Panel for Fresh Probe by SIT into ’84 Anti-Sikh Riots

Published: 02nd February 2015 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd February 2015 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI:The government-appointed committee looking into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots has recommended setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to conduct a fresh probe into the cases in Delhi.

The panel’s report was submitted to Home Minister Rajnath Singh last week recommending fresh probe into the riots. The committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice G P Mathur, was set up on December 23 last to look into the possibility of re-investigation of the 1984 riots.

The move by the government, just a week ahead of the Delhi elections, has given the Opposition a chance to slam the ruling disposition calling it a poll gimmick.

As many as 3,325 people were killed in the riots. Of them, 2,733 perished in Delhi, and the rest were killed in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states. Since Delhi was the most affected State in the 30-year old riot cases and thousands of families residing in resettlement colonies in the capital are awaiting justice, the move by the government will benefit them.

However, since the Model Code is already in force, an official announcement, if any, would be made only after the Assembly polls.

The Congress slammed the NDA for such a move and called it an electoral ploy to woo voters ahead of the polls.

Aam Aadmi Party leader H S Phoolka said the leak about the move appears to be a poll gimmick as it has come on the eve of the elections here. “Nobody knows how many cases they are going to re-open. Nothing has come out... It seems it is like a joke,” Phoolka said. Noting that the government had earlier made an announcement of Rs 5 lakh compensation to the victims, he said only 17 people have got it so far. “Now, just on the eve of the elections again, they have leaked this,” he charged. The BJP had earlier demanded a re-investigation of all anti-Sikh riot cases.

The Justice Nanavati Commission had recommended reopening of only four of the 241 cases closed by police but the BJP wanted the re-investigation of the other 237 cases. It was not immediately clear how many anti-Sikh riot cases have been recommended for reopening by the Justice Mathur committee. Of the 241 related cases, only four were reopened and re-investigated by the CBI. In two of the cases, the CBI had filed a chargesheet and in one of the cases, five persons, including a former MLA, were convicted.

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