Dilip Singh, an auto-driver and a resident of Tilak Vihar in west Delhi, was too stunned to react when a trial court on Tuesday acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the Delhi Cantonment massacre case.
The pain and suffering he had endured for 29 long years, and which he hoped would end after the verdict, were here to stay forever, it seemed.
A day later, the pain was too much for him to bear and he, along with other victims of the anti-Sikh riots, were out on the streets to voice their anguish and anger as they felt let down by the court.
Dilip Singh — who was just 12 years old in 1984 — had lost his father, uncle and four of his father’s cousins in the riots. Several other men from his maternal grandparents’ house too were killed.
The narrow lanes and the main roads of this Sikh-dominated colony were among the worst affected areas during the anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, Sikhs allege, was instrumental in instigating rioters to kill Sikhs.
“We demand capital punishment for Sajjan Kumar. We will not stay silent till he is hanged. All Sikhs are a family, we will show the strength of our unity,” said Jagjeet Singh, a businessman.
Another protestor, Harpal Singh, a photographer, recalled: “I had a photo studio in Hari Nagar, the only source of my family’s income. It was set on fire in front of my eyes. Before I could react, the news came that my close relatives were killed in Dabri.”
Tilak Vihar residents joined other Sikh protestors from Tilak Nagar, Rajouri Garden and Subhash Nagar areas on Wednesday and halted Delhi Metro services.
Protests had also broken out in front of the Karkardooma court after news of Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal in the case spread.
The Sikh community has planned to further intensify the protests.