Anti-Sikh riots 1984: Sajjan Kumar convicted, surrenders in Delhi Court
New Delhi : The accused Sajjan Kumar, who has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has surrendered in a Delhi court today. He was convicted of killing of five members of a family in Raj Nagar and setting a gurdwara on fire on November 1, 1984. He was a Member of Parliament at that time. Sajjan has been shifted to Mandoli jail in east Delhi.
The Delhi court has cancelled an earlier court order acquitting him of charges in what the judges called "genocide". "It is important to assure the victims that despite the challenges truth will prevail," the court had said.
However, Sajjan Kumar has knocked the door of Supreme Court, cancelled an earlier court order acquitting him of charges in what the judges called "genocide". "It is important to assure the victims that despite the challenges truth will prevail," the court had said.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri called it a small but significant development and said, "It's been 34 years... it's been an endless wait for justice for the families of the victims. Closure is important. Cases against others need to speed up now."
Immediately, after the verdict on December 17, the 73-year-old had said he has three children and eight grandchildren and needed time to settle matters related to his property. He requested for one more month to surrender instead of the December 31 deadline, but his plea was turned down by the court.
Lawyer HS Phoolka, who has been representing victims of the anti-Sikh riots in courts for the last three decades, said that Sajjan Kumar had run out of legal options which is why he surrendered today. "We hope he doesn't get relief in the Supreme Court," Mr Phoolka said.
While several witnesses and survivors gave accounts of Congress leaders inciting and leading mobs on the streets of Delhi, Sajjan Kumar is the first top leader of the party to be convicted.
The verdict had come out on a day when the Congress took charge in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh after its election victories.