H C Singh

Sajjan Kumar’s Case before High Court and 1984 Anti Sikh Riots

  It is more than 25 years that thousands of Sikhs were mercilessly butchered, their houses burnt and looted in anti-Sikh riots of 1984. The rioting, killing and looting went on for four days as the Congress Government of Rajiv Gandhi did not call the Army from Delhi cantonment, part of the capital itself. The looting and killing were encouraged and led by Congress politicians of Delhi with the help of Delhi Police which did not prevent or even intervene. It was blemish of extreme lawlessness and murders of thousands in the capital of India, the so called biggest democracy of the world: worst of all, not even one criminal out of hundreds and even one Congress politician like Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, out of untold numbers, was arrested, not to speak of being sentenced.

So many commissions were appointed to probe, hear the evidence and decide about punishment of guilty. Hundreds of crores of rupees were spent or wasted but to no result. But because of our political system and our politicians and political rulers, even when there were tangible evidences and recommendations, particularly before Nanavati Commission, not a single arrest was made. Infact proceedings and recommendations of all the commissions were put in cold storage.

Latest case, though not before a commission, but before Delhi High Court is that of Sajjan Kumar, an ex congress MP. He was found guilty by a Distt Court and as such non-bailable warrants were issued against him. Had Sajjan Kumar appeared or surrendered before the court he would have been arrested then and there and ordered to be put behind bar. But Sajjan Kumar, though found guilty, went missing with the help of his guard.

 The case came before the Delhi High Court on appeal.

 The High Court taking severe note of his ‘missing’, but it is noteworthy, that while giving anticipatory bail to Sajjan Kumar in two 1984 anti Sikh riot cases against him, learned Justice Pathak termed the charges against Sajjan Kumar of ‘grave nature’. However the court added that as “25 years have gone by and the delay undoubtedly tilts the balance in favour of politician”. The High Court even questioned the “CBI move to arrest Kumar now that charge sheet has been filed while it never felt the need while investigations were going on for the past five years”. It is virtual indictment of CBI, which is government appointed agency for investigation.

It will not be out of place to recapulate some facts that led to torture, massacre and burning of thousands of Sikh men, women and children during four days, when hell itself broke out on the Sikhs of Delhi, killing as per official figures 3000 but actually many times more unarmed and innocent, mostly poor Sikhs who had no knowledge of politics or were absolutely unconcerned with politics .

Hundreds of men were burnt or killed in the presence of their parents, their wives and children. Some were put to death by putting burning tyres in their necks.

Hundreds of children were taken away from the lap of their mothers or snatched from their fathers and killed in the presence of their parents and their grand parents. Also hundred of women were molested before their husbands and children.

In many families more than five persons were done to death. In a rare case there were seven widows from one family and many orphans.

It is not known in Indian and in world history of at least more than hundred years that such atrocities were committed by citizens of the same country on their own country’s citizens and that, too, in the capital.

There is much more to be said and has been recorded by many commissions and by few Sikh survivors who could have the courage to appear before commissions despite threat to their lives.

It is hoped that now, after long last, gap of 25 years, there will be justice in the present case of Sajjan Kumar. Which may set an example for others. The learned Judge has already said that charges against Sajjan Kumar are of “grave nature” and has even indicted CBI for inordinate delay “while investigations were going on for five years”.

Who is to be blamed for delay of 25 years in convicting hundreds of guilty, politicians and policemen? As explained above, it is country’s politics and politicians who care only for vote banks to get into power and remain in power, irrespective of political party or combination of political parties to which they belong.

March 5, 2010 - Posted by | Anti Sikh Riots 1984, Corruption, India, Indian History, Political Commentary, Punjabi, Religion, Sikhism, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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