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October 21 , 2008

1984: The Anti-Sikh Riots and After


Sanjay Suri was a young crime reporter with The Indian Express newspaper in New Delhi when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards on 31 October 1984. He was among the few journalists to experience the full horror of the anti-Sikh violence that followed and carried on unchecked for the next couple of days, while the police looked the other way. He saw a Congress MP demanding the release of party workers who had been arrested for loot. He had a narrow escape from a gang of killers while out reporting. He later filed affidavits that included eyewitness accounts relating to two Congress MPs, and confronted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally. Suri also testified before several commissions of inquiry set up to investigate the massacres-though very little came of these. In this book, he brings together a wealth of fresh revelations, arising from his own experiences, and from extensive interviews with police officers then in the front line of facing the violence. Humane but chilling, Suri's account is backed by a thorough examination of existing records and the provisions of the Indian legal system. Taking a close look at the question of the Congress hand behind the brutalities and why the survivors continue to wait for justice even thirty years later, 1984: The Anti-Sikh Violence and After remains urgent even today. It combines expert reportage with gripping recollections to tell a riveting story, leaving us disturbed and moved in equal measure.
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