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Posted at: Feb 7, 2019, 6:56 AM; last updated: Feb 7, 2019, 10:16 AM (IST)ANTI-SIKH RIOTS

1984: SIT to reprobe 127 deaths in Kanpur

UP Govt sets six-month deadline
1984: SIT to reprobe 127 deaths in Kanpur

Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service
Lucknow, February 6

The Uttar Pradesh Government has finally set up a Special Investigation Team to reinvestigate the circumstances that led to the death of 127 Sikhs during the 1984 riots in Kanpur, following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The move comes months after the All India Riot Victims Relief Committee (AIRVRC) doggedly followed up the matter with the Centre and state governments, as well as pressure from the Supreme Court.

According to a press release, the four-member SIT would be headed by retired UP Director General of Police Atul and include retired District Judge Subhash Chandra Agarwal and retired Additional Director (Prosecution) Yogeshwar Krishna Srivastava. The SIT is expected to submit its report within six months.

In August 2017, the apex court had issued a notice to the state government on a petition seeking an SIT probe.

During the hearing in the Supreme Court on January 2, a report had been sought from the state government on February 13.

AIRVRC president Kuldip Singh Bhogal said that during the function to release a commemorative Rs 350 coin to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in New Delhi on January 13, he had approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi to apprise him that despite the assurance of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and repeated promises by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the SIT into the Kanpur riots had not been set up.

According to him, the conversation clearly set the ball rolling as the very next day the UP Chief Secretary called him up to find out the details of the case.

“From that day onwards, staff of the 15 police stations concerned in Kanpur have been constantly calling me up to find out how they could help,” Bhogal said.

Three years ago, through an RTI application, the AIRVRC had found that for the 127 riot casualties in Kanpur, some 34 culprits had been listed.

A delegation visited the police stations of Kanpur and discovered to their horror that most of the records against these rioters had disappeared. None had been chargesheeted, leave alone punished.

In March 2017, they filed a PIL in the Supreme Court requesting a direction to the Centre as well as the state government to form an SIT to reinvestigate the matter.

Bhogal admitted that the life sentence for former Union minister Sajjan Kumar after a lapse of 34 years had motivated them to renew their efforts to bring the culprits of the Kanpur riots to book.

  • Many Sikhs were butchered on roads during the 1984 riots and several cases filed in Nazirabad and Bajaria and other police stations
  • SIT will look into the heinous crimes committed during the period and if need be will investigate it further

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