Hashimpura Aquittal, Tragic but not Unexpected : Vibhuti Narain Rai,
The Hashimpura case verdict is unfortunate but not unexpected. If you
read the Uttar Pradesh CID case diaries carefully, you will agree,
that the way the case was made out against the officers of the
Provincial Armed Constablulary (PAC), it would not have been easy for
any court to pass a harsh verdict against them. As witness to the
whole incident from the very beginning, I can say that the
investigators were trying to save the murderers from day one.
When the officers of the PAC abducted 42 Muslims from the Hashimpura
area of Meerut on May 22, 1987 and brought them to Ghaziabad where
they made them stand between two canals and shot them dead, I was
posted in Ghaziabad as Superintendent of Police (SP). The incident
took place at
9 pm in the night. I got the
information about it around
10:30 PM. I can never forget what I
saw that dark night at the Ganga canal -- one of the scenes of the
crime, when I reached there with other officers.
Trying to weed out dead bodies from among the wild shrubs along the
banks of the canal, on the blood stained ground with the dim lights of
our weakened torches on that night on Delhi Ghaziabad border. Making
sure not to trample on a human body, dead or alive, measuring each
step carefully. That gruesome memory is vividly etched in memory. Like
a not to be forgotten horror movie.
We met Babuddin there, the only survivor of this hideous act, who
informed us about the Hashimpur massacre. In some time we came to know
about the other spot of the crime, around the Muradnagar Canal, where
the PAC vehicle had been taken to throw out the murdered dead bodies.
I gave orders to file an FIR in the context of both the incident
(spots), but in just a few hours, the investigation was snatched away
from me and handed over to the Crime Investigation Department (CID).
Under normal circumstances none would have questioned this decision as
the CID has more resources and could have conducted a better
investigation. But in this case, that didn’t happen.
The CID investigation was halfhearted and lackluster from the start,
every move made to save the culprits. For the last few years I have
been working on a book on this massacre, and have come across mind
boggling facts and evidence. Knowingly, the CID ignored significant
facts and leads in evidence. Specially, they have overlooked the
involvement of the army and have conveniently forgotten to investigate
the mastermind behind the massacre, that my evidence reveals, was a
BJP Politician. I will substantiate all these points, in detail, in my
Hashimpura is the single largest incident of custodial killing since
independence. This incident is different from the 1984 Sikh Riots and
the Nelli Massacre (1983) because here, not only were those who were
murdered in the custody of the police but they were also murdered by
the police. The Police had never gone to this extent earlier.
India’s honor is at stake. If the murderers cannot be punished in such
an instance of brutal mass killing then all our claims of India being
secular are vain and shallow. There is a need for this case to be
reinvestigated by an independent agency under the supervision of a
High Court or the High Court needs to nominate three retired IPS
officers for independent investigations. Without a thorough
re-investigation, we can neither reach the actual culprits who have
been given a clean chit by the CBI nor can the law reach to those
culprits who’s role needs to be uncovered in any meaningful
Vibhuti Narain Rai, retired IPS