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Justice delayed forever?

It was in 1987 when the riots and the subsequent massacre of Muslims took place in the Hashimpura and Maliana areas of Meerut. Thirteen long years have passed since then. Notwithstanding several reports and clear evidences that indicted the PAC personnel, not even a single culprit has been booked to this day.

Four years after 19 constables of the infamous Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) should have gone on trial for the cold-blooded massacre of 42 Muslims of Hashimpura, Meerut, the Uttar Pradesh government has been unable to arrest and produce even one of them in court. According to a report published in the Times of India (17 May), these nineteen people are still serving in the PAC and the government is well aware of their whereabouts. The court of the chief judicial magistrate, where the trial is to take place, has the home addresses and current postings of all the nineteen accused in the Hashimpura massacre. 

The accused have never been brought to the court despite the fact that on 23 occasions the summons date has come and passed. They have been served with 18 non-bailable warrants, but defying every law the government has refused to execute the warrants of arrest. When the court declared these accused ‘absconders’ and ordered that their properties be confiscated in February 1999, the government again did not comply with the court orders. 

Government’s reluctance to arrest them is amazing as these people were not indicted in any trivial matter. They are accused of slaughtering 42 innocent people in cold-blood without showing slightest mercy towards their victims. CBCID report on this massacre was submitted in 1994. The government has kept this report beyond the reach of people. It indicted 66 PAC personnel. The government did not allow the prosecution of all these 66 people-most of them were let off with reprimands. Only 19 were sanctioned for the prosecution and it took two whole years to get the government’s sanction. The change of governments has not affected this even slightly. It is BJP now in the office. But the so- called secular parties, like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP), have also been in power in the state, but apparently to no use. None of these parties has treated the case with seriousness it demanded.
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