1984 Sikh genocide: Former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar charged with murder, rioting

Former Congress parliamentarian Sajjan Kumar has been charged with rioting and murder in a 1984 Sikh genocide case.

Former Congress parliamentarian Sajjan Kumar has been charged with rioting and murder in a 1984 Sikh genocide case.

In an order passed on 3 December and made available on Monday, a court in Delhi observed that Kumar was not only “a participant of the mob but also led it” during the murder of two Sikhs Jaswant Singh and Tarun Deep Singh in Saraswati Vihar area.

The family members of the deceased had alleged that a mob led by Sajjan Kumar burnt the two men alive on November 1, 1984, Hindustan Times reported.

The Sikh families also claimed that Kumar “instigated and abetted the unruly mob.”

Congress leader Kumar is currently lodged in jail serving a life sentence in another Sikh genocide case.

Additional Sessions Judge MK Nagpal said his view regarding Kumar’s participation “is much stronger and the allegations, along with material, gives rise to grave suspicion.”

According to HT, the police had filed the FIR in the case in 1985. In 1994, the case was closed after the court held that the evidence collected was not sufficient to initiate prosecution against any person. It was then reopened in 2015 by a three-member SIT formed to reinvestigate the Sikh genocide cases.

In December 2018, the court had convicted Kumar for “criminal conspiracy” during the anti-Sikh violence in 1984 that killed over 3,000 Sikhs.

The Sikh genocide in New Delhi, among India‘s bloodiest in modern times, followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

In the 10 days that followed Gandhi’s assassination, New Delhi witnessed horrific scenes of violence – burnings and killings. Women were gang-raped and gurdwaras (Sikh temples), homes and Sikh businesses were destroyed.

Several cases related to the genocide are either the subject of tortuous trials or are still being investigated.