High court slams shoddy police probe, acquits five in 1984 riots

February 9th, 2009 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) Slamming the police for its “shoddy” investigation in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, the Delhi High Court Monday let off five men accused of arson and violence during the sectarian clashes.

“Serious crimes were committed in the wake of the riots but inadequate and insufficient investigations have enabled the actual perpetrators of the crimes to slip through the net of justice,” noted a division bench of Justices B.D Ahmed and V.B. Gupta.

The bench upheld the trial court’s order acquitting the five accused.

“This is a classic example of state roping in innocent persons to solve a riot case…the arrests of respondents (accused persons) were made in a premeditated and designed manner aimed only at working out the present case with scant regard for actual culpability or involvement of arrested,” the bench said in its order.

The court acquitted Ravinder Singh, Daya Shankar, Raghbir Singh, Ram Avtar and Ramesh, who were accused of looting a Coca-Cola factory at Okhla Nov 1, 1984.

The widespread riots followed the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh security guards at her 1 Akbar Road residence Oct 31, 1984. Delhi was among the worst affected places in the nation-wide riots.

“The investigation conducted by the police in this case is full of suspicion and the same is shoddy,” the court observed in the judgement.

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