New Delhi, Aug 21 IANS | 3 months ago

A court here has let off a man, accused in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which a mob had set afire a gurdwara leading to the death of three people, holding that the CBI has a "very, very weak case" as it has failed to prove his presence on the spot.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Bansal acquitted Suresh Kumar alias Panewala of various charges dealing with murder, rioting, damaging a place of worship with an intent to insult the religion of any class of persons and mischief by fire.

"It must be held that the prosecution has a very, very weak case. It has not proved the charge beyond reasonable doubt against the accused. It has failed to establish presence of the accused at the spot at the time of commission of the offences," the court said in an order delivered Wednesday but released Thursday.

In the case, investigation against senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler is still pending. Tytler's name had also cropped up in the case for his alleged involvement.

However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not find any material against Tytler and filed a closure report. The court April 2013 set aside the closure report and ordered further investigation into the matter concerning him.

Meanwhile, the court observed that key witnesses, who had seen the incident have also not identified the accused, Panewala.

It noted that record reveals that prosecution itself is not clear about the correct name of the rioter.

The case dates back to Nov 1, 1984 - in the aftermath of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination - when a mob of over 1,000 people had set afire Gurdwara Pulbangash in north Delhi, killing three people - Sardar Thakur Singh, Badal Singh and Gurcharan Singh.

(Posted on 21-08-2014)

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