1984 Anti-Sikh Riots: Sajjan Kumar gets life term for 'crime against humanity'

Updated: Dec 18, 2018, 13:10 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Delhi HC convicts six of the accused saying the 'criminals' had escaped prosecution and punishment for two decades

In this file photo dated December 23, 2002, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar seen outside Patiala House courts in New Delhi. Pics/PTI
In this file photo dated December 23, 2002, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar seen outside Patiala House courts in New Delhi. Pics/PTI

Thirty-four years after the gruesome killings, the Delhi High Court on Monday convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in an anti-Sikh riot case of 1984 and sentenced him to imprisonment for life, holding that the violence was a "crime against humanity" engineered by politicians with assistance from the police.

Setting aside the acquittal of Kumar and five others by a trial court, the court convicted them saying the "criminals" had escaped punishment for over two decades. "This court is of the view that the mass killings of Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in November 1984 were in fact 'crimes against humanity'. They will continue to shock the collective conscience of society," a bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel said.

The court further said, "During partition, this country witnessed horrific mass crimes where lakhs of civilians were massacred". Thirty-seven years later, the country was again witness to another human tragedy. Following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, a communal frenzy was unleashed, it observed.

(L-R) DSGMC President Manjit Singh G K, Nirpreet Kaur and Jagdish Kaur, whose family members were killed, and Akali Dal MLA Manjinder Singh react after the verdict
(L-R) DSGMC President Manjit Singh G K, Nirpreet Kaur and Jagdish Kaur, whose family members were killed, and Akali Dal MLA Manjinder Singh react after the verdict

Kumar will move SC, says his lawyer
Congress leader Sajjan Kumar intends to move an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court verdict on Monday sentencing him to spend the remainder of his life in jail in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, his lawyer said. The lawyer said since the HC verdict was over 200 pages long, time was required to apply the mind and thereafter, they will move the apex court.

Cong rakes up Guj riots issue
Stating that conviction of party leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case should not be politicised, the Congress on Monday raked up the 2002 Gujarat riots demanding punishment for BJP leaders alleged to be involved in the communal violence that claimed over 1,000 lives.

BJP demands Kamal Nath's sacking
Hailing the conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, the BJP demanded the removal of Kamal Nath as MP CM, who they alleged was involved in the riots. The demand came on a day when Nath took oath as the state's 18th CM, while the HC sentenced Kumar to life imprisonment.

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