On 23 May 1987, 72 innocent Muslims were murdered and hundreds injured in Maliana, Uttar Pradesh in the backdrop of Babri Masjid- Ram Janambhoomi dispute. Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel indulged in looting, arson and killing in Maliana. The PAC personnel opened fire on innocent and unarmed villagers of Maliana.

Many houses were looted and burned by the PAC personnel.  The massacre was carried out by the PAC in collaboration with the local extremist Hindu community. According to eyewitnesses, “death was raining from all sides and no one was spared, including children and women.” In his book Hashimpura 22 May: The Forgotten Story of India’s Biggest Custodial Killing (translated from the Hindi), Vibhuti Narain Rai wrote: “In…Maliyana, a violent mob of Hindus and personnel from the PAC had mercilessly killed dozens of Muslims. The only difference was that here the victims were not under police custody, unlike those in Hashimpura.

During the 1987 riots [in Meerut], Maliyana became more infamous than Hashimpur.” Maliana massacre brought harsh and sharp criticism of the behaviour of the PAC from human rights organisations worldwide. A tribunal set up by Indian People’s Human Rights Commission criticized the role of the PAC during Meerut riots of 1987. The report of Amnesty International accused PAC for the killing of people. According to Telegraph, Gian Prakash report stated that Muslims are more prone to communal incitement due to their illiteracy and cultural backwardness. A probe committee headed by Justice G.L. Srivastava wrote: “On 29 May 1987, Uttar Pradesh government announced the suspension of the PAC commandant R.D. Tripathi, who ordered the firing in Maliana. Despite his involvement, Tripathi was never suspended. He was awarded promotions in the service till his retirement.” Meerut District Court set free all 41 men accused in the massacre.

In the judgment passed on 31 March, Additional District and Sessions judge Lakhvinder Singh Sood underlined the lack of “sufficient evidence…to convict the accused” as the reason. It has been almost 36 years since the innocent Muslims were murdered during the riots and it will remain a blot on the state and the justice system of India. It is one of the Sangh Parivar’s agenda to establish Hindu Rastra without tampering the constitution. The minorities are thwarted by the judiciary, the community over the years will feel neglected and automatically accept that they are the second class citizens which is the ultimate motto of Sangh Parivar.

Bulldozer politics and raizing of Muslim houses and place of worship, series of acquittal in Muslim lynching case, and booking minorities under stringent UAPA, NSA etc. and keep them as under trial for decades, are the part of the same game plan where state of Gujarat and UP acts as laboratory. It will soon expand after 2024 elections.


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