Political reactions on Sajjan Kumar’s conviction in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

1984 Anti-Sikh Riots: Sajjan Kumar’s conviction by the Delhi High Court in a case related to the anti-Sikh riots in the Capital in 1984 drew reactions from the BJP as well as other parties, as the Congress said the issue should not be politicised.
Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal called the life imprisonment handed to Kumar as historic and said justice was delayed because of the political patronage by the Congress party.(ANI/Twitte)
Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal called the life imprisonment handed to Kumar as historic and said justice was delayed because of the political patronage by the Congress party.(ANI/Twitte)
Updated on Dec 17, 2018 04:40 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Sajjan Kumar’s conviction by the Delhi High Court in a case related to the anti-Sikh riots in the Capital in 1984 drew reactions from the BJP as well as other parties, as the Congress said the issue should not be politicised.

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was convicted of criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony and sentenced to imprisonment for life. As the high court reversed the trial court’s order acquitting Kumar, the court also directed him to surrender by December 31, 2018, and slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him and Rs 1 lakh on all other accused in the case.

The case relates to the murder of five members of a family during the anti-Sikh riots in the Raj Nagar area in the Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984.

Cong will pay for sins: Jaitley

Union finance minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley said Kumar’s conviction was a delayed vindication of justice.

“Sajjan Kumar’s conviction by the Delhi High Court is a delayed vindication of Justice. The Congress and the Gandhi family legacy will continue to pay for the sins of the 1984 riots,” Jaitley said.

“Justice for the victims of 1984 was buried by the Congress – the NDA restored fairness and accountability,” he said.

Historic justice: Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal called the life imprisonment handed to Kumar as historic and said justice was delayed because of the political patronage by the Congress party.

“I want to thank PM Modi that on Shiromani Akali Dal’s request in 2015 he set up a SIT to probe the 1984 massacre. It’s a historic judgement. Wheels of justice have finally moved,” she said.

“It is Sajjan Kumar today, it will be Jagdish Tytler tomorrow then Kamal Nath and eventually the Gandhi family,” she said.

Sambit Patra of the BJP called for the resignation of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s resignation.

“Kamal Nath ji’s name crops up along with affidavit and evidence in a report submitted to Nanavati Commission. A man involved in anti-Sikh riots has been made the MP CM. Rahul Gandhi must expel him from the party,” Patra said.

BJP spokesperson Tejinder Pal Singh Bagga, who is on a hunger strike against Congress’ Kamal Nath being named the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, said they will appeal in the Supreme Court for a death sentence to Kumar.

Kejriwal welcomes verdict

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal welcomed the verdict convicting the 73-year-old Congress leader.

“It has been a very long and painful wait for innocent victims who were murdered by those in power. Nobody involved in any riot should be allowed to escape no matter how powerful the individual maybe,” Kejriwal said on Twitter.

Punjab leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema also welcomed the court verdict.

“Congress kept denying its leaders’ role, but the Delhi court’s verdict has proved that senior leaders of the party had led the rampaging mobs in 1984. Court proceedings and investigations should be expedited in cases and complaints against other Congress leaders, including MP CM Kamal Nath, to give justice to victims,” the AAP leader said while speaking to the Hindustan Times.

Don’t politicise: Congress

Congress leaders said while speaking to reporters that the issue should not be politicised and that the law will take its own course.

“It should not be linked to the political atmosphere prevailing in the country. The law should take its course, there are appeals. No political benefit should be derived from this,” senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

There have been verdicts in the past where people have been found guilty, while others have been absolved, he pointed out.

Singhvi’s colleague Kapil Sibal said Kumar does not hold a position of power in the party.

“What decision has been taken by the court is a legal process. We have seen how cover up is going on in the Sohrabuddin case... and what about judge Loya’s death?” he asked, referring to the Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case and the death of judge BH Loya, who was hearing the case.

“Don’t give it a political colour as it is a court decision,” he said.

Remember 2002 Gujarat riots: Sibal

Sibal also raked up the 2002 riots in Gujarat and alleged that a number of BJP leaders were named in the cases. “Charity should begin at home,” he said.

Sunil Kumar Jakhar, president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said the party has been clear that whoever was involved in the riots should be brought to justice.

“Yes, justice has been delayed but delivered finally. Nobody is above law and anyone who is involved in such a heinous crime should be brought to justice,” the Congress MP told reporters outside Parliament.

He also said Congress leader Kamal Nath’s name never figured in the list of those involved in the riots.

“Law has taken its own course. It’ll strengthen people’s trust in law. Any person who has been convicted in such cases should quit their political life,” Jakhar said.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022