Sajjan Kumar to give evidence to defend self in riots case


New Delhi : Sajjan Kumar, former Congress MP and prime accused in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, Tuesday told a Delhi court that he wants to present evidence in his defence.

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Sajjan Kumar, who was brought to the court for recording his statement, told Additional Sessions Judge Sunita Gupta that he would prepare a list of evidence in his support and would submit it by Friday.

“I would like to lead the evidence in my defence and would present the list of evidence which will prove that the statements made against me are false and baseless,” said Sajjan Kumar, when the court asked him if he wanted to place any evidence in his support.

The court also asked the other five co-accused to place evidence, if any, in their support by July 22.

During the recording of Sajjan Kumar’s statement, over 250 questions were put to him and he denied all the statements made against him by prosecution witnesses in the case.

“I organised a peace march Nov 9, 1984, and also donated blood Nov 5, 1984, in the wake of the anti-Sikh riots. How can I be involved in the riots? The statements made by the victims are false and should not be believed,” he said.

The former MP earlier said he was being portrayed as an accused in the case though he was not present at the spot where a mob killed five Sikhs in Delhi Cantonment Nov 1, 1984.

He also accused the witnesses of speaking against him at the instance of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and his political rivals.

“Whatever the witnesses spoke against me, in their statements, is only at the instance of the CBI and of my political rivals. Otherwise, why is it so that 23 years after the incident took place, these people spoke against me and accused me of such offences?” he said.

According to the CBI, Sajjan Kumar instigated a mob in Delhi Cantonment to kill Sikhs following the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards at her official residence in New Delhi Oct 31, 1984.

Besides Sajjan Kumar, other accused in the case are Balwan Khokhar, Krishan Khokhar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal.

The court May 28 last year framed charges against all the six accused under penal provisions relating to murder, dacoity, conspiracy, promoting enmity between two communities, mischief by fire or explosives, and house trespass.

Sajjan Kumar has also been charged under penal provisions for abetment.

During the 1984 communal riots, hundreds of Sikh community members were massacred in Delhi and other cities in a backlash against the community after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.