May 9, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (May 09, 2013): It is learnt that Delhi’s trial court has awarded life imprisonment to three accused in the November 1984 Delhi Cant area massacre case, while two others were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for three years.
As per media reports those who have been given life term are Captain Bhagmal, Balwan Khokhar and Girdhari Lal; while Mahender Yadav, Kishan Khokhar have been given a three year jail term.
District Judge J. R. Aryan had acquitted Sajjan Kumar on April 30, 2013 in this case. Sajjan Kumar was given “benefit of doubt” by the court, which said one of the victims and key witness Jagdish Kaur did not name him as an accused in her statement recorded by the Justice Ranganath Mishra panel in 1985.
The judge in his verdict had said it has been proved that the convicts are guilty of rioting, armed with deadly weapons and unlawful assembly on November 1, 1984 at around 7.30 pm near Gurudwara Raj Nagar.
The court had also said it has been proved that there was a rioting mob, including the convicts, and they were armed with weapons like lathis and rods and they did indulge in violence.
The court had added that Jagdish Kaur’s testimony was “believable and acceptable” that on November 2, 1984, Girdhari and Bhagmal were part of the rioting mob when the mob had assaulted and killed victim Narender Pal Singh.
The court, however, had said that the testimony of Kaur that she had seen Kumar instigating a mob with his provocative speech was “not acceptable and believable”.
The case, in which these five persons were held guilty, deals with the death of five Sikhs — Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh — who were members of the same family and were killed by the mob in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar area.
Deceased Kehar Singh and Gurpreet Singh were the husband and son respectively of complainant and eye witness Jagdish Kaur while Raghuvender, Narender and Kuldeep were the brothers of Kaur and another witness Jagsher Singh.
The case against Kumar and others was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice GT Nanavati Commission. CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.
Acquittal of Sajjan Kumar by trial court has triggered a wave of protests by Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in India.
It is worth mentioning that thousands of Sikhs were massacred during the first week of November 1984 in Delhi and elsewhere in India. The killings of Sikhs were carried out in form of different massacres, that were part of a wider plan of genocide of Sikhs.
Indian state system did not only suffered the failure to deliver justice to the victims and try/punish the culprits; rather it patronized and rewarded the culprits with political seats.
Sajjan Kumar is an Indian politician who was able to evade investigation or trial in November 1984 Sikh massacres related cases for more than two decades.
Indian system took 29 years to conclude a case against Sajjan Kumar. Sajjan Kumar was facing charges of instigating the killings of Sikhs at Delhi cantonment area in this case.
It was only after the recommendations of Justice G. T. Nanavati Commission in 2005 that FIR in this case was registered against him. The CBI had filed charge-sheet against Sajjan Kumar and five others in 2010 in this case.
On April 30, 2013 the trial court the District and Sessions Judge J. R. Aryan acquitted Sajjan Kumar while convicting five others -Balwan Khokkar, an ex-councillor, Mahender Yadav, an ex-MLA, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal.
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