New Delhi: The Central government's special investigation team (SIT), is all set to reopen and re-investigate 75 closed cases related to 1984 anti-Sikh riots in the national capital.
The SIT decision came a week after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking status of the report of the probe.
"SIT failed to reopen even a single case," Kejriwal said, pointing out that it was formed on February 13, 2015, just two days after the AAP won the Delhi assembly polls "to prevent us from forming an effective SIT".
"I would urge you to either get your SIT to do something or kindly wind up this SIT and allow the Delhi government to set up an SIT which will do proper investigations and get justice for the victims," he said.
Kejriwal pointed out that the SIT formed last year was set to file its report on 12 August, 2015. "But it is one-and-a-half years, yet the SIT has made absolutely no progress," he said.
Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party is locked in a triangular electoral battle with ruling Shrimoni Akali Dali-BJP combine and Congress in Punjab where 1984 Sikh Massacre is still a burning issue.
Responding to the SIT's decision, senior lawyer and AAP leader HS Phoolka said, "The government should be stern on the matter and should make sure that cases are investigated within a year time or else they might go under files again. The investigating body should handle these cases in a time-bound manner. The judicial trial should also be time-bound."
Over 3,000 people were killed in the massacre, followed by the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in October 1984.
The SIT will also reportedly request the victims and witnesses to join the investigation and provide relevant information to the team.
Delhi Police had registered at least 587 cases in connection with the riots. Later, 241 out of them were closed. However, four cases were reopened in 2006 and one in 2013, that led to the conviction of 35 people.
The other 237 cases remained closed because of non-availability of victims or lack of evidence.