Months before Punjab elections, Centre-appointed SIT to re-open 75 cases of anti-Sikh riots

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As assembly elections draw nearer, the central government has decided to re-open 75 cases of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

A report by PTI on Sunday said that the Centre-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) will re-investigate around 75 cases of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and some other states, a decision that comes months ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab, a Home Ministry official said.

As many as 3,325 people were killed in the riots that began soon after the assassination of the former prime minister, Indira Gandhi.

Delhi alone witnessed the deaths of 2,733 people while the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.

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Delhi Police had closed 241 cases citing lack of evidence.

The Justice Nanavati Commission had recommended reopening of only four of the 241 cases closed by police but BJP wanted re-investigation of all the other 237 cases.

CBI had reopened and re-investigated only four cases. In two of them, the probe agency had filed a charge sheet and in one, five persons, including a former MLA, were convicted.

The SIT was setup on February 12, 2015 following a recommendation by Home Ministry-appointed Justice (retd) G P Mathur committee.

The three-member SIT comprises two Inspector General rank IPS officers and a judicial officer, a Home Ministry official said.

At the time of formation of the SIT about one-and-a-half- years ago, the government had said it would submit its report within six months.

However, it is not known why the SIT’s work got delayed and now it has decided to re-investigate only the 75 anti-Sikh riot cases.

On December 10, 2014, the Narendra Modi-government had announced an additional compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of those killed in the 1984 riots, triggered by the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

Last month, the Home Ministry had announced that 1,020 families, who had been hit by the riots and migrated to Punjab from different parts of the country, will be given Rs 2 lakh each as part of a centrally-sponsored rehabilitation scheme.

(With inputs from PTI)

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