'442 convicted in various anti-Sikh riots cases'



New Delhi: Close to 450 people were convicted by various courts in the capital in connection with the anti-Sikh riots following Indira Gandhi's assassination 28 years ago, police said.

A total of 442 people were convicted by various courts while one case is pending trial, a senior police official said.

"Of these 442 convicted persons, 49 were sentenced to life imprisonment and three to imprisonment of more than 10 years," the official said.

Six Delhi Police official were also punished for various lapses during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The riots were triggered in Delhi and some other parts of the country following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Government had in April 1985 appointed Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission to inquire into the allegations of organized violence which took place after the assassination and to recommend measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Later, Delhi Administration also appointed Kapur-Mittal Committee; Jain-Aggarwal Committee and R K Ahuja Committee to look into the matter.

"The CBI was assigned the investigation or re-investigation of the cases against certain political persons. The CBI has completed reinvestigation of seven cases registered against them.

"Out of these seven cases, closure reports have been accepted by respective courts in two cases and rest five cases are at various stages of trial," the official said.

Earlier, investigators have said it could not find evidence against accused in 21 cases related to anti-Sikh riots registered in police stations in south-west Delhi. Of the 56 cases registered by five police stations of the South West District against 225 persons under various sections of Indian Penal Code, three resulted in conviction, two were pending trials and in 30 cases, accused were acquitted. The rest 21 cases had been sent as "untraced".

One of the "untraced" cases was the one registered on November 1, 1984 in Naraina police station in which "three unknown person (were) burnt and killed". This case was declared untraced on March 10, 1985.

In police parlance, the official said, sending a case as untraced means that there is not enough evidence to proceed for trial.

"It actually means that the facts could not be substantiated against the alleged persons due to lack of evidence or the identity of the alleged persons involved in the crime could not be established in investigation or for any other reason," he said.

The cases, filed in Najafgarh, Dabri, Naraina, Inderpuri and Delhi Cantonment police stations of the national capital, were for allegedly inciting mob and killing people.

Some senior political leaders were made accused by the Justice G T Nanavati commission, established by the government to investigate cases related to anti-Sikh riots.

PTI