The Sikh rally held at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday was possibly the largest gathering of Sikhs in the Capital.
They had gathered to protest the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case by a Delhi court on April 30.
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (DSGPC) and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) had mobilised Sikhs from Delhi, NCR and Punjab to join Nirpreet Kaur’s indefinite fast, demanding justice for the victims of the anti-Sikh riots.
Nirpreet, who has been on a fast since May 3, ended her fast on Wednesday.
By noon, the road leading to Jantar Mantar was packed to the hilt. Nearly 3,000-4,000 protesters waited for Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to arrive. Sikh men, who outnumbered the women by a huge margin, raised slogans and the air reverberated with “Jo Bole So Nihal … Sat Shree Akal.”
Biwi Jagir Kaur, a Sikh leader, congratulated Jagdish Kaur and Nirpreet Kaur -- both crucial witnesses against Sajjan Kumar -- for taking the lead in the fight for justice. Nirpreet remained in the tent a few feet away.
Badal arrived with Punjab state deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, his cabinet members and Akal Takht chief jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh. They met Nirpreet, who then joined them on the stage.
“Possibly, ours is one country which has harassed the community that has contributed so much for this country, for the society. Congress had used the entire government machinery for opening a front against us then,” Badal said and appealed to Sikhs to maintain unity.
Gurbachan Singh appealed to Nirpreet to end her fast. “We will send out messages through Sikh sangats to join hands.”
Court to hear arguments today
A Delhi court will on Thursday hear arguments on the quantum of punishment in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was acquitted, while five persons were convicted for being part of the mob that had killed five Sikhs.
District Judge JR Aryan had earlier deferred the matter to May 9 after CBI prosecutor, senior advocate RS Cheema, had expressed his inability to appear before it on May 6.