`84 Anti-Sikh riots: Nath denies inciting violence

Last Updated: Friday, July 1, 2011 - 23:57

New York: Urban Development Minister Kamal
Nath has rejected allegations of his involvement in the 1984
anti-Sikh riots in a US court, and claimed diplomatic
immunity in the case.

"I expressly reject the allegations contained in the
Affidavit of Service (of Yoselin Genao)," he told a New York
court in an affidavit this week.

Nath said that he never received court summons
informing him of the complaint filed against him in connection
with 1984 anti-Sikh Riots.

The complaint against him stated that the "The
defendant was seen and heard by many on the scene of Gurudwara
Rakab Ganj. In this particular incident defendant was leading
and in control of a mob of about four thousand people."

Nath has repeatedly denied any involvement and has
been cleared by the Nanavati Inquiry Commission, which
described the Minister`s testimony as "vague" but concluded
that there was no evidence that he had incited a mob.

He said that he never received summons at the Indian
Consulate where the plaintiff`s say he was handed summons.

"Neither Ms. Genao or anyone else ever served me with
the summons and the complaint on the street in front of the
Consulate of India as alleged," Nath said.

In his affidavit, Nath makes the case that plaintiff
lacks standing and he has immunity. He noted that the
Government of India had not waived his diplomatic immunity in
connection with this case.

Nath said that no action or proceedings had been
initiated against him in India or anywhere else. "Proceedings
have been initiated against others in India, over the years
and findings against other individuals have been made," he
said.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for
Justice (SFJ), which filed the suit seeking compensation, said
that any adult in the US can serve the summons and Genao did
it outside the consulate.

In response, Nath said that we went to Gurudwara
Rakabganj to get the violence under control until additional
police arrived.

"My official responsibilities in this official role
were to act as a representative of the people of my
constituency and discharge my responsibilities as an elected
member of Parliament," he said.

Pannun said that Nath had already acknowledged
receiving summons in the media.

The plaintiffs will present to the court,
newspaper reports, videos footage and witnesses affirming
Nath`s acknowledgment of receipt of summons on April 06,
2010.

During an interview with a news agency at the time, Nath had
said, "I really have no clue about it. I don`t have a basis
and I don`t know the authenticity. I don`t know the validity.
It was for the first time that I saw it."

These remarks were made after a reporter got up in the
middle of a press conference at the Indian consulate and
handed him a copy of the complaint.

Sikhs for Justice has also named the Indian
Congress Party as co-defendants.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 1, 2011 - 23:57

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