'Big fish' in 1984 riots still roaming freely: CM
NEW DELHI: In an apparent reference to Congress leaders, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that "big fishes" involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh violence were still roaming free. Welcoming the Delhi high court's verdict to upheld a trial court's decision to convict 89 people for rioting, burning houses and breaching curfew in Trilokpuri in east Delhi, Kejriwal said justice had not still been done to the victims.
"I welcome Delhi high court judgment upholding the conviction of culprits responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent people in Trilokpuri. Justice has so far not been done to riot victims even after 34 years. Big fish(es) are still roaming free," CM Kejriwal tweeted.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) called the 1984 riots, which followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards, "a blot on Delhi which cannot be erased".
"There is no doubt that the families of 1984 riots victims have been denied justice for a very long time and even in this case since the first conviction by the trial court in 1996, it has taken 22 years for the appeal having been decided," the party said in a statement.
"It is a matter of grave concern that first the investigating agencies and then the justice delivery mechanism has taken 34 years in the 1984 riots cases before the cases have begun to be decided," it added.
The party demanded that all 1984 cases be fast-tracked since witnesses were already very aged. "Only way of providing justice to riots victims is to ensure quick disposal of cases."
Justice RK Gauba dismissed the appeals of the convicts who had challenged a 1996 judgment of a Sessions Court which had convicted the 89 arrested on November 2, 1984. Hundreds of innocent Sikhs were killed in 1984, mainly in Delhi. Some of the worst killings took place in Trilokpuri.