New Delhi: A 70-year-old woman today alleged in a Delhi court that Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and certain others were part of a mob which had attacked, looted and burnt houses of Sikhs during the riots in 1984.
Deposing as a prosecution witness in an anti-Sikh riots case in which Kumar and three others are facing trial, Prem Kaur told District Judge Rakesh Siddhartha that she was told by her neighbours that Kumar was present in the mob which attacked Sikhs in Sultanpuri here.
"Children were saying that Sajjan Kumar, Jai Kishan, Ratan and Gupta Telwala were in the mob. Some other persons....And many others were saying the same thing in a camp.
"When we came out of our hiding, we were informed by people that our house was looted and burnt by the aforesaid persons named...," the witness, a resident of Sultanpuri, contended. The submission was objected to by the defence.
Kaur said that she cannot recognise perpetrators who had looted and burnt her house as there was smoke at the spot.
Sajjan Kumar, Brahmanand Gupta, Peeriya and Ved Prakash are facing trial on charges of murder and rioting in the case of killing of Surjit Singh in Sultanpuri area of West Delhi.
Kaur, whose deposition remained inconclusive and would continue tomorrow, said she had not reported the matter to the cops as neither Delhi Police had come to ask her about the incident nor did she go to police station.
"We did not go to police because it was the police which was also involved in rioting and killing," she alleged.
She said on the morning of November 1, 1984, her husband left for work and news came that Sikhs were being attacked and killed.
"On hearing the news of the attack, I and my children hid ourselves in the residence of our neighbour...We came out the following day as the neighbours stated that we should also go away otherwise they would be put to harm by the mob," she said, adding that apart from her house, other residences of Sikhs were burnt and they were taken to a camp by the army.
Kaur told the court that she has no information about her husband till date.
During the proceedings, heated arguments took place between the prosecution and defence counsel on the issue of translation of Punjabi words.
The issue cropped up as the witness was answering the questions in Punjabi only and the judge was unable to properly understand the same.
At this juncture, senior advocate H S Phoolka, appearing for the victims, suggested to the court that an independent translator should be called on the next date of hearing to avoid any such arguments among the lawyers.
During her cross-examination by Sajjan Kumar's advocate, the witness said she has come to the court with Nirpreet Kaur, who was a complainant in another riot case and she knew her from past 12 years.
The court in July 2010 had framed various charges, including murder and rioting, against Kumar, Gupta, Peeriya, Khushal Singh and Ved Prakash in connection with killing of the man in Sultanpuri in the riots which had occurred in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. Accused Khushal Singh has since died.
The trial court had also framed charges for the offence of spreading enmity between two communities against the accused in the case.
CBI had filed two charge sheets against Sajjan Kumar and others in January 2010 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G T Nanavati Commission which had probed the sequence of events leading to the violence.