49 were handed life terms, most got away with murder

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, Nov 1, 2014.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    49 were handed life terms, most got away with murder

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    It was October 31, 1984. Walking to his house in Trilokpuri Block 32, Mansa Singh noticed the local butcher, Kishori Lal, skinning a lamb that hung from his shop’s ceiling. He thought nothing of it then. A day later, he watched the butcher using the same knife to chop off his son Darshan’s arms. Singh hid helplessly, paralysed behind a clothes line.

    He saw his sons dragged out of the house by Kishori Lal, who was leading a mob, saw them attacked with knives and iron rods. “I lost three sons in front of my eyes. They were cut to pieces and beaten to death with iron rods. I could not save my children. I don’t know why God has kept me alive. I don’t wish this on my worst enemies,” says 74-year-old Singh, sitting in a two-room flat in Tilak Vihar. Photographs of his three sons, his brother Kripal Singh and eldest daughter-in-law Amarti Kaur adorn the otherwise barren walls of the house.

    In the 30 years since India’s worst carnage after the Partition, Singh and his wife ran from pillar to post, appearing as witnesses in courts,
    trying to get compensation money to run their household. With a monthly pension of Rs 2,500, Singh lives in his grandson’s flat in Tilak Vihar, a resettlement colony for 1984 riot victims. “I was a porter till my legs gave way. I would lift several heavy suitcases in the hope that I would be paid five rupees more,” says Singh, who now walks with a limp.

    Kishori Lal, who came to be known as “the butcher of Trilokpuri”, is serving a life sentence in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. This, for Mansa Singh, is small consolation. “There were many others who we had named in the FIRs but they all went scot free.”

    Kishori Lal’s neighbour Kawaljeet Singh said his wife passed away days after he was sentenced to death. “His wife died days after his sentence. His son is rarely seen in the area. But he keeps visiting his house in the area, but he hardly talks to anyone. I think he is scared to come here after his father’s conviction,” Kawaljeet said.

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    In his quest for justice, Mansa Singh is not alone. Because as many as 2,733 Sikhs were killed in the riots in Delhi alone.
    “How many people do you think it would take to kill 3,000 men? There were at least 15,000-20,000 people involved in the rioting but they didn’t arrest the real culprits. They arrested the bystanders and picked up people off the road. That’s why there were so many closures and acquittals,” says advocate N D Pancholi who has been associated with the civil society groups Citizens for Democracy and the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR).

    In all, the Delhi police arrested 3,081 people from 650 FIRs, filed 363 chargesheets and got 442 convicted. Kishori Lal is one of 49 serving a life sentence. He was among three sentenced to death. But the Supreme Court later commuted it to a life sentence, citing long delays during the trial.

    The “insufferable” delays of the judicial system also affected the sentencing of the accused. Forty five, who were in jail for periods longer than the sentences that could have been imposed had they been held guilty, were allowed to walk free.

    The landscape in block 30 of Trilokpuri has changed. Small and congested single-floor houses have now been renovated to three-storey buildings. Only one house stands unchanged. It seems to have imploded on itself, the roof sags and the tiles inside all but ripped away. This is home to 68-year old Ved Prakash, sentenced to life in jail but now out on bail.

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    Asked about his role in the 1984 riots, his wife explodes: “The police bought him for a few minutes to attend his own daughter’s marriage. He has already spent eleven years in jail. Why do you want to know about our life? We stay behind these closed doors, don’t talk to anyone, we are not a threat to anyone.” Ved Prakash and his wife live alone, their only daughter married off in 2010.

    His response is calm, unlike that of his wife. “I had actually opened up my house for Sikh brothers during the riots. But the police framed me in a case. I lost my government job and now I work as a plumber. For my daughter’s wedding, I had to take a loan. It is now just about survival. I know the anger over innocents being killed. But I do not want to talk about it. Justice needs to be done to everyone.”

    1984 Sikh riots | The Indian Express
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    What makes me wonder is that while there are good reasons for anger that a PM was assassinated and is understandable, but was it a riot?

    It is called 1984 Anti Sikh Riots.

    As far as I understand in a Riot, rioters of all sides/ communities involved have casualties.

    How many others who were not Sikhs died because they were involved or attacked?

    However, if only Sikhs dies, would it be a riot or something else.

    And can compensation alone blur the pain and tears?

    How come the Police were conniving in the riots?

    Because they were also grieved or were they directed?

    That has been established by all Commissions.

    When ordered out to control a riot, the mission is to ensure the end of the massacre and the riot. One cannot let personal feeling come into play.

    Therefore, the Police seems to have been influenced by external influences.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014

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