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Monday, July 23, 2018

Perhaps I have a bond with sorrow: ‘84 riot widow

November 1984 was a good time for Lokender alias Lakhvinder Kaur’s family.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Updated: April 16, 2014 1:31:43 pm

November 1984 was a good time for Lokender alias Lakhvinder Kaur’s family. Her daughter was five months old,and another child was on the way. But younger daughter Amarjit,born nine months later,never saw her father. Because Badal Singh was one of the three men killed near Gurudwara Pul Bangash during the anti-Sikh riots that followed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

Seeking justice for the murder of her husband,Lakhvinder Kaur filed a revision petition after a trial court accepted a case closure report in April 2010. In the report,the CBI claimed it had been unable to find any evidence against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.

The agency named 43 witnesses and said not one had been able to confirm Tytler’s presence at the Gurudwara Pul Bangash on November 1,1984.

But Lakhvinder Kaur,in her revision petition against the closure report,said the CBI had failed to examine certain witnesses who had seen Tytler at the scene of the crime.

On Wednesday,after the court of Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Shukla Bhardwaj set aside the trial court order and directed the CBI to reopen the investigation by recording the statement of the witnesses,Lakhvinder Kaur said she is “happy” yet “cynical about getting justice”.

“These people are so powerful. They discredited my family and eyewitnesses to the attack on the gurdwara instigating the mob. I am happy that the court has asked the CBI to look into the matter further,but my fear is that justice will still depend on their investigation. I am happy at what the court has said but it is a small victory. Shayad dukh se ek naata ban gaya hai (Perhaps I have developed a bond with sorrow),” she said.

When she entered the court room with family members of other riot victims,Lakhvinder Kaur said said she was nervous.

“For close to 30 years,I have lived with the loss of my husband,and the idea that someone who was supposed to protect me and my family,instigated the riot… I will fight this case till the end. I have lived only because of the support of my parents and social justice groups. Only I know how I brought up my daughters,one of whom is now married. They grew up without a father,and I want justice for them… If it had gone against us today,I might have lost all hope,” she said.

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