Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » India

There is a whole gang enjoying political patronage, escaping trial in Gujarat riots, Isn't judiciary aware?

The timing of Delhi High Court judgement is important as it comes at a time when renewed efforts are underway to vitiate the atmosphere in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections

Monday December 17, 2018 10:09 PM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com

Sajjan Kumar vs Zakia Jafri

[Zakia Jafri - the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri is fighting for justice since last sixteen years. Her husband, along with 67 others, was burnt to death in broad day light during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Her petition seeking justice is pending in the Supreme Court of India.]

Sajjan Kumar deserves even stricter punishment if he was indeed involved in the killing of innocent Sikhs whose only fault was that the bodyguards of Indira Gandhi who assassinated her belonged to their community.

Sajjan Kumar was earlier acquitted by a lower court. But Delhi High Court Monday reversed the lower court's order and sent him to jail for life. While convicting Sajjan Kumar in a case relating to the killing of five Sikhs all belonging to the same family by a mob in Delhi Cantonment’s Raj Nagar area during the riots, Delhi High said the accused in the case enjoyed political patronage and escaped trial.

“In the summer of 1947, during partition, several people were massacred. 37 years later Delhi was the witness of a similar tragedy. The accused enjoyed political patronage and escaped trial,” the Delhi High Court judgement by a bench comprising Justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta said.

"It was an extraordinary case where it was going to be impossible to proceed against Sajjan Kumar in the normal scheme of things as there appeared to be ongoing large-scale efforts to suppress cases against him by not even recording them", the court said.

The observations made in the Delhi High Court judgement are very important and the judges must be applauded. However, isn't the courts aware that there is a whole gang roaming free, some even in power, enjoying political patronage and escaping trial in Gujarat riots?

Political patronage for the riot accused is a trend in India. In fact, in most cases, riots were staged - cleverly planned for political mileage and under the patronage of politicians enjoying unlimited power. Worst, in various cases, communal riots were staged on fabricated grounds when the victims of riots had to bear double brunt - first at the hands of rioters and later at the hands of security forces framing them in false cases.

Take a pause and compare anti-Sikh riots in 1984 and anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002. Assuming that some misguided Muslims were behind the Godhra train tragedy, what was the fault of Muslims living in Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat, who were forced to pay a price for a sin they were not responsible of? Nothing, just like the Sikhs killed by violent mob avenging the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi. So, why not apply the same yardstick in 2002 Gujarat riots so that victims like Zaki Jafri and others get justice, and at the same time, the perpetrators are brought to book so that a stringent warning is sent to others?

The timing of Delhi High Court judgement is important as it comes at a time when renewed efforts are underway to vitiate the atmosphere in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections. There are also demands from various circles that Supreme Court of India should take suo moto action against those who are challenging it and mocking its recent judgements, especially in Ayodhya dispute case.

Also, the judges in the courts, where cases pertaining to communal riots are pending, should apply similar yardstick as applied by the Delhi High Court while convicting Sajjan Kumar, and pronounce stricter punishments for the people who escaped trial in 2002 Gujarat and other anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit riots.

It is hence a lot is depending on the Indian judiciary at this crucial time. The judiciary will be failing the country if it does not swing into action even now.

[The writer, Aleem Faizee, is founder editor of ummid.com. He can be reached at aleem.faizee@gmail.com.]

For all the latest News, Opinions and Views, download ummid.com App.

Select Language To Read in Urdu, Hindi, Marathi or Arabic.

Share this page

 Post Comments
Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com