May 22 marks the commemoration of 1987 Hashimpura massacre in which 42 Muslims were shot dead by Uttar Pradesh police force. 16 personals of Pradeshik Armed Constabulary (PAC) of UP police were found guilty by Delhi high court in 2018 after 31 years.
The killings of 42 Muslim men took place during a riot in Meerut in 1987 when the victims were picked up from the Hashimpura neighbourhood by the 41st Battalion of the PAC during a search operation.
The bodies were dumped in a nearby canal.
“All of us were begging for our lives to be spared. In return, they were abusing us. Then I was shot and thrown into the canal. I don’t know how long I was senseless. When I regained consciousness, I found myself wounded and floating.” recalls Nasir, a survivor of the massacre in his account of the incident published in India Today in 2012.
It was the last Friday of Ramadan and most of the people were out to pray.
Nasir had bullets in the waist and leg. Later police offered him help to get to the hospital if he clears the name of PAC in the massacre.
“At 2.30-3.00 at night, a policeman brought a jeep and said,” Son, don’t take the name of PAC. Taking you to the hospital If you take a name, we will give you an injection of poison, you will finish in five minutes. Saying that in Meerut there was a rebellion and I was shot and brought in something and threw me in the water. I got out of the water and the police saved my life. If you make this statement, your life will be saved. “
What happened to the accused?
In 1996, Charge sheet was filed against 19 accused before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad by CB-CID of Uttar Pradesh police. 161 people listed as witnesses. the case was shifted to Delhi in 2002 by the supreme court.
In 2015, the Tis Hazari court acquitted all the accused. The matter reached Delhi High Court.
Three years later, on 31 October 2018, the High Court convicted 16 PAC jawans and sentenced them to life imprisonment and also imposed a fine of ten thousand rupees on each. Three convicts expired in the duration of the trial. The rest are serving their time in prison.
Former Superintendent of Police Vibhuti Narain Rai, who has pursued the Hashimpura massacre case for 31 long years responded that he wasn’t satisfied with the verdict. Who gave orders to kill are still free and never made accountable.