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Court acquits man in 1984 Gurdwara Pulbangash riot case

PTI   New Delhi, August 21, 2014
First Published: 17:50 IST(21/8/2014) | Last Updated: 17:52 IST(21/8/2014)

The lone accused in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which a mob had set afire Gurdwara Pulbangash in north Delhi killing three persons has been acquitted by a court here, which said CBI failed to establish his presence on the spot.

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The name of senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler had also cropped up in the case for his alleged involvement but the CBI had said that there was no sufficient material against him and later the court had ordered further investigation into the matter concerning him, which is still pending.

Additional sessions judge (ASJ) Sanjay Bansal held that the case of CBI was "very very weak" and absolved Suresh Kumar alias Panewala of various charges, including murder, rioting, damaging a place of worship with an intent to insult the religion of any class of persons and mischief by fire.

The court noted that there was discrepancy in the identity of the accused and said the record revealed that the prosecution itself was not clear about the correct name of the rioter.

"Such is state of affairs that it is extremely impossible to conclude as to what actually is the correct name of the rioter," the court said.

"It must be held that the prosecution has a very very weak case. It has not proved the charges beyond reasonable doubt against the accused.

"It has failed to establish presence of the accused at the spot at the time of commission of offences. As a necessary consequence, the accused is hereby acquitted of the charges against him," the ASJ said.

Regarding Tytler, the court said, "The CBI was directed (last year) to further investigate the case. The matter is still under further investigation with respect to Tytler".

The case relates to an incident on November 1, 1984, in the aftermath of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, when a mob of over 1000 persons had set afire Gurdwara Pulbangash in north Delhi, killing three persons -- Sardar Thakur Singh, Badal Singh and Gurcharan Singh.

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