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  Metros   Delhi  01 Jan 2019  Sajjan Kumar surrenders in court, lodged in Mandoli prison

Sajjan Kumar surrenders in court, lodged in Mandoli prison

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 1, 2019, 4:09 am IST
Updated : Jan 1, 2019, 4:09 am IST

Kumar came to the courtroom surrounded by 2-3 commandos along with 20-25 Delhi police personnel, including women.

A police van, carrying Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, leaves Karkardooma Court in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
 A police van, carrying Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, leaves Karkardooma Court in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar on Monday surrendered before a city court to serve the life sentence awarded to him by the Delhi high court in connection with a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. He surrendered before metropolitan magistrate Aditi Garg, who directed that Kumar (73) be lodged in Mandoli jail in Northeast Delhi.

The court rejected Kumar’s petition to be lodged in the high-security Tihar jail, but allowed his plea for security and directed the police to take him to prison in separate vehicle.

Kumar came to the courtroom surrounded by 2-3 commandos along with 20-25 Delhi police personnel, including women. He was flanked by his confidant, Kailash, and 4-5 advocates. No family member or Congress leader accompanied him. The court was informed by Kumar’s counsel that the `1 lakh fine imposed by the high court is yet to be deposited.

Earlier in the day, former MLAs Krishan Khokhar and Mahender Yadav, who were also convicted in the same case, surrendered before the court to serve their 10-year jail term. They were accompanied by family members and relatives.

The counsel for Yadav and Krishan told the court that they have deposited the fine imposed on them by the trial court in its May 9, 2013, order and are yet to deposit the `1 lakh fine imposed on each of them by the high court.

Kumar, a former MP, has already filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, challenging the conviction and life sentence awarded to him by the high court. There is also another anti-Sikh riots case pending against him.

The high court, on December 17, convicted and sentenced Kumar to life imprisonment for the “remainder of his natural life.”

After his conviction, Kumar resigned from Congress. The case in which Kumar was convicted and sentenced is related to the killing of five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar Part-I area on November 1-2 in 1984 and for the burning down of a Gurdwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.

The riots had broken out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards. Besides Kumar, Yadav, and Krishan, the others convicted in the case were former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, and Girdhari Lal.

In its judgment, the high court had noted that over 2,700 Sikhs were killed in the national capital during the 1984 riots, which was indeed a “carnage of unbelievable proportions.”  

The high court had further said that there has been a familiar pattern of mass killings since Partition, like in Mumbai in 1993; Gujarat in 2002; and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh in 2013, and the “common” feature of each was the “targeting of minorities” with the attacks being “spearheaded by the dominant political actors, facilitated by law enforcement agencies.”

Tags: sajjan kumar, delhi high court