Feb 162012

The protests took place outside the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Family members of the 1984 riot victims, survivors and political activists expressed both shock and anger over Khanna’s decision.

Survivors and relatives of victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, besides activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), clashed with police here on Thursday, after Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna took a decision to commute the life sentence of Kishori Lal, who was convicted for the murder of eight Sikhs.

The protesters broke barricades around the Dikshit residence and demanded justice.

Khanna’s decision to send the case again to the State Review Board was followed by opposition by a section of the Sikh community.

Kishori Lal, 48, a former butcher from Trilokpuri in East Delhi, was accused of stabbing several people to death in the neighbourhood during the riots.

Kishori Lal was picked on grounds of good conduct by the jail authorities, who then approached the Sentence Review Board (SRB). The SRB recommended that he be released from jail and given a chance ‘to reform himself’.

H.S. Phulka, the lawyer representing the 1984 riot victims said: “He was convicted in not one, but three cases. How could the government forgive him? I am shocked by the decision.”

Avtaar Singh Makkar, a riot survivor, said, “We oppose the shortening of his life sentence. Government is playing games with us.” (ANI)

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