, however, always denied his involvement in the riots. "There is no case, FIR, or chargesheet against me. Today they are raking up this matter (1984 anti-Sikh riots). You can understand the politics behind this. Did an eyewitness tell you (about his involvement)?" he had said in 2018.
The three-member SIT, comprising of two Inspector General-rank IPS officers and a judicial officer, has reopened 80 out of the 650 cases registered in connection with the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
A total of 3,325 people were killed in the riots that had erupted in several areas of the national capital in the aftermath of the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.