1984 riots: Sajjan Kumar questions authenticity of CBI's case



New Delhi: Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case on Monday questioned the "authenticity" of CBI version of the incident saying it had not produced several material witnesses in the court here after they refused to tow its line to "frame" him in the case.

Advancing the fianl arguments, the counsel appearing for Kumar argued CBI had not examined a material witness, a retired Army official who had saved several victims during the riots.

Kumar's counsel I U Khan told District Judge J R Aryan that CBI "deliberately" did not trace the official but he was brought before the court as a defence witness by the accused to bring forth the truth.

Khan said CBI had failed to get the address of retired Colonel Dhanraj Singh Yadav despite the fact that he was getting all pension benefits from the Army and used to visit his office every month.

"There is grave suspicion about the authenticity of the prosecuting agency as they have failed to produce material witnesses which we (defence) have managed to produce in the court. Yadav's reference has come in the statements of several witnesses but he was not examined by CBI in the court as the agency knew it that he will not lie," he said.

"Several witnesses were examined for hours by CBI in its office and then the investigating officer saw that they were evasive, so before filing the chargesheet, the agency dropped these witnesses from the list," he added.

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 here.

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.

PTI