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Sat, 25 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

Had Narasimha Rao listened to IK Gujral, the 1984 riots could have been avoided: Manmohan Singh

Had Narasimha Rao listened to IK Gujral, the 1984 riots could have been avoided: Manmohan Singh
December 05
17:47 2019

NET Bureau

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said that the Sikh massacre of 1984 in Delhi could have been avoided had the then Home Minister Narsimha Rao acted upon the advice of Inder Kumar Gujral.

The former prime minister was speaking at an event to mark the 100th birth anniversary of IK Gujral, who was India’s prime minister in 1997-98.

“When the sad event of 1984 took place, Gujral ji on that very sad evening went to the then Home Minister PV Narasimha Rao and said to him that the situation is so grave that it is necessary for the government to call the army at the earliest. If that advice would have been heeded perhaps the massacre that took place in 1984 could have been avoided,” said Manmohan Singh.

The 1984 Sikh massacre, which followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her four Sikh security personnel, had left over 3,000 Sikhs dead across the nation. Several Congress leaders have been accused of leading mobs targeting Sikhs.

NV Subash, BJP leader and PV Narsimha Rao’s grand son told news agencies that he is “saddened” by Singh’s remarks. “It’s unacceptable. Can any Home Minister take independent decision without Cabinet’s approval? If Army had been called,it would’ve been a disaster.”

In 2005, Manmohan Singh, the then prime minister of India had apologised to members of Parliament and the nation for the riots. “I have no hesitation in apologising to not only the Sikh community but also to the nation. I bow my head in shame that such a thing happened,” he told in Rajya Sabha. In the past, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi had also expressed regrets and Rahul Gandhi had said that he “shared the sentiments” of the two leaders.

During the event on Wednesday, Singh also shared how his relationship with Gujral grew after the Emergency of 1975-77. “He was the minister of Information and Broadcasting and he had problems with some aspects of the management of emergency and then he was removed to the planning commission as minister of state. I was then an economic advisor with the ministry of finance… Thereafter our relationship grew”, Dr Singh quoted.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee was also present at the event.

Source: The Indian Express

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