1984 anti-Sikh riots: Sajjan questions key witness`s conduct

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, on Monday questioned the conduct of the key witness.

New Delhi: Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, on Monday questioned the conduct of the key witness and complainant in a court here that she did not tell any authority for 22 years about her not having faith in the Delhi Police probe.

Continuing the final arguments in the case, Kumar`s counsel I U Khan told District Judge J R Aryan that complainant Jagdish Kaur, who had lost five of her family members during the riots, first did not cooperate with the Delhi Police`s probe for over two decades and later, in 2006, she explained her non-cooperation as lack of faith in the probe agency.

The Delhi police had earlier probed the riots cases and the investigation was handed over to CBI in 2005.

"Summons were sent to Kaur in Punjab by the police in 2003 and 2004 requesting her to join the probe and for recording of her statement under 164 CrPC but she refused to cooperate.

"After 22 years, in 2006 she had stated this for the first time before CBI that she had no faith in the Delhi Police and that is why she had not cooperated with its (police) probe," Khan argued.

Khan said Kaur had several occasions but never stated this fact before the Justice G T Nanavati and Justice Ranganath Mishra Commissions and for the first time in 2006 she said it in CBI`s office that she had no faith in the police probe.

Kaur had in her statement to CBI said she had no faith in the investigation carried out by the police as its probe was a "mere formality" and that was the reason she had not cooperated with it.

Sajjan Kumar is facing trial along with five others - Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal - for allegedly inciting a mob against the Sikh community in Delhi Cantonment area.

The case relates to anti-Sikh riots that had broken out after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Sajjan`s counsel also said that Kaur had identified her signatures on a January 30, 2003, letter in which it was written that she cannot recognise any of the accused who were part of the mob which killed her family members.

"It was also written in the letter that she does not want to pursue the case and the decision of the court will be acceptable to her," he said.

He also claimed CBI had suppressed and withheld several documents of the case and they had not brought several witnesses in the court for their deposition.

CBI had earlier told the court that there was a conspiracy of "terrifying proportion" between Kumar and the police during the riots.

It had said the police had acted in a pre-planned manner during the riots and kept its "eyes closed" to the wide-spread violence.

The case against Sajjan Kumar was registered in 2005 on a recommendation by Justice GT Nanavati Commission. CBI had filed two charge sheets against him and the other accused in January 2010.

The trial court had framed charges against Sajjan Kumar and the five others under Sections 302 (murder), 395 (dacoity), 427 (mischief to cause damage to property), 153-A (promoting enmity between different communities) and other provisions of the IPC.


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