Special Investigation Team to Reopen 75 Anti-Sikh Riot Cases

Of the total 3,325 people killed in the 1984 riots, Delhi accounted for 2,733 deaths.

Credit: PTI/File Photo

Credit: PTI/File Photo

New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Centre will reinvestigate around 75 cases of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and some other states, a decision that comes months ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab, a home ministry official said.

A total of 3,325 people were killed in the riots. Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths, while the rest were reported from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.
Delhi police had closed 241 cases citing lack of evidence.

The Justice Nanavati Commission had recommended the reopening of only four of the 241 cases closed by the police but the BJP wanted to reinvestigate all the other 237 cases.

The CBI had reopened and reinvestigated only four cases. In two of them, the agency had filed a chargesheet and in one case, five persons, including a former member of legislative assembly, were convicted.

The SIT was setup on February 12, 2015, following a recommendation by the home ministry-appointed Justice (retd) G. P. Mathur committee. The three-member SIT comprises two inspector general rank IPS officers and a judicial officer, a home ministry official said.

At the time of formation of the SIT, the government had said it would submit its report within six months. However, it is not known why the SIT’s work was delayed.

On December 10, 2014, the Narendra Modi-government had announced an additional compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of those killed in the 1984 riots, triggered by the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

Last month, the home ministry had announced that 1,020 families, who had been hit by the riots and migrated to Punjab from different parts of the country, will be given Rs 2 lakh each as part of a centrally-sponsored rehabilitation scheme.