The Supreme Court has admitted the appeals of four convicts in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre case, but rejected their bail applications.
A Bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and Navin Sinha passed the order after hearing the appeals and bail applications of Samiullah, Niranjan Lal, Mahesh Prasad and Jai Pal on Tuesday. The Delhi High Court on October 31 sentenced 16 former policemen to life imprisonment for killing 42 people of a minority community in the Hashimpura area in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. The four convicts have already surrendered.
In October, the High Court reversed the trial court’s verdict of acquittal and found the 16 former personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) guilty of murder, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code. It termed the massacre “targeted killing” of unarmed and defenceless persons by the police.
The High Court’s verdict came on appeals challenging the acquittal filed by Uttar Pradesh, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and some private parties, including Zulfiqar Nasir, a survivor of the massacre. On March 21, 2015, the trial court here acquitted the 16 former PAC personnel, giving them the benefit of the doubt, saying their identity could not be established for lack of evidence.