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1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Congress leader Sajjan Kumar gets life sentence

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been sentenced to life in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case by the Delhi High Court after canceling his acquittal from a lower court. Kumar has got the life sentence for the murder of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantt in an anti-Sikh riots case of November 1, 1984. This is the first conviction of a senior Congress leader in the anti-Sikh riots case. This is a big victory for Jagdish Kaur, anti-Sikh riot victim, as the Delhi HC set aside the previous acquittal of Sajjan Kumar.

Sajjan Kumar was acquitted in the case by Delhi’s Karkardooma court on April 30, 2013. The Karkardooma court had convicted five people, including then Congress MLA Mahendra Yadav and then Congress councilor Balwan Khoker and sentenced them to life but had acquitted Sajjan Kumar on the basis of doubt.

The HC found no doubt about Kumar’s role and dismissed his acquittal holding him guilty. The case pertained to two survivors Jagdish Kaur and Jagsher Singh who lost family members in Delhi Cant’s Rajnagar area on November 1, 1984, in anti-Sikh carnage after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Delhi High Court has also increased the sentences of two convicts, Giridhari Lal, and Capt Bhagmal, from three years to 10 years rigorous imprisonment.

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