Slow motion

Published on: June 1, 2006
20 yrs on, 17 PAC men charged with killing several Muslims in Hashimpura, Meerut

The court of Additional Sessions Judge NP Kaushik framed charges of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy, abduction, unlawful confinement, assault and unlawful compulsory labour against the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) men charged with killing Muslims during curfew in Meerut on May 22, 1987. The charges have been framed after the process of initiating trial proceedings was repeatedly delayed over the past 19 years.

According to the prosecution, 19 PAC personnel picked up the victims, along with several others, during curfew hours in Hashimpura, kept them confined, and later shot them. The 41 bodies were allegedly dumped in the Upper Ganga canal where they were eventually found floating in Murad Nagar. According to witnesses, two of the 43 men escaped alive.

After the brutal incident came to light, there were calls from several quarters to take immediate action against the accused. An inquiry ordered by the UP government, whose findings were brought out in February 1994, indicted as many as 666 PAC personnel in various misdeeds in Meerut during that period.

Three years later, following the testimony of those who had witnessed the arrests, the Ghaziabad chief judicial magistrate issued bailable warrants against the accused for not appearing in the case. Later, 23 non-bailable warrants were issued between 1997 and 2000. Finally, in May and June 2000, the PAC personnel surrendered and were granted bail.

It was pointed out by citizens’ groups and activists that over this 13-year period the accused personnel were on active duty and received regular transfers and postings.

Although consecutive dates were fixed in September, October and December 2000 by the CJM’s court for framing of charges, this could not be carried out since the prosecution, as per court records, was not prepared.

The CID later requested more time since a special public prosecutor was yet to be appointed in the matter. Of the 19 originally accused, one is absconding and one has died.

In 2002, the Hashimpura Advisory Committee approached the Supreme Court and sought transfer of the case to Delhi since the accused were allegedly "exerting pressure and influence" to stall the proceedings in Ghaziabad.

Based on the Supreme Court’s order, the case was finally transferred to the Tis Hazari courts here (Delhi), where the argument on charges commenced resulting in the framing of charges against the jawans. n

(Courtesy: The Hindu, May 2, 2006.)

In the Court of Sh NP Kaushik,
Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi

State vs Surender Pal Singh etc.

Present case relates the two FIRs bearing Crime No. 110/87 registered at Police Station Link Road, Distt. Ghaziabad and No. 141/87, Police Station Murad Nagar, Distt. Ghaziabad, both under sections 364/302/307/201 IPC. Hon’ble Supreme Court vide orders dated 27.9.2002 transferred these matters from the court of additional district judge IV Ghaziabad to the district and sessions judge, Delhi, in the interest of justice.

2. Facts in brief as put forth by the prosecution are that on 21.5.1987 there was a deadly assault on provincial armed constabulary in Meerut and two rifles of PAC personnel were looted by certain antisocial elements. On the same date, one Sh Prabhat Kumar Kaushik was murdered in Mohalla Suraj Kund adjacent to Mohalla Hashimpura, Meerut. Upon this, a meeting of district administration officers, including police officers, took place. Consequent upon that on 22.5.1987 a search for illegal arms in Mohalla Hashimpura, Meerut, was launched. Curfew was already clamped in the city, Meerut. Mission of arrest and search was carried out by the district police, PAC and the army.  

644 persons from Mohalla Hashimpura were arrested U/s 107/151/116 CrPC. Arrangements were made to send the arrested persons to Police Station Civil Lines and Police Lines, Meerut, with the help of trucks of police, PAC and military. Forty-two persons arrested from Mohalla Hashimpura were put in truck No. URU-1493 belonging to 41st Btln. of PAC. Instead of taking these persons to Police Station Civil Lines, Meerut, they were taken to Upper Ganga canal, Murad Nagar. Truck in question had come from Chowki Pilokheri and PAC jawans were being led by Platoon Commander Surender Pal Singh. PAC jawans (all accused in the present case), after taking the said 42 persons from Mohalla Hashimpura to Upper Ganga