Sajjan Kumar, Convicted In 1984 Riots, Asks For More Time To Surrender

Sajjan Kumar, Convicted In 1984 Riots, Asks For More Time To Surrender

NEW DELHI: Former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, convicted in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has moved an application before the Delhi High Court seeking time till January 31 to surrender, news agency PTI reported. The court is likely to hear the application tomorrow.

Senior lawyer HS Phoolka, who is representing many of the families of the riot victims, said they will oppose the application. "Sajjan Kumar has filed an application in Delhi High Court to give him a month to surrender. We will oppose that application tomorrow," he said. A member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab, Mr Phoolka has been representing victims of the anti-Sikh riots in courts for the last three decades, free of charge.

Kumar was found guilty in the case on Monday and sentenced to jail "for the remainder of his natural life" by the court, which cancelled an earlier court order acquitting him of charges in what the judges called "genocide".

The 73-year-old was convicted in the killing of five members of a family in Raj Nagar and the torching of a gurdwara in Delhi on November 1, 1984. He had been told to surrender by December 31.

"It is important to assure the victims that despite the challenges truth will prevail," the High Court said, giving a shout-out to victims like Jagdish Kaur and Nirpreet Kaur, who fought for justice for 34 years and suffered intimidation and harassment. "The aftershock of those atrocities is still being felt," said the court.

At least 3,000 people were killed when mobs led by Congress leaders targeted Sikhs after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31.

This morning, Sajjan Kumar also appeared before the court in a separate case connected to the killing of a man in Delhi's Sultanpuri. The court has adjourned the hearing to to January 22.