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Home > News > PTI

1984 riot tout caught after 18 years

September 12, 2006 20:41 IST

An elusive Sikh cleric charged with cheating several anti-Sikh riot victims by collecting money on the promise of getting them compensation from the government was arrested in Tuesday after an 18-year hunt.

Atma Singh, who went missing during his trial in 1986, was arrested on Monday night from the IGI Airport on his return from London, where he had allegedly taken refuge ever since his mysterious disappearance.

The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Police, who arrested the 46-year-old Singh, produced him before Special Judge G P Mittal. He was remanded to judicial custody till September 20.

Singh approached several riot-hit families in the capital claiming that he would facilitate the easy sanction of compensation announced by the government in the aftermath of the 1984 carnage, the police said.

He collected Rs 500 each as charges to be paid to several officers for prompt clearance of files dealing with the disbursement of compensation amounts, it added.

Singh's plot came to light with the filing of a complaint by Harnam Singh, one of his victims, with the ACB on April 21, 1986, police said. The accused was arrested the same day and booked under sections 162/163 (taking gratification to influence public servant) of the IPC.

Subsequently, a chargesheet was filed in 1988 in the case and trial began in right earnest when Singh's disappearance stalled all proceedings.

Despite a massive manhunt by the police, Singh's trail became cold and he was declared as a proclaimed offender in the year 1994.

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