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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2862

Chidambaram becomes India’s first Bush-shoed

By M Rama Rao, India Editor, Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 08 April ( Palaniappan Chidamparam shoed by a journalistChidamparam shoed by a journalistChidambaram, the Minister for the Interior in Manmohan Singh government Wednesday became the first Indian leader to be Bush-shoed.

An angry scribe hurled his shoe at Chidambaram as he was fielding questions at the media briefing of Sonia Congress here in Delhi. The shoe missed the minister. And he was briefly detained and released. The management of the daily where the scribe is a defence correspondent for eight years immediately distanced the paper from the correspondent and gave him a pink slip,

For the minority Sikh community, however, Jarnail Singh has become an instant hero. A leading Sikh organisation announced an immediate cash reward to him, congratulating him for articulating what it calls the sense of hurt amongst the Sikhs over Congress ticket to Jagdish Tytler. He is alleged to have been involved in the anti-Sikh riots that had rocked Delhi in the wake of assassination of Indira Gandhi by one of her sikh guards in 1984.

India’s premier agency, CBI has just given a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler and the Congress has fielded him from one of the Lok Sabha constituencies of Delhi. In the last Lok Sabha election in 2004, he was denied a ticket on the charge that he was tainted.

Chidambaram was taken aback when he saw the shoe missile from Jarnail Singh go past him and land just behind his chair at the Congress party’s press conference hall. He quickly regained his composure, and asked the watch and ward staff to ‘gently’ take the journo away. And he said later, ‘I forgive him (Jarnail)’

Jarnail Singh was taken to the nearby police station but no case was registered. In fact, he was released after a brief detention. A police official at the Tughlaq Road Police station Anil Kumar Yadav told reporters that the scribe has been freed for the time being.

‘No case has been registered against him. He has regretted about his action’.

On his part Jarnail Singh said, the issue that he had raised was a appropriate issue and the victims should get justice. ‘Maybe my way of protest was wrong’, he remarked saying he did not intend to hurt anyone.

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

Eye witness accounts of the press conference said trouble started with Jarnail Singh asking the minister about the clean chit in the anti-Sikh riots to Tytler given by the CBI. He questioned whether the clean chit was given under government pressure.

Chidambaram replied: 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’,' Chidambaram said and added: ‘The 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’.

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

-Asian Tribune -

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