Mahipalpur riots case: justice after 34 years

Vasant Kunj police had lodged first FIR in case in 1993

Updated - December 03, 2021 10:15 am IST

Published - November 21, 2018 01:43 am IST - New Delhi

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Manjit Singh G.K. speaks to the media outside the Patiala House Courts in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Manjit Singh G.K. speaks to the media outside the Patiala House Courts in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The Mahipalpur anti-Sikh riot case of 1984, in which one of the convicts was awarded death sentence on Tuesday, was initially lodged in 1993.

The Vasant Kunj police had lodged an FIR on a handwritten affidavit submitted before the Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission of Inquiry in 1985 on the recommendation of Justice J.D. Jain and D.K. Aggarwal committee. The complainant, Santokh Singh, was an assistant granthi at Gurdwara Sadar Bazar in Delhi Cantonment at that time. He had said in his complaint that a mob on November 1,1984, attacked them, killed his brother Avtar Singh (24) and his customer Hardev Singh (26), and looted their shops in the presence of police officers.

Denied allegations

But later in his statement to the police during the investigation, the complainant denied all the allegations. He said: “I was not present at the place of occurrence at the time of incident and I had not witnessed the incident on 01.11.1984. I further mentioned that the names of accused persons mentioned in affidavit were told to me by the villagers of Mahipalpur.”

The case was also investigated by the Mehrauli police on a complaint by a Delhi Police sub-inspector.

After the probe into the second FIR, the police filed a charge sheet against an accused who was later acquitted by the court in 1986.

So far as the case lodged by the Vasant Kunj police is concerned, the anti-riot cell of the Delhi Police declared it as untraced which was accepted by the court in 1994.

Two decades later, the Union government set up a Special Investigation Team in 2014 tasking it to reinvestigate serious criminal cases filed in Delhi in connection with the 1984 riots and had since been closed.

The government also asked it to examine afresh the records of the cases lodged at various police stations and the files of Justice J.D. Jain and D.K. Aggarwal committee.

After a thorough probe, the SIT charge-sheeted the two convicts whom the court held guilty and awarded the sentence of death to Yashpal Singh and life imprisonment to Naresh Sehrawat.

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