Anti-Sikh riots: Abject failure of police — rules Delhi High Court ||SNE
By SNE .
Dec 18, 2018
Nirpreet Kaur’s testimony in court implicated the police directly. While the defence tried to paint her as an unreliable witness, the High Court on Monday said she “comes across as a fearless and truthful witness… Nothing in her deposition points to either untruthfulness or unreliability”.
On November 1, 1984, a mob had gathered near the Raj Nagar Gurdwara, shouting slogans such as ‘Indira Gandhi amar rahe’ and ‘In Sardaron ko maaro, inhone hamari maa ko mara hai’. They took Nirmal Singh with them, and tried to burn him — succeeding only in their third attempt.
Nirpreet Kaur, who was 16 at the time, testified to how the mob caught hold of her father, Nirmal, and burnt him, and how police were complicit. On Monday, the High Court said the accused were brought to justice only because of the courage and perseverance of Nirpreet and two other eyewitnesses, Jagsher Singh and Jagdish Kaur. The court further said: “There was an abject failure by the police to investigate the violence.”
Nirpreet deposed in court that Congress leaders Balwan Khokar and Mahender Yadav, both convicts, left with Nirmal on a scooter after police told them to reach a compromise. Nirpreet ran after them.
“There, the mob doused him in kerosene oil but they were unable to find match sticks to set him on fire. At this time, one of the police personnel present there allegedly shouted at the mob: ‘Doob maro, tumse ek Sardar bhi nahin jalta’. He then gave a matchbox to accused 6 (Krishan Khokar), who set fire to Nirmal Singh,” read the section on the prosecution’s case in Monday’s judgment.