"1984 Anti-Sikh Riots Could Have Been Avoided": Dr Manmohan Singh
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said that the ‘1984 riots could have been avoided if the then government would have listened to Inder Kumar Gujral’s advice.
While speaking at an event to mark 100th birth anniversary of former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral he said, “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,” ANI reported Manmohan Singh as saying.
Ex-PM Manmohan Singh: When the sad event of '84 took place, IK Gujral ji went to the then HM PV Narasimha Rao&told him,situation is so grave that it's necessary for govt to call Army at the earliest. If that advice had been heeded perhaps '84 massacre could've been avoided.(4.12) pic.twitter.com/bQmnktnmem
— ANI (@ANI) December 4, 2019
He also added about the growing friendship between the two after the Emergency when Gujral was the minister of Information and Broadcasting and Singh was an economic advisor for the ministry of finance.
The event was attended by National Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Railway minister Piyush Goyal, External affairs minister S Jaishankar, former president Pranab Mukherjee, former Vice President Hamid Ansari, and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury among others.
In 1984, thousands of Sikhs were killed in the Anti-Sikh riots that broke post the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two bodyguards.
Independent sources estimated that the number of deaths was at around 8000 to 17000, which was poles apart from the government data showing the number at about 2800 killed in Delhi and 3350 killed across the country.