A Special Investigation Team that started out of two rooms has secured a conviction in an anti-Sikh riots case, more than three decades on. The Indian Express looks at how its members had to navigate previously shoddy probes, sketchy documents and the challenge of reopening old wounds
“The brutal murder of innocent Sikhs during the 1984 riots falls under the category of crimes against humanity, on par with well-known genocides worldwide like the large-scale killing of Armenians by Kurds and Turks, the mass extermination of Jews by Nazis, the mass killing of Bangladeshi citizens by Pakistani Army sympathisers ..."
The case in which Kumar was convicted and sentenced relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment's Raj Nagar Part-I area of southwest Delhi on November 1-2, 1984 and burning down of a gurudwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.
On February 5, the state government ordered to set-up a four member SIT headed by former UP DGP Atul to examine the cases filed during 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Kanpur police have been collecting the case documents and the status of each cases to be sent to the government.
The court had approved the names of former Delhi HC judge Justice S N Dhingra, serving Himachal Pradesh cadre IPS officer Abhishek Dular and retired IG rank officer Rajdeep Singh as committee members. Singh, however, declined to be a part of the team
Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s comments at the London School of Economics Friday that Congress was not involved in 1984 riots had all the potential to be a political hot potato in the Assembly session, but the Congress got away unscathed.
“Sheela Kaur deposed before court that she had earlier received threats that her children would be killed if she names Sajjan Kumar. She confirmed her statements that Sajjan Kumar was involved. Her cross-examination will continue on February 7,” said senior advocate H S Phoolka