Indian politician Sajjan Kumar gets life over 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Former Indian MP jailed for life over 1984 Sikh massacre

Indian court convicts Sajjan Kumar over 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Truth will prevail and justice will be done, said the court, while delivering the verdict.

He has been pursuing cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots for the past over 30 years as an advocate and then as a senior advocate, completely pro bono (doing work without any charge). He was later appointed the counsel for Central Government in January 2001.

Sajjan Kumar was a key player in Delhi politics before public outcry forced Congress to deny him a Lok Sabha ticket in 2009.

Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal called the life imprisonment handed to Kumar as historic and said justice was delayed because of the political patronage by the Congress party. He claimed it was a vindication of his stand as he had been naming Kumar as well as a few other former Congress leaders based on information he received from victims in refugee camps in Delhi during the riots.

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Following the acquittal, the CBI challenged the lower court's order alleging that the mobs engaged in "a planned communal riot" and "religious cleansing". "Our fight will continue till Sajjan Kumar and [another accused Congress leader] Jagdish Tytler get a death sentence, and Gandhi family is dragged to the court and put in jail", he said. "Wheels of justice have finally moved", she said.

The court convicted the Congress leader under various counts of Indian Penal Code (IPC) including murder, criminal conspiracy, wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot, mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house and injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class.

In a statement, the chief minister stressed that neither the Congress party nor the Gandhi family had any role in the rioting, and alleged that vested political interests were trying to draw their names into the controversy.

Further defending Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue, Sibal attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 Gujarat violence.

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In August, Rahul said, "Congress was not involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots". Sajjan Kumar was not given a ticket.

A bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel overturned a trial court judgement that had acquitted the Congress leader. "Nobody is above law and anyone who is involved in such a heinous crime should be brought to justice", the Congress MP told reporters outside Parliament. Around 3,000 Sikhs were killed in Delhi in the days after then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

The court observed, "in the summer of 1947, during partition, several people were massacred". Thirty seven years later, Delhi witnessed a similar tragedy. The high court was hearing the appeals filed by the CBI, riots victims and the convicts, challenging a trial court's judgement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Kumar was acquitted.

The chief minister said the leaders he has been naming for the last 34 years did not have any official party sanction and deserved to be punished.

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