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The Patiala House Court has awarded the death penalty to Yashpal Singh while giving life sentence to Naresh Shearawat for killing two Sikhs in the Mahipal area of South Delhi during the 1984 riots that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi.  The two were charged with killing Hardev Singh and Avtar Singh. On November 14, the two accused were convicted in the case.

It is the first punishment that has been given to accused in the case after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) took over the probe. Hardev Singh’s brother, Santokh Singh filed the complaint against the two convicts. The Delhi police had closed the case in 1994 for lack of evidence. However, the SIT reopened it for further investigation. Earlier the SIT had sought the death penalty for both convicts.

Heavy security arrangements were made outside the court as the judge read out the quantum of punishment. The security was in the light of the events that took place in the same court late last week when the family of a Sikh who had been killed during the riots attacked an accused who was being brought to the court for the hearing. The court held both the accused guilty under various sections including 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 395 (dacoity) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the Indian Penal Code.

—India Legal Bureau

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