January 6, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi (January 06, 2010): A woman witness today identified senior Indian leader Sajjan Kumar, belonging to the ruling Congress Party, and others before a Delhi court and related how her father was killed by a mob in the 1984 Sikh massacre following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Nirpreet Kaur deposed how accused Balwan Khokhar and Mahender Yadav took her father on a scooter and later burnt him to death after taking a match box from a policeman, besides testifying how she herself faced harassment.
“The mob caught hold of my father, Ishwar Sharabi sprinkled kerosene oil over him… Inspector Kaushik gave a match box which was taken by Kishan who set on fire my father. The mob had gone a little ahead and my father jumped into a drain. When the mob saw that my father was alive they returned. Dhanraj gave ropes from his shop. Captain Bhagmal tied my father with ropes to a telephone pole. And my father was again set on fire,” the 42-year-old witness told Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta.
Kaur recounted how her father again jumped into the drain but the mob again came and hit him with rods. The witness also deposed how she saw Sajjan Kumar addressing a mob and allegedly provoking it to attack and kill the Sikh.
Kaur alleged Sajjan was saying: “No Sardar (Sikh) should be left alive. All their remaining houses should be burnt down. Kill all Sikhs as they have killed my mother,” She recorded in her statement how she was allegedly harassed by different security agencies since she was a witness to the killing of her father as a 16-year-old girl. She also told the court that she was booked in three different TADA cases – two in Delhi and one in Punjab.
“I was anguished injustice was being done to Sikhs and nobody was coming to their help. I joined the Sikh Student Federation. In 1984, I was 16. At that time, I was a student. After I joined the Sikhs Student Federation, I was involved in two false cases of TADA. I remained in jail for many years. In one case, I was acquitted while in another case, I was discharged. In Punjab too, I was implicated in a case pertaining to TADA. In that case too, I was discharged,” the witness said.
She also alleged before the court that during the hearing in the present case, she came to know about the “collusion” between police officials and the accused, resulting in the acquittal of the offenders in the murder of her father Nirmal Singh who ran a run transport service.
Kaur identified five accused Sajjan, Balwan, Kishan, Mahender and Captain Bhagmal who are facing a trial in the killings of six people at Delhi Cant during the 1984 Sikh Massacre. She completed her statement as a prosecution witness and will be cross-examined on January 11 in the trial relating to the killing of six persons in Delhi Cantt during the riots.
Earlier, witness Jagsher Singh had identified in court Sajjan as the one who had allegedly provoked the mob to kill his brothers during the carnage. He is a cousin of complainant Jagdish Kaur whose husband Kehar Singh and one son were also killed during the massacre.
Nirpreet Kaur had also on July 3 identified Sajjan and Khokkar and other accused Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal as accomplices who had allegedly instigated mobs during the 1984 carnage.
The accused persons are escaping the trial by using their positions, and successive governments of India have failed to secure justice for the victims of the massacre, remembered by the Sikhs as the “Sikh Genocide 1984”.
The CBI, India’s premier investigative agency, had filed two charge-sheets against Kumar and others on January 13 last in the 1984 Sikh massacre cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of the G. T. Nanavati Commission.
It is notable that Sajjan Kumar, was close associate of Rajiv Gandhi, son of late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and had succeeded her to power. Rajiv is know for equating the events that resulted in murder of abound then thousand Sikhs, with shakes caused by the fall of a mighty tree. Sajjan Kumar was allotted a MP’s ticket by the Congress Party during Parliamentary elections in 2007. The ticket was withdrawn by the Congress after a Sikh journalist, Jarnail Singh, symbolically expressed the anguish of the entire Sikh nation by throwing a shoe towards the then Indian Home Minister, P. Chitembrem.
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