The Hashimpura massacre is an incident of mass murder which took place on or around 22 May 1987 near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh state, India, during the 1987 Meerut communal riots during March to June 1987 with a death toll of 350. It is alleged that 19 personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary rounded up 42 Muslim youths from the Hashimpura mohalla (locality) of the city, took them to the outskirts of the city, shot them in cold blood and dumped their bodies in a nearby irrigation canal.
On 21 March 2015, all 16 men accused in the Hashimpura massacre case of 1987 were acquitted by Tis Hazari Court due to insufficient evidence. The Court emphasized that the survivors could not recognize any of the accused PAC personnel. On October 31, 2018, the Delhi High Court convicted the 16 personnel of the PAC and sentenced them to life imprisonment, overturning the trial courts verdict.
- This case is about the first instance in which those who were appointed to keep the peace carried out attacks in cold blood. Yet, the Uttar Pradesh government has delayed the matter.
- We are looking at the possibility of arguing that the deaths amounted to custodial deaths since they occurred when the victims were in the custody of the PAC. If the court accepts the argument that these were custody deaths, the onus will shift to the accused to prove that they are not guilty.
- Rebecca John, a counsel for the Hashimpura complainants
- The fight against communalisation requires drastic changes in the policy of recruitment, training and syllabi of the police. The percentage of minorities, especially Muslims, is only 5 to 6 per cent in most States. I can say from 30 years of experience in the Police Department that this is the result of a deep and inherent communal bias in the leadership of the police. There are hundreds of government directives to recruit minorities into the department, but these are often flouted. Unless we reserve some seats for minorities, their quota will never be filled.
- Vibhuti Narain Rai, the Additional Director-General of Police (Railways), Allahabad in 2005