Hashimpura Acquittal : Another Miscarriage of Justice in Targeted Communal, Custodial Massacre!

 

The acquittal of the accused UP PAC personnel in the Hashimpura massacre case of 1987 is shocking and condemnable.

The Hashimpura massacre is shameful evidence of rampant custodial violence compounded by communalization of the State machinery.   

hpThe Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) of Congress-ruled Uttar Pradesh had raided Mohalla Hashimpura of Meerut, and abducted Muslim youth in a truck, proceeded to kill 42 of these men in two episodes near Ghaziabad. This was a cold-blooded, mass massacre of men in custody.

The chargesheet in the case was filed only in 1996. In 2002, the Supreme Court ordered the case to be transferred to Delhi from UP, following a petition by the families of the massacre victims and survivors.

The 28-year delay in the trial has contributed in large part to the failure to convict even a single one of the killers. The bias of the police and successive Governments led by Congress, SP, BSP, and BJP also set the stage for the same.

In 1994, when the Samajwadi Party was in power, a departmental enquiry by the CB-CID report of the UP government found the same accused PAC personnel guilty. But the State government failed to act and allowed the accused to enjoy impunity.

The impunity enjoyed by killers in uniform who perpetrate custodial murders, and perpetrators of communal and caste massacres continues, from Delhi 1984 to Hashimpura, to Bathani-Bathe, to Gujarat 2002 to the Sohrabuddin and Ishrat Jahan fake encounters.

The verdict acquitting the killers of Hashimpura, must be challenged in the higher court. AISA extends solidarity with the protracted struggle of the victims’ families for justice.

The chronology of events relating to 1987 Hashimpura Massacre case in which a Delhi court on Saturday acquitted 16 persons, giving them ‘benefit of doubt’:
May 22, 1987: 50 Muslims picked up allegedly by Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel from Hashimpura village in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
May, 1987: Victims shot and bodies thrown into canal. 42 persons declared dead.
1996: Charge sheet filed against 19 accused before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ghaziabad by CB-CID of Uttar Pradesh police. 161 people listed as witnesses.
Sept 2002: Case transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court on petition by the families of victims and survivors.
Jul 2006: Delhi court frames charges of murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy under the IPC against 17 accused.
Jan 22, 2015: Court reserves judgement for February 21.
Feb 21: Court defers verdict as it was not ready.
Mar 21: Court acquits 16 surviving accused giving them benefit of doubt regarding their identity.

Modi Govt.’s Move to Close Down 13 ESI Medical Colleges Rebuffed!

A Significant Victory of Collective Student Movement!

ESI Medical Colleges to Continue!

anmolAISA congratulates the student community for a major step forward in our movement to halt government withdrawal from education and health. Due to a collective movement by the ESIC medical students, teachers along with AISA, JNUSU and other progressive organisations, the ESIC and the central government have been forced to withdraw its earlier decision to close down 13 ESIC medical institution including medical colleges, dental colleges and nursing colleges.

In pursuance of the Modi govt.’s sinister policy of cut back of public spending on health, education and employment, the ESIC Board Meeting of 4 Jan. 2015, headed by the Union Labour Minister Bhandaru Dattaraya, decided to close down all 13 ESIC medical institutions. This caused major insecurity for the future of the students enrolled in the colleges as well as the teaching and  and non-teaching stuff in these colleges. At the same time, this was also a major attack on public health system as it would have badly impacted the hospitals and medical services under ESI, which as an institution caters to the need of the unorganised working class of the country.

10557287_842625345809658_2288636525316805239_nAs soon as the decision to close down the ESIC medical colleges came to light, students and teachers of these colleges started massive protests against this decision. AISA has been a part of this movement since beginning in several parts of the country.

On 18th of February, when the next board meeting of ESIC was scheduled, a spirited protest was organised by the JNUSU along with the ESI medical students and teachers. AISA along with other progressive organisations were an integral part of this movement. Due to the united show of strength by the students and teachers as well as some strong progressive voices inside the board meeting, the decision to close down the medical colleges could not be finalised from 18th February board meeting. Finally, on 18th March, the head quarter of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation has come out with a circular stating that the earlier decision has been re-examined and directing new admission to be continued in all the colleges for 2015-16 session.

This is a major victory of the progressive students’ movement to safeguard public funded education and health system in the country. In the coming days as well, we must forge a larger unity and resistance against the government’s moves to sell out education and health to private interest.

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Hundreds of ESIC Medical College Students took part in the Protest Demo on 18th February

Condemn the Horrific Mob Lynching in Dimapur!

dimapur-lynching-759Reject the Ideology and Politics of Communal / Racist Profiling and Witch-Hunt, Anywhere and Everywhere!

 

 

In a most shocking and horrific incident, a rape accused was dragged out of a prison, stripped naked, dragged on the streets, beaten, pelted with stones and lynched to death. This horrific incident needs to be strongly condemned in no uncertain terms. This sort of ‘mob justice’, delivered with scant regard for evidence and due process, flies in the face of the very idea of justice and democracy. Such bloodthirsty vengeance and blatant denial of basic, fundamental human rights cannot be a substitute for ‘justice’ under any circumstance.

It needs to be understood very clearly that this sort of vigilante action and mob ‘justice’ is not what the women’s movement has been fighting for. Gender justice is inexorably linked with justice, rights, liberties for all and resolutely fights discrimination of all sorts. It must be ensured that a person who is accused of sexual violence is guaranteed due process and a free and fair investigation. Mob lynching of suspected rapists and molesters who are perceived and projected as ‘outsiders’ and ‘others’ only weakens the struggle against sexual violence.

Such vigilante action is unfortunately not an aberration, and most often feeds on racial, communal and patriarchal prejudices that are prevalent in society. Right here in Delhi, we have had several incidents when the person perceived as the ‘other’, and accused of some wrongdoing, has been sentenced by the ‘community’ and subjected to vigilante action. In the Khirki village incident for instance, a mob, led by no less than Delhi’s Law Minister, broke several laws and raided several houses based on the racist assumption that all ‘blacks’ are drug peddlers and prostitutes. Similarly, in the Dimapur incident, such frenzy could possibly be whipped up against just one of the several rape accused in the state because he happened to be a Bengali speaking Muslim.

A communal campaign to label all Bengali speaking Muslims as ‘illegal Bangladeshi immigrants’ (IBIs) has been growing not just in Nagaland, but across the North East. The Dimapur incident only underlines the huge dangers of this malicious campaign. This incident in fact, is a horrific revelation of the pitfalls of certain groups trying to pitch one oppressed community against the other. The person who was brutally lynched was branded as a rapist and an illegal immigrant – when the fact is that he was a Assamese Muslim from Karimganj, with several family members even working in the Indian armed forces. This horrific incident only showcases the danger of communal and racist campaigns to stereotype certain communities.

AISA strongly condemns the Dimapur lynching, and appeals to the student community to robustly reject all possible attempts to whip up communal or racist frenzy again anyone who is perceived as the ‘other’. We, should collectively resisted and will continue to steadfastly resist, any racist assault or racist stereotyping of people from the north-east. Similarly, we will stand against any communal campaign to stigmatise people based on religion and language. The battle for gender justice, democracy and justice cannot jettison the very principles it is based on.