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1984 riots case: Decision on Sajjan Kumar`s trial today

A Delhi court is likely to decide Tuesday the date for commencement of trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case involving veteran Congress leader Sajjan Kumar.

New Delhi: A Delhi court is likely to decide Tuesday the date for commencement of trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which veteran Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and four others are accused of killing six persons.

District Judge J R Aryan would fix the date for recording of statement of prosecution witnesses in the backdrop of death of prime witness Bhagwani Bai yesterday in the case.

The Delhi High Court had recently refused to quash murder and rioting charges framed against Kumar and two others relating to the killing of six persons in Sultanpuri area here.

Due to the pending plea of Kumar and others for quashing of charges, the proceedings in the case were stayed by the high court in 2010.

The high court had also dismissed the plea of complainant Sheela Kaur, a riot victim who had filed a cross-appeal seeking to invoke an additional charge of criminal conspiracy against Kumar and four others in the case.

In July 2010, the trial court had framed charges against Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peru, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with the case of killing of six persons in the riots that had occurred after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Besides charges of murder and rioting, the trial court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused in the case.
Key witness Bhagwani Bai, who was 70-years old, had stated in her statement before CBI and a magistrate, under section 164 of CrPC, that she had seen Sajjan Kumar leading the mob, instigating them to kill Sikhs.

She had also said the mob had entered her house and, after dragging her two sons, Hoshiar Singh and Mohun Singh, hit them with lathis, leading to their death.

Thereafter, their bodies were taken in a truck and the mob also set the Gurudwara on fire, she had said.
Bai had stated that some police officers had come to her house and threatened her not to give statement against Kumar.

Out of 11 witnesses, two have died--Bai and Kamla Devi who passed away nearly six months ago.

CBI had filed two charge sheets against Kumar and others in January 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G T Nanavati Commission which had probed the sequence of events leading to the violence.