Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar on Tuesday expressed shock over the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in an anti-Sikh riots case of 1984 by a Delhi court and sought to know the names of persons who led the mobs against the Sikhs in the national capital.
"If such persons (Sajjan) are innocent, then who was responsible for the 1984 riots? Can anyone provide an answer to this?" Makkar said while talking to the media here.
He described the former Congress MP's acquittal in the case related to the murder of five Sikhs in the Delhi Cantonment area as "unfortunate and shocking." Once again a question mark has put over the functioning of the judicial system, he remarked.
"The Sikhs have always made the supreme sacrifice for the nation and have played a major role in the freedom struggle, the defence of the country and in ensuring food for all. But when it comes to giving them justice, the plea of 'lack of evidence' is taken and those responsible for the riots are let off," the SGPC chief added while claiming that the community was "gradually losing faith in the Indian judicial system".
"I have been repeatedly said that there are two sets of law,
with the minorities governed by a separate law. On the one hand, you want to hang a person (Davinderpal Singh Bhullar) on the basis of his confessional statement made to the police under duress while on the other you commute the death sentence of a butcher like Kishori Lal, who mercilessly killed the Sikhs during the 1984 riots in Delhi," Makkar added.
Makkar pointed out that even after 28 years of the killings of the Sikhs in the wake of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, none of the politicians who allegedly led the rioters have been convicted in any case. In Sajjan Kumar's case, the witnesses deposed against him in court and yet he has been acquitted, he said.
"We are living in one country but yet we are being governed by separate set of laws. Will justice be ever done to the '84 riot victims?" he asked.
Shocking, says Giani Gurbachan Singh
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, who was away to Delhi, also described the court's verdict as "shocking and unfortunate."
Travesty of justice: Dal Khalsa
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh termed the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar "travesty of justice." In a statement issued here, he said that the hopes of the riot victims to get justice have always been dashed as the alleged "perpetrators of the crime (riots) enjoy political patronage."