The Malyana massacre of 1987 is the darkest spot in the history of India, says a survivor of the riots.
Behzad Parvez | Caravan Daily
MEERUT (UP) — Malyana in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district, barely 70 kilometres away from Delhi, is the place where 72 Muslims had been killed in cold blood, allegedly by the infamous Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) men, a day before 42 were massacred in Hashimpura on May 24, 1987.
However, the families of victims of the Malyana massacre are still waiting for justice. Not a single accused has been awarded punishment unlike Hashimpura where the sobs of victims moved the Delhi High Court on October 31 to award life sentences to 16 PAC men who were directly involved in the carnage.
The Delhi HC convicted 16 PAC personnel for murder and kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code. Overturning an earlier judgement, the Court termed the massacre the “targeted killing” of unarmed and defenceless people by the police.
Encouraged by the court’s decision in Hashimpura massacre case, the families of Malyana victims and local residents have vowed to pursue the case with a new resolve.
Thanks to the persistent efforts of the Hashimpua victims’ families to pursue the case that after 31 long years they could get justice to some extent.
According to a report in Inquilab Urdu daily, some residents of Malyana, who witnessed the barbarity of PAC men and were witness to a large-scale devastation of the locality, are planning to follow the case of Malyana massacre once again.
The slow progress in the “fast track” court disheartened the Malyana victims who have been pursuing the case without any support from any Muslim organisations. Until 2015, more than 800 dates were fixed for hearings while statement of only three witnesses, out of 35, were recorded. This when the case had been assigned to a fast-track court.
A witness of the brutal killings in Malyana who himself was hit by two bullets of PAC men, Wakil Ahmed, says that the Malyana massacre is the darkest spot in the history of India. He told Inquilab that nobody could forget the killings because even after 31 years not a single victim has received justice when most eyewitnesses are still out there.
Recalling that fateful day, Wakil says that the rioters were torching Muslim homes and businesses in the presence of PAC personnel. Even those who were running to save their life were not spared as the PAC kept firing at them.
Another eyewitness of the massacre said that the graves of those who were butchered by the PAC still haunt his memory. He is beginning to wonder if he and others failed in their efforts to stir the conscience of the judiciary, perhaps may be due to a lack of financial support as mostly survivors of the massacre were daily labourers.