Re-investigation of 1984 riot cases by SIT likely

New Delhi: A government-appointed committee has recommended constitution of a SIT for re-investigation of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases. The committee headed by former Supreme Court Judge Justice (retd) G P Mathur has submitted its report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week and recommended fresh probe of the anti-Sikh riot cases through a Special Investigation Team, official sources said.

An order to this effect is likely after the February 7 Delhi Assembly polls as the Model Code of Conduct is in place
in the national capital now, the sources said. The anti-Sikhs riots were triggered after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

Of the 3,325 victims, 2,733 were killed in Delhi alone while the rest were from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.

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

However, it was not immediately clear as to how many anti-Sikh riot cases have been recomended for reopening by the Justice Mathur committee. Of the 241 related cases, only four were reopened and re-investigated by CBI. In two of the cases, CBI had filed a charge sheet and in one of the cases five persons, including a former MLA, were convicted.

On December 10, 2014, the government had approved a proposal to give an additional compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The compensation to the families of the riot victims will be in addition to what they have already received from the government and other agencies.

The fresh compensation will cost the exchequer Rs 166 crore. Justice Mathur Committee was appointed by the government on December 23, 2014 to examine the possibility of re-investigation of anti-Sikh riot cases through a SIT.

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