Security threat hampers anti-Sikh riots hearing

A suspected “security threat” intimated by Delhi Police to the court on Monday led it to adjourn hearing midway in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others are facing trial.

The court sources said district judge J R Aryan adjourned the hearing for March 23 after an ACP of Delhi Police met the judge in his chamber during lunch time and apprised him of intelligence information on “security threat” on court premises.

The arguments were expected to conclude on Monday following which the court would pronounce its verdict in the high-profile case. During the hearing, Cheema, assisted by advocate D P Singh, said the statement of prosecution witness Ram Avtar Sharma, who had saved several Sikhs during the riots in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment, was corroborating its case and there were only minor deviations in his testimony which would not affect the case.

He added that Ram Avtar’s statement also establishes the presence of another witness Jagsher Singh on the spot. To strengthen their argument that the Delhi Police had arrested the persons who were saving and providing shelters to the Sikhs, the prosecutor referred to the statement of witness Jagsher Singh.

Former Delhi MP Sajjan Kumar is facing trial with five others — Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal — for allegedly inciting a mob against the Sikh community in Delhi Cantonment area.

The case relates to anti-Sikh riots that had broken out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

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