August 1, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (August 01, 2013): It is learnt that a Delhi court, which was to set the date for commencement of trial in a 1984 Sikh Genocide case against Sajjan Kumar and four others on July 30, deferred the matter to August 13, following the death of one of the accused in the case.
According to a news reported by the Indian Express (IE): J. R. Aryan was informed in the court that co-accused Khushal Singh had passed away. The defence lawyers claimed that they did not have any knowledge about the death before the hearing due to a “communication gap”. The court directed the police to submit a verification report on the death of the accused and scheduled August 13 for deciding the date for commencement of the trial.
Considering the request of the prosecution for a speedy trial, the judge agreed to conduct the trial for three days a week between 2 pm and 5 pm.
As per media reports Advocate Harwinder Singh Phoolka, counsel representing the victims in the case, filed an application for providing security to the witnesses in the case. He insisted that security be provided to the witnesses since two of the 11 witnesses were dead, one was seriously ill and most of the remaining witnesses were destitute.
It is notable that a key witness in this case, Bibi Bhagwani Bai passed away on July 28, 2013. In her previous statement Bhagwani Bai had said that she saw Indian politician Sajjan Kumar leading the mob and instigating them to kill the Sikhs. It must be noted that another witness, Bibi Kamala had also passed away earlier this year.
It may be recalled that this case relates to the Sultanpuri Massacre of November 1984, that was part of a wider plan of Sikh Genocide 1984. Sajjan Kumar and other accused did not see any trial in this case for past 29 years. It was only after the recommendations of the Nanavati Commission in 2005 the CBI filed a chargesheet against Sajjan Kumar and four others, namely Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Ved Prakash and Khushal Singh — in January 2010. During Sultanpuri Massacre Six Sikhs were killed.
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