Amarinder Singh hails conviction of Sajjan Kumar
Chandigarh : Terming it as a case of justice finally delivered to the victims of one of the worst instances of communal violence in independent India, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here on Monday welcomed the conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by the Delhi High Court.
"The reversal, by the High Court, of the earlier acquittal of Sajjan by a trial court had once again proved that the judiciary in India continues to stand tall as a pillar of the nation's democratic system," the Chief Minister said.
Reacting to the Delhi High Court judgement awarding life term to the former Congress MP, Amarinder Singh said that the conviction vindicated the stand he had been taking since those dark days of the violence perpetrated on thousands of innocent Sikhs in the wake of the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Amarinder Singh heads the Congress government in Punjab since March 2017.
Hailing the long-awaited verdict, Amarinder said that he had been naming Sajjan Kumar, along with a few other former Congress leaders including Dharam Das Shastri, H.K.L. Bhagat and Arjun Das, for the past 34 years, based on the information he had personally received from victims in refugee camps in Delhi during the riots.
Sajjan Kumar is the only surviving Congress leader involved in the riots, as the others had since died, he added.
"The name of Sajjan Kumar had repeatedly cropped up in my interactions with the victims in the refugee camps," Amarinder Singh, who had last month also welcomed the first death sentence awarded in another 1984 riots case, said.
Amarinder said that he, through the years, had been calling for the strictest of punishment for the handful of individual Congress leaders who were involved in instigating the riots.
"These leaders, who included Sajjan Kumar, did not have any official party sanction and deserved to be punished for their horrendous crime," the Chief Minister maintained.
The Chief Minister, however, reiterated that neither the Congress party nor the Gandhi family had any role in the rioting.
Amarinder Singh lashed out at the Badals for continuing to drag the names of the Gandhi family in the case at the behest of their political masters - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"There was no Congress conspiracy behind the violence and the names of the Gandhis did not come up even once during my visits to the refugee camps," the Chief Minister said, adding that it was vested political interests that had been trying to draw the Gandhi family into the controversy and the conspiracy.
Hundreds of Sikhs were killed in the riots in Delhi and other places in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.