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Centre’s SIT likely to reopen 186 anti-Sikh riot cases

New Delhi: The Centre-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is likely to reopen and reinvestigate around 186 cases in Delhi and some other states. It had earlier taken a decision to

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Published on: June 25, 2016 8:29 IST
Protest demanding justice for 1984 riot victims
Image Source : FILE Protest demanding justice for 1984 riot victims

New Delhi: The Centre-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is likely to reopen and reinvestigate around 186 cases in Delhi and some other states.

It had earlier taken a decision to re-investigate around 75 cases in Delhi.

A total of 3,325 people were killed in the 1984 riots.

Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths while the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.

Prima facie it was found that there are 186 riot cases which could be re-investigated and the SIT is examining them, a senior Home Ministry official said.

However, in each of the cases, prosecution has to take permission of the respective courts.

The move comes months ahead of the Assembly polls in Punjab.

Delhi Police had closed 241 cases citing lack of evidence.

Justice Nanavati Commission had recommended reopening of only four of them but BJP wanted re-investigation of all the cases.

The CBI had reopened and re-investigated only four cases.

In two of them, the probe agency had filed a charge sheet and in one, five persons, including a former MLA, were convicted.

The SIT was set up on February 12, 2015 following a recommendation by the Home Ministry-appointed Justice (retd) G P Mathur committee.

The three-member SIT comprises two Inspector General rank IPS officers and a judicial officer.

At the time of formation of the SIT, around one-and-a-half-years ago, the government had said it would submit its report within six months. However, the work of the SIT got delayed due to unknown reasons.

On December 10, 2014, the Narendra Modi-government had announced an additional compensation of Rs. five lakh to the kin of each of those killed in the 1984 riots, triggered by the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

Last month, the Home Ministry had announced that 1,020 families, who had been hit by the riots and migrated to Punjab from different parts of the country, will be given Rs. two lakh each as part of a centrally-sponsored rehabilitation scheme.

The move holds significance as Delhi's neighbouring state Punjab, where Sikhs are in majority, votes for new government next year. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Congress and BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance are locked in a triangular battle in the state.

Earlier this month, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written a letter to Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi asking Centre to disband its SIT and let the Delhi government form its own SIT to ensure justice to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

In an open letter to PM, which was published in full page ad in newspapers earlier this week, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader alleged that the Special Investigation Team that the central government formed last year appeared to be "just an eyewash".

"I would urge you to either get your SIT to do something or kindly wind up this SIT and allow the Delhi government to set up an SIT which will do proper investigations and get justice for the victims," he said.

arun-jaitley