1984 Anti-Sikh Riot Victim's Widow Alleges Death Threats From Sajjan Kumar

Sajjan Kumar is accused of instigating violence against Sikhs in Delhi following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

New Delhi: Widow of a victim of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots on Monday accused Congress leader Sajjan Kumar of threatening her and her children if she testified against him.

Kumar is accused of instigating violence against Sikhs in Delhi following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

Sheela Kaur, widow of Surjeet Kaur, deposed as a witness before Additional Sessions Judge in the Patiala House Court of Judge Poonam A Bamba, and stated that "she could not name Kumar earlier due to death threats."

"Sheela Kaur deposed before the court that she had earlier received threats that her children would be killed if she names Sajjan Kumar. She confirmed her statement that Sajjan Kumar was involved," the complainant counsel, Advocate HS Phoolka told News18.

The examination of witnesses started today morning amidst heavy security of CRPF personnel, where even press was denied entry.

The entire proceeding was in-camera, but News18 has confirmed witness deposition by not only Advocate Phoolka but also one of the lawyers appearing for the CBI.

"When the Nanavati commission report came out, CBI was given the direction to investigate two matters. One was the riot at Sultanpuri and another was at Delhi Cantt. There were a number of witnesses in Sultanpuri who had seen Sajjan Kumar and had named him for instigating mobs to kill Sikhs in 1984. She is a witness from there and she has lost her husband, her father-in-law and her brother-in-law. Kaur is survived only by her children," said the advocate.

Kaur had "earlier deposed in another case where she had not named Sajjan Kumar but today she said that at that time I was threatened that my children will be killed if I name Sajjan Kumar."

News18 has learnt that there are another three to four CBI witnesses who have given statements against the Congress leader.

"The witness who was examined before this was Joginder Singh. Sajjan Kumar is a part of the larger conspiracy of instigating the mob but the case is pertaining to the death of Surjeet Singh who is the brother of Joginder Singh," said the lawyer from CBI.

CBI had filed its charge sheet in the Sultanpuri anti-Sikh Riot case in 2010. Surjeet Singh's murder too featured in that charge sheet.

The lawyer maintained that witnesses in the case had named Kumar only after CBI got involved.

"Nanavati commission recommendation had noted that witnesses had mentioned Sajjan Kumar in their affidavit but no action was taken on it. Before Nanavati commission submitted its report and CBI came into the picture, Delhi police had not named Sajjan Kumar even in a single a charge sheet," said the lawyer.

Kaur also made an application to the court that she should be given security which was withdrawn three months ago and had been given since the last three years.

The next date for the case is February 20, 2018, for the recording of prosecution evidence.

Recently, the Supreme Court had ordered the formation of a Special Investigation Team to investigate 186 cases of 1984 riots. Justice (Retd) Dhingra is heading the newly formed SIT.

The anti-Sikh riots that broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, claimed 2,433 lives in Delhi alone.