Twenty-nine years after nearly 3,000 Sikhs were massacred in the National Capital after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, a city court on Wednesday reserved its judgment in the case in which Congress leader Sajjan Kumar is a prime accused along with five others.
After the final arguments were completed, district judge JR Aryan posted the matter for April 16 for clarification, if any, from the CBI or the six accused.
“Judgment is reserved. Come up for clarification, if any, on April 16,” the judge said.
The investigating agency’s prosecutor, DP Singh, said it had based its case on statements of witnesses. The witnesses gave honest versions of what they saw during the riots, he said.
Singh alleged that wherever Kumar’s name had cropped up in the complaints, it was “immediately eliminated” from police records.
Kumar’s counsel IU Khan argued that there were several inconsistencies in the statements of the witnesses, including key complainant Jagdish Kaur.
“Kaur had not taken Kumar’s name anywhere in any of her affidavits filed before various judicial commissions, constituted to probe the riots-related cases, till 2010,” said Khan.
Khan argued that when Kaur appeared in the court in 2010 to record her statement, she gave us a shock by naming Sajjan Kumar for the first time and said something that was not there in the records”.
Kumar is facing trial along with five others — Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal — for allegedly inciting a mob against the Sikh community in Delhi Cantonment area. The case relates to the anti-Sikh riots that had broken out after the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.
Appearing for the victims, advocate HS Phoolka argued that there was credible evidence on record in the form of three eyewitnesses and other witnesses. It was certain that the “cobweb around accused Sajjan Kumar is as strong as the iron rods which he will not be able to break”, he said.
“After a lengthy and tedious exercise of conducting the inquiry, running into over four years, the Nanavati Commission had primarily recommended registration of the cases against two political leaders, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who were largely perceived to have master minded these killings,” he said.