Equating the killing of Sikhs during the 1984 riots to the “mass extermination of Jews by Nazis”, the CBI opposed riots convict Sajjan Kumar’s bail plea in the Supreme Court, stating that he “is a political leader with a large political clout… and is capable of influencing/terrorising witnesses”.
“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 and the mass killing during various ethnic riots within India also,” the agency said in its affidavit, filed in response to Kumar’s plea.
“In this case, the minority community was targeted by spearheaded attacks of dominant political actors like the applicant/convict and duly facilitated by law enforcement agencies,” the agency said, adding, “As such, this case has to be viewed in the larger context of mass crimes and requires a different approach than a case of normal murder/rioting.”
“There was abject failure by the police to register separate FIRs. Rather several complaints of riot victims were clubbed together…,” it said. The “large number of acquittals in 1984 riot cases demonstrated” his “power and influence”, the affidavit said.
The agency said it was a “matter of fact” that on September 11, 1990, he was granted anticipatory bail under extraordinary circumstances, as a mob had gathered outside his residence when a CBI team went to arrest him.The CBI submitted that “on account of the powerful position and influence” of Kumar,
“several persons who had mustered the courage to be a witness against the applicant/convict, out of fear, resiled from their earlier statements.” The agency pointed out that Delhi Police had not even investigated the complaint by Jagdish Kaur, the main prosecution witness.
The CBI also submitted that his age being 73 “is of no relevance, especially when seen in light of the offence for which he has been convicted…” Kumar was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on December 17, 2018, in a case relating to the murder of five members of a family during the 1984 riots.