Lucknow: Various Muslim organisations, including All India Muslim Personal Law Board, on Wednesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to challenge the verdict of a Delhi court in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre case in a higher court.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Jindal in his March 21 judgement acquitted 16 Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel of charges related to the killing 42 Muslims who were picked up from a village in Meerut, giving them benefit of doubt for want of evidence.
Jamiat-Ulama-e-Hind would decide their strategy in their upcoming meeting on March 28 while the Shia Personal Law Board will take up the matter seriously at its meeting in the second week of April.
AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Nizamuddin alleged that the decision of the lower court, which came 28 years after the massacre, was a result of failure on the part of the state government.
He said the case should have been disposed of in four- five months but due to "lackadaisical attitude" of the government the case was dragged for 28 years.
The ruling Samajwadi Party, however, said it would take a decision whether to challenge the lower court order only after reading it thoroughly.
"We will go through the order and then only take a view," said Rajendra Choudhary, SP spokesperson.
Nizamuddin said though the lower court had acquitted all the accused, it had admitted there was a massacre in Hashimpura.
"The government should challenge the order in a higher court," he said.
Echoing similar views, spokesman of Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas said the court order has disappointed the family members of the victims.
"We will strongly take up the matter in our executive meeting likely to be held in the second week of next month," he said.
Jamiat-Ulama-e-Hind state chief Ashhad Rashidi also demanded that the government challenge the lower court order.
He said the government which itself accepts that only because of Muslim votes it came to power, it should strongly take up any matter pertaining to the community.
"The matter would be discussed in Jamiat's Ijlas-e-Aam (biennial conference) on March 28 in Lucknow," he added.