Delhi court acquits ex-Congress MP Sajjan Kumar, others in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

He was also acquitted of rioting armed with a deadly weapon (148), unlawful assembly (149), damage of worship place (295), mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy the house, etc
Image used for representational purposes
Image used for representational purposes

NEW DELHI: Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday acquitted former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar and all other accused persons in a case related to a murder case connected to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Sultanpuri area in the national capital.

In the order, Special Judge Geetanjli Goel said, "the accused Sajjan Kumar is given the benefit of doubt and acquitted" for various offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race etc. (Section 153A), abetment of any offence (Section 109), murder (Section 302) and rioting (147).

He was also acquitted of rioting armed with a deadly weapon (148), unlawful assembly (149), damage of worship place (295), mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy the house, etc (436).

Though he got bail in the present case, Kumar will remain in Tihar jail, where he was lodged after the conviction in another case related to the riots.

Besides Kumar, the special court also acquitted two other accused persons-- Ved Prakash Pial and Brahmanand Gupta -- holding that the prosecution failed to prove the case of murder and rioting against them.

Last month, the court had framed charges against Kumar terming him as 'principal abettor' in the case. Kumar was a part of the violent mob with a clear objective to set ablaze the gurdwara located in Gulab Bagh in Delhi's Nawada area on November 1, 1984, the court had held earlier.

About the decades-old incident, the court had observed that Kumar had prima facie instigated other unidentified members of the mob to commit illegal acts, including burning down the Gurudwara, damaging or looting articles, burning homes, and inflicting injuries on individuals.

The mob's objective was to set the Gurudwara on fire, loot its contents, destroy Sikh residences, and harm or kill Sikhs in retaliation for the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, it was noted.

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