shoe hurled at chidambaram at Congress Press Conference


Tuesday, April 07, 2009, (New Delhi)

Chidambaram, who was addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters, was surprised when suddenly Jarnail Singh, journalist from a Dainak Jagran, flung the shoe and an alert Home Minister made a quick movement to see it pass by him.

P Chidambaram (aka Palaniappan Chidambaram) (born 16 September, 1945) is an Indian politician and present Union Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of India. He is among the most prominent cabinet ministers of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) union government led by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Please take him away," said Chidambaram who later added "gently, gently" as the journalist was escorted out of the press conference hall.

Later, he was taken away by police but it was not clear whether any case has been registered against him against the backdrop of Chidambaram saying "I forgive him".

As the action caused a flutter in the hall, a composed Chidambaram appealed to the reporters, "let not the action of one emotional person hijack the entire press conference. I have answered his questions to the best of my ability."

It all started with the journalist asking him about the clean chit given by CBI to Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case under pressure from the government.

"First of all let me make it clear that CBI is not under the Home Ministry. To my knowledge neither the Home Ministry nor any ministry of the government had put any pressure on the CBI," said Chidambaram.

"CBI has only given a report to the court. It is for the court to accept or reject or ask for further investigation by CBI. Let us wait for the court decision," said Chidambaram.

As the journalist persisted with his questions, Chidambaram told him "no arguments, you are using this forum..." following which the journalist hurled his shoe.

An unapologetic Singh said he will not apologise for his action, though his manner of protest might have been wrong.

"My manner of protest might have been wrong, but I did not intend to hurt anyone," maintained Jarnail Singh.

Asked if he could have used some other manner to protest, Jarnail said, "for the last 25 years this has been happening. So what other method is left (to protest)".

Palaniappan Chidambaram

Earlier this month, CBI had given a clean chit to 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Tytler and sought permission from the court for the closure of the case against the Congress leader.

the aftermath

Police has taken the journalist into custody and is questioning him.

Jarnail Singh, a Sikh journalist who works at the Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran shoed Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on 7 April 2009. Singh was dissatisfied with Chidamabaram's answer to a question on the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler on the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre. The 1984 anti-Sikh massacre were triggered by the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by 2 of her Sikh bodyguards. The assassination itself was in retaliation for Operation Bluestar. Over the next four days, as many as 3000 Sikhs were killed in retaliatory attacks. The most affected regions were neighborhoods in Delhi.

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