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1984 anti-Sikh Riots: Special Investigation Team (SIT) moves High Court For Cancellation of Bail to Sajjan Kumar

the Special Investigation Team today moved the Delhi High Court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted by the trial court to Sajjan Kumar in a murder case of three sikhs

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During 1984 anti-Sikh Riots, Wikimedia
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New Delhi, Jan 25, 2017: The Delhi High Court seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted by the trial court to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the murder case of three Sikhs was moved today by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Justice S P Garg, before whom the plea came up for hearing, asked SIT how the trial court order is illegal and said the respondent is facing trial in other matters also; then how is it possible that he could be present at all spots.

“Where is the illegality in the trial court’s order. 32 years have passed and now you (SIT) are seeking to interrogate him (Kumar) in the matter pertaining to the incident. Prior to November 2016 there was no complaint against him by the present complainant. Suddenly, the complainant has grievances against him (Kumar),” the court’s statement mentioned. It was hearing a plea by SIT, which came in appeal against the trial court’s December 21 last year order that allowed Kumar an anticipatory bail.

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Kumar had been asked to cooperate in the probe and not to influence any witness related to the case. While granting relief to the former MP on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and am assurance of the like amount, the trial court had also stated that he will not be allowed to leave the country without the permission of the court.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, who appeared for SIT, submitted before the bench that the cases filed against Kumar falling in jurisdiction of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations in west Delhi, were lodged after delay of over 30 years as the complaintant was “scared” to birng out the name of the accused due to his “powerful” position.

The ASG submitted that since his name has cropped up during the course of investigation in the case, he needs to be questioned and his custody is also important as he has to be confronted with the evidence in the matter. He said that as per complainant Harvinder Singh, whose counsel also sought cancellation of Kumar’s bail, on the fateful day at around 11 AM, the accused was spotted leading a mob.

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To this, the court asked the ASG, apart from the complainant’s affidavit on the basis of which the cases were filed, if he has anything more to establish the fact that the respondent here was present at the spot. “Do you (SIT) have anything more to establish about his alleged involvement. We are not disputing the incident but his involvement is there or not is a question,” it said. It later asked the ASG to come up with records relating to the other case he is allegedly associated with and for which he has or is facing trial, mentioned PTI.

“There are other cases also against him (Kumar) relating to incidents at different places on the same day. So place before this court, if any, the material to show that the person against whom you have come was present at all spots at different times,” the court mentioned, adding that “it is not possible for a person to be present at all spots at one time”. The ASG asked for time till February 23 by when he could produce all the needed records.

The complaint in Janakpuri pertains to the assasination of two Sikhs — Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh — on November 1, 1984. The other relates to Gurcharan Singh who was burnt on November 2, 1984 in the jurisdiction of Vikaspuri police station. As per the complaint, Gurcharan, who was half burnt, remained bed-ridden for 29 years. He passed away three years ago.

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Seeking anticipatory bail from the trial court, Kumar had argued that his name had come up in the case after a seemingly long time (32 years) and it was motivated politically. Searching for a setting aside of the trial court decision, the high court was told that Kumar was called in twice by SIT but he had showed up only once. SIT has also submitted that delay in registration of FIR and not assigning the investigation of the cases to an independent agency clearly imply the influence of accused/ respondent at that time also.

SIT, which was set up in February 2015 on the direction of the Ministry of Home Affairs to re-investigate the shut case, said that it submitted a detailed status report of the ongoing investigation before the trial court. However, “without appreciating the relevant facts and without taking the established position of law into consideration and on very erroneous grounds, the trial court judge had passed the order and allowed the anticipatory bail applications of the accused/respondent,” it said.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

 

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‘Government chalked out 1984 anti-Sikh genocide’

Operation Bluestar in June 1984 was regarded by some as ‘inevitable’.

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Protest against 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Facebook
  • Gandhi family dynasty involved in the genocide, as per the author
  • Western governments toed the line of their Indian counterpart and downplayed events
  • To bolster the insinuation that the Sikhs’, the government commissioned a series of documentaries in early 1984

New Delhi, December 12: The 1984 anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that claimed the lives of an estimated 8,000 people in Delhi and around the country were not spontaneous as has been made out but were government-orchestrated, says a scathing new book on the four days of mayhem, adding it’s time the world took note of the killings, as it did of the slaughter of a similar number of Bosnian Muslims in 1994.“At the time, the authorities projected the violence as a spontaneous reaction to the tragic loss of a much-loved Prime Minister. But evidence points to a government-orchestrated genocidal massacre unleashed by politicians–with the trail leading up to the very heart of the dynastic Gandhi family–and covered up with the help of the police, judiciary and sections of the media,” author Pav Singh writes in ‘1984 – India’s Guilty Secret’.The government of the day “worked hard on its version of events. Words such as ‘riot’ became the newspeak of an Orwellian cover-up, of a real 1984. To protect perpetrators, the most heinous crimes have been obscured from view; evidence destroyed, language distorted and alternative ‘facts’ introduced. The final body count is anybody’s guess,” the author says.

Anti Sikh riots
According to the author, government was directly involved in the massacre

And yet, “what may well go down in history as one of the largest conspiracies of modern times is hardly known outside of India. At that time, Western governments toed the line of their Indian counterpart and downplayed events–arguably for fear of losing trade contracts worth billions–to the misnomer of ‘communal riots”, the author says.Pointing to a meeting held at the residence of then Information and Broadcasting Minister HKL Bhagat on the evening of October 31, hours after Gandhi was assassinated, and attended by an Additional Commissioner responsible for the capital’s Central, North and East districts, and the SHO of the Kalyanpuri police station, all of which bore the brunt of the violence, the author writes: “The foundation of their plan had, however, been laid well in advance and were in part the outcome of years of suspicion, misgivings and disagreements between the Centre and the state and its political, economic and social demands as framed by the Akali Dal, the governing Sikh-centric party in Punjab.”“It is believed that key players in the Congress government used the increasingly volatile situation in Punjab to blur the perception of the Sikh community in the eyes of their fellow citizens…These poisoned sentiments gathered such deadly momentum that the execution of Operation Bluestar in June 1984 was regarded by some as ‘inevitable’,” writes Pav Singh, a member of the Magazines and Books Industrial Council of Britain’s National Union of Journalists who has been campaigning on the issue for a number of years.To bolster the insinuation that the Sikhs’ desire for regional autonomy posed a national threat, the government commissioned a series of documentaries in early 1984. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, was said, by an associate, to have claimed that “he was given the unpleasant job of portraying Sikhs as terrorists”. He was on some special duty with the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. The minister in question was none other than Bhagat, the book says.Pointing to an elaborate cover-up of the four days of mayhem, the author says a key figure in the deception was Home Secretary MMK Wali.“At a press conference on November 1, he insisted that most of the violence consisted of arson and that few personal attacks had occurred–in what seems an outrageous statement he even claimed that only two people had been confirmed killed in New Delhi.“He revised the figure to 458 on November 4 soon after being sworn in as Delhi’s new lieutenant governor. The Indian Express had reported on November 2 that in two incidents alone there were 500 dead, including 200 bodies lying in a police mortuary and at least 350 bodies on one street in East Delhi,” writes Pav Singh, who spent a year in India researching the full extent of the riots.His research led to the pivotal and authoritative report ‘1984 Sikhs’ Kristallnacht’, which was first launched in the UK parliament in 2005 and substantially expanded in 2009. In his role as a community advocate at the Wiener Library for the Study of Holocaust and Genocide, London, he curated the exhibition ‘The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom Remembered’ in 2014 with Delhi-based photographer Gauri Gill.The book is highly critical of the manner in which subsequent governments have acted.Figures released in 2013 show that of the 3,163 people arrested in the capital, just 30 individuals in approximately as many years, mostly low-ranking Congress party supporters, had been convicted of killing Sikhs. This represents less than one per cent of all those arrested, the book says.“Out of those arrested, a staggering 2,706 were subsequently acquitted. Convictions for riot-related offences amounted to 412. One hundred and forty-seven police officers were indicted for their role in the killings, but not one officer has been prosecuted. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for rape,” the book says.It’s time India and the world called a spade a spade, the book says in its conclusion. IANS