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1984 Sikh genocide: Convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar expected to surrender in court today

Sajjan Kumar is convicted of murdering five Sikh men in Delhi's Rajnagar area and also of burning down the Gurudwara in the same locality in November 1984.

Former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar is expected to surrender before the Karkardooma court on Monday to serve life imprisonment awarded to him by the Delhi High Court for murdering five Sikhs in the Delhi Cantonment area during the 1984 Sikh genocide.

Sajjan Kumar had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on December 20 after the High Court dismissed Kumar’s plea seeking more time till January 30 to surrender. The court, while awarding him a life sentence, had directed him to surrender by December 31 and had also asked to pay Rs 5 lakh as fine.

In his plea, Kumar had asked 30-days time to surrender as he ‘needed time to settle his children and grandchildren’ and also needed time to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the HC verdict.

However, Delhi High Court had rejected an extension and ordered Kumar to surrender on December 31. Sajjan Kumar has now decided to approach the Supreme court against the Delhi High Court judgement once it reopens after winter vacation.

Meanwhile, HS Phoolka, one of the petitioners in the 1984-anti Sikh riots case, has requested to the victims of the 1984 Sikh pogrom riot to not visit the court on Monday. “It is apprehended that Sajjan Kumar might try to create disturbances around the court tomorrow, to use as an excuse not to surrender and ask for an extension. I request 1984 Sikh genocide victims not to go to the court tomorrow. He has not got any relief from the Supreme Court. So, he has to surrender,” he said.

Sajjan Kumar, a mainstream Congressman was convicted for the killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar area in Palam Colony in South West Delhi on November 1-2, 1984, and also burning down of a Gurudwara in Raj Nagar during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Sajjan Kumar’s conviction had caused Congress party a huge embarrassment as the party had mainstreamed the criminal Sajjan Kumar all along despite accusations and legal cases on his direct involvement.

Sajjan Kumar has stayed very close to the Congress party despite Congress party projecting otherwise. In 2004, the Congress party had brought Sajjan Kumar into the fore by allowing him to contest and win from Outer Delhi constituency. Senior Supreme Court lawyer HS Phoolka had alleged in the past that the Centre and police have protected Sajjan Kumar since 1984. He had said that there was ample evidence to show how the police and the government have been shielding him from the beginning. He had resigned later from the party.

The 1984 Anti-Sikh riots took place in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which resulted in brutal killings of more than 2800 people according to official figures. Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler were accused of a direct role in orchestrating the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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