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Delhi Police act premeditated in ‘84 riots: CBI

Author: Staff Reporter
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: March 31, 2012
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/others/townhall/54171-delhi-police-act-premeditated-in-84-riots-cbi.html

The CBI on Saturday accused the Delhi Police of keeping its “eyes closed” to violence and acting in a pre-planned manner during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Advancing final arguments before a city court in a riots case, in which veteran Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been accused of instigating a mob in Delhi Cantonment area, CBI counsel RS Cheema said the city police “deliberately” did not act the way it was supposed to.

“This was a case where the police acted in a pre-planned manner and every policeman kept his eyes closed,” Cheema told Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) JR Aryan. He said about 150 complaints were made regarding the riot incidents but only five FIRs were registered by the police.

“Whatever action was taken by the police was taken against the people who helped the Sikhs. Police did not take action against the main culprits. No policeman was recording complaint. They were not interfering to help victims,” said the lawyer.

Cheema said even police officials, who were defence witnesses, had said in their statements that they had not seen anything during the riots.

The court asked the prosecutor if the CBI had any ‘direct evidence’ against Sajjan and other five accused - Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal, Mahender Yadav, Balwan Khokkar and Captain Bhagmal - to show they were instigating the mob to kill the Sikhs. “Apart from witnesses, do you have Press reports or photographs published in newspapers to show Sajjan was addressing the mob? Do you have direct evidence against the accused?” the judge asked.

The CBI prosecutor told the court they did not have media reports but did have other direct evidence, which would be shown to the court on April 2, the next date of hearing. “We have direct evidence of conspiracy against them (accused),” said Cheema, adding that in Saturday’s hearing, he was only arguing on circumstantial evidence.

Sajjan and five others are facing trial on the charge of inciting mobs against the Sikh community. During arguments, the CBI prosecutor told court that this was not a case of personal enmity. “This was a pogrom. It was a case of massacre where people of a particular community in the society were targeted. People of the Sikh community were eliminated,” Cheema said.

Six Sikhs were allegedly killed in Delhi Cantonment area during the riots that had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice G T Nanavati Commission.

The CBI had filed two chargesheets against him and other accused in January 2010. The trial court had in May 2010 framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and five others under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of the IPC.

The Delhi High Court had earlier asked the trial court to expeditiously dispose of the case. Sajjan Kumar is facing prosecution in three separate cases in which he has been accused of inciting a mob against the Sikh community during the 1984 riots.
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