Sukhbir Badal requests SGPC to honour witnesses and lawyers who helped imprison Congress leader Sajjan Kumar
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today welcomed the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s decision to honour three witnesses who staged a relentless battle to ensure life imprisonment to 1984 genocide perpetrator and Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and urged it to also honour all the lawyers who fought this case.
In a statement here the SAD president said the SGPC had in its wisdom taken a decision to honour three witnesses in the case – Bibi Jagdish Kuar, Bibi Nirpreet Kaur and Jagsher Singh initially. “I feel it would be in the fitness of things to honour both the witnesses and lawyers instead of only honouring the witnesses first. I have accordingly made a request to the SGPC president also”.
Mr Badal said the Sikh quam was keen that all the lawyers who had prosecuted 1984 butcher Sajjan Kumar as well as those who had assisted the prosecution should be honoured by the apex Sikh body. He said while the role of Mr H S Phoolka, who was the lawyer for complainant Jagdish Kaur was well known, there were other unsung heroes also who needed to be given due recognition by the Sikh ‘panth’. “Foremost among these is Senior advocate and CBI special prosecutor R S Cheema who alongwith his daughter Tarannum Cheema won a rare victory for the CBI after 34 years by digging out minutest details and presenting the Daily Dairy of the Raj Nagar police station under whose jurisdiction 34 Sikhs had been butchered in November 1984. Mr Cheema is credited with proving police complicity with the Congress government through the Daily Dairy which claimed that nothing significant had happened in the Raj Nagar area during the period of the mass killings”.
The SAD president said similarly Gurbaksh Singh and his team of lawyers – Jarnail Singh and Jasleen Chahal, who had represented Jagsher Singh, had also done yeoman service to the cause of justice for 1984 victims. He said all these lawyers as well as other advocates who had played an important role as part of the prosecution team of the CBI including D P Singh, Hiral Gupta, Manu Mishra and Smrithi Suresh should be given due recognition. He said similarly Mr Phoolka’s team of lawyers including Kamna Vohra and Shilpa Dewan should be honoured.
Mr Badal said the Sikh quam was beholden to the witnesses in the case who had borne great hardship and stuck to their stand despite threats and even registration of false cases against Bibi Nirpreet Kaur and her family. “Similarly all the lawyers who represented the CBI as well as the complainants did a stellar job despite destruction of important evidence to ensure exemplary punishment to Sajjan Kumar. Keeping all these factors in mind I request the SGPC to honour all the witnesses as well as lawyers together” he added.