Court order to reopen case gives hope, say 1984 riot victims

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) A district court Wednesday rejected the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) closure report in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and ordered reopening the case.

“I died the day my husband was killed in the riots,” said Lakhwinder Kaur, one of the victims on whose petition a Delhi court ordered reopening of a case against Delhi Congress leader Jagdish Tytler related to the anti-Sikh riots in the city.

“In our 28 years long fight for justice, we could not get any positive decision in our favour, but the district court’s order to reopen the case is like a ray of hope and happiness for us,” Lakhwinder Kaur said after the court ruling.

Her husband Badal Singh was killed in the riots.

Another victim said: “We believe in the law and we have got some hope after 28 years, five months and 10 days.”

Yet another riot victim demanded that Tytler be thrown out of the Congress party for his alleged involvement in the riots.

The Karkardooma court rejected the closure report submitted by the CBI Wednesday and ordered the agency to reinvestigate the case by recording the statements of the victims.

H.S. Phoolka, counsel for Lakhwinder Kaur, filed a plea in the Karkardooma court in March seeking further probe in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which three people were killed, including her husband, near Gurdwara Pul Bangash in central Delhi.

Tytler was given a clean chit by the investigating agency in that case.

Phoolka said that Additional Sessions Judge Anuradha Shukla rejected the CBI closure report and directed the agency to carry out further investigation.

Phoolka said that days before the CBI filed the closure report, the then CBI joint director in charge of the agency probing the case had said that the charge sheet should be filed and Tytler should be prosecuted for the alleged killings.

“Unfortunately the decision of the joint director was overruled by then then CBI director. Now it is very clear that the joint director was right,” said Phoolka.

Phoolka added that the prime witness in the riots case had died but three other witnesses are alive in the US, and that the court has directed the CBI to record their statements.

The conspiracy angle has not been probed at all, councel said, adding that the CBI should investigate the riots and the accused should be punished.

Tytler is accused of instigating a mob that led to the killing of three men who had taken shelter in a gurdwara Nov 1, 1984.

The mob attack was part of the violence against Sikhs in the aftermath of the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi Oct 31, 1984.

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