Sikhs Justice May 20 at 9:45am
The sustained struggle for Justice by victims of November 1984 Sikh Genocide, Human Rights Advocacy group Sikhs For Justice and All India Sikh Student Federation (AISSF) bore fruit when a Delhi Court ordered framing of charges against Congress Leader Sajjan Kumar for his role in killing of Sikhs during the November 1984 Sikh Genocide. The charges will be framed under Murder; Looting, Dacoity and Robbery; Spreading enmity between communities; Violation of curfew orders, Arson, burning of Gurudwara and burning of Houses. Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta allowed CBI's plea seeking prosecution of Sajjan Kumar under various sections of Indian Penal Code after finding prima facie evidence against him. Besides Sajjan Kumar, the other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Maha Singh, Capt Bhagmal, Santosh Rani, Girdhari Lal and Krishna Khokhar.
This case relates to killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment area by a mob led by Sajjan Kumar and other accused during the November 1984 Sikh Genocide. On the basis of recommendations of Justice Nanavati Commission, this case was entrusted to CBI in 2005 for further investigation/ reinvestigation against Sajjan Kumar and other accused. The investigation and the case against the accused would have closed for lack of evidence if it had not been for the efforts of the Human Rights Advocacy group Sikhs for Justice and AISSF who brought forward and (held the arm) of star witnesses like Jagdish Kaur, Nirpreet Kaur, Jagsher Singh, Sheila Kaur to testify against the powerful politicians. Sikhs For Justice and AISSF even arranged for the investigation agency to be taken to Amritsar where the statement of the witnesses were recorded. It was after testimonies of these important witnesses that the CBI filed chargesheet against the accused.
Sikhs for Justice and AISSF are pursuing a legal battle in Indian courts to get punished those guilty of killing Sikhs during the November 1984 Sikh Genocide in India. Sikhs for Justice has established a legal team which is headed by Advocate Kamna Vohra along with Advocate Navkiran Singh Advocates have also been appointed to represent the CBI including Senior Advocate Mr. RS Cheema, Mr. DP Singh and Mr. Y.P. Saxena.
Senior advocate Mr. HS Phoolka who is representing the victims of the Genocide since last 25 years said that the framing of the charges will pave for trial in the case. The Delhi High Court had earlier issued direction to complete the trial within six months of cases relating to November 1984 Sikh Genocide. The trial will be held on day today basis.
Advocate Kamna Vohra appearing for the victims stated this is a very important development and she is very hopeful that the perpetrators of the November 1984 Sikh Genocide will be punished.
Attorney Gurpatwant S Pannun, Legal Advisor of Sikhs for Justice stated that as a human rights advocacy group we have completed our task by locating and bringing the witnesses forward and now it is upto the Indian Judiciary to bring the cases to their logical conclusions and punish the perpetrators of the Genocide. He stated that the hopes of the victims and all others are now pinned on the Indian Judiciary.
AISSF President Karnail Singh Peermohammed stated that though delayed, he is hopeful that justice will be done. He stated that the wounds of the Sikh community will be healed only after the killers of the Sikhs are punished by law.
In January 2010, CBI filed two charge sheets against Sajjan Kumar for his role in the November 1984 massacre of Sikhs. The chargesheets pertained to killing of seven Sikhs in Sultanpuri, North-West Delhi and killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment in November 1984.
The charges in this case will be formally framed in the court on May 24, 2010.
The Sikhs for Justice legal time is currently pursuing 32 Appeals involving 98 accused in Delhi High Court and 3 Appeals against acquittal of accused at the Supreme Court of India.
Photograph from The Hindu 16 February 2010