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Kamal Nath: SIT reopens anti-Sikh riots case

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has landed himself in trouble after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by Union Home Ministry has decided to reopen seven anti-Sikh riots cases where the accused were either acquitted or trial closed. Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that Home Ministry will reopen anti-Sikh riot cases against Kamal Nath. Sirsa tweeted,“It is a big victory for Akali Dal. The SIT will look into Kamal Nath’s involvement in the anti-Sikh riots.” The order came on petition filed by Sirsa.

When AV correspondent Nikhil Sagare spoke to Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe he said,The government has failed on all fronts, be it political, social or economic and unemployment is also rising. In order to divert people’s attention from these issues, they are holding inquiries against opposition leaders. They have been in power for five years and no development has taken place. They are indulging in political vendetta to hide their failures.”

After the notification became public Sirsa said senior Congress leader and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath had allegedly given shelter to five people who were accused in one of the seven cases. Kamal Nath was never named in the FIR registered in New Delhi’s Parliament Street Police station. Five persons named as accused in the case (FIR 601/84) were accommodated in his residence. All these accused were discharged due to lack of evidence. Sirsa said, “All allegations made against Kamal Nath will be probed by Special Investigation Team (SIT). Two witnesses will appear before the SIT where they will tell about Kamal Nath’s role in the riots.”

BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar said, “I don’t think so the government is trying to impose pressure on opposition by reopening old cases. There is no question of political vendetta. All agencies are doing their work as per court guidelines. Courts are independent and free so leaders can approach the court. If they think that they have not done anything wrong they can go to the court against all agencies.”

The witnesses were Sanjay Suri who now lives in England and Muktiyar Singh who is now in Patna. “I have spoken to both of the witnesses and they are ready to appear before the SIT to record their statements. The case is related to a mob of rioters storming the Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib,” said Sirsa.

Kamal Nath had earlier denied the charges. According to the Home Ministry notification, the SIT has taken up discharged cases for scrutiny or preliminary inquiry. The seven anti-Sikh riots cases were registered in 1984 at police stations in Vasant Vihar, Sun Light Colony, Kalyanpuri, Parliament Street, Connaught Place, Patel Nagar and Shahdara.

The SIT has issued public notices asking individuals and organisations to provide information related to the seven cases. “This is to inform to all individuals, groups of persons, associations, institutions and organisation that if they have any information in respect of any of the cases they may contact the officer in charge of SIT police station,” the SIT said.

Sirsa claimed that Kamal Nath’s name was never included in the FIR nor was he investigated by the police. The SIT was set up on February 12, 2015 following  a recommendation by the Home Ministry appointed Justice (retd) GP Mathur committee. The three-member SIT comprises two Inspector General Rank IPS officers and a judicial officer. The SIT has so far reopened around 80 out of the 650 cases registered in connection with the anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She was shot dead by her own Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

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