Court said Sajjan had political patronage: Phoolka on anti-Sikh riot verdict

New Delhi: Court has clearly stated that political patronage was provided to anti-Sikh riots convicts, said HS Phoolka, one of the petitioners in 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, while responding to a question about political observations made by the Delhi High Court judge while pronouncing the conviction of Sajjan Kumar and five others.

Speaking to ANI soon after the pronouncement of the verdict, Phoolka said, “Yes it has been clearly mentioned that there were political benefits provided (to the accused)”. He was responding to a question about to observations made by the court about political patronage to the convicts including senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.

A Delhi High court on Monday reversed the trial court verdict of 2013 and sentenced Sajjan Kumar and five others in a case related to the killing of five Sikh’s in Delhi’s Cantonment area in November 1984, following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

“We are very thankful to the Indian judiciary. Sajjan Kumar has been awarded with life imprisonment. Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar have also been sentenced to life imprisonment. Kishan Khokkar and former legislator Mahender Yadav have been sentenced to 10 years in prison,” added Phoolka while elaborating on the judgement.

The victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots also hailed the verdict,

“It was not a riot but a massacre in broad daylight. My father and brother were killed in front of my eyes. For three days I was somehow hidden in a house. It has been 34 years and we have not got any justice. Sajjan Kumar must be sentenced to death,” said one of victims who lost his family when a mob attacked his house in Delhi’s Tilak Nagar area during the 1984 Sikh-riots.

Another victim Dara Singh termed the verdict as a ray of hope and said, “We are happy with this victim. Other convicts must also be brought to justice. Life imprisonment to Sajjan Kumar has given us a hope of justice now.”