The Allahabad High Court has asked Uttar Pradesh government to file its reply on a petition alleging discrimination in grant of compensation to victims of police firing in Hashimpura locality of Meerut which was rocked by communal clashes in 1987.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Verma, passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation filed by social organization “Sach” through its president Sandeep Pahal.

The court, while granting four weeks’ time to the state government for filing a counter-affidavit, fixed August 5 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

The petitioner had contended that on June 5 last, the state government had taken a decision to award a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to legal heirs of 38 persons who were killed and five others who had received grievous injuries in the police firing that followed the communal riots in Hashimpura.

The petitioner had further contended that as many as 351 persons had lost their lives in the communal clash and its aftermath and that the Samajwadi Party government had “discriminated between victims by awarding compensation to only a small group of persons“.

The petitioner had also alleged that the state government was trying to ensure that members of only one community received the benefit of compensation.