New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday moved the Delhi High Court, challenging a court's verdict in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre case acquitting 16 police personnel accused of killing 42 Muslim men in Meerut.
The Uttar Pradesh government filed the appeal against the March 21 trial court order which acquitted 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel of the charges dealing with murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy.
The government alleged that there are "lapses" in the judgment of trial court, which also "overlooked" the statements of survivors.
Suresh Chand Sharma, Niranjan Lal, Kamal Singh, Rambir Singh, Sami Ullah, Mahesh Prasad, Jaipal Singh, Ram Dhayam, Sarwan Kumar, Leela Dhar, Hambir Singh, Kunwar Pazal Singh, Budha Singh, Budhi Singh, Mokham Singh and Basant Vallabh who were facing the trial in 27-year-old massacre were acquitted in the case.
The trial court freed all the accused from all charges framed against them by giving them the "benefit of doubt" for want of sufficient evidence regarding their identity.
The court said although the accused persons have been acquitted in this case, it felt the victims and affected families should be rehabilitated.
There were 19 accused in the case. Three of them died during the trial.
The killings allegedly occurred during riots in Meerut city when the victims were picked up from the Hashimpura area of the city by personnel of the 41st Battalion of the PAC during a search operation.
The charge sheet in the case was filed before the chief judicial magistrate in Ghaziabad in 1996. The case was transferred to Delhi in September 2002 on the order of the Supreme Court following a petition by the families of the massacre victims and survivors.
A sessions court here in July 2006 framed charges of murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy against all the accused.