- Sajjan Kumar convicted in killing of 5 of a family, torching a gurduwara
- Was sentenced to jail for life, asked to surrender by December 31
- Senior lawyer HS Phoolka says he will oppose Kumar's petition
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. The 73-year-old has told the court that he has three children and eight grandchildren and needs to settle matters related to his property.
Advocate Anil Sharma, who is representing Kumar, said they also need some more time to file an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the high court's verdict in which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. 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.
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".
He was convicted in the killing of five members of a family in Raj Nagar and the torching of a gurudwara in Delhi on November 1, 1984.
"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 a lower court in a separate case over the killing of a man in Delhi's Sultanpuri. The court has adjourned the hearing to January 22.
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