Punjab

‘ONE SENTENCED,MANY MORE ROAM FREE’

December 22, 2018 11:59 AM

 

 As I heard the Delhi High Court’s  judgement, I had a nightmarish  memory ringing at the back of my head,that of a story that my mother had once told me. Something about how their family struggled 34 years ago and how they had to go into hiding .Too young to understand then, and now too old to ever forget. My mother’s eyes moisten whenever she talks about those horrifying days.

I am referring to the 1984 genocide that led to the mass killing of Sikhs and huge loss of property as well.

 

Yesterday, the High Court sentenced the Congress leader Sajjan Kumar to life imprisonment in a case pertaining to the killing of five member of a Sikh family during the massacre. A bench of Justice S Murlidhar and Justice V Goel also made clear that Kumar’s life imprisonment will be for remainder of his life .It also directed Kumar not to leave the national capital and surrender before the court concerned on or before 31 December. The Court also imposed a cost of Rs. 1 Lakh on Kumar. This was the punishment in only one case but what about the other cases.  He was acquitted 5 years back by a trial court inDelhiin the case of the murder of five Sikhs inDelhi’s Cantonment’s Raj Nagar on Nov 1, 1984 during the massacre that followed assassination of the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

 

The Delhi High court picked up the matter after the CBI and Jagdish Kaur ,a victim and witness of the incident, filed an appeal through senior Advocate H S Phoolka against Kumar’s acquittal. Among the five Sikhs who were killed by the mob leaded by Sajjan Kumar were the husband and son of Jagdish Kaur and three brothers ofJagsher Singh.The Courtheld Kumar guilty of criminal conspiracy promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony.

According to R K Ahuja Commission 1987, 2,733 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone and nearly 3,350 all over the country. In December 2002,Sajjan Kumar was acquitted but the  CBI registered another case against him on October 24 2005 on the recommendation of the G T  Nanavati Commission. In 2010, the case was transferred toDelhi’s Karkordooma trial court.

The CBI said the prime witness has named Kumar by way of her affidavits before the commissions set up to inquire the role of the accused during the massacre.

Other prominent leaders of the Congress like Kamal Nath and Jagdish Tytler have also been accused of playing a role in instigating mobs during the 1984 pogrom.

Sikhs still seek justice. 1984 will always remain an unforgettable and unforgivable period in Sikh history.        

                                                                       -Harsimran Kaur

                                                                         [Student of Sikh Media Center]

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