New Delhi :
A day after his conviction and sentencing in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on Tuesday resigned from the primary membership of the party. Kumar wrote a letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi submitting his resignation from the primary membership and all the posts of the party. "I tender my resignation with immediate effect from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress in the wake of the judgment of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi against me," he said in the letter to Gandhi.
On Monday, the Delhi High Court had convicted Sajjan Kumar and sentenced him to life imprisonment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He was held guilty for killing five Sikhs in Delhi’s cantonment area following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
While pronouncing the verdict, A bench of Delhi High Court comprising Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel said, “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.
Besides Sajjan Kumar, Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former Congress councilor Balwan Khokhar have been sentenced to life imprisonment, while Kishan Khokkar and former legislator Mahender Yadav have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Kumar has been ordered to surrender before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) before the end of this year. Earlier when Kumar was asked to react on his sentencing, he evaded the questions and escape the cameras.
Politicians across the party lines welcomed the Delhi High Court judgment. Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said that the Sikhs got justice after 34 years and expressed hope that other big leaders involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots and 2002 Gujarat riots and Muzaffarnagar riots would be punished.