New Delhi, September 20
A Delhi court Wednesday acquitted former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar in a case related to the killing of a person during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, giving him the “benefit of doubt”.
Special Judge Geetanjli Goel also acquitted two other accused—Ved Prakash Pial and Brahmanand Gupta—holding that the prosecution failed to prove the case of murder and rioting against them.
A Sikh man Surjit Singh was killed during the incident in Sultanpuri.
“The accused Sajjan Kumar is given benefit of doubt and acquitted for the offence,” the judge said.
Kumar was accused of various offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc., (Section 153A), abetment of any offence (Section 109), murder (Section 302) and rioting (147).
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal termed the acquittal as 'painful and shocking in the extreme'.
Painful and shocking in the extreme:— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) September 20, 2023
Nearly 40 years on, it feels like #Genocide all over again. A black day for minorities and for secularism, and a blot on justice, human rights, rule of law in the country. The Sikhs all over the world will feel more salt rubbed into their… pic.twitter.com/4u4rN0H6fU
The riots had broken out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
Kumar is currently lodged in Tihar jail after conviction in another case related to the riots.
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