The day after: Sajjan quits from Congress
New Delhi: Congress veteran Sajjan Kumar has resigned from the primary membership of the party, citing his conviction in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, party sources said Tuesday. In a letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Kumar, a former MP, said his resignation should be considered with immediate effect, the sources said.
The Delhi High Court Monday sentenced Kumar to imprisonment for life, the first conviction of a politician in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 in which more than 2,700 people were killed. "I tender my resignation with immediate effect from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress in the wake of the judgement of the honourable high court of Delhi against me," Kumar said in the letter to Gandhi on Monday.
An aide of Kumar said he did not want the party to face any embarrassment and decided to resign from Congress soon after the Delhi High Court pronounced its judgement in the case. The aide also clarified that 73-year-old Kumar, a three-time MP, does not have a Twitter account and comments attributed to him in the social media platform were not made by him.
The case in which Kumar was convicted relates to the killing of five Sikhs in Raj Nagar part-I area in Palam Colony in South West Delhi on November 1-2, 1984 during the riots in the national capital and other parts of the country. According to official accounts, 2,733 Sikhs were killed between November 1 and 4, 1984 following the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards on October 31.
However, to the survivors of the 1984 riot victims, Delhi High Court's sentencing of Sajjan Kumar to life in jail seems only a "partial justice" and they asserted that the perpetrators should be given death sentence. The victims, who pointed out that they faced threats and oppression in their long legal battle, wished they had got justice earlier and demanded that the leaders involved in the violence should be given a punishment befitting their reprehensible crime of "murdering innocents".
Jagdish Kaur and Narpreet Kaur, whose families were devastated in the riots which claimed over 3,000 lives, said although 34 years is a long time, they were determined to "unmask the accused" and their fight for justice will go on.