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Culprits Hiding Behind Z-Plus Security Will be Nailed Too, Say Sikh Leaders After First Death Penalty in 1984 Riots Case

Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said they will challenge the life sentence of convict Naresh Sherawat and ensure that even he gets "hanged for his crimes"


Updated:November 20, 2018, 9:56 PM IST
Culprits Hiding Behind Z-Plus Security Will be Nailed Too, Say Sikh Leaders After First Death Penalty in 1984 Riots Case
Family members of the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots stage a protest in New Delhi on Thursday. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: Sikh leaders cutting across party lines have welcomed the decision of a court to award death penalty to one of the convicts in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, and vowed to continue their fight till each and every victim gets justice.

A Delhi court Tuesday awarded death penalty to convict Yashpal Singh for killing two men in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the first capital punishment in the case. Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey also awarded life term to co-convict Naresh Sherawat in the case.

Akali Dal leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said they will challenge the life sentence of Sherawat and ensure that even he gets "hanged for his crimes". "We are satisfied with the judgement but we will keep on fighting and challenge the life sentence of one accused and ensure that even he gets "hanged for his crimes," he told PTI.

He also said that the judgement has given witnesses a very big boost and after 34 years they finally got justice.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief and Akali Dal leader Manjit Singh G K said the judgement will encourage other victims to come forward. "Other culprits who were hiding behind the Z plus security would be nailed down," he said.

Sardar R P Singh, National Secretary of BJP, welcomed the decision and urged the apex court to immediately notify the name of third member of the Special Investigation Team formed to monitor further probe into anti-Sikh riots cases of 1984 mainly in Delhi and other states.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka said it was a great judgement and now the Sikh leaders are quite hopeful that in other cases also the victims would get justice.

A Sikh survivor called the judgement "a start", saying the fight will continue till they get "complete justice" and bring all perpetuators to justice.

Tuesday's verdict was pronounced in the Tihar Jail due to security concerns, and attack on one of the convicts on November 15 in the premises of Patiala House Courts moments after a court reserved its order on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to the accused.

On November 14, the court had convicted Singh and Sherawat for killing two men here during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots -- the first conviction in the cases reopened by the SIT.

The Delhi Police had closed the case in 1994 for want of evidence. However, a Special Investigation Team on the riots reopened it.

Of the 650 cases registered in connection with anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, 267 were closed as untraced by the Delhi Police. Of these 267 cases, five were later taken up by the CBI. The SIT also scrutinised the records of 18 cancelled cases.

The SIT found 60 cases appropriate for further investigation. It filed "untraced report" in 52 cases in the last one-and-a-half years. Out of the eight cases being investigated, charge sheets have been filed in five and three, in which senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar is an accused, are pending investigation.

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