Three Murderers Given Life Imprisonment In 1984 Massacre Of Sikhs Case


NEW DELHI – Three people were on awarded life imprisonment in a 29-year-old 1984 massacre of Sikhs case by a Delhi court which said the offences were grave as the victims of a particular community had been targeted and the acts of the convicts were most gruesome in nature.

District judge JR Aryan gave life term to ex-councillor Balwan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal for murder and rioting in the case in which senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was acquitted on April 30, which CBI had reportedly said would challenge in the Delhi high court.

The court rejected CBI’s plea for death sentence to Balwan, Lal and Bhagmal, saying their offence does not come under the category of rarest of rare warranting capital punishment.

“They had no special or personal animosity towards anyone or the deceased individually. The assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had blindfolded those youths and unfortunately, there was no leadership to bridle the mob frenzy unleashed with all cruelty,” it said.

Two other convicts, ex-MLA Mahinder Yadav and Kishan Khokkar were awarded three-year imprisonment and the court rejected their plea to release them on probation.

Kumar was acquitted by the court which held that he deserved “benefit of doubt” since one of the victims and key witness Jagdish Kaur did not name him as an accused in her statement recorded by the Justice Ranganath Mishra panel in 1985.

The case, in which the five people were held guilty pertains to killing of five Sikhs — Kehar Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Raghuvender Singh, Narender Pal Singh and Kuldeep Singh — by the mob in Raj Nagar area in Delhi Cantonment. The victims were members of the same family.

In his ten-page order on sentence, the court said “… There cannot be two opinions that offences committed in this case were grave where victims of a particular community had been targeted for killing and destroying their properties. This court has already taken the facts into consideration that there were 341 killings in the area of police station Delhi Cantonment of this case itself.”

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