Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was identified as an accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots by a witness at Delhi's Patiala House Court today, news agency PTI has reported. He and two others are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting during the clashes that broke out in the wake of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards.
As many as 2,800 Sikhs were killed in the violence, 2,100 of whom hailed from Delhi.
Cham Kaur, a key witness for the prosecution, said before the court that she saw Sajjan Kumar telling a mob in Sultanpuri area that Sikhs had killed "our mother". "On October 31, 1984, we were watching the demise of Indira Gandhi on TV. On November 1, 1984, when I stepped out to look for my goat, I saw Sajjan Kumar telling the crowd: 'Sikhs killed our mother. Kill them'," she told district judge Poonam A Bamba.
Ms Kaur said two members of her family were killed in a mob attack the next morning. "My son, Kapoor Singh, and my father, Sardarji Singh, were pulled out of their hiding place on the second floor, beaten badly and thrown off the roof," she said, adding that she was also injured in the incident.
The witness said she was able to recognise Sajjan Kumar, who was a parliamentarian then, because they used to visit him for getting ration cards and passports made. She also named other people who were allegedly killed by the mob the same day.
Another witness, Sheela Kaur, had earlier identified Sajjan Kumar as an accused in the case. The next hearing has been posted to December 20.
The case was earlier transferred from Karkardooma Court to the Patiala House Court by the Delhi High Court. The district judge was also directed to videograph the proceedings, the expenses for which would be borne by Sajjan Kumar as well as the other accused in the case -- Brahmanand Gupta and Ved Prakash.
In March, the Delhi High Court received a petition containing a compact disc that reportedly contained Sajjan Kumar's confession on his role in the riots. The court then asked him to file a response to the same.
(With inputs from PTI)
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