Maliana massacre survivor moves HC, challenges acquittal of 41 accused - Hindustan Times
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Maliana massacre survivor moves HC, challenges acquittal of 41 accused

May 11, 2023 12:37 AM IST

Hearing the plea of the petitioner, the Allahabad high court directed the state government to provide the file of the case and fixed August 14 for the next hearing

MEERUT/PRAYAGRAJ A survivor of the 1987 Maliana massacre, Rais Ahmed, has filed a petition in the Allahabad high court, challenging the verdict of the sessions court of Meerut, which acquitted all 41 accused ìn the carnage case citing “lack of evidence”. As many as 68 Muslims were killed by a mob that allegedly included personnel of UP Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC).

Three other survivors - Vakil Ahmad, Yaqoob Ali and Ismail - are also preparing their petitions to challenge the acquittal of the 41 accused. (File Photo of Allahabad high court)
Three other survivors - Vakil Ahmad, Yaqoob Ali and Ismail - are also preparing their petitions to challenge the acquittal of the 41 accused. (File Photo of Allahabad high court)

Hearing the plea of the petitioner on Monday, the high court directed the state government to provide the file of the case and fixed August 14 for the next hearing. The order was passed by Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Manish Kumar Nigam on a criminal appeal filed by Rais Ahmed.

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Advocate Riyasat Ali of Meerut helped Rais file the petition against the order of the sessions court. The petition was filed in the high court on May 1 and its first hearing was held on May 8.

Sixty-eight people were killed in the violence that broke out in Maliana, a village located about 10 km west of Meerut on May 23, 1987. On March 31, over 36 years and 800 hearings later, a sessions court in Meerut acquitted all the 41 accused, citing “lack of evidence”. The other 40 people named as accused in the FIR died during trial.

Meanwhile, three other survivors - Vakil Ahmad, Yaqoob Ali and Ismail - are also preparing their petitions to challenge the acquittal of the 41 accused. These petitions will soon be filed the HC challenging the verdict of the sessions court, said Ali.

Lawyers and survivors, who fought the case in the lower and sessions courts for 36 years, expressed dismay over the verdict of the sessions court.

“For 36 years, we fought for justice. The court’s decision was heartbreaking,” said senior lawyer Alauddin Siddiqui, who represented the victims in the sessions court.

“A commission led by Justice Bhushan Lal Srivastava was formed to investigate the bloodshed in which the roles of PAC and police were also under the scanner. The panel started working a year after the violence, but nobody knows what happened to its report. Every possible tactic was used to delay the hearing,” he said.

On May 23, 1987, a local resident, Yakoob Ali, had filed a complaint against 93 people at the TP Nagar police station. In July 1988, the Meerut police filed a charge sheet naming 81 people as accused. The police mentioned 61 eyewitnesses, but only 14 of them turned up to record their statements.

Siddiqui also pointed out that the charge-sheet in the case was filed in 1988, but the court framed charges after 20 years - in 2008.

Recalling the violence, 63-year-old Ismail said, “Eid was just three days away and the entire family was preparing for my younger brother’s wedding, which was to be held four days after the festival. I left home in the morning to extend wedding invitations to some relatives. A mob attacked my house and killed 11 members of the family. Their bodies were dumped into a well at the entrance of the house and set afire...”

1987 VIOLENCE

PAC men wanted to arrest a man from the Hashimpura area, but were stopped by a mob. When the men in uniform tried to force their way in, the crowd became violent. The PAC called in reinforcements and retaliated instantly. About 40 bodies were later found floating in the canal near Maliana village.

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