New Delhi: Yashpal Singh's capital punishment on Tuesday by a Delhi court in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot case is a "glimmer of hope" to residents of Tilak Nagar's Widow Colony, who are now waiting for the "bigger fishes such as Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jadgish Tytler" to be brought to book.
Convict Yashpal, who was accused of killing two persons during the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi's Mahipalpur area, was given the first death sentence in the case by a local court. The other convict, Naresh Sherawat, will be serving a life term in prison.
"We are definitely happy with this verdict. Yes, it would have been good if the other person had also got capital punishment only. But then we wholeheartedly welcome the court's decision.
"Also, these all are small fries. Ab hum magarmachh ke fasne ka intezar kar rahe hain (We are now waiting to see when the big guns face action). We are hopeful that it would happen under this government's regime only," said Ganga Kaur, whose family's 11 people, including her father, were killed in the riots.
The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team, formed in 2015, probed the 60 cases it had reopened out of the total 293. It filed "untraced report" in 52 cases in the last one-and-a-half years.
Kaur, who was waiting and praying for the favourable verdict outside the Delhi Patiala House court premises since 11 am, said she is certain that both Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler would lose their sleep after this verdict.
Both Kumar and Tytler have been denying any role in the riots.
The eight cases that are being investigated, charge-sheets have been filed in five while the rest, in which senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar is an accused, are still awaiting investigation.
Resident of Tilak Nagar's Widow Colony, a place built for the victims' families and survivors of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot, Kaur's family is one of the 944 families living there now.
Kaur's optimism, however, is not shared by 68-year-old Mohan Singh Aman who said this "ray of hope is momentary".
"Very soon, you will hear that the convict has filed a plea in a higher court against this court's order. And next, before even you know, he would get the stay order from the court against the capital punishment.
"Of course, I will be the happiest one if the same won't happen. But that said, I have been witness to many such cases. Also, can anyone forget what happened in the case of butcher Kishori Lal, ," said Mohan Singh Aman, Chairman, All India Sikh Victim Action Committee.
In 1996, Kishori Lal, a former butcher who stayed in east Delhi's Trilokpuri, had been accused of stabbing victims in the neighbourhood. He had been sentenced to death seven times by the lower courts. However, the Supreme Court, later, commuted them to life terms.
Aman, who was also a resident of Trilokpuri in 1984, lost many of his close family realtives in the riots, including his sister's husband.