New Delhi: Sixteen policemen were acquitted by a court here on Saturday of the charges of murder and other crimes in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre case in which 42 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut city.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Jindal acquitted 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel of the charges dealing with murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy.
Suresh Chand Sharma, Niranjan Lal, Kamal Singh, Rambir Singh, Sami Ullah, Mahesh Prasad, Jaipal Singh, Ram Dhayam, Sarwan Kumar, Leela Dhar, Hambir Singh, Kunwar Pazal Singh, Budha Singh, Budhi Singh, Mokham Singh and Basant Vallabh were facing trial in the case.
The court said all the accused are acquitted of all charges framed against them by giving them the benefit of doubt for want of sufficient evidence regarding their identity.
The court said although the accused persons have been acquitted in this case, it felt the victims and affected families should be rehabilitated.
A recommendation was made to the District Legal Service Authority to award compensation to victims, the court said.
There were 19 accused in the case. However, three of them died during the trial.
The killings had allegedly occurred during riots in Meerut city when the victims were picked up from the Hashimpura Mohalla of the city by personnel of the 41st Battalion of the PAC during a search operation.
The charge sheet in the case was filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Ghaziabad in 1996. The case was transferred to Delhi in September 2002 on the order of the Supreme Court following a petition by the families of the massacre victims and survivors.
A sessions court here in July 2006 framed charges of murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy against all the accused.