Sajjan Kumar convicted, Sikh leaders hail judgement

New Delhi: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday hailed the conviction of senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in anti-Sikh riots case and said that the leader should be given a death sentence.

“We thank the court for giving justice to us. Our fight will continue till Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler get
a death sentence and Gandhi family is dragged to the court and put in jail,” SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa told ANI after the judgement.

Reversing the trial court verdict of 2013, the Delhi High Court on Monday sentenced Kumar to jail for life in one of the most important convictions over the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

The senior Congress party leader was found guilty of inciting crowds to kill Sikhs in Delhi in 1984 following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

More than 3,000 Sikhs had died in the riots that spread across Sikh-dominated neighbourhoods in Delhi.

In a scathing verdict, the Delhi High Court on Monday said that the accused escaped trial because of “political patronage”.

Hailing the judgement, the other SAD leaders echoed that the riot convicts should have been given the death sentence, and questioned the Congress party for elevating the leaders accused of killing Sikhs in 1984.

“When in 1984, the media questioned Rajiv Gandhi that why the Army is not being deployed to bring law and order, he turned both police and the Army into silent-spectators. Following the trend, Congress has always tried to save Kamal Nath, Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Singh and HKL Bhagat. However, I welcome the conviction but I still feel that the death sentence could have done more justice to us. Today Rahul Gandhi has to answer why he made Kamal Nath a chief minister of Madhya Pradesh,” senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majitha said.

The case related to the anti-Sikh riots ran for almost three decades with several petitioners, victim families, and political parties demanding justice.

Celebrating the verdict, Union Minister Hardip Singh Puri said, “It feels like justice delayed but not denied.”