Victims and survivors of the Hashimpura killings are undeterred by UP Police’s admission of having destroyed documents related to deployment of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) during the 1987 Hashimpura riots. With a hearing in the case scheduled before the Delhi High Court on February 17, a complainant in the case said the future course of action was under consideration and will be finalised soon in consultation with the victims’ lawyer, Vrinda Grover.
“It appears that the local administration has deliberately destroyed the evidence pertaining to the case to weaken it. This has been done at the behest of the UP and the Central governments. Whenever we nourish hope for getting justice in the case, something is done to weaken it. This has happened before,” alleged complainant Jamaluddin. Zareena, who lost her husband in the alleged massacre, said: “I have not lost hope… The court will come to our rescue.”
UP’s Additional Advocate General Zafaryab Jilani, who represents the state before the high court, had recently sought details from the Meerut SSP regarding postings of police officers and other employees in Hashimpura on May 22,1987, the day of the carnage.
In his reply, SSP Dinesh Chand Dubey said: “The records pertaining to the postings of police officers and employees in Meerut on that day were destroyed on January 4, 2006 following lapsing of the period to upkeep the same.”
The SSP’s reply came as another rude jolt for relatives of the victims and survivors, who have been fighting for justice for nearly three decades.
Last year, a Delhi court had acquitted 16 PAC men, who were among the 19 charged with abducting 42 members of the minority community in May 1987 during the riots in Meerut.
After reports about the SSP’s admission emerged, the victims took up the matter with SP (City) Om Prakash Singh. “He assured us that justice will be done in the case, but we do not trust the words of any government representative,” added Jamaluddin.
Angry, but not ready to give up hope, eyewitness Julfikar Nasir said: “It is a lie…an attempt is being made to shield the killers. Earlier too the local administration made claims of destruction of evidence, but on being reprimanded by the court, the evidence was produced.”