May 15, 2015 3:16:29 am
State Urban Development and Minority Welfare Minister Azam Khan and his supporters will hold a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi from where the Samajwadi Party leader will lead a candle light march to Rajghat on May 23 seeking justice for the families of the 1987 Hashimpura massacre victims.
While the SP has not officially associated itself with the demonstration, Khan, who held a meeting of his loyalists on May 6 at his residence in Lucknow, has formed a nine-member sub-committee that will oversee the preparations for the event.
The meeting held on May 6 was attended by SP legislators Abid Raza, Zameerullah Khan, Abrar Ahmed, Ghulam Mohammad, Ruchi Veera; MLC Sarojini Agarwal; State Minorities Commission Chairman Shakeel Ahmed Khan; Additional Advocate General Qamrul Hasan and former vice-president of Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union, Abdul Qadir Jilani.
All those present at the meeting (nearly 40), were asked to invite Muslim intellectuals from diverse fields. All will join the minister in Delhi for the demonstration for which party leaders from districts close to Delhi have been entrusted to assemble the necessary crowd.
During the stir, Azam is likely to announce the state’s decision to appeal against the Delhi court’s March 21 verdict setting free all 16 policemen held accused over “benefit of doubt for want of evidence especially regarding their identity”.
The state government’s Law Department is currently drafting its appeal which it plans to file in the last week of this month and for which it has collected the report of Meerut District Magistrate.
Additional Advocate General Zafaryab Jilani confirmed the development. “It will take another 10 days to prepare the appeal. We will file it any day after May 25.” Jilani, however, denied having any information about a demonstration or a march planned by Azam and his supporters in Delhi.
After the Delhi court acquitted the accused policemen, an SP leader in Meerut, Raqfiq Ansari, had brought along families of the victims to meet Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on April 29 where the families demanded that the state government make public the report by Gyan Prakash inquiry commission which was constituted to probe the 1987 massacre case. Besides financial assistance, they also demanded that the government file an appeal in the High Court against the Delhi court’s verdict.
The CM had visited Meerut on May 4 for the inaugural function of Mulayam Singh Medical College but did not visit the affected families in Hashimpura. A week later in Aligarh, Azam had said his party would take steps to fight the legal battle on behalf of the victims, and had called out “all sections of people who believe in justice (to) join in this endeavour.”
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