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Rights group disappointed with SIT re-probing 1984 riots cases

Amnesty International India, said, “The SIT has disappointed many who have struggled for justice. It has only filed four charge sheets in over two years, following a non-transparent process”.

punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2017 19:09 IST
Amnesty International,Anti-Sikh riots,1984 riots victims

The new government of Punjab should heed to the call of over 6,00,000 people in the state who are demanding justice for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Amnesty International India said today.

A special investigation team (SIT) formed by the home ministry in February 2015 to re-investigate the closed cases related to the massacre received a third extension in February this year, it said. It has now been given time till August 2017 to complete its probe. The SIT has told the Supreme Court that it had identified 59 cases for reinvestigation, out of the 267 closed by Delhi Police after the massacre, it said. Of these, it has closed 38 cases and filed charges in four.

The Supreme Court is hearing public interest litigation on the functioning of the SIT filed by Gurlad Singh Kahlon, the human rights body said. “It’s time the government enacted a law that will make those at the helm of affairs — politicians, police and bureaucrats — accountable for dereliction of duty when they fail to prevent communal violence,” Harminder Kaur, a member of the Amnesty International, said.

Sanam Sutirath Wazir, from Amnesty International India, said: “The SIT has disappointed many who have struggled for justice. It has only filed four chargesheets in over two years, following a non-transparent process.” The status report submitted to the Supreme Court does not even mention the reasons for closing the cases it had identified for reinvestigation, he said.

Amnesty International India launched a public campaign in 2014 on the 30th anniversary of the anti-Sikh riots to demand justice and accountability. Since then, the campaign has gathered several supporters, including 6,00,000 in Punjab. “Many survivors are hoping that the new government taking office in Punjab will support their demands, and help deliver the long-awaited justice,” Wazir said.

First Published: Mar 22, 2017 19:06 IST