The court also upheld the life imprisonment sentences of ex-Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired Navy officer Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal. The sentences of former MLA Mahendra Yadav and Kishan Khokhar have been increased from three to 10 years of imprisonment
New Delhi: The judge who sentenced Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on Monday to life in prison for his role in the 1984 mass killing of Sikhs in Delhi in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi burst into tears.
While the verdict was delivered, the culprits too were seen crying in the court. In this case, the court reversed Kumar’s acquittal and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He has to surrender by December 31, 2018. Also, a fine of Rs 5 lakh has been imposed on him.
The court also upheld the life imprisonment sentences of ex-Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired Navy officer Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal. The sentences of former MLA Mahendra Yadav and Kishan Khokhar have been increased from three to 10 years of imprisonment.
Announcing the decision, the high court observed that decades of delay had happened in delivering justice. The judge also made observations on role of investigative agencies. He called into question their failure in bringing the case to fruition after over three decades.
After the assassination of Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, anti-Sikh pogrom had started in the country and on November 1, 1984, five members of two Sikh families were murdered in the Rajnagar area of Delhi Cantonment. However, the trial court had acquitted Kumar in the case.
The petitioners had moved the Delhi high court. The bench of Justice S Murlidhar and Justice Vinod Goel had reserved the judgment on October 29 after completing the hearing of arguments on the appeals filed by the CBI, victims and the accused.
Eyewitness Jagsher Singh said his family had died in this massacre and he had to leave Delhi and settle in Punjab. He said his brother along with two more were torched alive.
He, while praying that no one ever faces such an incident, said, “My happy family was eliminated by the culprits. People who we lived with as happy neighbours turned against us. As my hair was cut short, so I was saved. But the bloodthirsty crowd pounced on the bodies of my family members as animals,” he said.
Last Updated 4:09 PM IST