Saturday April 01, 2023

India court sentences 16 policemen to life for killing 42 Muslims

November 01, 2018

NEW DELHI: An Indian court Wednesday sentenced 16 police officers to life imprisonment for rounding up and massacring dozens of unarmed Muslims during historic riots in the country’s north decades ago. The officers were found guilty of shooting 42 men and tossing their bodies into canals, in one of the bloodiest moments of violent clashes between Muslims and Hindus in 1987. A lower court had acquitted the officers from a special branch of Uttar Pradesh’s police force in 2015 for a lack of evidence. But a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court overturned that decision, saying they conducted a “targeted killing of unarmed and defenceless people”. The court found them guilty of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, murder and the destruction of evidence. Grisly photographs submitted as evidence to the court showed lines of Muslim men kneeling at gunpoint as uniformed police stood guard, rifles at the ready in what came to be known as the “Hashimpura massacre”. The policemen, all of whom have retired, have been asked to surrender to authorities before November 22.