New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of 88 people in connection with the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi that took place after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The high court dismissed their appeals against the conviction by a trial court for burning houses and curfew violations during the riots.

Justice R K Gauba directed all the convicts to surrender within four weeks.

The convicts had challenged the August 27, 1996 judgement of a Sessions Court which had convicted 88 out of the 107 people arrested on November 2, 1984 for rioting, burning houses and curfew violation in Trilokpuri area of East Delhi.

On November 20, a Delhi court had awarded death penalty to convict Yashpal Singh for killing two men, the first capital punishment in the case.

The Delhi Police had closed the case in 1994 for want of evidence. However, a Special Investigation Team on the riots reopened it.

The SIT is investigating nearly 60 cases related to the riots, while it has filed “untraced report” in 52 cases.

While this was the first death penalty after the SIT was formed, one Kishori was earlier given the death penalty by a trial court in as many as seven anti-Sikh riots cases. However, the Delhi High Court confirmed death penalty only in three cases, which were later commuted to life-term by the Supreme Court.

A mob of about 500 persons, led by the two convicts, had encircled the house of the victims and had killed them. It was just one of the incidents out of several others Delhi alone during the riots that saw around 3,000 people being killed.