The Centre-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) will re-investigate around 75 cases of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and some other states, a decision that comes months ahead of the assembly elections in Punjab, a Home Ministry official said. Riots following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984, led to the killing of 3,000 Sikhs. Since the Modi government came in, different Sikh representations have demanded reopening of the 1984 riot victim cases.
Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths and most of those killed were Sikhs, the leading community in Punjab where assembly polls are due in 2017. "Delhi had 237 anti-Sikh riot cases that were closed because of non-availability of victims or lack of evidence. After reviewing their documents, the SIT has decided to reexamine about 75 cases so far. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on the first week of June written letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to expedite investigation into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Kejriwal had called the SIT formed by the Centre to probe the riots eyewash. He asked Modi to consider winding up the SIT and allow the Delhi government to set up a special investigation team for "proper investigation and justice for the victims".
This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the anti-Sikh massacre. The AAP had alleged that in these 32 years, 10 commissions and committees were formed but eluded the victims. It was a long-standing demand of the Sikh community that an SIT be set up. Home ministry had earlier in May approved increased compensation to as many as 1,020 families, who were hit by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.