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1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom 1984 Sikh Riots: Man Gets Life For Murdering Four


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
A man was sentenced today to life imprisonment for burning alive four persons in Trilokpuri area of East Delhi during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots which had broken out here following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Additional Sessions Judge P S Teji also imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on convict Mahesh saying the prosecution has established he was present in the mob which had set the house on fire resulting in the four deaths on November 3, 1984.

"The prosecution has successfully established on record beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was a member of the unlawful assembly at the time of commission of the offence and entered into the house.

"Prosecution has also successfully established that after entering the house, being a member of the unlawful assembly, accused Mahesh committed the murder of the four persons," the court said.

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Mahesh was in the mob which had entered complainant Vidya Kaur's house in block number-13, Trilokpuri on November 3, 1984, and burnt alive her husband Jaswant Singh, his nephew Anokha Singh, his friend Satnam Singh and neighbour Bhajan Singh.

The court relied on testimonies of Vidya, her two sons Surjeet Singh and Kuldeep Singh, who had also witnessed the killings.

"The presence of the eye witnesses has not been questioned by the defence. Rather, the case of the defence was that Vidya became unconscious and was not in a position to identify whereas this fact has been categorically denied by Vidya. As a result, the prosecution has successfully established the presence of eyewitnesses at the spot of the incident," the court noted.

Mahesh had contended he used to visit the house of the complainant to take liquor. He said he was falsely implicated in the case as some altercations had taken place between him and Vidya's husband.

The court, however, rejected Mahesh's contention saying his pleas were "contradictory".

"The defence taken by the accused has been false and contradictory to his various other pleas, particularly when the circumstances of presence of the accused at the spot, presence of eyewitnesses at the spot of riots and murder of the deceased have been established by the prosecution by leading evidence before the court," the ASJ said.

Mahesh was convicted in the case for the second time as the Delhi High Court, on an appeal by him against his conviction earlier, had remanded the matter back to the trial court with a direction to hear it afresh.

Mahesh was convicted and sentenced to life term earlier in January 1997 in the case along with one Baleshwar who died later. Two other accused Mange Ram and Amir Khan were acquitted during the trial.

The First Information Report in the case had been registered on Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission's recommendations.

Following her failure in getting to registered the case of her husband's killing, Vidya had approached the Commission, and had told it in affidavit that her husband, who was working with the DESU, and others were attacked by a mob of around 1,000 on the morning of November 3, 1984.

The mob had looted her belongings and set her house ablaze in which four persons were burnt alive, she had said in the affidavit.

The eyewitnesses had deposed that Mahesh had a knife in his hand.

Considering the deposition by eyewitnesses as "natural, reliable and trustworthy", the court convicted Mahesh saying that "from the testimony of the complainant and other eye witnesses, the prosecution has successfully established that Mahesh actively participated in riots on the day of the incident.




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