Hashimpura Judgment: An example of deliberate delay, violation of fair trial and denial of compensation.
On 22 May 1987, PAC personnel of UP reached Hashimpura, Meerut, took away about 50 Muslim men from a crowd outside a mosque, shot dead at least 42 of the men, and threw their bodies into a canal. On 21 March 2015, a Delhi Sessions Court accepted that the PAC personnel had committed these murders, but acquitted the policemen charged on account of insufficient evidence. Twenty eight years after the brutal massacre of Muslims by state forces, the guilty in uniform have not been identified and are roaming free.
- Deliberate Delay of 28 years: The history of the case shows that this delay began with the lack of filing of charge-sheet. Unless and until such cases where police themselves are indicted are independently investigated and speedily tried, each and every delay becomes an advantage for the accused as against the victims.
- Violation of Right to Fair Investigation and Trial: In these intervening years, the 16 accused were never arrested or suspended. They remained in the force and some were even promoted. In short, they had the power to interfere and tamper with evidence gathering and intimidate witnesses. The right of the survivors and victims’ to a fair investigation and trial was denied from the beginning. The fact that the accused were let off on grounds of lack of identification only underlines the shoddy investigation and its complicity with the criminal policemen. PAC men were on duty at Hashimpura that fatal day and it therefore becomes the responsibility of the PAC and the government to identify the criminals in its force.
- Denial of Compensation: No compensation has been awarded to anyone. The dead bodies were recovered. Yet, the families of the victims and survivors have been denied compensation in all these 28 years. Besides the deaths, 5 persons were seriously injured including Babuddin, who filed the first FIR that night. Even the injured were never given compensation. And even now the quantum of compensation remains undecided.