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Home Ministry says Chidambaram did not avoid journalist's query

New Delhi, Apr 7 : The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday refuted media reports of Home Minister P. Chidambaram refusing to answer a question put to him by journalist Jarnail Singh on the "clean chit" given to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in connection with the 1984 Sikh riots case.

According to a Home Ministry statement, the videotape is there and the Minister answered the question.

"The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) does not come under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Neither the Ministry of Home Affairs nor any other Ministry put of pressure on the CBI. The CBI has only given a report to the Court. It is for the Court to accept the report or reject the report or order the CBI to do further investigation. Let us wait for the Court to take a decision on the report," Chidambaram is reported to have said.

Earlier, it was reported that Chidambaram had refused to answer and said that he did not want to make any political statement at a platform not meant for it.

Jarnail Singh, an accredited correspondent, then flung his shoes in Chidambaram's direction.

Later, Singh told NDTV: " My method (of throwing a shoe) could be wrong, but not my cause. There is no question of apologising for what I did."

The journalist was perturbed over no action being taken by the government to alleviate the miseries of Sikh riot victims, who had been waiting for 25 years for justice.

In a similar incident, last December, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist with Egypt-based al-Baghdadia television network, had thrown shoes at former President George W. Bush during a news conference in Baghdad.

Journalist hurls shoe at P Chidambaram

New Delhi A journalist threw a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram at a press conference on Tuesday, protesting against the minister's reply on his question on CBI's clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 Sikh riots case.

The shoe did not hit the minister and the journalist, a senior reporter with Dainik Jagran, was taken into custody.

The press conference was being held at the Congress headquarters where Chidambaram was presenting his party's report card on terrorism. The journalist asked the minister whether letting Tytler off the hook ahead of the elections was not politically motivated.

To which Chidambaram replied that CBI had only presented a report to the court and it was up to the court to either accept or reject it. The journalist wanted to ask another question but Chidambaram said he did not want to get into an argument and refused to take further questions.

The journalist then threw his shoe at the minister, saying 'I protest'.

It is the first of its kind incident in India but throwing shoes at political leaders has become a high-profile form of protest. The trend was started by an Iraqi journalist who had thrown shoes at former US President George Bush at a press conference in Baghdad last year.

Thereafter, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was meted a similar treatment while delivering a speech at Cambridge University. The Israeli ambassador to Sweden was also hit by a shoe when he was addressing an audience in Stockholm University.

Jarnail Singh released

Journalist Jarnail Singh who hurled a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram at a press conference was released by police after brief detention.

Station House Officer of 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," the official said, adding that the journalist was questioned for his action and then he was released.

After being freed, the Sikh journalist of a Hindi daily, who has caused a flutter in the political circle, said the issue that he raised was an appropriate issue and the victims should get justice.

"May be my way of protest was wrong," said the scribe who later left with his journalist friends and Sikh supporters.

Meanwhile, Sunita Tiwari, who claimed to be his lawyer and had come to meet him at the police station, alleged that she was not allowed to talk to her client.

"I was misbehaved. The SHO asked the constables to take me out of the room. I wanted to talk to Jarnail as he was mentally disturbed," she said.

BJP condemns shoe hurling incident

BJP condemned hurling of a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram by a Sikh journalist at a press conference in New Delhi. "We condemn the incident," BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj said in New Delhi.

Jarnail Singh of a Hindi daily hurled a shoe at Chidambaram protesting against CBI's clean chit to senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Chidambaram was addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters.

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