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Sep 01, 2012 at 12:43pm IST

2002 Gujarat riots victims get justice, 1984 killers still free

New Delhi: While those convicted of massacre in the shameful Naroda Patiya case in the 2002 Gujarat riots have been handed over life terms, many now ask why the culprits of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots roam free.

While Maya Kodnani became the first politician to be convicted for the 2002 riots, the prosecution has failed to achieve similar results in the 1984 riots. Three politicians were named in different FIRs.

However, 28 years later, not one has been convicted yet.

The cases and their status

Sajjan Kumar: Named in FIRs on grounds of inciting mobs in outer Delhi leading to murder of Sikhs; Status of case: Under trial in two cases.

Jagdish Tytler: Named in FIRs for inciting mob at Pul Bangash leading to murder and rioting in the area; Status of case: CBI files closure report after two decades of investigation, citing lack of evidence.

Late HKL Bhagat: Accused of inciting violence in east Delhi; Status of case: Police refused to lodge FIR. The court summoned him as an acussed but was acquitted for lack of evidence. Appeal in Delhi High Court closed after his death.

Late Dharam Das Shastri: Accused of leading mob in Karol Bagh; Status of case: Case registered after Nanavati Commission's recomendation but he died before trial.

Human Rights activist HS Phoolka questions, "How can Congress take the moral high ground for Gujarat when its own hands are dirty?"

A look at the figures says it all

While close to 1200 people died in the 2002 post-Godhra riots, 97 in Naroda Patiya alone where 32 have been convicted for murder and conspiracy, close to 3000 were massacred in the Delhi riots, and out of the culprits, only 30 have been convicted so far.

While the Supreme Court has been hailed for its proactiveness in getting justice for the 2002 victims, the 1984 riot victims ask why has the criminal justice system failed them?

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