HC verdict on Hashimpura evokes divergent reactions
By Shrikant Asthana | PUBLISHED: 03, Nov 2018, 13:12 pm IST | UPDATED: 03, Nov 2018, 13:30 pm IST
The Delhi High Court verdict on Hashimpura custodial killings case has evoked mixed reactions in Meerut and other concerned quarters. The victim families and Muslim leaders including Jameeyat Ulema-e-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madni have hailed the decision as eventual justice. However, there are groups with differing opinions – some that say the decision needed be challenged in the Supreme Court and some that assert that it is 'curtailed justice.'
The former UP BJP chief and ex-MLA from Meerut City Assembly constituency Laxmikant Bajpai feels that the decision was incongruous and needed be challenged in the Supreme Court as the lower court had exonerated all accused PAC men for want of convincing evidence of their involvement in killings. Ex-MLA Bajpai, a sitting BJP MLA and many other BJP leaders though did not criticise the verdict, yet they find it a fit case for appeal. They prefer to choose neglecting the nailing evidence of the PAC General Diary which remained missing for almost 30 years and was presented only before the High Court. The General Diary gave clear details of movement of the accused and the identified trucks.
There are also people like Vibhuti Nrayan Rai, the retired IPS officer and writer who believe that the investigation could bring forth only half-truth. Real culprits of the incident are still scot-free. He pleads that such a gruesome decision of killing truckload-full people and throwing them into canal couldn’t have been taken by constables and lower-rank officials. The senior most PAC official accused in the case was a Company Commander that is equivalent to a Sub-Inspector. It is may be recalled that Mr. Rai was then SSP Ghaziabad when the incident took place and bodies were found in Hindon and Ganges Canal following which initial cases were registered.
Mr. Rai later wrote a book on this heinous incident. Having gone through reams of evidences and investigation reports on the case, he is supposed to be the most knowledgeable person on the issue. The ex-IPS asserts that the investigation was wilfully distorted to save the real culprits. He has indicated deep involvement of a politically connected woman who had lost her nephew in the riots two days before the Hashimpura incident. Her other military officer nephew, posted in Meerut cantonment those days, also had a role behind the incident. However, the investigation did never point towards these aspects. He rues that the real truth behind the heinous crime by a uniformed force could not see the light of the day and the real culprits are roaming scot-free.