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HM says govt not whitewashing ‘84 case
Published on 9 Apr. 2009 1:57 AM IST
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Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday said Sikhs had a “legitimate grievance” that a few people had been punished for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots but assured the community that “no one in the government is trying to whitewash anything”. Chidambaram told the CNN-IBN television channel: “The Sikhs have a legitimate grievance that not enough people have been punished. But some people have been punished.”Asked about his message to the Sikh community, the home minister said: “Law has to take its course. Those who have been charge-sheeted... some will be punished, some may be acquitted because of technical reasons but to the best of my knowledge, no one in the government is trying to whitewash anything.” A Sikh journalist Tuesday flung a shoe at the home minister during a press meet at the Congress headquarters expressing his anger over the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) exoneration of senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler for the riots. “I cannot pronounce anybody guilty or innocent,” he said when asked whether it was proper for the party to give tickets to people like Tytler against whom questions have been raised. “I am not a judge. I am not a court. It is improper for me to pronounce anyone guilty or innocent,” Chidambaram said. He said it was for the party to decide whether it should give ticket to Tytler and he cannot comment because he “is not the minister-in-charge nor the judge.” Chidambaram, who was the target of a Sikh journalist’s ire on Tuesday on the issue of CBI clean chit to Jagdish Tytler in anti-Sikh riots cases, said on Wednesday that he thought the scribe intended to provoke him and not hurt him. “No, not at all. I don’t think he intended to hurt me. He intended to provoke me. Why should I be provoked,” he said in reply to a question whether he was scared by Tuesday’s incident. He also said that he did not expect the journalist to apologise to him personally as he has apologised and his employer called up to apologise. “I don’t expect any further apology.”Asked if he felt that the journalist’s action would rapture relations between media and politicians, the minister said “why, no, not at all. I think it was an emotional outburst by one journalist and I think we should allow it to rest.” The home minister said he was “hundred percent sure” there was no question of revamping his security in view of the shoe-throwing incident. “One PSO (police station officer) is one too many,” he said.

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