Congress leader Sajjan Kumar convicted in 1984 anti-Sikh riots, has written to party president Rahul Gandhi submitting his resignation from the primary membership of the party, sources in the party said on Tuesday.

“I tender my resignation with immediate effect from the primary membership of the Indian National Congress in the wake of the judgement of the hon’be high court of Delhi against me,” he said in the letter to Gandhi.

The Delhi High Court had on Monday convicted Sajjan Kumar and sentenced him to life imprisonment, while describing the mass killings as “crimes against humanity”.

Read | Congress’ Sajjan Kumar convicted in 1984 anti-Sikh riots, sentenced to life in prison

The 73-year-old was in the Congress for over four decades.

Reversing the acquittal order of the trial court, the high court held him guilty of crime and ordered him to surrender by December 31 this year.

The court while reading out the judgement said the “accused enjoyed political patronage and escaped trial”.

Besides Kumar, Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar were also sentenced to life imprisonment. Kishan Khokkar and former legislator Mahender Yadav were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Non-Congress political parties on Monday hailed the Delhi High Court ruling holding Congress leader Sajjan Kumar guilty in the 1984 killing of Sikhs.

Read | ‘Delayed vindication of justice’: Non-Congress parties hail Sajjan Kumar conviction in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case

Earlier last month, a Delhi court had sentenced to death one of the two convicts found guilty of killing two Sikh men during the 1984 riots, the first capital punishment in the case.

According to reports, over 3000 people were killed in the riots in and outside Delhi.