New Delhi: In startling disclosures on Monday night in Rajat Sharma's Aaj Ki Baat show on India TV, former President Giani Zail Singh's daughter Dr Gurdip Kaur revealed how her father rang up the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the then Home Minister Narasimha Rao and other senior officials to act and stop anti-Sikh riots on the night of October 31, the day Indira Gandhi was assassinated, but nobody picked up his phone.
Dr Gurdip Kaur revealed in details, 30 years after the anti-Sikh riots, how the then President of India sat in Rashtrapati Bhavan helpless the whole night, but nobody heard him.
"When he returned from Yemen after cutting short his visit, the President's cavalcade was shown black flags on the way. A stone or two fell on one of the cars. And when the riots began, he began to get phone calls. My father was disturbed and pained. He immediately rang up the Prime Minister's house, the Home Minister's house, but could not contact anybody. He sat there the whole night, trying on the telephone. He wanted the army to be called in to stop the riots. He was sending his trusted aides to all those officials who could have intervened. My father was helpless. Occasionally, he would stand up and say, what should I do?"
Dr Gurdip Kaur was asked whether he father tried to contact the Delhi Police, the Lt Governor and the Army area commander.
She replied: "Yes, he contacted anybody who could use his powers. He tried to speak to every body, but could not. He could establish contacts only the next day, but not immediately. He sent his men, sent messages, sent his bodyguards, but as President he had no direct powers. He could not give direct orders".
Giani Zail Singh's daughter made another revelation. She said, her father was against Operation Bluestar, the then government did not inform him about the operation in advance.
When as President he went to the Golden Temple, he was stopped by police from entering, said Dr Gurdip Kaur.
"He was not taken into confidence (about Operation Bluestar). Once Kuldip Nayar wrote an article. Giani Zail Singh was stopped by police from entering the gurudwara. Just think, if the police could stop him, what to talk about the army?