Congress’ Sajjan Kumar sentenced to life in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

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Congress’ Sajjan Kumar has been convicted for his role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. This was after the Delhi High Court cancelled his acquittal. He’s been sentenced to life. The court said that it was important to assure the victims that truth will prevail despite the challenges.

Sajjan Kumar

Kumar has to surrender before 31 December.

“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,” news agency ANI quoted the judgement.

The CBI had moved the high court challenging the acquittal of Kumar in a case relating to killing of five Sikhs Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh, all belonging to the same family, by a mob in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar area during the riots.

While acquitting Kumar, the trial court in 2013 had held five others guilty and awarded varying jail terms to them for being part of the mob that killed the Sikhs.

Ex-councillor Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal were given life term, while the remaining two, former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar, were given three-year jail term each for their lesser roles.

Ex-councillor Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal were given life term, while the remaining two, former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar, were given three-year jail term each for their lesser roles.

Besides CBI, victims’ family members Jagdish and Nirpreet Kaur had also challenged the trial court order in the case.

The trial court had acquitted Kumar in the 31-year-old case saying he deserved the “benefit of doubt” as key witness Jagdish Kaur did not name him as an accused in her statement given to the Justice Ranganath Mishra panel in 1985.

CBI, in its appeal before the high court, has alleged that the trial court had erred in acquitting Kumar as it was he who had instigated the mob during the riots that broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

The case against Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Outer Delhi, and others was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice G T Nanavati Commission. CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and other accused in January 2010.

 

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