LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh government has set up a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to re-examine all FIRs related to 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur as the fall out of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Over 125 persons were murdered or burnt alive during the riots in Kanpur.
Acting on a writ petition filed in Supreme Court, the state government set up the SIT headed by former UP DGP Atul. The other members of the team include retired district judge Subhash Chandra Agarwal, Additional DG, Prosecution (retired) Yogeshwar Krishna Srivastava and Senior Superintendent /Superintendent of Kanpur police as member secretary of the team.
The SIT has been awarded the mandate to examine cases in which a lower court acquitted the accused, and, if required, it may recommend the legal authorities concerned to file a writ/appeal in a higher court.
It will reopen the cases in which the police have submitted the closure report. The SIT has been asked to complete the probe within six months. According to a notification issued by Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar, a writ petition of Manjit Singh and others vs Government of India – filed in April, 2017 in the Supreme Court had requested that court to direct the respondents to re-investigate seven FIRs-- six lodged at Bazaria police station and one at Nazirabad police station-- along with others, by forming an SIT.
The home department communiqué also said that priority would be given to cases of heinous crimes. If found appropriate, the SIT would further investigate the cases under section 173 (8) of the CrPC and would examine the cases where court acquitted the accused for want of evidence. During the examination, if it is found that no writ/ appeal was filed in cases while it was required as per merit, the SIT would recommend for filing writ/appeal in such cases.
As per the principal secretary, home, the SIT was set up in the light of plea made in the writ petition pending in the Supreme Court. However, the apex court had not issued any directive as of now in the
Victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots from Kanpur had moved the Supreme Court on April 7, 2017 complaining that no significant action was taken by the authorities in the cases pertaining to the murder of 125 sikhs in Kanpur in 1984. The petitioners said: “There is a mockery of criminal justice system as far as the case of riots victims is concerned.”
The petitioners had alleged that even after the passage of over three decades, there was no constructive action on part of the Uttar Pradesh Government and the police to provide them justice or to rehabilitate and compensate them.
“Ironically, in Kanpur, in the knowledge of the petitioners, 127 persons belonging to the Sikh community were brutally murdered/burnt to death in different police station areas. However, none of the police stations is even ready to acknowledge their deaths,” the petitioners had submitted.
The Bench then comprising Justice Deepak Mishra had clubbed the matter with another PIL on anti-Sikh riots in Delhi where almost 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the riots that broke out following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.