Uttar Pradesh government Friday approached the Delhi High Court against a trial court’s decision acquitting 16 policemen of the charges of murder and other crimes in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre case in which 42 people were killed in Meerut city.
In its appeal, the UP government said that there are “lapses” in the trial court’s findings. On March 21, the trial had acquitted all the 16 personnel of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), who were accused of abducting and killing 42 men.
The government move comes within days of the survivors of the massacre and families of those killed moving the Delhi High Court with two similar appeals. The appeals claim that the trial court had not taken the evidence linking the truck in which the victims were rounded up and taken to the accused personnel.
During a hearing on Monday and on Thursday on the two separate appeals, a court of Justice G S Sistani and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, after hearing brief arguments from senior advocate Rebecca John, issued notice to the accused PAC personnel and the State of UP seeking their response.
The case will now be heard on July 21.
On May 22, 1987, around 50 Muslim men were picked up from Hashimpura Mohalla allegedly by personnel of the 41st company of PAC during a search operation following communal tensions in the area. The prosecution had alleged that the PAC personnel had shot dead 42 of them and their bodies thrown into a canal.
The chargesheet in the case was filed before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad in 1996. The case was transferred to Delhi in September 2002 on the orders of the Supreme Court following a petition by the families of the massacre victims and survivors. Three of the 19 accused had died during the trial. In its judgment on March 21, however, the trial court had acquitted all the accused.
The petitioners have also sought directions for compensation to be given to the families of all the victims, as the trial court order had awarded compensation to only nine of the victims. The plea has also sought fixing of the compensation amount.
The petition, filed through advocate Harsh Bora, has also pointed out that the Delhi Victims Compensation Scheme, under which the District Legal Aid Services Authority can give compensation, does not include a category for victims of communal or custodial violence. The plea has sought directions to include such a category in the scheme and to award due compensation to the victims of the Hashimpura massacre.
(with PTI inputs)