New Delhi: Angry with the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in one of the cases relating to 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Sikh protesters clashed with the police outside UPA chief Sonia Gandhi's residence 10, Janpath on Thursday morning.
Shouting slogans and trying to break police barricades, the protesters also burned effigies outside Sonia's residence. The protest turned violent as the protesters clashed with the police.
Many people from the Sikh community came together on Wednesday to protest as well. While many stormed a metro station in west Delhi in the afternoon disrupting services for sometime, the others marched to a police station blocking traffic in the area. The protesters entered Subhash Nagar Metro Station at 12:15 pm and blocked a metro train from leaving the station. Shouting slogans and carrying placards like 'Hang 1984 Culprits' and 'Give us Justice', protesters also marched to the Tilak Nagar Police Station in west Delhi and blocked traffic in the area.
Protests were also held in Jammu. Sikh groups in Jammu blocked the Jammu-Kashmir Highway on Wednesday morning. Activists of several Sikh organisations led by Harjeet Singh sat on a dharna and took out demonstrations at Digiana on the outskirts of the city.
Raising anti-government slogans, the protesters termed the acquittal of the Congress leader as an "injustice" to the Sikh community in the country. "Injustice has been done with us. The judgement has shown that Sikhs are second class citizens of the country", Singh said.
Shiromani Akali Dal Haryana (Badal) on Wednesday protested at Gurudwara Manji Sahib in Ambala city against Sajjan Kumar's acquittal. The leaders raised slogans against the Central government and said the decision had hurt the sentiments of Sikh community.
Meanwhile, Haryana State Akali Dal members led by SGPC member Harpal Singh Pali also protested against the acquittal of the Congress leader. Pali said it was decided in an emergency meeting on Wednesday attended by several Sikh leaders that on May 1 the Sikh families in Haryana would switch off the lights in their houses from 8 pm to 9 pm to lodge their protest.
The Delhi court that acquitted Sajjan Kumar on Tuesday did so as it felt that he should be given the benefit of doubt, the verdict has revealed. The court verdict, that was released on Wednesday, quoted District and Sessions Judge JR Aryan as saying, "In my view Sajjan Kumar deserves to be given the benefit of doubt." The court refused to accept the testimonies of Jagdish Kaur, Jagsher Singh and Nirpreet Kaur about the role of Kumar in the case, the verdict revealed.
Sajjan Kumar was on Tuesday acquitted of all charges in a case relating to the 1984 riots. District and Sessions Judge JR Aryan acquitted Kumar while convicting five others - Balwan Khokkar, an ex-councillor, Mahender Yadav, an ex-MLA, Kishan Khokkar, Girdhari Lal and Captain Bhagmal - for their involvement in the case.
The pronouncement of judgement witnessed a huge uproar by the protesters one of whom hurled a shoe at the judge soon after he acquitted Kumar in the case of riots that broke out 29 years ago on October 31, 1984, after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.