New Delhi: The 73-year-old Congress leader, Sajjan Kumar, who was awarded life sentenced by the Delhi High Court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, is expected to surrender before Karkardooma Court or Tihar jail authorities here on Monday.
Overturning a the acquittal granted to Kumar by a trial court in 2013, the Delhi High Court on December 17 convicted Kumar and sentenced him to life imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 5 lakh.
In view of this, HS Phoolka, one of the petitioners in 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, has appealed to the victims of the riot to not go to the court on Monday.
In a statement, Phoolka said: “It is apprehended that Sajjan Kumar might try to create disturbances around the court tomorrow, to use as an excuse not to surrender and ask for an extension. I request 1984 Sikh genocide victims not to go to the court tomorrow. He has not got any relief from the Supreme Court. So, he has to surrender.”
Speaking to ANI, Phoolka said: “He simply has to go to the court tomorrow and surrender. If he does not do that, then on January 1 the police will have to take him in custody and send him to Tihar Jail. This is a very big victory for the entire nation, as a mass murderer is going to be punished after years.”
Notably, the case against Kumar pertains to the murder of five members of a Sikh family in Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
The court, which had asked the former MP Kumar to surrender before December 31, made stinging observations over the investigations and said there “appeared to be ongoing large-scale efforts to suppress cases against him”.
“In the summer of 1947, during partition, several people were massacred. 37 years later Delhi was the witness of a similar tragedy. The accused enjoyed political patronage and escaped trial,” the court had said.
It added that what happened in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was “carnage of unbelievable proportions” in which over 2,700 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone.
The victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots hailed the High Court’s verdict.
Last month, an anti-Sikh riots witness and victim Cham Kaur issued a statement identifying Kumar as the instigator. Another witness named Sheela Kaur also identified him in connection with the case.
In March, the Delhi High Court had received a petition containing a CD, which was stated to be Kumar’s confession about accepting his role in the riots.
On December 22 after the decision given by the High Court, the Congress leader filed an appeal in the Apex Court, after the High Court dismissed Kumar’s plea seeking more time to surrender. In his plea, he had sought 30 additional days to surrender, on account of settling family affairs with regard to property and inheritance.
Earlier on Thursday, the former parliamentarian appeared before Delhi’s Patiala House Court for hearing in the second case, related to the riots, registered against him by the CBI on the recommendation of Nanavati Commission. The court has adjourned the matter till January 22.
As per official records, over 2,700 Sikhs were killed across India after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh, and Beant Singh.