On 22 May 1987, in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh state, India, 19 men of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) rounded up 42 young Muslims from the Hashimpura part of the city. It has been alleged for almost 28 years that they then loaded them in trucks, took them to the outskirts of the city, shot them, and dumped the bodies in canals.
On 21 March 2015, 16 of the policemen (three have since died) were found not guilty by a Delhi court of any crime, thus ending an investigation of a crime that became known as the Hashimpura massacre. In acquitting the accused Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Jindal said: “I give them benefit of doubt for want of evidence especially regarding their identity.”
A local cover-up blocked all efforts to bring the criminals to trial until, in 2002, the case was transferred to Delhi, with hopes that it would be pursued with greater vigour. In July 2006 the Delhi court drew up charges that included murder, attempted murder, tampering with evidence, and conspiracy.
But in the end the case fell apart. Witnesses found it difficult to identify individual police officers because they were wearing helmets; it was all a long time ago and memories were fragile.
Murderers often walk the streets freely.