Decades After Sikh Riots, Probe Unlocks a House in Kanpur for Human Remains: Here’s a Timeline


Almost 36 years after anti-Sikh riots rattled Kanpur immediately preceded by the assassination of Indira Gandhi, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) unlocked a house in the city to collect evidence, including human remains.

According to an exclusive report by The Indian Express, businessman Tej Pratap Singh, 45, and son Satpal Singh, 22, were killed in the house in Govind Nagar area on November 1, 1984, and their bodies burnt. The family members who survived moved first to a refugee camp, and then Punjab and Delhi, selling off the house. The new owners never entered the two rooms where the killings took place, and the SIT found them virtually untouched.

Set up by the Yogi Adityanath government, the SIT probe is the first-ever investigation in Uttar Pradesh into the violence against Sikhs in 1984. 127 people were killed in Kanpur.

Here is a timeline of one of the worst riots in the history of India:

– October 31, 1984: The then PM Indira Gandhi shot dead by her two Sikh body guards at her residence.

– November 1-2, 1984: The riots broken out in the city after the assassination. Mob kills five Sikhs in Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment.

– May 2000: Girish Thakorlal Nanavati Commission set up to probe riots related cases.

– December 2002: Sessions court acquits Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in one of the cases.

– October 24, 2005: CBI registers another case on recommendation of GT Nanavati Commission.

– February 1, 2010: Trial court issues summons against Kumar, Balwan Khokkar, Mahender Yadav, Captain Bagmal, Girdhari Lal, Krishan Khokkar, late Maha Singh and Santosh Rani, named as accused.

– May 24, 2010: Trial court frames charges of murder, dacoity, mischief to cause damage to property, promoting enmity between different communities, criminal conspiracy and other sections of the IPC against six accused.

– April 30, 2013: Court acquits Kumar. Balwan Khokhar, Lal, Bhagmal held guilty for offence of murder, Yadav, Krishan Khokhar convicted for offence of rioting.

– May 9, 2013: Court awards life term to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Lal, and 3-year jail term to Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.

– July 19, 2013: CBI files appeal in HC against acquittal of Kumar.

– July 22, 2013: HC issues notice to Kumar on CBI’s plea.

– October 29, 2018: HC reserves verdict.

– December 17, 2018: HC convicts and sentences Kumar to remainder of his life. It also upheld life term of Khokhar, Bhagmal and Lal. Sentence of Yadav and Kishan Khokar enhanced to 10 years in jail.

-December 20, 2018: Kumar moves HC seeking time till Jan 30 to surrender

-December 21, 2018: HC dismisses Kumar’s plea.

-December 22, 2018: Kumar moves SC against his conviction and life term.

-December 31, 2018: Kumar surrenders before Delhi court.

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