Congress leader Sajjan Kumar sentenced to life imprisonment on 1984 riots: Congress leader and former Member of Parliament, Sajjan Kumar (73-year-old) has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court. He was sentenced to life imprisonment due to his role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the Delhi. The conviction was made rather the declaration by lower court that acquitted him in the case in which five members of Sikh family died in Raj Nagar, now situated in Palm Colony, Delhi. He was also convicted to burning a gurudwara on November 1 and November 2 in 1984. This act of crime was done in reaction to the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984.
1984 anti-Sikh riots: HC dismisses Sajjan Kumar plea for time till Jan 30 to surrender
Sajjan Kumar was asked to surrender before the court before 31 December this year. He was also requested not to leave the city while the trials. Kumar was not available for the statement but his lawyer said that the Congress leader would plea for the judgment in the highest court that is Supreme Court.
The reaction of Indian National Congress was mixed. The congress reacted both protectively and audaciously to the judgment. One of the leaders of Congress, Abhishek Singhvi said such issues must not be politicized.
Abhishek Singhvi said, “Kumar’s conviction is not a political issue. The cases have been on for over 20 years and there have been several convictions and acquittals. This should not be seen in a political context and people should not try to seek political mileage from it.”
Meanwhile, Kapil Sibal, the former education minister gave a statement in contrast to the judgment accusing the leaders of BJP for the Gujarat riots. Sibal said, “Sajjan Kumar doesn’t hold any office nor was given ticket by the party to contest polls, whereas the BJP leaders who were involved in the [Gujarat] riots have been given positions of power. The one who was the chief minister then has become the Prime Minister now.”
Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) bolted the chance to humiliate its opposition due to the judgment which overlapped with the swearing in of Congress leader Kamal Nath. Kamal Nath has become the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Nath’s name has also been brought up in the case related to the riots in 1984.
Arun Jaitely stated that it was an irony for the Chief Minister that the judgment came on the same day when he was taking an oath. Jaitely said, “The verdict has come on a day when a Congress chief minister, who is held culpable by the Sikh community, is taking oath”.
However, Nath claimed and accused that the issue was being politicized. He said, “There is no case against me. There is no FIR or chargesheet against me.”
BJP president Amit Shah said, “No one ever had any doubt on Congress’s role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Their leaders and workers went on rampage raising provocative slogans, raping women and murdering men in cold blood. Yet no one was ever punished despite multiple commissions and several eyewitnesses.”