1984 anti-Sikh riot case: Court pulls up police for not completing probe

By: | Published: March 6, 2017 9:39 PM

The order came on the murder case of one Sher Singh and assault on his son in the Mangolpuri area in North West Delhi during the 1984 riots.

A city court has lashed out at the Delhi Police for not completing probe even after 33 years in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case. (PTI)

A city court has lashed out at the Delhi Police for not completing probe even after 33 years in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case, saying it appeared that it had formed “a cartel to save” its officials who were allegedly involved in abetting the ghastly crime. The court also expressed unhappiness over senior police officers vetting the charge sheet in the case “mechanically” and without noticing that the probe has not been carried out for tracing co-accused police officials.

“The case is a tell-tale of a sorry state of affairs where inspite of gravity of offences, the police persistently filed half-baked police reports. Even though commission of offences were writ large, the police continued to remain in denial,” Metropolitan Magistrate Shirish Aggarwal said. The court issued notice to the investigating officer, inspector RK Meena, and directed him to carry out further probe and submit the report before it.

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The order came on the murder case of one Sher Singh and assault on his son in the Mangolpuri area in North West Delhi during the 1984 riots that broke out after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The magistrate said over three decades have rolled by since commission of the “ghastly crime” and the offenders were still at large.

Even after the setting up of Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission of Inquiry, the report of the Delhi Administration Committee to examine cases relating to riots, setting up of riots cell and SIT for investigating the 1984 riots cases, the police has not taken any action against the personnel from its own cadres who have abetted the crime, the court said, noting that as per the SIT, investigation was now complete.

“However, despite specific allegations being made on oath on an affidavit (by witness) and before Delhi Administration Committee on October 4, 1991 against the police officials, who had reached the spot, absolutely no efforts have been made to find out their identity.

“It appears that all the police officials have formed a cartel to save each other. Abdicating its duty of fair investigation, the police dogmatically insisted that either the offences had not been committed or the offenders were not traceable,” the court said.

Initially, an untraced report was filed by the police in the case. Later, the Special Investigating Team (SIT) carried out further investigation stating that the offences were committed by an unlawful assembly of 500-700 people including two local workers of Congress Party, one of whom died in 2010.

The court noted that as per the allegations made on the basis of which the FIR was registered, when the offence was being committed, the police had reached the spot.

However, it has been alleged that they did not help at all and, on the contrary, incited the mob and asked them to kill the Sikhs and burn their houses after which mob started stoning more vigorously, it noted.

The court said that despite the observation made by the Delhi Administration Committee and affidavit and statement of complainant Ajeet Singh, the probe carried out by police was “still incomplete” as the cops who had aided and instigated the crime have not been traced.

The court said that the recent police report filed before it, was “wholly silent” on the identity or involvement of police officials and the investigating officer appeared to have looked the other way.
Singh had alleged that on November 1, 1984 a mob attacked his house and the attackers were carrying sticks and iron rods and raising slogans. He alleged that in the afternoon police had reached the spot but did not help the victims.

Instead, police allegedly incited the mob and asked them to kill the Sikhs and burn their house, the complainant had claimed in his statement before a commission. He said these allegations were earlier probed but the murder of Sher Singh and assault on his son were not investigated.

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