There has to be a killer, at least one, who took lives of 42 Muslim youths in 1987.
It is appalling to see that a nation where thousands of cases are registered every single day, it took 28 years for a verdict that disappointed almost all concerned due to ‘lack of identification’ and ‘benefit of doubt’.
Infamous Hashimpura massacre case has turned out to be one of its kind, where court doesn’t disputes that people were killed but eventually holds nobody accountable as the ‘identities’ of the arrested accused can’t be verified.
On 22nd May, 1987, 42 Muslim men were allegedly arrested by Provincial Arms Constabulary (PAC) from Hashimpura locality, were taken to a place near Ghaziabad where they were shot and their bodies were thrown into river-canals which were then recovered. Five of the victims who survived later became prosecution witnesses.
It took 28 years for verdict to be announced by a Delhi Court where it was the longest pending case till date. Three of the 19 accused have already died. Shockingly, it took 15 years to appoint a special public prosecutor to proceed the case.
Making a mock of the judicial system, all the 19 accused (including three which later died) remained in service during their trials. For a time span of 7 years (1994-2000) they didn’t even bother to appear before the court. Not only this, the accused snubbed 23 bailable and 17 non-bailable warrants issued by court.
Apart from juridiction, the way state organs acted in the case indicates sheer dereliction in duties, the inquiry for the case took seven long years as Crime-Branch CID submitted its final inquiry report in the year 1994. Even from here it took two year to file the charge sheet in the year 1996.
The manner and the time taken for verdict once again brings to fore the challenges our judicial system is facing. Prolonged delay in verdict, failure of state organs, apathy of investigating officers the case had every ingredient which leads to miscarriage of Justice.