A US federal Court here has set September 21 date for pre-trial hearing in a case against Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and India’s Congress Party in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Judge Robert W Sweet of US Federal Court of the Southern District of New York issued an order in this regard. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) which filed the suit seeking compensation, said the plaintiffs will present evidence showing how Congress party planned the riots that killed 3000 Sikhs.
The case, which was filed last year in New York, initially targeted Kamal Nath. In March this year, the court had issued summons to Congress party, charging it with “conspiring, aiding and abetting” organised attacks on the community. The complaint against Nath stated that “the defendant was seen and heard by many on the scene of Gurudwara Rakab Ganj (in New Delhi). In this particular incident defendant was leading and in control of a mob of about four thousand people.” Nath has repeatedly denied any involvement and has been cleared by the Nanavati Inquiry Commission, which described the minister’s testimony as “vague” but concluded that there was no evidence that he had incited a mob. Adam Finkel, from the New York-based law firm, Sabharwal Nordin & Finkel is representing the defendants. The plaintiffs have asked for a jury trial.
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