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Angry Sikhs block roads, Metro service

Staff Reporter
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Members of Sikh community blocking a Delhi Metro train at Subhash Nagar metro station in New Delhi on Wednesday during protests against acquittal of Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case.- PHOTO: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Members of Sikh community blocking a Delhi Metro train at Subhash Nagar metro station in New Delhi on Wednesday during protests against acquittal of Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case.- PHOTO: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

A day after a court here acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, protests intensified in the Capital on Wednesday with angry Sikhs blocking parts of Najafgarh Road and stopping Delhi Metro trains, forcing the authorities to close down two stations for some time.

While Tuesday’s protest was concentrated near the Karkardooma Court Complex and the participants were mainly victims of the riots, the one on Wednesday was held at Tilak Nagar and saw many more members of the Sikh community seeking justice for the atrocities committed in the aftermath of the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Around 11 a.m., the demonstrators carrying placards and banners started assembling outside the Tilak Nagar police station and raised slogans against Mr. Kumar and the other accused in the riot case. They alleged that all the accused enjoyed the full backing of the Congress party and questioned the “double standards of the criminal justice system”.

After registering their outrage outside the police station, the protesters moved to the Subhash Nagar metro station around noon. The protesters barged into the station even as Central Industrial Security Force personnel tried to stop them. On reaching the platform of the elevated station, many began walking on the tracks and some even climbed on to the trains which had been brought to a halt by then.

Metro services across the city were disrupted as a consequence and commuters faced problems as trains were either delayed or rescheduled. Both the Subhash Nagar and Tilak Nagar metro stations remained closed for nearly two hours. Similar inconvenience was faced by motorists on Najafgarh Road where the protesters camped. Some protesters even burnt tyres on the road below the metro station on the Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali line.

Although the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee participated in the protests, their leaders said the protest was not held for political gains and was a way of giving vent to the ire of the Sikhs who felt let down by the latest judgment.

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