There was high drama at court No. 2 inside the Karkardooma court complex before and after Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was acquitted in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
With the presence of large posse of policemen outside the courtroom, in the corridors, inside and outside the court complex along with a unit of the Rapid Action Force, the court complex had been turned into a virtual fortress.
The police ensured that the mediapersons were not present inside the courtroom when the verdict was pronounced at 3 pm.
All mediapersons, including lawyers and kin of victims present in the court at 1:20 pm, were suddenly asked to vacate it for a “security check” on an assurance that they will be once again allowed inside at 3 pm.
But journalists, who had been waiting outside for one-and-a-half hours, were shocked when the police shut the door of the courtroom after the five accused, their lawyers, prosecutors and some relatives of victims entered the courtroom.
The police also manhandled some mediapersons, including women, who tried to force their way in to cover the proceedings. The proceedings lasted hardly 20 seconds and journalists came to know of the outcome from victims’ relatives present inside.
Shoe thrown at judge
Soon after sessions judge JR Aryan pronounced the verdict, a 43-year-old Sikh, Karnail Singh, hurled a shoe towards the dais. Singh, a resident of Punjab’s Firozpur, was immediately taken into custody and later arrested.
A case under sections 186 (obstructing public servant from discharging duties) and 353 (assault) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against him.
Karnail told reporters he never wanted to show disrespect to the court and his intention was only to show the anger of the Sikh community. “The court, by acquitting Sajjan Kumar, clearly showed we can never expect justice,” he said.
Thirty-four people were detained for protesting outside the court against the judgement for about half an hour.