Updated: April 3, 2021 8:55:05 am
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) established by the Yogi Adityanath government to investigate cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Kanpur has started the process of tracing around 100 injured victims who were taken to two state-run hospitals for treatment during the violence.
According to an SIT member, the team wants to trace these people as some of them may be able to testify in the cases it is probing.
Around a month ago, the SIT requested Ursula Hospital and Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital, also known as Hallet Hospital, to provide a list of people they treated for injuries sustained during the riots.
“Ursula provided us with a list of 42 people and Hallet gave a list of around 108. We will check which victims are related to cases the SIT is investigating and will soon start the process to trace them. These victims will be important witnesses in the cases we are investigating,” said Superintendent of Police and SIT member Balendu Bhushan.
The SIT has also decided to trace 135 Kanpur residents who had submitted affidavits to the Ranganath Mishra Commission that was set up by the Congress government at the Centre in 1986 to conduct inquiries related to the riots in Delhi, Bokaro (Jharkhand) and Kanpur. A team of six SIT members recently visited the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to study the report.
“SIT officials found 135 affidavits are concerned with cases the agency is investigating. We collected photocopies of those affidavits and will soon start studying them. Our next step will be to trace the people who filed affidavits to the commission, and get their statements recorded,” said Bhushan.
In the affidavits, the petitioners mentioned the names of people they believed were involved in the riots, aiding the SIT’s efforts to bring the guilty to book.
The riots in Kanpur erupted in the wake of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. At least 127 people were killed in the district. The Yogi Adityanath government established the SIT in 2019 to examine 1,251 cases registered in Kanpur in connection with the violence.
The investigators shortlisted 40 cases for more detailed inquiries. Of those cases, the Kanpur police had filed chargesheets in 11 and closure reports in the rest. Among the cases in which chargesheets were filed, the SIT sought the state government’s permission to appeals a trial court’s judgements in five cases. The matter is still pending.
Of the rest of the 29 cases, the SIT is investigating 19 in which the police had filed closure reports. The SIT decided not to investigate the remaining cases after it did not find any evidence. Sources said the team of investigators decided not to pursue inquiries in nine cases after the complainants and witnesses in those cases refused to come forward.
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