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1984 anti-Sikh riots: Will act on SIT recommendations, Centre tells SC

The Centre on Wednesday (January 15) told the Supreme Court they have accepted the recommendations of a special investigation team (SIT), headed by retired Delhi High Court judge Justice S N Dhingra which has probed 186 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, and they will take appropriate action as per the laws.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde was informed by senior advocate R S Suri, appearing for the petitioner, that the report of the SIT is damning for police officials and they would file application seeking action against the cops who were allegedly involved in the ghastly crime.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that they have accepted the recommendations made in the report and they will take appropriate steps. “We have accepted the recommendations and we will act accordingly as per law. Lot of steps are required to be taken and it will be taken,” Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant.

During the hearing, Suri referred to the SIT’s report and said the “undercurrent is that police officials can’t go scot-free for the things which had happened”.

“The report suggests that some action should be taken against police officials as they were in connivance. These police officials cannot go scot free. We will file a response to the report,” Suri told the bench and added that he will also file an application seeking action against police officials.

The bench was informed by Mehta that the records of these cases are kept in the apex court registry and they should be returned to the CBI so that further proceedings can go on.

The bench directed that the records be given to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The SIT, also comprising retired IPS officer Rajdeep Singh and serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular, was set up by the apex court on Janaury 11, 2018 to supervise further investigation into 186 cases in which closure reports were filed earlier.

The SIT presently has only two members as Singh had declined to be part of the team on personal grounds.

Earlier, in March last year, the top court had granted two more months to the SIT to complete its probe into 186 riot cases after the SIT informed it that more than 50 per cent of work was done and it wanted two more months to complete the investigation.

Large-scale riots targeting members of the Sikh community had broken out in the national capital in the aftermath of the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh security guards on the morning of October 31, 1984. The violence had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

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