Using RTI to get justice 27 years after the riots
A case of use of Right to Information (RTI) Act by the people affected by riots has come to notice where the families of the dead and survivors have filed 615 RTI applications since 2006 to the UP state police.
During riots in Meerut on May 22, 1987, the police allegedly rounded up 42 Muslim youth from the Hashimpura locality and allegedly shot them killing 36 while 6 escaped with injuries. 19 policemen of the state police’s Provincial Armed Constabulary were accused of taking 42 detainees unauthorisedly in a truck to Murad Nagar in Ghaziabad district, 34km away. They were allegedly shot and their bodies dumped in canals which floated a few days later. Another 200 to 250 young men were allegedly picked up by the police and tortured.
27 years later, the case is dragging on after being transferred to a Sessions court in Delhi’s Tis Hazari complex by the Supreme Court in 2022. 92 witnesses have deposed while all the 16 surviving accused, who were new recruits to PAC are still in service, are out on bail.
Using RTI, the details of the events of the riots have been unfolded like the police postings that day, the names of the local Muslims who were accused of inciting riots etc. It has also been found through the RTI application that the annual confidential reports of the accused policemen have no mention of the charges against them.