New Delhi – In an unprecedented verdict by Delhi High Court on Wednesday, the 16 army personnel accused of mass murdering 42 Muslims in Hashimpura in UP in 1987, have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
The bench comprising of Justice S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel, said, the incident was a “targeted killing” of unarmed and defenceless people by the sixteen Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel.
The first witness testimony was recorded in 2006 – almost 19-years after the mass murder . However, three of the CID investigating officers died and couldn’t testify. Later, in March 2015, a trial court acquitted them after finding that “it has not been proved beyond reasonable doubts” that the accused were PAC officials.
Initially, there were 19 accused, and 17 of them were charged of murder, conspiracy and tampering the evidence, however one died during the court of trial, while sixteen are retired now.
The PAC officials are found guilty of murder and kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under appropriate Indian Penal Code – IPC’s sections.
The court has ordered the former PAC officials to surrender before November 22nd and said that families of the victims had to wait 31 long years for justice and no monetary help can compensate the losses they have born.