MeraNews Network, New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday overturned the trial court that had acquitted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for his role during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Kumar is charged with conspiracy to commit murder after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguard.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel had concluded its hearing on the matter on October 29 and had reserved its judgment on December 17 after listening to arguments on the appeals filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, victims of the riots and the other convicts in the case. Kumar has been convicted of criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acts disrupting communal harmony.

Kumar, 73 and a former MP, has been ordered to surrender before December 31 and must not leave Delhi before that. He is the first top leader to have been convicted for his involvement in the ant-Sikh pogrom.

The Delhi HC also upheld the convictions of Congress councilor Balwan Khokhar, former MLAs Mahender Yadav, Kishan Khokharin and retired naval officer captain Bhagmal. The accused were involved in the murder of five people from a family in Raj Nagar in Delhi Cantonment.

The 1984 anti-Sikh riots were a series of violent mob attacks, allegedly led by the then Congress leaders, on members of the Sikh community after Indira Gandhi was shot dead at her residence by her Sikh bodyguard.