Congress welcomes verdict on 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, reaffirms that party's stand on legal process is clear

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday welcomed a Delhi court's verdict sentencing one person to death and another to life imprisonment in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and said it was "proud" that the legal process was being allowed to work out its course.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the party's stand on the legal process is clear and asserted that there should be no external influences.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also welcomed the decision, saying justice has finally been meted out to the perpetrators of the "heinous crime".

File image of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. Twitter@capt_amarinder

File image of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. Twitter@capt_amarinder

In the first capital punishment in the 1984 riots cases, the Delhi court awarded death penalty to Yashpal Singh for killing two men in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the first capital punishment in the cases.

Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey also awarded life term to co-convict Naresh Sherawat in the case.

"The Congress Party's stand is clear. This is a legal process, a legal process which must be allowed to work out its course and we are very proud, happy and fortunate that it is working out its course," Singhvi told reporters.

He said the party welcomes it "subject to the usual caveat that there should be no external influences in the process".

"The purity of the process should not be compromised and the rights of the accused are counter valid with the process... I think the whole country and everybody should welcome and the Congress Party certainly welcomes it," he said.

The Punjab chief minister took to Twitter to express himself.

"Welcome the first conviction by a Delhi court in the 1984 riots case. Justice has finally been meted out to the perpetrators of the heinous crimes. Hope the others involved in the attacks are also soon brought to book for their horrendous and inhuman acts," Singh said.

The verdict was pronounced in the Tihar Jail due to security concerns and attack on the convicts on the premises of the Delhi court.

On November 14, the court convicted Singh and Sherawat for killing two men in Delhi during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots -- the first conviction in the cases reopened by the SIT.

Delhi Police had closed the case in 1994 for want of evidence. However, a Special Investigation Team on the riots reopened it.

Thousands of Sikhs were killed in the national capital and its surrounding areas in the three days following the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984.

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Updated Date: Nov 20, 2018 19:54:19 IST

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