In­dia court hands death sen­tence over deadly 1984 anti-Sikh ri­ots

The Miracle - - National & Int. -

A court in In­dia has sen­tenced to death a man con­victed of mur­der dur­ing the 1984 anti-Sikh ri­ots that left nearly 3,000 peo­ple dead, fol­low­ing the as­sas­si­na­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Indira Gandhi. The 1984 car­nage erupted just hours af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Gandhi was killed by her Sikh body­guards. The vi­o­lence, which oc­curred mostly in the cap­i­tal New Delhi, lasted three days when Sikhs were raped, mur­dered and burned alive, while their homes and busi­nesses were torched. Ad­di­tional Ses­sions Judge Ajay Pandey on Tues­day handed the death sen­tence to Yash­pal Singh and a life sen­tence to Naresh Sher­awat, both for mur­der, ri­ot­ing and other charges. The pair were con­victed last week of killing Hardev Singh and Av­tar Singh, two men in their 20s, dur­ing the ri­ots. The ver­dict was pro­nounced in the high­se­cu­rity Ti­har Jail due to se­cu­rity con­cerns af­ter the con­victs were at­tacked on a New Delhi court’s premises last week. Singh and Sher­awat “took out the vic­tims, who were hid­ing in­side a room, in­jured them with dan­ger­ous weapons with the in­ten­tion to kill and threw them down from the first floor”, caus­ing their deaths, the judge said while de­liv­er­ing the pun­ish­ment, ac­cord­ing to The Hindu news­pa­per. Rel­a­tives of vic­tims re­joiced af­ter the judge an­nounced the rul­ing, the first since 1996, which fol­lows the set­ting up of a spe­cial probe in 2015. They said they were re­lieved that “jus­tice has been fi­nally served” and hoped that next up would be two for­mer Congress min­is­ters, Jagdish Tytler and Sa­j­jan Ku­mar. Gov­ern­ment-ap­pointed com­mis­sions in the past failed to pros­e­cute more than a hand­ful in mi­nor cases. In­dia’s top in­ves­ti­gat­ing agency blamed Ku­mar for in­cit­ing the mobs, but he was ac­quit­ted by a court in 2013. Amarinder Singh, Pun­jab’s chief min­is­ter, wel­comed the rul­ing in a Twit­ter post, say­ing that he hoped “oth­ers in­volved in the at­tacks are also soon brought to book for their hor­ren­dous and in­hu­man acts”. Har­sim­rat Kaur Badal, a politi­cian from Pun­jab, said the ver­dict gave Sikhs “a ray of hope”. “We will not rest till the last mur­derer is brought to jus­tice,” she added in a post on Twit­ter. At 20 mil­lion, Sikhs make up a lit­tle un­der two per­cent of In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion of 1.25 bil­lion. Source: Al-Jazeera

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