Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 09:06 UK

Indian 'riot politician' cleared

Jagdish Tytler
Mr Tytler has always maintained that he is innocent

A former Indian federal minister accused over the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 has been cleared by police.

Congress party politician Jagdish Tytler said the case had destroyed his career but he had now been vindicated.

Sikh groups and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party have criticised the police report.

Mr Tytler had been cleared in November 2007 but a month later the case was reopened after a witness said he saw Mr Tytler leading a riot mob.

The riots, sparked by the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, left more than 3,000 Sikhs dead.

Mr Tytler has consistently denied any role in the rioting.

'Truth is out'

India's federal Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed its final report on the investigations into the riots to a Delhi court last week.

In the report, which was opened in court on Thursday, the investigative agency said it wanted to close the case against Mr Tytler.

"This case destroyed my career. And media portrayed me as a criminal. But the truth has finally come out. How can I react to the truth?" Mr Tytler told reporters in Delhi.

The CBI move angered Sikh groups.

"The victims have no rights. A criminal who is a politician who has money has all the rights," an unnamed victim told a private television channel.

The BJP has accused the CBI of working under the instructions of the Congress party government.

Mr Tytler is a Congress candidate for the forthcoming general elections.

'No evidence'

In November 2007, the CBI closed a case against Mr Tytler, saying there was "no evidence" or "witness" to establish that he had a role in the rioting.

But soon after, Jasbir Singh, who lives in California, claimed that he saw Mr Tytler lead a mob on a Sikh temple in Delhi during the riots.

Three Sikhs were burned to death in the attack on the temple.

Mr Singh, who lost 26 family members in the rioting, left the country after the incident.

The court asked the CBI to carry out a fresh investigation.

Mr Tytler had earlier been implicated by a judicial commission set up to investigate the 1984 killings.

The report, by retired Supreme Court judge GT Nanavati, was the ninth inquiry commission into the riots, and was set up in 2000 by the then governing BJP.

The inquiry found "credible evidence" against Mr Tytler and recommended further investigation into his role.

Mr Tytler submitted his resignation as a minister for expatriate Indians after being implicated in the riots.

He said he had resigned to have his "name cleared".

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