Wheels of justice for the survivors of one of our worst pogroms since the Partition do grind ever so slowly. More than three thousand Sikhs were killed in the capital city of India in the wake of the murder of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in October 1984. Her killers and their alleged collaborators were long sent to the gallows, but the cold-blooded killers of 3,000 innocent Sikh men, women and children roamed free for more than three decades.
It is, therefore, supposed to be some consolation that at long last two lowly accused in those pogroms were convicted by a Delhi court earlier this week. One was sentenced to death, the other given life imprisonment. The NDA Government in 2015 set up a Special Investigation Team in 2015 to re-examine the 1984 killings. No doubt, the two convicted are minor figures in what was an orchestrated dance of death masterminded by people in power and which enjoyed the support of the local police and civil administration.
Several inquiries and commissions set up by the Congress governments had virtually done a white-wash job, pinning the blame on mass anger following the murder of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The convictions of the two accused is symbolic since they are likely to appeal in a higher court. Besides, unless the real plotters, key figures now dead, are named and shamed, the blot on India’s conscience will remain.