Anti-Sikh riots case: CBI concludes arguments against Sajjan
The Delhi High Court had ordered quick disposal of all pending 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, including that of Congre
New Delhi: The CBI on Saturday concluded its arguments in the trial of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and five others in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, rebutting the defence and said the nature and extent of crime shows the vast network and larger conspiracy behind it. "The nature and extent of crime, protection to the perpetrators, disappearance of evidence and non-registration of cases show that there was a vast network and a larger conspiracy behind it," CBI Special Prosecutor B S Cheema said while wrapping up arguments in the case.
During his submissions made before District Judge J R Aryan, Cheema, assisted by advocate D P Singh, alleged that Kumar, who was the then Delhi MP, was involved in the killings. He said that had Kumar been not involved in the riots, he would have made sure that a case is registered by the police, which had chosen to turn a blind eye. The CBI also argued that he never even once raised the issue of rehabilitation of the victim families in Parliament. The prosecution also rebutted Kumar's arguments that the statement of CBI witnesses were contradictory and relied on the deposition of witness Manjeet Singh who it said supported the agency's case and also narrated how the raging mob roamed in the area searching for Sikhs and killed those they found.
Cheema pointed out that none of the accused including Kumar had challenged Manjeet's deposition and therefore, it is a strong piece of evidence. He also submitted that a witness named Jagsher Singh has testified that in his presence Kumar took stock of the situation on the night of November 1, 1984, reprimanding the rioters for not doing their work properly and also exhorted the mob to not spare the Hindus who give shelter to Sikhs. The CBI also alleged that on November 1, 1984, Kumar had ordered the killings of Sikhs and the manner in which the police did not register even a case about the incident shows that there was a conspiracy of "terrifying proportion" between Kumar and the police during the riots.
Cheema concluded his arguments with an Urdu couplet apparently directed at the conduct of the police, "Na daman pe koi cheet, na khanjar pe koi daag, wo qatal karey hain ya karamat kare hain (there is no blood stain to be seen, was it a murder or some some magic)." The counsel was hinting at the CBI's stand that the Delhi police had turned a blind eye to the killings.
Kumar, on his counsel's request, has been allowed by the court to put forth his final submissions on April 3, 2013. Meanwhile, advocate H S Phoolka, on behalf of the riot victims, has filed two newspaper report clippings of November 8 and 25, 1984 wherein he said Kumar's name has cropped up in connection with the incidents. "We have asked the court to take it on record and have filed the same in rebuttal of Kumar's arguments that his name has never been linked with the riots," Phoolka said. The court will decide the plea on March 28. Kumar is facing trial along with five others - Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal - for allegedly inciting a mob against the Sikh community in the Delhi Cantonment area. The case relates to the anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination on October 31, 1984.
On Justice G T Nanavati commission's recommendations, a case was lodged against Sajjan Kumar in 2005 and CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the others in January 2010. The trial court had framed charges against Kumar and the five others under sections 302(murder), 395(dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153-A(promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of IPC. Kumar and other accused had concluded their defence arguments in February 2013 after which the CBI was extending its arguments in rebuttal.
The Delhi High Court in February 2010 had ordered quick disposal of all pending 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, including that of Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, and had said that they should be concluded within six months in the lower courts.