1984 anti-Sikh riots: Sajjan Kumar surrenders to authorities
Former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who was earlier handed a life sentence by the Delhi High Court for his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, surrendered on Monday, the last day of the deadline set by the Delhi HC. On Monday afternoon, Kumar reached the Karkardooma Court in Delhi to hand himself over to authorities and serve his jail term. Here's more.
Victims of the riots have been urged to stay clear
Earlier, senior advocate H S Phoolka, who had represented the victims of the riots, had urged victims to not go to the site of Kumar's surrender on Monday. He had explained that there was apprehension that Kumar would try to create a disturbance ahead of his surrender in a bid to use it as an excuse to get more time.
Thousands had lost their lives in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots resulted in the deaths of around 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi, according to official figures. The riots broke out in the aftermath of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, when mobs led by Congress leaders targeted Sikhs in the capital.
Overturning an older verdict, the Delhi HC had convicted Kumar
Although Kumar had been acquitted by trial court in 2013, the Delhi High Court, on December 17, found him guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Kumar was convicted by a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel, who gave him time till December 31 to surrender. During the sentencing, the HC observed that Kumar had escaped justice earlier owing to "political patronage".
The killings that Kumar had been involved in
Kumar was sentenced by the Delhi High Court owing to his involvement in the killing of five members of a Sikh family in Raj Nagar, and in the torching of a gurdwara in Delhi on November 1, 1984.
Kumar's appeal for more time was dismissed by Delhi HC
Days after he was convicted, Kumar moved the Delhi HC asking for more time to surrender. The Congress leader had appealed to the court to give him till January 30, but the Delhi HC, on December 21, dismissed his plea. Kumar had asked for more time as he wanted to settle matters related to his property, but the court saw no reason to give him relief.
Kumar had also moved the Supreme Court
Subsequently, on December 23, Kumar moved the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict, seeking an urgent hearing and quashing of his sentence. In his plea, he said the the Delhi HC finding him guilty was "erroneous", and that he was being wrongly punished. The plea added that there was no evidence to substantiate conspiracy charges against him. However, the SC has granted him no relief thus far.