Delhi Court Convicts 2 in the 1984 anti Sikh-Riots

Delhi Court Convicts 2 in the 1984 anti Sikh-Riots

Too Little Too Late…

by Dr. Mehak Janjua: At least ten commissions have been formed since the Sikh Massacre of 1984, in order to investigate the targeted caste killing which started after the assassination of the then Prime Minister of India, Smt Indira Gandhi, around 2800 Sikhs (official numbers) are said to be killed in the aftermath, however the unofficial figure is close to 8000 killings.

The Congress is accused of putting half-hearted efforts to nab the offenders. Only around 50 convictions so far have been done in 34 yrs after the riots.

The Special Investigation Team formed in 2016, did take measures to probe cases out of the ones closed by Delhi Police and succeeded in getting a conviction in the first case filed by them on Wednesday, November 14.

Total Cases;

Of the 650 cases registered in connection with anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, 267 were closed by the Delhi Police. Out of closed 267 cases, 60 were picked up by SIT for further probe. Out of 60 cases, 52 were shut by SIT due to ‘untraced reports’. Of remaining eight cases which are being investigated, charge sheets have been filed in five, and other three which includes senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, are still pending.

Case Details;

On November 1, 1984, Hardev Singh, Avtar Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Sangat Singh, Surjeet Singh were at their grocery shops in Mahipalpur when an armed mob came towards them. They tried hard for their safety, but in spite that two of them Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh were brutally killed.

The case was lodged on a complaint filed by Santokh Singh, brother of Hardev Singh the deceased in riots.

The SIT members told the court that statements of Kuldeep, Sangat, and Surjeet, who had survived the attack, were recorded after they were traced. All three identified their neighbours, Naresh Sherawat, and Yashpal Singh, as accused. The survived victims identified Naresh as the one who was carrying a can of kerosene and Yashpal as the one who lit the fire,” the SIT mentioned in their charge sheet.

The SIT told the court that one of the 18 witnesses in the case, Avtar’s brother Ratan Singh who is settled in Italy had come to India last month to record his statement. Among the other witnesses are four doctors three from AIIMS and one from Safdarjung Hospital. Inspector Yogesh of Delhi Police, who had translated Santok’s affidavit written in Punjabi into English, and the then investigating officer, ACP SK Malik of the anti-riot cell, were also part of the witness list.

Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey held Naresh Sherawat and Yashpal Singh guilty of killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh in Delhi’s Mahipalpur during the riots. However, the quantum of sentence will be announced on coming November 20.

The relatives of the victim have demanded life sentence for the accused and arrest of Congress leaders who were involved.

Spat in Court between SAD leader and Accused;

SAD Delhi MLA, Manjinder Singh Sirsa slapped the accused in the Patiala house Court today, and hurled abuses while police tried to seperate him. Abuses were heard from the accused supporters as well.

On seeking answer from Sirsa on his actions he said, that he was provoked by the supporters of accused who were sloganeering that they will make us remember 1984 massacre again.


Updated Court Decision- November 202018 :

Out of two convicts, Yashpal Singh has been awarded Death Sentence, other convict Naresh Sherawat is sentenced for Life imprisonment. Sikh groups have welcomed the Court order. All community sounded hopeful of future convictions of the pending cases in the Anti Sikh Riots of 1984. They also demanded similar fate for Congress leaders,Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler