Relatives of the victims of January 13, 1989, riots, in which 14 Sikhs were killed, have blamed the then government for “deliberately” remaining silent while the mayhem was let loose.
They said the police and the administration were well aware of the pre-planned strategy of the miscreants to rake trouble during the nagar kirtan, but did not act to save the situation.
“My son, who was part of the religious procession passing through bus stand and was caught unaware by some goons sporting iron rods and hockey sticks in their hands. He was beaten to death, while the police remained onlooker only,” said Gian Kour (85), mother of Surinder Singh, who was allegedly lynched.
She only wants that the government should punish the culprits.
Aagya Kour, a woman victim, who had come to look out for her children on hearing the riots having broken in the city, was run over by a speeding truck carrying miscreants near Nanak Nagar Gurdwara.
“After hearing the news of riots, she immediately went out searching for us. I along with my four younger sisters and brother was holed up at Jewel Chowk . Somehow, we managed to reach back home to find our mother missing. It was after two days that the police informed us about her death. The cause was reported to be an accident,” said Gurcharan Kour, elder daughter of the victim residing at Sector 12, Nanak Nagar.
She still doesn’t admit it as an accident saying her mother was mowed down by the miscreants’ truck.
The 14 families were given a monetary compensation of Rs 25,000 each with a job to next of the kin of the deceased.
“That is not sufficient. We need to know what went wrong and who provoked whom to carry out the bloodbath,” said Gurcharan Kour.
Amarjeet Kour, niece of Gurdeep Singh, 27 then, who, too, was killed at Nanak Nagar, says she was witness to the whole episode in Nanak Nagar. “My uncle, Gurdeep Singh, truck driver, who had just come back from the railway station, parked his vehicle outside the home and went out to see the procession. The then SSP, PS Gill, ordered firing and a bullet pierced through his head leaving him dead in pool of blood,” said Amarjeet Kour, who was just 15 years’ old then.
The riots had left 14 persons dead, including two killed in alleged police firing, and several injured.
The failure of the authorities to take action against the involved persons and non-disclosure of the Justice Ansari Commission report on the riots, submitted in 1990, has disappointed the victims’ families.
Sources disclose that the 250-page report holds the police and civil administration responsible for negligence as well as administrative failure.