Deposing before a court here, a prime witness in one of the two anti-Sikh riot cases on Thursday identified Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, Balwan Khokhar, Kishan Kokhar, Mahendar Yadav and Captain Bhagmal as persons who instigated a mob to target Sikhs.

The witness, Nirpreet Kaur, also identified Balwan Khokhar, Kishan Kokhar, Mahendar Yadav and Captain Bhagmal as persons who were part of the mob that burnt her father, Nirmal Singh, to death at Raj Nagar in Palam Colony.

Ms. Kaur told Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta that an earlier trial in the case had acquitted the accused persons in the murder of her father without recording her or her mother, Sampooran Kaur's statements. Ms. Kaur said that on November 1, 1984, she watched with horror as her father Nirmal Singh was burnt to death by a mob led by Balwan Kokhar and the other accused in the presence of police personnel who also actively instigated the mob.

“The mob caught hold of my father. Ishwar Sharabi sprinkled kerosene oil on him. No one in the mob had a matchbox…Inspector Kaushik gave a matchbox which was taken by Kishan Kokhar who set my father on fire,” Ms. Kaur told the judge.

“When the mob left, my father jumped into a nearby nullah. The rioters saw my father alive and they returned…Captain Bhagmal tied my father with a rope to a telephone pole. My father was again set on fire. He escaped and again jumped into the nulla…When the mob came to know that he was still alive, Balwan Kokhar hit him with a rod and Mahender Yadav sprinkled a white powder which burnt him”.

Following the murder, Ms. Kaur and her family comprising her mother, two younger brothers and herself took refuge at the Palam Air Force Station Gurdwara. Ms. Kaur said that an Air Force officer, Wing Commander L. S. Pannu, provided her a vehicle and offered her the services of jawans to go to Palam Colony on November 2 and told her to bring other Sikhs residing in the area to the Air Force Station.

“When we reached Manglapuri, I saw a mob and heard slogans. I saw Sajjan Kumar standing atop a police vehicle and addressing the mob,” Ms. Kaur told the judge. She will be subjected to cross-examination on Monday.

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