NEW DELHI: Amid fresh controversy over Congress leader Jagdish Tytler’s alleged role in the 1984 Sikh Massare, the CBI has told a court that actor Amitabh Bachchan does not recall if Mr Tytler was present at Delhi’s Teen Murti Bhavan on November 1, 1984.
Mr Tytler’s defence against allegations that he instigated a mob that killed three Sikh men on that day in Pul Bangash area of the capital, centres around the alibi that he was constantly present at Teen Murti Bhavan, where the body of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had been kept for public tributes.
A day before, on October 31 1984, Mrs Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. About 3,000 Sikhs were killed in Delhi in the massacre that followed.
In April 2013, a court re-opened the case against Mr Tytler and two months later the CBI recorded Amitabh Bachchan’s statement at his Mumbai home, as Mr Tytler had produced television footage that showed him next to the actor at Teen Murti Bhavan.
NDTV has accessed Amitabh Bachchan’s page-long statement. He said he had no recollection of Mr Tytler being at Teen Murti Bhavan that day. He also said he knows who Mr Tytler is as someone who he had seen with Sanjay Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s younger son, and also that he had met him a few times.
Mr Bachchan said he recalled seeing other dignitaries who came to pay their respects to Mrs Gandhi, like RK Dhawan and Gautam Kaul, but not Mr Tytler.
“Tytler claims he was throughout at Teen Murti but wouldn’t Amitabh Bachchan have seen him if he was there?” said the lawyer for 1984 riot victims, HS Phoolka.
The BJP has meanwhile demanded an investigation into the allegation of an arms dealer Abhishek Verma, lodged at Tihar jail in various cases, that Mr Tytler had told him he received a clean chit in the riots case after he met former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The CBI recorded Mr Verma’s statement on August 5, 2013, two months after it recorded Mr Bachchan’s. In December 24, 2014, the CBI filed another closure report in the Tytler case.
The Congress has dismissed Abhishek Verma’s claim allegation
Minute 7:40 Bachchan Talks about Tytler’s presence at Teen Murti Bhavan where Indira Gandhi’s body lay.