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1984 Anti-Sikh Riots: SIT to file closure reports in 6 cases, go ahead with legal proceedings in 11

The SIT, however, is also planning to initiate legal proceedings in 11 others cases related to the 1984 riots since the collection of evidence is over, SIT member and Superintendent of Police Balendu Bhushan said.

Written by Manish Sahu |
September 14, 2021 5:26:31 am
According to the official, the SIT has identified 53 names of suspected accused in connection with the 11 cases, with some of the names being common.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was formed by the Yogi Adityanath government two years ago to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur, is planning to file closure reports in six cases after the family members of the victims declined to identify the accused.

The SIT, however, is also planning to initiate legal proceedings in 11 others cases related to the 1984 riots since the collection of evidence is over, SIT member and Superintendent of Police Balendu Bhushan said.

According to the official, the SIT has identified 53 names of suspected accused in connection with the 11 cases, with some of the names being common.

Earlier, the Kanpur police had closed these cases, citing lack of evidence.

Sources said that during the investigation, the SIT came across 66 names of suspects which were narrowed down to 53 after it was found during physical verification that 13 of them had died.

“At present, the investigators are examining the evidence in the 11 cases, and will soon take the required legal steps. The investigation is at an advanced stage,” Bhushan said, adding that the help of legal experts has been sought to scrutinise the collected evidence.

“To prepare a watertight case, the SIT has contacted persons who were injured during the 1984 violence. The agency has collected lists of injured persons from two government hospitals — Ursula Hospital and Hallet Hospital (also known as Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital). The lists contained the names of around 100 people. The SIT has also collected the names of people from whose homes police had recovered looted valuables,” an officer said.

On the SIT’s plan to file closure reports in six cases, Bhushan said those cases were were related to the killing of nine people during the riots.

So far, the SIT has recorded statements of close to 100 witnesses, around a dozen of who have recorded it before a magistrate. The SIT traced some of the witnesses to Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Chennai, while most of the others were found living in Kanpur.

The agency is also recording statements of those who had submitted affidavits to the Ranganath Mishra Commission that was set up to conduct inquiries into the violence then.

The SIT has examined all the 1,251 cases filed in connection with the Kanpur riots and shortlisted 40 cases, including 11 in which the chargesheets were filed. The Kanpur police had filed closure reports in the rest. In the cases in which the chargesheets were registered, the SIT advised the state government to file appeals in five. The matter is pending with the government.

A total of 127 people were killed in the violence in Kanpur that started in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

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