Reinvestigation of riot cases by Special Investigating Team demanded
Highlighting the past “28 years of injustice”, Kulpreet Kaur recounts the horrors of November 1984. She can never forget the first week of November when she had to take shelter at her neighbours’ and later at her friends’ houses. She recounts how she had to flee in a jeep which was stopped by a mob that also comprised some police personnel, indicating that the rioters had the support of the local administration.
“Our house in Janakpuri was burnt down by the rioting mob because my father Jathedar Rajindarpal Singh was a prominent person of the area. We were saved by a Colonel uncle who was our neighbour. We spent each night at a different place because for an entire week the rioters had a free run killing whosoever they wanted,” says Kulpreet, whose family left Delhi after the riots.
“We, the riot victims, lost everything we had in Delhi. I lost my childhood. I still remember how I used to ask my mother about the screams of those burnt and killed and the way she deflected our attention from what was going on in our neighbourhood,” she says.
Kulpreet wants the perpetrators of the 1984 riots to get the same treatment as the 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab. “It’s not about any religion. It’s about justice and humanity. We can move on only after justice is done to us and the perpetrators are punished.”
Ahead of the 28 anniversary of the anti-Sikh riots in the wake of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the Delhi State Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) on Wednesday demanded that the perpetrators of the riots be punished and a Special Investigating Team constituted to reinvestigate the riot cases.
The Dal (Badal) leaders, who were joined by the riot victims at a Press conference here, said justice for the victims would not be complete without the leaders who “supervised the killings” being punished.
Alleging that the police have been shielding those responsible for “killing thousands” in the riots, the Dal’s Delhi president Manjit Singh said the charge sheet in a murder case against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar went missing for 18 years. “The charge sheet was prepared and finally signed on April 8, 1992, but was never filed in the court. In spite of the clarification and reminder from the court, the Delhi Police have not filed it till today.”
Giving instances of how the Government went out of its way to suppress cases against the accused, he said in spite of one case of the Delhi Cantonment police station against Sajjan Kumar being transferred to the CBI in October 2005, two months after the transfer the Delhi Police filed a closure report in a court giving him a clean chit. “Even though the Delhi High Court passed strictures saying the police had no power to file a closure report as the case had been transferred to the CBI and had directed the Police Commissioner in July 2010 to take action against the guilty police officers, no action has been taken against them.”
Akali Dal (Badal) general secretary Kuldip Singh Bhogal demanded action against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.