Wednesday , July 28 2021

1984 anti-Sikh riot: Delhi court ruling punishes Yashpal Singh to death; Naresh Sehrawat served a life sentence

The Patiala House court in Delhi on Tuesday sentenced 1984 to Sikh riots sentencing Yashpal Singh to death, and giving another prisoner a life in prison Naresh Sehrawat.

Three decades after the riots, the Delhi court arrested Sehrawat and Singh on November 14 in connection with the murder of two Sikhs in the Mahipalpur area in South Delhi in 1984.

The court ruled that the two defendants were guilty under various sections including 302 (murder), 307 (attempted murder), 395 (dacity) and 324 (voluntarily causing injuries by weapons or dangerous means) from the IPC.

MLA Accurate Leader and BJP Manjinder Sirsa welcomed a court order for two convicts.

On November 15, the Additional Session of Judge Ajay Pandey was provided for the November 20 order on the quantum sentence to be given to two convicts for killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

That was the first belief in cases that were reopened by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was formed in 2015. The Delhi police closed the case in 1994 for lack of evidence. However, SIT in the riots re-opened it.

SIT's request was opposed by lawyers who appeared for inmates seeking life imprisonment for their clients, a minimum for violations of murder.

During the trial, the public prosecutor for SIT Surinder Mohit Singh said that it was "a brutal murder of two innocent young people aged around 25 years. It was a planned murder because the defendant carried kerosene, sticks etc."

That was not the only incident in Delhi and around 3,000 people were killed, he added.

"People from just one community were targeted. It was genocide. The incident had international effects and it took 34 years to get justice. A signal must go to the community to prevent them from committing such horrible crimes. This is rare. Cases that called for the death penalty, "Singh said.

However, the request was opposed by OP Sharma lawyer, who appeared for the convicts, who said that the attack was unintentional or planned but suddenly occurred.

"The country's prime minister was shot dead by his own bodyguards who were members of a certain community. What's more wrong than that? He was warned and advised to replace the guards. He still kept them. But he was betrayed and brutally killed." The case suddenly surged . There is no pre-planning, "said the defense lawyer.

His submission was opposed by senior advocate HS Phoolka, who appeared for the victims. "Every Sikh condemns the act of killing the prime minister. It's tragic. But does that mean Sikhs are killed? Does it give permission to kill?"

Then, when the convict was taken to lock up inside the Patiala House Court building after the process, Manjinder Sirsa slapped Yashpal – while the slogan was raised against the two convicts.

However, the police separated Sirsa, his supporters and inmates.

Of the 650 cases registered in connection with the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, 267 were closed not enforced by the Delhi Police. Of these 267 cases, five were later taken by CBI. SIT also examined records of 18 cases that were canceled.

SIT found 60 cases that were suitable for further investigation. It submitted "unprepared reports" in 52 cases in the past year and a half.

Of the eight cases investigated, bills have been filed in five and three, where senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar is a defendant, awaiting investigation.

With input from PTI

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