– SIT submits investigation report on 186 Sikh genocide cases to Supreme Court

By Sikh24 Editors

New Delhi – India, 30 November 2019. On 29 November, the Special Investigation Team constituted to re-probe 186 cases pertaining to the 1984 Sikh genocide has completed its investigation. The Supreme Court of India took on record the confidential report filed by SIT.

Notably, the Supreme Court of India had constituted this Special Investigation Team in January last year to probe these 186 cases which were earlier closed by the respective probe teams.

The former Delhi High Court Judge S N Dhingra was chosen to spearhead this SIT. Initially, three members were appointed in this SIT but one of the SIT member named Rajdeep Singh had refused to be a part of this SIT. Later, the SC had given permission to the SIT to work with two members namely Judge S N Dhingra and IPS officer Abhishek Dular.

The Supreme Court’s move has come in response to a petition moved by a genocide victim Gurlad Singh Kahlon.

Pinky Anand, the additional solicitor general of India, submitted this report to the Supreme Court bench in a sealed cover and requested the Court to discharge the SIT members.

Appearing for victims, senior counsel HS Phoolka opposed the request to disband the SIT before the court examines the SIT report. He also asked for a copy of the report to be supplied to him.

SIT submits investigation report on 186 Sikh genocide cases to Supreme Court – No clean chit to Akali leaders in Behbal Klan firing case, clarifies SIT

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 29 April 2019. In an immediate reaction to media reports claiming clean chit to Akali leaders, the Special Investigation Team has clarified that it didn’t give clean chit to anyone in Behbal Klan firing case.

The SIT has said that it has filed charge-sheet against only one accused Ex-SSP Moga Charanjit Sharma and the investigation of some aspects was still underway against him.

Interacting with media, a spokesperson of Punjab police said that how the SIT could give clean chit to anyone when the investigation in this case was still underway.

He clarified that the 792 page charge-sheet was filed against Ex-SSP Charanjit Sharma only and solid evidences have been presented in the charge-sheet. “The SIT will file a supplementary charge-sheet against anyone found guilty in this firing incident,” he added.

He further said that if there is not any illustration about someone in the charge-sheet it doesn’t mean that he has been given a clean chit until unless the investigation concludes.

Meanwhile, Sikh24 has learnt that the SIT filed charge-sheet against the Ex-SSP Moga Charanjit Sharma in a hurry because if the SIT won’t have filed it then Charanjit Sharma might have become eligible for bail.

Charanjit Sharma was arrested on January 27 this year and it is mandatory for Police to file charge-sheet against the accused within 90 days of his arrest in cases under-trial of Sessions Court.

No clean chit to Akali leaders in Behbal Klan firing case, clarifies SIT – “Reinstate IG Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh as SIT member,” Panthik leaders ask Chief Election Officer

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 April 2019. A delegation of Panthik leaders headed by Simranjit Singh Mann staged a peaceful sit-in-strike at Sector-17 of Chandigarh to protest against the removal of IG Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh from the Special Investigation Team appointed to crack the Kotkapura and Behbal Klan firing incidents.

The Panthik leaders, who were in large number, lodged a protest by showing black flags.

Later, these Panthik leaders submitted a memorandum to the Chief Election Officer Dr. S. Karuna Raju seeking reinstatement of IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh as a SIT member.

Interacting with the media, Simranjit Singh Mann said that there is a sharp wrath among the Sikh masses against the removal of IG Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh from the SIT.

He added that the SIT was working in the right direction and it was about to make major breakthroughs with its honest working. “The Chief Election Officer has promised us to convey the demand of the Sikh community to his upper authorities,” he informed.

Bhai Dhian Singh Mand, Gopal Singh Sidhu, Paramjit Singh Saholi, Iqbal Singh Tiwana, Baba Mohan Singh, Gurnam Singh Sandhu, Ranjodh Singh, Ranjit Singh Santokhgarh, Fauja Singh etc. were present on this occasion. – Police didn’t take any permission from Duty Magistrate to open firing on Sikh protesters, SIT tells High Court

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 March 2019. Replying to a notice by the Punjab & Haryana High Court about the bail plea of Ex-SSP Moga Charanjit Sharma, the Special Investigation Team has told the Court that the Police cops didn’t take any permission from the Duty Magistrate Pritpal Singh to open firing on peacefully protesting Sikhs at Kotkapura and Behbal Klan.

Citing the post-mortem reports of the two Sikh youths martyred by the Police at Behbal Klan, the SIT has told the Court that the Police cops didn’t fire bullets in defense instead they attacked the Sikh protesters as the bullets were fired from very close range.

The SIT further told the Court that the Police cops had cooked a fake story of opening fire in self-defense by later firing bullets on the Gypsy of Ex-SSP Charanjit Sharma in Bathinda with the personal weapons of their known ones.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the High Court bench has deferred the next hearing of the case onto 07 May.

It may be recalled here that the Ex-SSP Moga Charanjit Sharma was arrested by the SIT on January 27 this year. He was in an attempt to flee from the country, but the SIT got intimated of his plan and nabbed him from his residence in Hoshiarpur.

The Deccan Chronicle – UP government forms SIT to investigate 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur

About 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India during the pogrom that broke out after Indira Gandhi’s assassination on 31 October 1984.

Lucknow – Uttar Pradesh – India, 06 February 2019. A four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh to investigate the circumstances that led to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur following the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Headed by retired Uttar Pradesh director general of police, Atul, the team includes retired additional director (prosecution) Yogeshwar Krishna Srivastava and retired district judge Subhash Chandra Agarwal. It will also include a senior-level officer from the Uttar Pradesh police.

The SIT has been asked to submit its report in six months, an official statement said on Tuesday.

According to official records, about 2,800 Sikhs were killed across India, including 2,100 in Delhi, during the pogrom that broke out after Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984.

The Hindu – Gujarat riots: Supreme Court to hear Zakia Jafri’s plea after 4 weeks

New Delhi – India, 15 January 2019. The Supreme Court on January 15 said it would hear after four weeks a plea by Zakia Jafri challenging the clean chit by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 Godhra riots.

Zakia, the wife of Ehsan Jafri, an ex-MP who was killed in one of the worst incidents during the riots, has challenged the Gujarat High Court’s October 5, 2017, order rejecting her plea against the SIT’s decision.

The matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi, and the counsel appearing for the petitioner said they have circulated a letter seeking an adjournment of the hearing.

“You are asking for four weeks and we are giving you four weeks. List the matter after four weeks,” the bench said.

The Tribune – Khaira group seeks action in 1986 firing case

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 02 October 2018. The rebel group of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday demanded that the Justice Gurnam Singh Commission report on the 1986 Nakodar firing and an action-taken report should be tabled in the next Assembly session.

The state government, the rebel group demanded, should apologise to the families of the persons killed in police firing in Nakodar 32 years ago.

A spokesperson for Sukhpal Khaira-led AAP and Kharar MLA Kanwar Sandhu has written to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in this connection, demanding formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for further action.

He has also demanded adequate compensation for the aggrieved families. “The report was never made public, as families of the victims await justice even after 32 years,” the spokesperson said.

He said the incident in Nakodar was triggered by burning of the “birs” of the Guru Granth Sahib in a gurdwara on February 2, 1986.

The Hindu – Activists’ arrest: Chief Justice of India warns against ‘cooked-up’ proof

The apex court extends the activists’ house arrest till September 19.

Krishnadas Rajagopal

New Delhi – India, 18 September 2018. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said on Monday that the Supreme Court will set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) if the material relied on by the Maharashtra government to raid and arrest five activists on August 28 in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case is found to be “cooked-up”.

A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice Misra, said the court could not be expected to make up its mind without seeing the material evidence in the case.

‘Criminal Procedure Code violated’

“First of all, we must have a look at the material… If we see the material and find they are cooked-up, we will definitely order the setting up of a SIT… The debate here has to be whether the Criminal Procedure Code was violated.

Wherever this court has appointed SIT, there has been grave violation,” Chief Justice Misra addressed the parties.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, for petitioners Romila Thapar and four others, submitted that the arrests had been made on the basis of “cooked-up evidence” planted in the media by the police. “We do not go by what comes in the media… Besides, in every criminal case, the allegation is the evidence is cooked-up.

Both sides [petitioners and the State] can place their materials. We will see on Wednesday (September 19),” Chief Justice Misra observed in a high-voltage hearing.

The Chief Justice said the court had primarily entertained the petition to protect the liberty of the five activists.

“We have already done that. Our interim orders to place them under house arrest at their respective homes will continue,” Chief Justice Misra observed.

The five persons under house arrest are poet Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, and activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha.

As for the quashing of the cases against them, the Chief Justice, at one point, suggested they (accused) could continue their efforts in the competent lower courts.

The Chief Justice even mooted transferring the pending cases against the activists to one court while continuing with their house arrests. But senior advocate A M Singhvi persisted that the apex court should first hear the petitioners.

The hearing saw the Centre step in and voice its apprehensions about the problem of “naxalism” which has gripped the country.

“I (Centre) have come here because the problem of naxalism is not confined to one State, Maharashtra, but affects the entire nation. I have come here considering the overall situation in the country,” Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh submitted.

Mr Singh asked what “grievance” had compelled the petitioners to approach the Supreme Court directly.

“Is it that the police are not properly investigating the case under the CrPC or is it that they have a problem with the lower courts… Well, what is their grievance? Why did they not follow basic procedure and move the Supreme Court?” Mr Singh questioned.

He said the procedure leaves it to the competent lower court to decide as per law. “If the Supreme Court allows petitioners, who are third parties to come to the Supreme Court like this, then every case will come here,” he submitted.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, for Maharashtra government, said the case and arrests are not about the “quelling of dissent as asserted by third party-petitioners here”.

“This concerns serious offences. There is material recovered from their laptops, computers, hard disks, etc. We have video-taped all our raids from the moment we knocked on their doors to recovery and seizure.

This was done to protect ourselves against future allegations of high-handedness which may be raised against our investigation done in compliance with CrPC,” Mr. Mehta submitted.

The Asian Age – A year after Gauri Lankesh murder, SIT says case in final stage of investigation

The SIT, which has arrested 12 people in connection with the case, also said that a chargesheet will be filed in 2 months.

Bengaluru – Karnataka – India, 05 September 2018. Activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder case is in the final stage of investigation and a chargesheet will be filed in two months, a senior SIT official probing the killing said Wednesday.

The Special Investigation Team, under the leadership of Additional Commissioner of Police (West) B K Singh, has arrested 12 people in connection with the killing of Lankesh, known for her strong anti-Hindutva stand, on September 5 last year.

Some of the people arrested in the case are allegedly linked to Sanatan Sanstha and its allied outfit Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

“The case is in the final stage of investigation. We will file a chargesheet in the case in two months,” Investigating Officer M N Anucheth said.

Lankesh was shot dead on the night of September 5, 2017, from a close range in front of her Rajarajeshwari Nagar house around 8 pm.

The SIT got a breakthrough in its probe when a Gujarat-based forensic lab confirmed that Parashuram Waghmare shot and killed her.

The SIT, formed by then chief minister Siddaramaiah, has arrested suspected mastermind Amol Kale and shooter Parashuram Waghmare among others. A few others are yet to be nabbed. Sanatan Sanstha has claimed that those arrested were not its members.

Investigations revealed that Lankesh was among 26 people, including Prof K S Bhagwan, Girish Karnad and Chandrashekar Patil, were in rightwing extremists’ list, as they were critical of Hindutva ideology.

Speaking to news agency PTI on Tuesday, Lankesh’s sister Kavitha Lankesh said the rightwing outfit Sanatan Sanstha should be treated like any other terrorist organisation if its involvement in killings of rationalists, including that of Narendra Dabholkar, was proved.

Kavitha Lankesh expressed her happiness over the progress made by SIT, saying the investigating agency has made arrests and also guided CBI and other agencies to nab the killers of rationalists Govind Pansare and Dabholkar, besides progressive scholar M M Kalburgi.

Gauri Memorial Trust and her supporters are organising a series of events to mark the first anniversary of her death. They are also planning to stage ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ march and demand a ban on Sanatan Sanstha.

In a counter move, members of Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad, some of them lawyers fighting for the accused, criticised the SIT for invoking Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act against the accused.

“We dare SIT to file a chargesheet. The trial should begin as soon as possible. KCOCA was invoked to please the Leftists ahead of Gauri’s first death anniversary on September 5,” N P Amrithesh, an advocate, told reporters on Tuesday.

He alleged that the chargesheet against the first accused Naveen Kumar was filed in haste ahead of elections in the state.

Amrithesh charged that the accused were tortured by police and demanded a judicial probe into it. “The so-called confessional statements of accused recorded by police under duress have no legal sanctity. SIT has used third degree on the accused and this needs to be probed,” Amrithesh said.

HVP president Virendra Ichalkaranjikar alleged the invocation of KCOCA against 12 people is unwarranted and politically motivated. He criticised the state government for its double standards and playing politics to appease Leftists.

Ichalkaranjikar alleged the government did not invoke KCOCA in Abid Pasha’s case. Pasha is a member of Popular Front of India, who had confessed to have killed eight RSS activists in Karnataka in 2016, he said.

“Why did the government not appoint an SIT to probe the killing of RSS workers?” Ichalkaranjikar questioned.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and affiliated Hindu outfits are planning to stage a protest march against attempts to portray Sanatan Sanstha as a terror outfit.