Jagdish, now 72 years old, was the CBI’s star prosecution witness. She deposed in the Sessions court from July 1, 2010. In her examination-in-chief by the CBI she said that at 11 a.m. on November 1, 1984, a mob approached, shouting, “Kill them Sikhs; kill them traitors; kill them terrorists.” Her elder son, Gurpreet, 18, a college student, advised his mother to send their three daughters and younger son to neighbour Ram Avtar Sharma’s house. She also found her cousin, Jagsher Singh, a clean-shaven man, hiding in Sharma’s house.
She testified that a huge mob armed with iron rods and digging tools entered her house between 1-30 p.m. and 2 p.m., pounced on her husband and son and attacked them. While her husband’s skull was crushed inside the house, Gurpreet was set on fire on the street outside.
“This mob included Balwan Khokhar…and Saroj Devi. Saroj Devi was carrying in her hand a list of houses occupied by Sikhs.” Jagdish deposed that Saroj Devi claimed to be a Congress (I) leader, often frequented her house, and had considered her a friend. Jagdish said she ran out into the street where her son was breathing his last, “I blessed him by saying that he was no longer my son and would join Guru Gobind Singh. On my request a lady brought some water in a jug. I had poured only two sips, when my son breathed his last.”
Along with cousin Jagsher and a neighbour, she dragged her son’s body into her house. She visited a police post at 5 p.m. to have an FIR registered where the police officer allegedly said, “Get lost. Now more will die. When all are dead, everyone’s complaints will be clubbed together.”
At about 6-15 p.m., the neighbour turned her four hiding children out. The children cried on seeing the gruesome scene inside the house. After cautioning them not to cry, she hid the children on the rooftop and covered them with a quilt. All night, Jagdish kept vigil by the bodies of her husband and son and prayed. Meanwhile, the mob was hunting for her cousins, who were hiding nearby. Jagdish deposed that her cousins Narenderpal, Raghuvinder and Kuldeep were killed by a mob comprising Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal at 7-30 a.m. on November 2.
Jagdish Kaur also claimed to be a witness to the vituperative speech that Nirpreet Kaur also claimed Sajjan Kumar allegedly made, but from another vantage point. “Someone told me that the MP had visited that place and that a meeting was going on. I nurtured a hope that I would ask for help from the MP and would be able to cremate my husband, son and my brothers. MP Sajjan Kumar came out of the meeting after about five minutes and while standing on a jeep he declared ‘Not one Sikh should escape. Those Hindu brothers who give them refuge must not be spared either’. Sajjan Kumar left thereafter.”
She also claimed that a police officer carrying a microphone applauded the mob. Though curfew had been imposed and there were shoot-at-sight orders, Jagdish Kaur claimed she saw the police officer hailing a mob of youngsters trying to retreat, and asked them: “How many chickens have you fried?”
Jagsher Singh, who had escaped, returned with jawans from the Sikh Regiment. After her family was taken to safety, Jagdish requested the Army personnel to assist in burying her kin. They were fearful for their lives. Finally, an Army Major dropped her off at the same police chowki that had refused help. At the chowki she allegedly heard the officer in-charge exhort a mob assembled there to attack Sikh houses in Raj Nagar Part-II, hearing which she fled. Jagdish said that through the afternoon and evening of November 2 and 3 she saw rioters move about fearlessly. A few good men gave her a hiding place for the night. Next morning, they helped cremate the bodies of her son and husband. A police officer briefly recorded her statement on November 3. But this statement was never found.