Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 21
After the award of capital punishment in a Mahipalpur anti-Sikh riots case yesterday, all eyes are on the Delhi High Court, which is hearing the appeal against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal in the case involving the murder of five members of a Sikh family in Delhi 34 years ago.
The matter involves complainant Jagdish Kaur, now 77, who lost her husband, elder son and three cousins in the carnage that followed the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
Long settled in Amritsar, Jagdish Kaur still remembers every detail of the attack. “Massacres began a day after the assassination from 9 am onwards with news pouring in that mobs had been let loose on the Sikhs at the instance of Congress leaders. By afternoon, the mobs had reached our doorstep,” recalls Kaur. She alleges that Congress leaders, “like then MP Sajjan Kumar and MLAs”, instigated crowds to kill Sikhs who had killed “their mother”. “In no time they were in our house. They brutally killed five men of my family.”
Her three daughters and the youngest son survived the ordeal. “I had sent them to the house of our Hindu neighbour,” she says.
In Kaur’s case, ordered to be reopened by the Nanavati Commission in 2005, the CBI filed its chargesheet in 2010, naming five accused, including Sajjan Kumar.
The Karkardooma court on April 30, 2013, acquitted Sajjan Kumar, awarded three- year jail for rioting to Krishan Khokar and Mahendra Yadav and gave life sentences to Balwan Khokar, Capt Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.
The CBI appealed in the HC, which has fixed November 22 as the last date for submission of written arguments. The judgment will come any day after that.
As Kamna Vohra, lawyer for Jagdish Kaur, says, “This is a crucial case. No senior Congress leader has yet been convicted or punished for the Sikh genocide. We know 3,000 persons were killed in three days, but it seems no one killed them.”
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