After a Delhi court awarded the first capital punishment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the murder case of Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh, the family of Hardev Singh said that while the verdict came late, they were happy to get justice in their lifetime. They added that they wanted capital punishment for both convicts in the case.
“We feel happy that we could get this justice in my life time,” said Santokh Singh (72), the eldest brother of Hardev Singh, who was killed by the two convicted men — Yashpal Singh and Naresh Sherawat — at the age of 24. While Yashpal was awarded capital punishment, Sherawat has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Santokh Singh, who retired from Punjab Police, lives with his other three brothers at Daroli Kalan village of Adampur area of Jalandhar. The family has been living there since 1986.
“We wanted capital punishment for both of them, but still we are happy that we got justice,” he said. Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh were killed by both the convicts in Mahipalpur area of Delhi on November 1, 1984.
“Yashpal Singh and Hardev Singh studied together and were known to each other, but he killed my brother on November 1, just a day after we shifted from Mahipalpur to Sadar Bazaar cantonment area in Delhi,” said Santokh Singh.
“Our entire family lived in Delhi back then and we ran a grocery shop. We were five brothers, who were born and brought up there, but we came back to our native village after this tragedy,” he added.
“Though we had shifted our residence from Mahipalpur, but our shop was still there and that’s where Hardev was killed,” he said.
Hardev wanted to shift his residence from Mahipalpur area to the area where more Punjabis were living due to which we shifted to Sadar Bazaar,” added Sangat Singh, another brother of Hardev.
“Our grandparents Sohan Singh (father) and Gurbachan Kaur (mother) waited for justice till the end of their lives, but justice came today years after their death,” said Yudhvir Singh, nephew of Hardev at Daroli Kalan, adding that all my four uncles had fought this case religiously at the cost of everything. All four brothers are running small businesses in the village now.