The Delhi High Court on Monday convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in 1984 anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. A bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel held Kumar guilty of killing five Sikhs in Delhi’s cantonment area following the assassination of Indira Gandhi and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Congress leader has been ordered to surrender by December 31, 2018.
"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," the High Court said while reading out the judgment.
Besides Sajjan Kumar, Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar have been sentenced to life imprisonment, while Kishan Khokkar and former legislator Mahender Yadav have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In October this year, the Delhi High Court had reserved its order on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea challenging Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal by the trial court. The trial court had acquitted Kumar but awarded life sentence to former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal.
Reacting to the sentencing of Sajjan Kumar, Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa thanked the court for giving "justice" and said that their fight will continue till Kumar and another accused Congress leader Jagdish Tytler get death sentence.
"We thank the court for giving us justice. Our fight will continue till Sajjan Kumar & Jagdish Tytler get a death sentence & Gandhi family is dragged to the court & put in jail," ANI quoted Sirsa as saying.
More than 3,000 Sikhs were brutally killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were accused of masterminding the riots.