Yashpal Singh gets death sentence in 1984 anti-Sikh riots

A Delhi court today awarded death sentence to Yashpal Singh and life imprisonment to Naresh Sherawat, both convicted in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. The duo were convicted for killing two members of the Sikh community.

They were convicted of killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh in Mahipalpur area of South Delhi during the riots. Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey had reserved for November 20 the order on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to Naresh Sherawat and Yashpal Singh for killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh in Mahipalpur area of South Delhi during the riots.

This was the first conviction in five of the eight cases that were reopened and investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was constituted in 2015. The investigation into three cases involving Congress leader Sajjan Kumar are still pending.

Singh and Sherawat were convicted on November 15 for killing two Sikh youths in Delhi’s Mahipalpur area after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey held Sherawat and Singh guilty of killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh during the riots, and said that “victims of mass genocide” cannot be left in “the lurch”.

The SIT had sought death penalty for the two convicts. According to the SIT, there act was a part of a “genocide” against members of a particular community and fell under the rarest of rare category of cases.

Welcoming the Delhi court verdict, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said justice had finally been meted out to the perpetrators of the heinous crimes. “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,” he tweeted.

Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said justice had finally been delivered due to the efforts of the NDA government and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for constituting the SIT. “Today, justice has been delivered to 2 culprits of 1984 Sikh genocide because of the efforts of NDA govt. I thank PM Narendra Modi ji for setting up SIT in 2015 and reopening the case closed by Delhi Police in 1994. We will not rest till the last murderer is brought to justice,” she said.

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