UP gets notice on Swamy move against Chidambaram

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking a probe into the alleged role of now Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the 1987 mass killings at Hashimpura in Meerut.

Justice Hima Kohli sought response from Uttar Pradesh through the chief secretary within four weeks and posted the matter for Nov 19.

Swamy moved the high court challenging the trial court's March 8 order which had dismissed his plea against Chidambaram, who was the minister of state for internal security in 1986-89.

"It was admitted (in) parliament by Chidambaram that the situation was calm May 19-22, 1987. Yet the trial judge states (there) was violence (and) strife. Hence, even at this late stage, an investigation into this issue is essential," the plea said.

As per allegations, Chidambaram visited Hashimpura in Meerut just before the incident in which around 40 Muslims were allegedly killed by the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC).

The incident took place after a curfew was clamped to search for illegal weapons in the area. Sixteen PAC personnel are facing trial for allegedly killing the Muslims.

It was alleged that during the early hours of May 22, 1987, a few trucks of the Uttar Pradesh PAC arrived in Hashimpura.

Parliament was told April 26, 1988 that Chidambaram and Vir Bahadur Singh (then Uttar Pradesh chief minister) conducted an aerial survey of Hashimpura, Malliana and other riot-hit areas of Meerut May 18, 1987, four days before the alleged killings, Swamy told the trial court.

The trial court had in March dismissed Swamy's plea for a further probe to ascertain Chidambaram's role in the incident, saying only police can move such an application.

The chargesheet in the case was filed before a chief judicial magistrate in Ghaziabad in 1996 against 19 PAC personnel.

The Supreme Court transferred the case to Delhi in September 2002 following a petition by families of the massacre victims and survivors.

A sessions court here in July 2006 framed charges of murder, attempt to murder, tampering with evidence and conspiracy against the accused. Three of the accused PAC personnel died during trial.

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