Anti-Sikh riots of 1984
Sikhs shout slogans against Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who were accused of leading anti-Sikh riots in 1984, as they block a railway track during a protest in Amritsar April 8, 2009.Reuters

Congress leader Sajjan Kumar has been acquitted by a special CBI court on Tuesday in connection with the 1984 anti-sikh riots, following lack of evidence against him.

Kumar and five others were accused of causing enmity between communities and prompting the mob to attack the Sikhs in the Delhi Cantonment area on 2 November 1984, which followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Five Sikhs were killed in the riots. The accused were charged with rioting, criminal conspiracy and murder.

The other five accused - Balwan Khokkar, Kishan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal - have been convicted on different charges. Three of them - Balwan,  Bhagmal and Girdhari Lal - have been convicted of murder, while the rest have been convicted on charges of rioting.

In January 2010, the CBI filed two chargesheets against Kumar and others in connection with the anti-Sikh riots, after a case was registered in 2005 on the recommendation of the Nanavati Commission. The final arguments concluded on 4 April this year and the CBI told the court that "there was a conspiracy of 'terrifying proportion' between Mr Kumar and the police during the riots 29 years ago," reported NDTV.

On Tuesday (30 April), the Karkardooma Court in Delhi acquitted Sajjan kumar of all charges in a case related to the murder of five sikhs. He still faces two other cases on the 1984 riots.

A shoe was thrown at District Judge JR Aryan after he gave the verdict. The shoe-thrower, Karnail Singh, was arrested by the police. Protests erupted outside the trial court in Delhi demanding justice. Jagdish Kaur, witness and petitioner in the case, refused to leave the court till the judge gives a verdict in her favour. "If Sajjan can't be hanged, then I should be hanged," Jagdish Kaur told CNN-IBN.

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