1984 anti-Sikh riots: Court records Sajjan Kumar's statement
A Delhi court hearing a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case on Monday recorded the statement of prime accused and former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar.
Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta recorded the statement of Sajjan Kumar, one of the six accused, who said that he was being portrayed as an accused in the case though he was not present at the spot where a mob killed five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment Nov 1, 1984.
"I was neither present at Rajnagar on Nov 1, nor did I try to incite the mob. All the accusations made against me are baseless," said Sajjan Kumar, who faced over 150 questions during the hour-long proceeding.
"Whatever the witnesses spoke against me, in their statements, is only at the instance of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and of political rivals. Otherwise, why is it so that 23 years after the incident took place, these people spoke against me and accused me of such offences?" he asked.
The former MP accused Jagdish Kaur, who lost a family member in the incident, of destroying his political career.
"In order to destroy my political career, Jagdish Kaur gave such statements against me. All those statements are untrue and baseless," he said.
Sajjan Kumar also raised questions against the background of another, Nirpreet, saying how could the court trust the statement of a woman who had a bad police record.
"She has been involved in several cases and a cheating case is still pending against her," he said.
The court decided to continue the hearing Tuesday.
According to the CBI, the accused instigated a mob in Delhi Cantonment to kill Sikhs following the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards at her 1, Akbar Road residence in New Delhi Oct 31, 1984.
The CBI has so far examined 16 witnesses in the case. The prosecution completed tendering its evidence June 9. Three witnesses deposed against Sajjan Kumar and identified him in the court.
Besides Sajjan Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.
The court May 28 last year framed charges against all the six accused under penal provisions relating to murder, dacoity, conspiracy, promoting enmity between two communities, mischief by fire or explosives and house trespass.
Charges under penal provisions for abetment were also framed against Sajjan Kumar.
During the 1984 communal riots, hundreds of Sikh community members were massacred in Delhi and other cities in a backlash against the community after Indira Gandhi's assassination.