Hashimpura case: Mayawati govt to expedite justice
Mayawati govt to expedite justice in Hashimpura case
By Bobby Ramakant
Mayawati govt in Uttar Pradesh has assured to expedite justice in Hashimpura case recently.
UP's Principal Secretary (Home) Dr JN Chambers met a delegation in state capital Lucknow and expressed his grave concern at the slow progress of the Hashimpura case, with justice being denied for more than 20 years now.
Dr Chambers assured the delegation to replace the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Mr Surinder Adlakha, whose performance has been reported as 'very unsatisfactory'. Earlier a petition demanding removal of SPP was submitted signed by senior Journalist and former members of Parliament Kuldip Nayyar and Surendra Mohan, Editor of Communalism Combat Teesta Setalvad, Director of Amnesty International in India Mukul Sharma, senior Journalists Nasiruddin Haider Khan and Shaira Naim, among others.
SPP Mr Adlakha was appointed by the previous Mulayam Singh Yadav's Government in UP about 3 years ago. The families of more than 40 muslim people who were massacred in Hashimpura twenty years back, and 2 survivors allege that Mr Adlakha has failed to prosecute this case effectively and rigorously. In fact, on 31 July 2006, he was fined Rs 5000 for failure to appear in the court for hearing. On many occasions the presiding judge NP Kaushik had verbally remarked that the SPP was not sufficiently prepared with his brief and was not familiar with documents on the case file.
Dr Chambers further promised that UP government will make sure that justice is done and Hashimpura case is expedited. He also committed to ask Registrar General for expediting this case and look into the CB-CID investigation report. If there are no technical issues in this CB-CID report, then it will be made public, Dr Chambers gave an assurance.
UP Government is yet to respond to another petition demanding dismissal of 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) men who have been accused for the Hashimpura massacre in which more than 40 muslim people died. Information received through RTI applications filed earlier, revealed that no departmental enquiry was ever conducted against the accused PAC men. A Delhi court has framed charges against all the accused PAC men for participating in a criminal conspiracy to commit mass murder and they are being prosecuted for the same in Delhi.
PAC men had allegedly gunned down over 40 people on 22 May 1987 (all muslim). The Hashimpura massacre occurred during the communal riots that broke out in Meerut in May 1987. Apparently, the immediate provocation was the Rajiv Gandhi-led Central government's decision to open the Babri Masjid for worship by Hindus.
The struggle of survivors and family members of those killed in Hashimpura massacre, has undoubtedly intensified over the past 20 years, despite of all disappointments and multi-prong attempts to wash-it off.
UP government has indeed given a ray of hope to those waiting for justice for more than two decades now.
(The author is a senior development journalist, writing for media in Asia and Africa. He can be contacted at: email@example.com)