1984 anti-Sikh riots case: ‘Security threat’ against five accused holds up hearinghttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/1984-antisikh-riots-case-security-threat-against-five-accused-holds-up-hearing/

1984 anti-Sikh riots case: ‘Security threat’ against five accused holds up hearing

The hearing in the case of murder during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was adjourned on Monday after the Delhi police informed the court of a “security threat” against the five accused in the case.

The hearing in the case of murder during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was adjourned on Monday after the Delhi police informed the court of a “security threat” against the five accused in the case.

The brief hearing also witnessed some dramatic moments after relatives of the victims of the massacre entered the courtroom carrying their ‘kirpan’,despite the security personnel requesting them to part with the ‘Kirpan’. Finally,the judge asked the men to leave the premises.

The disruption,coupled with police reports of a security threat to the five accused,prompted District and Sessions Judge JR Aryan to adjourn the proceedings.

The families of the victims,however,called it a “delaying tactic”. “He (Sajjan Kumar) has so many policemen guarding him at all times,what threat are they talking about?” said Jagdish Kaur,one of the prime eyewitnesses.

The case is presently in its final stage with the CBI set to conclude its arguments over the next two hearings. CBI special prosecutor RS Cheema on Monday argued that the Delhi Police had wrongly arrested a man who had given shelter to a Sikh man during the riots. Ram Avatar,who was arrested in November 1984,and Jagsher Singh,an eyewitness in the case are both prosecution witnesses.

Cheema also told the court that the defence had not considered the testimony of another witness,Air Force Officer Balwinder Singh,whose lost his brothers during the riots. “The evidence of Balwinder Singh regarding damage and destruction during the attacks stands proved,” Cheema said.

Cheema argued that the CBI would need a day to respond to an application to summon two prominent newspapers as witnesses. Jagdish Kaur had filed an application requesting the court to summon the newspapers as witnesses to clarify news reports that had named Sajjan Kumar and others in the aftermath of the riots.

Cheema,however,said that since a news report is not admissible as evidence in court,approval of the application would not delay the trial. The defence lawyers had raised the issue of delay if the new witnesses were summoned.

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The CBI will present its final arguments in the case on March 23.