Indian news reports say a court has acquitted a ruling Congress party official of helping orchestrate deadly anti-Sikh riots that rampaged through the capital in 1984.

The Press Trust of India news agency says the court found former parliamentarian Sajjan Kumar innocent on Tuesday. He had faced a minimum sentence of life in prison if he had been convicted of inciting a mob to murder Sikhs following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Gandhi was killed by her Sikh bodyguards.

Angry Sikh demonstrators gathered outside the court to protest the verdict.