After a long delay of 34 years, the Sikh community finally seem to be getting justice in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Delhi High Court awarded life imprisonment to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. It has reversed the judgment of trial court which acquitted him, earlier. Delhi HC charged him of offences of murder, promoting enmity between groups and defiling public property
1984 anti-Sikh riots: Delhi High Court convicts Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, reverses the judgement of trial court which acquitted him, earlier. pic.twitter.com/cN94l4NevD
— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
The High Court while reading the judgment said, “In the summer of 1947, during partition, several people were massacred. 37 years later Delhi was the witness of a similar tragedy. The accused enjoyed political patronage and escaped trial.” The Court also said, “It is important to assure the victims that despite the challenges truth will prevail.” The bench also said, “The aftershock of those atrocities are still being felt.”
Delhi High Court while reading the judgement, "In the summer of 1947, during partition, several people were massacred. 37 years later Delhi was the witness of a similar tragedy. The accused enjoyed political patronage and escaped trial." https://t.co/ncS7uCAF0K
— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel had on October 29 concluded hearing arguments on the appeals filed by the CBI, anti-Sikh riots victims and the convicts, and reserved the judgment. The CBI in its appeal has maintained that the trial court “erred in acquitting Sajjan Kumar as it was he who had instigated the mob during the riots”.
In 2013 the trial court had convicted five others, former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others in the case relating to brutal killing of five Sikh members of a family in Raj Nagar of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984 after the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, by her Sikh bodyguards. The five convicts have filed appeals against their conviction and sentencing.
Massive. Congress leader Sajjan Kumar finally convicted in the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots case by the Delhi High Court, sentenced to life in prison. Case related to brutal killing of 5 Sikh members of a family in Raj Nagar of Delhi Cantonment. Justice today after 34 long years! pic.twitter.com/ep9c6mgqNC
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) December 17, 2018
The CBI filed appeals and alleged that they were engaged in “planned communal riot” and were involved in “religious cleansing” after the assignation of the then PM Indira Gandhi. The CBI and the victims also appealed against the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar.
The case against Sajjan Kumar and others was registered in 2005 after recommendation by the Justice GT Nanavati Commission.
The recent decision of the Delhi High Court brings hope to the Sikh families as finally the perpetrators of the most heinous and inhumane crimes during the 1984 riots are getting punished.
Earlier in Novermber, in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, a Delhi Court pronounced death sentence to one of the convicts, Yashpal Singh while another convict, Naresh Singh was sentenced to life imprisonment. Both the convicts were also fined Rs. 35 lakh each by the Court.