Supreme Court orders to re-investigate 186 anti-Sikh riots cases 

New Delhi, Jan 10: The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ordered a re-investigation of 186 cases that were closed earlier by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The Apex Court, which would set up a fresh three-member SIT to look into the matter, will tomorrow pass orders regarding the names of retired and serving Indian Police Service (IPS) officers who could be included in the committee.

The SIT had been constituted by the Union Home Ministry in February 2015 to reinvestigate “serious cases” during the 1984 riots that followed the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, claiming a total of 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

Last year in April, the court had reopened five cases in connection with the matter that was closed in 1986.

The CBI had also filed appeals against the acquittal of Kumar and life sentence to ex-councilor Balwan Khokhar.

The Delhi High Court had taken suo motu cognizance as, during the course of the arguments, Kumar’s lawyers mentioned these matters as precedents since co-accused Mahender Yadav, Balwan Khokhar and Kishan Khokhar had been acquitted in them.

The court had noted that the eyewitnesses had not been examined in those cases and there was a “travesty” since the investigation was not done properly.

Earlier, the apex court had also directed the Centre to deposit more than 190 files in connection with this case.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had told the Supreme Court that the SIT in as many as 263 cases had no case files and there was no trace of any victim or witness.

On February 20, the Centre had filed a status report in the top court on the investigation conducted by the SIT into anti-Sikh riots cases.

The 1984 anti-Sikh riots, also known as the 1984 Sikh Massacre, was a series of mass killings against Sikhs in India by anti-Sikh mobs in response to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

According to official reports, about 2,800 people killed across India, including 2,100 in Delhi. As per the estimation by Independent agencies, the number of deaths is about 8,000,  including at least 3,000 in Delhi.

The CBI believes that the violence was organized with support from the Delhi police and some central-government officials. Rajiv Gandhi, who had sworn in as prime minister after his mother’s death, had said when asked about the riots: “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes”.

However, several political parties and governments have promised compensation for the families of riot victims, which has been not paid till now.

(With ANI Inputs)

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