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A court in New Delhi told that the silence of Delhi Police during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots was a “serious lapse” on its part and it appeared to be “privy” in the incidents of rioting.
District and Sessions Judge J R Aryan said that as per the report of Justice G T Nanavati Commission, 341 persons were killed in Delhi Cantonment area here during the riots. In the case relating to it, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been acquitted.

But, as per the record of Palam Colony police station, “not a single incident of killing was recorded by the police”, the court noted.

“From the evidence and material available in this case,…these facts and circumstances do suggest that law supervising and enforcing machinery i.e.(Delhi) police maintained complete silence during those two days i.e. November 1 and 2, 1984,” the court, in its judgement, said.

“Court can take judicial notice of the fact available from Justice Nanavati Commission report that there were as many 341 killings in police station Delhi Cantt. area itself and the present case concerning killing of five persons was in the area of Rajnagar, Palam colony, a part of police station Delhi Cantt.

“It has come in evidence from document, the DDR, maintained at police station Palam Colony, that not a single incident of any killing or any property destroyed was recorded by the police,” it said.

During the arguments, CBI had contended there was a conspiracy of “terrifying proportion” between Kumar and the Delhi Police during the riots.

The agency had said the police had kept its “eyes closed” to the widespread violence.
The court also agreed with the arguments of CBI that “police appeared to be privy in the incidents of rioting may be by maintaining their status as silent spectator”.

The court said the evidence showed there was an incident in which some Sikhs had gathered to guard their place of worship, Gurudwara Raj Nagar, and succeeded in deterring the mob.

But as they were armed, police arrived and disarmed the Sikhs of their ‘kirpans’ and soon thereafter the mob arrived again, according to it.

“There appears no reason to not to believe and accept the testimony of prosecution witness 7 Joginder Singh on that point and that reflects a serious lapse of law enforcement duty of the police,” the court said.

It also agreed with the contention of CBI that the situation had “really disturbed the conscience of civilized society as if killings of innocent persons by mobsters was to be accepted by the victims only by bargaining monetary relief. It does reflect a complete no action on the part of the police”.

Aggrieved with the court’s judgement, senior advocate H S Phoolka, representing the riot victims, said the charges of conniving with unnamed police officers and killing Sikhs was framed against the accused and CBI’s probe also showed the police did not record the statements of witnesses naming Kumar.

“This being the situation, it was highly erroneous for the trial court to have ignored this aspect. While considering the role of Sajjan Kumar, unfortunately the trial court did not consider the aspect that the investigation of CBI showed that Jagdish Kaur’s statement of November3, 1984, has been removed from the records by the Delhi Police.

“The trial court has also failed to consider that the investigation of CBI had revealed that the Delhi Police was shielding Sajjan Kumar,” the counsel said, adding he would file an appeal against this judgement in a superior court.

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