A total of 3,325 people were killed in the 1984 riots. Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths while the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.
Prima facie it was found that there are 186 riot cases which could be re-investigated and the SIT is examining them, a senior Home Ministry official said. However, in each of the cases, prosecution has to take permission of the respective courts.
The move comes months ahead of the Assembly polls in Punjab. Delhi Police had closed 241 cases citing lack of evidence. Justice Nanavati Commission had recommended reopening of only four of them but BJP wanted re-investigation of all the cases.
The CBI had reopened and re-investigated only four cases. In two of them, the probe agency had filed a charge sheet and in one, five persons, including a former MLA, were convicted. The SIT was set up on February 12, 2015 following a recommendation by the Home Ministry-appointed Justice (retd) G P Mathur committee.
The three-member SIT comprises two Inspector General rank IPS officers and a judicial officer. At the time of formation of the SIT, around one-and-a-half-years ago, the government had said it would submit its report within six months.
However, the work of the SIT got delayed due to unknown reasons. On December 10, 2014, the Narendra Modi-government had announced an additional compensation of Rs five lakh to the kin of each of those killed in the 1984 riots, triggered by the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
Last month, the Home Ministry had announced that 1,020 families, who had been hit by the riots and migrated to Punjab from different parts of the country, will be given Rs two lakh each as part of a centrally-sponsored rehabilitation scheme.