HC convicts Sajjan for Sikh riots

Terming the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide” and a “crime against humanity”, the Delhi high court convicted 73-year old Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a riot case and sentenced him to jail “for the remainder of his natural life”.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel asked Kumar — the most high profile among six accused — to surrender before December 31 and not leave Delhi after taking note of the testimonies of three survivors who had named the ex-MP for leading and instigating a mob in November 1984, exhorting it to kill Sikhs, hours after the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Kumar was convicted of conspiracy to murder, promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony. The CBI had reopened the case on the recommendation of the Nanavati Commission in 2005. Kumar’s lawyers said they would appeal against the order.

The HC said there was “a familiar pattern of mass killings since the Partition, including Mumbai in 1993, Gujarat in 2002 and Muzaffarnagar in 2013”. The common feature was the “targeting of minorities” with attacks being “spearheaded by the dominant political actors, facilitated by law enforcement agencies”.

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