Anti-Sikh riots: How Amitabh’s hate speech haunts him

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Amitabh Bachchan
New Delhi, April 12: The alleged role of Amitabh Bachchan during anti-Sikh riots in 1984 still haunts the Bollywood superstar.

A main witness in the case, Jagdish Kaur on Friday, April 12 asked as why actor Amitabh Bachchan had not been booked for fuelling anti-Sikh sentiments during interviews and TV appearances.

The 70-year-old actor is said to have made hate speech against Sikh community in the wake of assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. During the anti-Sikh riots several Sikhs were killed by alleged Congress party workers.

"I watched live relay on Doordarshan and saw Amitabh Bachchan raising his arm and shouting the slogan, ‘khun ka badla khun sae laengae' (Blood for blood) two times," said Kaur.

Kaur, then 42, saw a mob killing her husband and son in front of her eyes. She had also witnessed her three brothers being burnt alive by a mob.

But, Bachchan denies the allegations. In 2011, he wrote a letter to Akal Takht denying any role in anti-Sikh riots.

"I wish to take this opportunity to vehemently and categorically deny these allegations against me which are completely baseless, false and untrue. The Nehru-Gandhi family and our family have old ties from our city of origin, Allahabad. We have been together in each other's hour of grief and joy, but to allege that I was a part of the crowd that incited them to raise anti-Sikh slogans is a preposterous and blatant lie.

Quite contrarily, I have always propagated the soothing of injured feelings and the maintenance of serenity. The unfortunate incidents of the riots of 1984 against the Sikhs shall always remain a blot and a dark phase in the history of our country, a country that prides itself in its secular credentials," Bachchan wrote in the letter.

Recently, Delhi court set aside CBI's closure report giving senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler a clean chit and ordering reopening of probe into the killing of three persons during anti-Sikh riots.

In its order on Wednesday, the court had also faulted CBI for not examining the available witnesses.

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