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Hashimpura massacre: 16 ex-cops, acquitted earlier, get life imprisonment

ANI | Updated: Oct 31, 2018 16:21 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 31 (ANI): The Delhi High Court (HC) on Wednesday sentenced 16 former Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel to life imprisonment in the Hashimpura massacre case.
The police officers had killed 42 people of a minority community in 1987 during a riot in Uttar Pradesh's Hashimpura district.
The High Court, while pronouncing the judgement, observed, "This was a targetted killing by the armed forces. Members of the minority community were killed and families had to wait 31 years for justice."
The Delhi Court overruled the three-year-old judgement of a trial court that had acquitted all the 16 officials, nearly two months after it reserved its decision on the appeals by the then Uttar Pradesh government, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and survivors of the massacre.
The trial court had acquitted the 16 giving them benefit of doubt. At that time, P Chidambaram was the Home Minister.
The decision on a petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy for further investigation into the case is unclear as the copy of judgment hasn't been released.
Swamy, speaking to ANI, said, "P Chidambaram was there before and after the massacre, so he should have been questioned. Now that the culprits are convicted, there is only one place to go, that is, the Supreme Court. I will consider if I should approach the top court on issues of genocide and involvement of Chidambaram."
The case took a major turn when 78-year-old Ranvir Singh Vishnoi, who was posted at the police line during the massacre, produced the general diary of police as additional evidence after the case was reopened on the appeal of the NHRC in the Delhi High Court.
The sessions court admitted that PAC had arrested 40-45 people from Hashimpura, loaded them in a truck and shot them. Subsequently, they dumped the bodies at Muradnagar in Ganganagar.
As per the details of the general diary, information of PAC jawans, weapons and bullets were sent to the PAC at Pilokhari police post on May 22, 1987, at 7.50 pm.
A total of 17 PAC soldiers, namely Surendra Pal Singh, Niranjan Lal, Kamal Singh, Shravan Kumar, Kush Kumar, SC Sharma, Om Prakash, Samihullah, Jaipal, Mahesh Prasad, Ram Dhyan, Leeladhar, Mameer Singh, Kunwar Pal, Buddha Singh, Basant Vallabh and Rambir Singh were named in it.
All the convicted ex-police personnel have retired from service. (ANI)