A trial court here on Saturday sentenced three to life imprisonment, holding them guilty of making attempts to murder three members of a Sikh family during the anti-Sikh riots at Shastri Nagar in North Delhi in 1984.

Riots had broken out in the Capital in the wake of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Additional Sessions Judge Surinder Singh Rathi awarded life imprisonment to the three, Mangal Sen alias Billa, Brij Mohan Verma and Bhagat Singh, holding them guilty of offences of attempt to murder, rioting and dacoity.

The court had held them guilty on August 22.

While sentencing the three accused, the Judge passed severe strictures against the Delhi police and the State machinery for their role during the riots in the Capital. “Even though we boast of being the world’s largest democracy and Delhi being its national capital, the sheer mention of the incidents of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in general and the role played by the Delhi police and State machinery in particular makes our heads hang in shame in the eyes of the world polity,’’ the Judge observed.

“It is evident that our society is becoming more and more intolerant towards one another, and this dangerous trend is acquiring dangerous proportions,’’ the Judge further stated.

The Judge expressed particular uneasiness over the fact that the convicts who had looted the victims and burnt their house were not strangers to them (victims) but were their next door neighbours.

In the instant case, Joginder Singh and his two sons, Jagmohan Singh and Gurvinder Singh were seriously injured while their house was burnt down by a mob, led by the three accused on November 1, 1984.

Keywords: Sikh riots

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