Anti-Sikh riots: SIT arrests four accused in Kanpur killings KANPUR:
Three years after its was formed on May 27, 2019, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the killing of 127 Sikhs in Kanpur during the anti-Sikh riots that broke out across the country on October 31, 1984, made the first four arrests for the massacre on Tuesday night. The SIT, along with Kanpur Commissionerate and Kanpur Outer Police, arrested four persons from Ghatampur area for their alleged role in the mass murders in Nirala Nagar area of the city. Deputy inspector general of police (SIT) Balendu Bhushan Singh said, “The arrested accused are Safiullah, son of Sabir Khan of Shivpuri, Yogendra Singh alias Babban Baba, son of Surendra Singh of Jalala, Vijay Narayan Singh alias Bachchan Singh, son of Shivnarayanan Singh and Abdul Rehman alias Lambu son of Ramzani, both residents of Venda. They are being interrogated by the investigators.” “We have started making arrests of the accused identified in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. In the investigation conducted so far, 74 of them have been identified, who are yet to be arrested. However, the decision on the arrest of the sick and elderly will be taken as per the guidelines of the government,” he added. On November 1, 1984, an angry mob barged inside a building in which more than a dozen Sikh families were putting up in nearly 27 rooms. The rioters threw Rakshapal Singh and Bhupendra Singh, who lived there, into the fire from the terrace, while Gurdayal Singh Bhatia and his son Satveer Singh Kala were shot dead. In this, apart from Rakshapal Singh and Bhupendra Singh, one Satveer Singh Kala was also killed. In the investigation of the SIT, it was revealed that the mob had set the house on fire, in which a cylinder exploded and a rioter named Rajesh Gupta had also died. It has also come fore in the investigation that a Bengali person staying with the Sikhs was also killed by the mob mistaking him for a Sikh. However, the SIT has not received any information about him so far. A total of 127 Sikhs were killed in the riots in the aftermath of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her security personnel. In all, 40 cases of murder, robbery and dacoity were registered after the riots, out of which 29 were closed by the police after submitting a final report. However, when the state government constituted an SIT for investigation in 2019, out of 29 cases that were finalized, the investigation started again and in 14 cases after the SIT got evidence. The SIT was set up on May 27, 2019, after the apex court issued notice to the state government in August 2017 on a petition seeking probe into the riots. The four-member SIT is headed by retired UP DGP Atul. The other members are retired district judge Subhash Chandra Agarwal and retired additional director (prosecution) Yogeshwar Krishna Srivastava. Balendu Bhushan Singh is its member-secretary.