Acquittal of Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 genocide is a blatant act of injustice!

Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 7th May, 2013

Mass anger is being expressed on the streets following a District Court in Delhi ruling that Sajjan Kumar is not guilty of instigating the murderous gangs that attacked and killed hundreds of Sikhs residing in Raj Nagar on 1st November, 1984.

Sajjan Kumar has been acquitted in spite of several residents of Raj Nagar having named him in reports recorded by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  According to one of the eye-witness reports, “He told those persons (rioters) that they have not done the assigned work properly and they have only broken the gate of the thekedar’s (contractor’s) house. One of them told him that they were helpless as the thekedar was being saved by the Hindus. Thereupon Sajjan Kumar told them that those Hindus who are giving shelter to Sikhs should be killed and their houses be burnt. Thereafter he left in his car.”

Additional Sessions Judge J.R. Aryan has ruled that these eye-witness accounts were “doubtful” and the accused must be given the “benefit of doubt”.  At the same time, four other accused in the same case have been pronounced guilty, based on the same eye-witness accounts! 

Observing that the eye-witness reports naming Sajjan Kumar had been recorded by the CBI as late as in 2007, the judge wondered why his name had not been recorded earlier.  This is the reason given for declaring these eye-witness accounts as doubtful.  The judge chose to ignore the enormous pressure and threats to their very lives that these witnesses have had to face, to prevent them from naming any prominent Congress Party leader.

According to one of the complainants whose father and brothers were killed on that day, “When I went to the police station to register an FIR, I was told many more Sikhs will die and all the cases would be filed together. Later, when I took Sajjan Kumar's name, the police officer asked me if I was in my senses to name great people like him.”

                On 8th April, 1992, a charge sheet relating to FIR 67/1987 was prepared in which Sajjan Kumar was the only accused, but this charge sheet was not filed in the court. It has been suppressed for 21 years by the Delhi Police and is still to see the light of day. 

The Congress Party is not only guilty of having used the official police machinery to organise a communal massacre of thousands of people of the Sikh faith in 1984, but also guilty of having manipulated the investigative and judicial process ever since then.  It has used every trick possible, from suppressing and doctoring the evidence, to terrorising the witnesses and bribing judges. 

Spokesmen of the Congress Party claim that they are not as bad as BJP because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at least apologised to the Sikhs, while Narendra Modi has not apologised to the Muslims for the 2002 Gujarat carnage.  However, the point to note is that Manmohan Singh did not apologise on behalf of his party.  He apologised “on behalf of the nation”!  This means that he holds the nation and not his party to be guilty.  He implied that the entire nation went mad after Indira Gandhi’s assassination; and that people spontaneously started attacking Sikhs.  This is a monstrous lie and a gross insult to the Indian people.

The guilty who deserve severe punishment are not merely the ruffians and individuals who carried out the physical attacks.  The principle of command responsibility implies that those in command of the ruling party, the government administration and police machinery are to be held accountable and punished. 

When the BJP assumed power it was expected that they would punish those leaders of the Congress Party who organised the 1984 genocide. But nobody was convicted. 

If the guilty of November 1984 are punished, then those responsible for the destruction of Babri Masjid and the accompanying communal massacres, as well as the Gujarat genocide of 2002, would also have to be punished. If both the principal parties in parliament get exposed for their communal and criminal acts and their leaders get convicted, then the rule of the bourgeoisie will not be safe.  This is the reason why Congress Party and BJP do not really want the guilty to be punished. 

The ruling class and its politicians hope that people will forget in time. However, those who lost their dear ones will not forget.  And the people of India cannot afford to forget.  On the contrary, it is important to draw the pertinent lessons from history, on why these tragedies keep recurring and who gains from them. 

The Congress Party swept the Lok Sabha elections in 1985, advancing the slogan of “Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan!”  BJP gained in electoral terms from the 2002 Gujarat genocide.  This much is obvious. What is less obvious is that the division of people along communal lines serves the capitalist class in power, headed by the big monopoly houses.  It serves to divert the common struggles of the people for their rights.

Beginning in the early eighties, the Central Government carried out a communal campaign against the people of the Sikh faith, accusing them of being “terrorists”. “extremists”, and anti-national. The army attack on the Golden Temple in June 1984, in which thousands of innocent people were massacred, was followed by attacks on Gurudwaras all over Punjab. State terrorism was unleashed in to crush the revolt of the workers and peasants and the demand for national rights.  The political demands of the people of Punjab were treated as a “law and order problem”. Both Congress Party and BJP called on the people to line up behind the policy of state terrorism in the name of crushing the “enemies of India’s unity and integrity”.   

The genocide against Sikhs was accompanied by the modernisation drive of the Rajiv Gandhi government.  The first wave of the liberalisation and privatisation program was launched in 1991, and a year later, Babri Masjid was demolished and communal violence and tension was spread all over the country.  The second wave of this so-called reform program was launched by the Vajpayee government, soon after which the Gujarat genocide was organised.  These are not merely a string of coincidences.  They reflect the fact that communalism and communal violence are political weapons that serve the big bourgeoisie to impose its economic agenda.

Today, as the capitalist monopolies are pushing for further economic reforms to intensify exploitation and plunder in pursuit of their imperialist aspirations, the danger of fresh rounds of communal and sectarian violence is very real. 

An important lesson from the experience of the past 29 years is that the root cause of the problem lies in the existing system of democracy, which enables elected people’s representatives to use state power to terrorise and massacre people.  The system deprives the people of any means to prevent such crimes or to ensure punishment of the guilty.  What exists in the name of the "rule of law" is in fact the rule of arbitrariness, a system where a small minority in society enjoys unlimited powers to do what it pleases.

When the rulers are the criminals and the criminals control the judges, what must the people do? We must organise to replace the rule of arbitrariness with a new political power where the people themselves will be both the rulers and the ruled.

Workers, peasants, women and youth! It is we who constitute India! We are her masters! Let us unite to affirm our collective and individual rights over this society which belongs to us!  

We must persist with our struggle for justice, for severe punishment of the guilty.  We must take the struggle for justice to its logical conclusion, which is the Navnirman of the system of democracy and the political process, so as to empower the people.


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Punish the Guilty    Sajjan Kumar    Rajiv Gandhi    Carnage 1984    anti-sikh pogrom    1984 Sikh genocide    May 16-31 2013    Statements    Popular Movements    


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