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1984 Riots: Sajjan Kumar Acquitted of All Charges

In a major relief to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, a Delhi court today acquitted him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case while convicting five others for being a part of the mob that killed five Sikhs here.

District and Sessions Judge J R Aryan acquitted Kumar while convicting five others -- Balwan Khokkar, an ex-councillor, Mahender Yadav, an ex-MLA, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal -- for their involvement in the case.

The pronouncement of judgement witnessed a huge uproar by the protesters one of whom hurled a shoe at the judge soon after he acquitted Kumar in the case of riots that broke out 29 years ago on October 31, 1984, after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Outer Delhi, still faces trial in another 1984 rioting case. In a third case, Delhi Police has filed a closure report, saying there was no evidence against Kumar to implicate him.

Protesters in big numbers gathered at the Karkardooma district courts complex here and after Kumar's acquittal, complainant Jagdish Kaur sat on protest inside the courtroom saying she would not leave until justice is done.

Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal were held guilty for the offence of murder under section 302 (murder) of the IPC which entails death penalty as maximum punishment while Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokkar were convicted for the offence of rioting only.

Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal were ordered to be taken into judicial custody by the court.

The court has now fixed May 6 for hearing the arguments on quantum of sentence in the case.

The case relates to anti-Sikh riots that had broken out after the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Gandhi was shot dead by two of her bodyguards at her residence here.

The case, in which these five persons were held guilty, deals with the death of five Sikhs -- Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh -- who were members of the same family and were killed by the mob in Delhi Cantonment's Raj Nagar area.

Deceased Kehar and Gurpreet were the husband and son respectively of complainant and eye witness Jagdish Kaur while Raghuvender, Narender and Kuldeep were the brothers of Kaur and another witness Jagsher Singh.

The case against Kumar and others was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice G T Nanavati Commission. CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.

The trial court had in May 2010 framed charges against Kumar and the five others under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and other provisions of the IPC.

The Delhi Police had earlier probed the riots case and the investigation was handed over to CBI in 2005. CBI had told the court there was a conspiracy of "terrifying proportion" between Kumar and the police during the riots.

The agency had said the police had kept its "eyes closed" to the widespread violence.

CBI had also alleged that in all the complaints wherever Kumar's name had cropped up, it was "immediately eliminated" from the Delhi Police records.

Defence counsel had told the court there were material contradictions in statements of the witnesses, including Jagdish Kaur.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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Digression

10/D-31
May 01, 2013
09:18 PM

>>Anyway it is a good lesson for Teesta. Instead of SIT, she should have asked for CBI to investigate Modi.

She has already tried it. One of her prayers in her petition to SC (which was thankfully rejected) was to transfer the case from SIT to CBI. She was trying to discredit the SIT through all her propaganda and once the case got transferred to CBI, the Congress would easily get a FIR against Modi and sit on it till eternity like what NIA has done with Sadhvi Pragya. It is not too difficult to see Teesta's game.

RSM, Delhi
9/D-7
May 01, 2013
07:47 AM

 With CBI and Delhi police running the investigation, this was hardly surprising. May be it is time for some padma award. After all, there boss got bharat ratna for defending the riot.

Anyway it is a good lesson for Teesta. Instead of SIT, she should have asked for CBI to investigate Modi. CBI would have accepted every Tehelka and random blog as evidence.

Maha, NJ
8/D-194
Apr 30, 2013
11:01 PM

Sajjan Kumar's acquittal seems to be a mistake. Let us hope the same mistake is not repeated with Modi.

Anwaar, Dallas
7/D-186
Apr 30, 2013
09:29 PM

The world is seeing 1984 Sikh killings as 'cause' (murdering of Indian-Cingressional leader) and 'effect' (killings of manymany Sikhs by angry Congresstional party members).  The world (including many Muslims) is seeing killings of more than 300000 Muslims by American (Christian) soilders as 'cause' and 'effect'.  Then why the world (and those same Muslims) have a hard time in seeig Gujarat riots as simply 'cause' and 'effect' problem, especially when it is proved and the perpatrators of Godhra crime have been found and convicted?

After what was done to the Sikh community by the Congress party members, it is beyond me that any Sikh would call himself/herself a Congress party member. 

P.B. Joshipura, Suffolk, Virginia
6/D-185
Apr 30, 2013
09:25 PM

 If the reports of high decibel protests and the unusual instance of hurling of shoe inside the court are any indications to go by, the complainants who were in long wait for justice through punishment to the rioters of anti-sikh protests were totally upset by the order of acquittal of Sajjan Kumar.We tend to earn the wrath of justice when the tenability of such order is subjected to debate.Nevertheless,one cannot but breathe a surmise that the contents of the  report of Nanavathi Commission,formed after two decades, which did not spare the congress leaders including Sajjan Kumar,who were reported to have paraded with the rioters, and which also did not buy the closure report of Delhi police, was less considered by the court. With the existing and growing despair of the general public over the much envied relief from legal tentacles, for the privileged political leaders, the present order of acquittal is bound to aggravate the notion that a few are more equal to others.

C.Chandrasekaran, Madurai
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