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Anti-Sikh riots witness to give statement


Sumon K Chakrabarti,CNN-IBN
Dec 25, 2008 at 01:23pm IST

New Delhi: In a complete U-turn in the 1984 anti Sikh riots case, a two member CBI team is finally in New York to record the statements of two eyewitnesses - Jasbir Singh and Surinder Singh.

The two have said they saw Congress leader Jagdish Singh Tytler lead a mob during the riots, but were unwilling to come to India fearing for their life.

Surinder Singh will give his statement to the CBI on Wednesday in New York. The testimony of these two men can be damaging for Congress leader and former Union Minister Jagdish SinghTytler.

"Yes he was questioned about Tytler's role and the answer given by Surinder Singh was that Tytler incited the mob and led the mob that killed 36 inside the Gurdwara," said Surinder Singh's lawyer Gurpatwant Singh Pannu.

Earlier witnesses had refused to come to India as they claimed their life was in danger. The CBI had been insisting that the witnesses will have to depose before an Indian court. The agency promised to give security and bear the cost of travel expenses of the witnesses.

However, both the eyewitnesses blamed the CBI for not conducting a fair trial in the case and accused the agency of protecting Tytler. The country's apex investigating agency has earlier been pulled up for its lackadaisical attitude in probing cases of anti-Sikh riots of 1984 by a Delhi Court.

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