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On 23rd May 2015 Khudai Khidmatgar and Socialist Yuvjan Sabha organised a discussion on "Success and failure of judicial pronouncements and the challenges ahead" where the pivot point of discussion was the recent trial court judgment of Hashimpura and such other similar happenings. The discussion was organised in Gandhi Peace Foundation's auditorium where national level social activists, intellectuals and legal experts participated and students from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia millia Islamai and Delhi University also participated. A couple of people from Haryana and Victims from Hashimpura also attended the program. The speakers mainly highlighted the Hashimpura judgment. Prominent Supreme Court lawyer and legal expert Mr. Anil Nauriya pointed out that in the judgement it was said that no personal accountability can be fixed for an incident like Hashimpura was a flawed stance because there are offences in criminal law like that of unlawful assembly in which offenders are being punished jointly so the court was totally wrong in ignoring that parameter. He added that during the struggle for independence Hunter Committee was formed to look into the Jalianwala Bagh massacre which tried to sweep the wrongdoings under the carpet but the Gandhi-Nehru Committee brought forth the truth. Similar is the case with Hashimpura all the evidence was messed with, the senior police and army officials were never called to court, nobody was held accountable and compensation was not provided. All of this points out to the fact that it is a clear case of degradation of human dignity and police have the advantage of impunity even after committing gruesome and illegal acts. We all need to be aware and more alert and find out collective solutions to such culture of impunity which is practice by police and politicians through dialogue and empowering ourselves with legal knowledge.--
Ex- Justice Rajendra Sacchar said when Hashimpura happened we went for fact finding and we prepared a report and sent to the then incumbent government of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Then the Gyan Prakash Committee was constituted and a case was registered against the PAC jawans involved but sadly proper investigation was never done or action was never taken because even after 8-9 years the jawans were still holding their positions and no departmental inquiry was instituted against them. On our request the Supreme Court transferred the case to Delhi. He further added that the gruesome episode that happened in Hashimpura on that ill-fated day cannot be forgotten. The records of movement of vehicle, arms and the jawans were never maintained properly and also the court did not look into those records which led to weakening the evidence. We are not satisfied with the judgement and we would be following up this case with PUCL in the higher courts through appeal.
Mr. ND Pancholi from PUCL said that Hashimpura has been the worst massacre that happened in India post-independence. The reasons were both communal and political which took away lives of 42 young men mercilessly. The environment that Hindus are under threat has been created since 1984 through special propaganda. The CB-CID report of this incident took 8 long years where 64 people were named as accused and after a wait of 15 years the case was transferred by the apex court and the hearing started only in 2005. The prosecution did do its job sincerely and honestly. Photographer Praveen Jain a key witness who photographed the incident was never called to court and was only considered when he himself turned up at court. Political parties have their own way and do not value the Constitution. The police and politicians have always been hand-in-glove and that is the primary reason police reforms never happen and the reports are never implemented. He ended his speech assuring that the battle for justice should go on.
Prominent Social Activist Apoorvanand said that the hope for justice should not dwindle in our hearts. If we consider the situation as grim at the outset there will be no hope left. Life is a struggle and it's a constant pursuit of success. Our society is diverse and has diverse viewpoints which cannot be subdued legally. To have an ideology is not a crime until it harms anyone. The justice system has a lot of components and to understand the equation we have to be practical enough. Hashimpura is an example of blatant injustice and there are many such examples in history, but we should not lose heart. The people who were victims of the 2002 programe are fighting tirelessly and have not lost hope. Sometimes even you have the correct argument you may not win because the nation is passing through a nationalist phase these days and the targeted communities are Muslims and Christians. But this does not mean Muslims are alone, the fight is being led by people other than Muslims for Muslims as well because it is fight for the country. Muslims chose to remain in India during partition is fact enough to assert that Muslims have better claims in this country then their Hindu counterparts who did not have to choose between remaining in India or leaving for across the border. Muslims in India try to Indian and make efforts too but it has become a challenge when the media, police, army all are driven by Hindutva to give Muslims their rightful place. We have centuries old mixed culture and tradition which we need to protect from these polarising forces. We need to make efforts towards secularism together.
Young Supreme Court lawyer Kabir Dixit said judgments good or bad are never final. We should not give up on the justice system and for this efforts to revive the system should also be made. Our active participation becomes relevant in the context that if we look at both sides of the story where offenders are set free and innocent are put behind bars and are tortured we cannot ignore the situation. But this cannot be the reason to totally lose hope or to blame the entire system. He said if fought well justice prevails and provided the example of Priya Pillai's case.
Khudai Khidmatgar, Fateh Nadvi said that we happy that we are completing 67 years of independence but at the same time I am worried about the future because sense of justice is diminishing and when such situation arises in any nation the nation gets destroyed. We all need to rise against such travesty of justice to save our nation and we need more dialogue and joint efforts.
Khudai Khidmatgar, Faisal Khan who is also a founder closed the discussion emphasising how positive thinking and approach has become a necessity in such tumultuous times. The meeting ended with a two minute silence for the victims of Hashimpura.
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