Sajjan told mob, "Humari ma maar di, Sardaaro ko maaro"
In the 1984 carnage, nearly 8,000 Sikhs lost their lives, though the official figures claim only 2,800 died. After waiting for 34 years, the victims finally got justice on Monday after Delhi High Court convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and sentenced him to life imprisonment. It was the statements of the witnesses that helped in this verdict. Here's looking at them.
After Indira Gandhi was assassinated, Sikhs were targeted
When Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984, all hell broke loose for Sikhs in the national capital. At Delhi Cantonment's Raj Nagar area, five Sikhs of the same family namely Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh, and Kuldeep Singh were brutally murdered. Sajjan was accused of directing the mob to 'seek revenge'.
Woman who lost closed ones spoke against Congress leader
One of the key witnesses in the case against Sajjan was Jagdish Kaur, who lost her son, husband and three brothers in the riots. Jagdish and other witnesses saw Sajjan inciting the crowd by saying, "Ek bhi sardar zinda nahi bachna chahiye in sardaron ko maro, inhone hamari maa ko mara hai (none of the Sikhs should be left, they killed our mother)."
Even police officers didn't come to help
As bodies of her son and husband lay nearby, Jagdish said she saw a chowki in-charge who asked the unruly mob 'Kitne murge bhun diye' (how many Sikhs have you roasted)? In 2013, the CBI told the court that Jagdish's testimony is reliable and she named only those whom she saw that day. "She has neither changed her stand nor tried to exaggerate the facts," the CBI said.
Another woman says her son and father were dragged out
Sajjan was also identified by Cham Kaur before the District and Sessions Judge Poonam A. Bamba in November this year. On November 1, she saw Sajjan baying for Sikh's blood outside her house in Sultanpuri. The next day the mob came early, dragged her son Kapoor Singh and father Sardarji Singh (who were hiding in the second floor) out, and attacked them.
Sajjan was acquitted by lower court
Cham said she recognized Sajjan as he was a Parliamentarian back then and people visited him for work related to ration cards and passports. Notably, in 2013 the trial court had acquitted Sajjan saying Jagdish didn't name him in her affidavit. The court, however, found other five guilty. The CBI approached a higher court against the verdict and Delhi HC ensured justice wasn't denied.
Truth will prevail: Delhi HC in historic judgment
Reading the judgment, Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel said it was important to assure the victims that despite all challenges 'truth will prevail'. The court said the massacre, which was engineered by political actors and aided by law enforcement agencies, made for 'crimes against humanity'. "Neither "crimes against humanity‟ nor "genocide‟ is part of our domestic law of crime. This loophole needs to be addressed urgently," the court said.