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Saturday, September 8, 2007

PAC custodial killers get good conduct certificate: RTI reveals

By staff reporter
Lucknow: More than 40 Muslims were massacred by UP state paramilitary force PAC in Hashimpura. The survivors and relatives of victims are fighting a long battle for justice for 20 years. Recently on the 20th anniversary of this massacre, 615 Right To Information (RTI) applications were filed in Lucknow to find out what if any action was taken by the state against these PAC men.

613 applications filed by the survivors and families of the victims asked the State "why the accused PAC men charged by a Delhi Sessions Court for the murder of 42 Muslim men, continue to be in active service of the PAC? Was any departmental inquiry initiated against them? Was any disciplinary action taken against them? Or were they rewarded with promotions in rank and emoluments? Were the 19 accused PAC men ever suspended from service? What were the grounds on which they were reinstated?" They also asked for copies of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) of each of the accused persons to be made available.
The reply by Public Information Officer of UP reveals that custodial massacre of Muslims gets no mention on the ACRs of the accused PAC men. Instead of negative comment these accused get positive report. Of the 14 ACR that have been made available to the public, the year 1987 entry is "Kaam aur Aacharan Achha Hai. Satyanishtha Pramnit hai. Shreni Achha." (Work and conduct is good. Proven Honesty. Category Good). CID inquiry did not in any way hamper the career prospects of those accused of cold blooded murders of over 40 innocents.

A serious charge of custodial killing did not invite any Departmental Enquiry. None of the 19 accused PAC men faced and disciplinary action either.

In 1995 when Crime Branch of CID submitted charge sheets against the accused that they were suspended briefly the documents obtained through RTI reveals. But within a year most of the accused were reinstated on flimsy and untenable grounds. Reasons for their reinstatement were that PAC required their services or that these men were facing financial hardships. Advocate Vrinda Grover, who have been representing survivors and victims family in courts for their fight for justice asked "so are we to conclude that PAC requires the services of those men who have been charged with and are currently being prosecuted for the murder of over 42 innocent Muslim men." Similarly, no thought was spared for the families of Hashimpura victims and their hardships. .................

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