The judge, Sanjay Jindal, has acquitted all the policemen who had herded Muslims from Hashimpura, forced them into trucks, only to take away to deserted spot where they were all shot in cold-blood.
The bodies were later thrown in canal. A few persons survived to tell the tale. For 28 years, the families of the victims were waiting for justice. But justice hasn't come.
|Vir Bahadur Singh|
The judge stated that he acquitted them because of lack of evidence. We will come on this issue later, but first going back to Hashimpura. The killings took place in the decade of eighties--1987, to be precise.
It was the era when Ram Janmabhoomi [Babri masjid dispute] movement was at its peak. But even before the Ram Mandir movement, the notorious PAC was involved in mass killings, city after city.
This was happening in other states too. Just a few years ago, over 3,000 persons were killed in Neilly. Congress was the ruling party in the country.
In UP also, Congress was in power. But communal riots in which police readily opened fire, kept occurring. Some party leaders used to say in those days that communal riots and killings can never be stopped in India.
WHAT HAPPENED IN HASHIMPURA
Congress leaders were disinterested in checking communal riots. But they were very efficient in cover-ups and in protecting the policemen or other police personnel. The 'secular' state was nowhere to protect its minorities.
After Hashimpura killings, the policemen involved in this massacre, remained in service. There was no action against them. The state police machinery and successive governments fully protected them.
Muslims were fed up with this attitude of Congress. It claimed to be saving the minorities, but the most horrible riots took place under Congress rule.
It was this attitude that slowly drove Congress out of UP-Bihar. As the options came, Muslims switched en bloc to 'Third fronts'.
Either it was Hashimpura-Maliana or Muradabad-Firozabad, Neilly-Bhagalpur or Mumbai riots 1992-92, they were all under the Congress rule.
Congress had opened the locks of the disputed site too. How can it get vote. It claimed to be secular, but beat the BJP at the same game. It could get away with big massacres, with minimum accountability.
Court's judgement, citing lack of evidence.
While Indian courts are held in high esteem, the fact is that courts are increasingly getting sensitive to cases that are hyped, that affect the affluent or the middle-class, that are taken up as 'causes' by the media.
When cases drag for decades, how much evidence can last? In this case, the trial was shifted from UP to Delhi, but no fast-track court was set up. When a case continues for a quarter century, how many victims or witness will survive?
In other cases, there are quick judgments despite lack of evidence. Courts punish to satisfy the 'collective conscience' too. Hashimpura judgment is a clear lesson that Indian state has failed its poor, ordinary citizen.
1. Read what VN Rai, who was SP Ghaziabad in 1987, saw when Hashimpura massacre took place
2. Read the Wikipedia page on Hashimpura massacre
3. SEE PHOTO GALLERY in INDIAN EXPRESS. WHAT HAD HAPPENED in HASHIMPURA. Photo credit Indian Express.