By Mahmood Asim, TwoCircles.net,
New Delhi: Former IPS Vibhuti Narayan Rai, who was SP of Ghaziabad when Hashimpura massacre occurred in 1987, re-investigation under the supervision of judiciary, not even by CBI, is the way forward for getting justice in the heinous incident.
Rai termed the Hashimpura massacre as the “biggest ever custodial killing” in the long history of Independent India. As many as 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) men were acquitted by a Delhi court on March 21, 2015 in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre. In all 19 PAC men were being tried for killing 42 Muslims from Hashimpura mohalla in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, on May 22, 1987.
“Massacre did not happen only in Ghaziabad but worst part occurred in Fatahpur Central Jail. I was witness to all that bloodshed and in a way, I am also guilty for that happening,” thus were Rai’s emotions during a public meeting here at JNU.
Rai was speaking at the Koyna Mess of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on the topic of ‘Hashimpura Massacre: Justice Delayed and Justice Denied’ organized by Campus Front of India on April 9 in New Delhi.
“I see the incident of Hashimpura as a police officer, as writer and as true citizen of the country and I regret when I see that in this long span of time no one, including the secular parties, did justice with them,” he said, adding, “Not only just PAC and police but all stakeholders of the state including political leaderships and media failed in the case of Hashimpura.”
When TwoCircles.net asked what could be the way ahead for those who seek justice in this case, the former IPS officer was very vocal: “I am sure justice won’t be delivered if only appeal will be filed as declared by UP Government. Justice won’t be delivered until there is a reinvestigation under the supervision of judiciary, not even by CBI.”
Expressing his dissatisfaction on the verdict, Rai said, “Justice won’t be delivered completely even if all 16 accused were punished unless the masters who ordered the firing will not come under the purview of investigation.”
“Involvement of Army was being investigated half-heartedly since very beginning and officers were not coming even after summons were sent. Then, what is the power of judiciary?” Rai wondered.
Syed Faisal Ali, Sahara Urdu editor, also spoke to the gathering. Criticizing the role of media, he lashes out police and media terming as “insensitive and biased” towards the minority community.
Speaking on the ‘Massacre of Hashimpura’, he deliberated that judiciary gave this verdict due to lack of evidences but there were abundant proof and evidences to identify the murderers. “A police officer sitting next to me knows who killed them, I know, the whole world knows, who killed those innocent people, there is an FIR by name. Then I wonder, where is the lack of evidence?”
Pointing out the strategy behind the policy of riots in India, Ali clearly voiced his views saying, “There are systematic efforts to marginalize and push the minority on the back foot economically. I am worried less of these riots and more worried of the way Indian society has been communalized.”
Dr Ghazala Jamil of JNU also expressed her views on the topic and read out excerpts from the verdict of the court analyzing it logically. “Instead of compensation, people of Hashimpura were denied the justice,” Jamil said.
A heated discussion on the role of secularism and secularist also followed at the end the programme but speakers urged the audience to have faith and “to strengthen it is the only way ahead in this country.”