• Saturday, Dec 03, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Indian politician gets life over 1984 anti-Sikh riots

  • Published at 11:57 am December 17th, 2018
Sajjan Kumar
Indian Sikhs prepare to burn a poster depicting the image of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar during a rally seeking justice for the massacre of Sikhs following the 1984 assassination of then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, near the Gurudwara Gobind Dham in Ahmedabad on June 2, 2013 AFP

The 1984 carnage erupted just hours after Gandhi was shot dead at her residence in New Delhi

A veteran Indian politician was given a life sentence on Monday over anti-Sikh riots in 1984 that killed nearly 3,000 people following the assassination of then-premier Indira Gandhi.

The Delhi High Court found Sajjan Kumar, 73, guilty of instigating mobs during the mass killings triggered by the death of Gandhi at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards.

At the time Kumar was an MP with the then-ruling Congress party. He was acquitted in 2013 but the High Court reversed the judgement on appeal from federal investigators.

He was found guilty over a case involving the murder of five members of a Sikh family in New Delhi after key testimonies from eye witnesses.

A two-judge bench convicted Kumar for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acting against communal harmony, the Press Trust of India and other local media reported.

"It is important to assure the victims that despite the challenges truth will prevail," the court said, according to the NDTV news network. 

"The aftershock of those atrocities is still being felt." 

Kumar, who has been asked to surrender by the end of this month, will have to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The 1984 carnage erupted just hours after Gandhi was shot dead at her residence in New Delhi.

It lasted three days with Sikhs raped and murdered, their homes and businesses torched.

Gandhi was killed over her decision to use military force to expel Sikh separatists from inside the Golden Temple - Sikhism's holiest shrine in the northern Indian city of Amritsar.

Critics accuse Congress of turning a blind eye to the killings and the role of leaders such as Kumar and Jagdish Tytler.

Last week, Congress named Kamal Nath as the chief minister of the central state of Madhya Pradesh despite allegations that he had led one of the mobs during the riots.

Kumar, Tytler and others have always denied any wrongdoing.

Kumar last won a parliamentary election in 2004 but was forced to withdraw from the 2009 polls over the rioting allegations.  

Last month, another accused, Yashpal Singh was sentenced to death for murder and rioting.

Sikhs make up some two percent of Hindu-majority India's population of 1.25 billion.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail