Sessions court tells prosecution to produce witnesses list

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New Delhi, Jan 8 (UNI) A Sessions court here which is hearing the Hashimpura massacre case today directed the prosecution to produce two witnesses each day and submit a list of all the witnesses alive within seven days.

Additional Sessions Judge H S Sharma, setting March three as the next hearing date, gave the directive in this regard.

The massacre occurred during the communal riots that broke out in Meerut in May 1987. Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel allegedly shot dead 42 people of a particular community in the same month.

Apparently, the immediate provocation was the then Central government's decision to open the Babri Masjid for worship by the majority community.

A month before several areas of Meerut city were affected by communal violence during the Muslim festival of Shab-e-Barat. But the Congress government in U.P., headed by Vir Bahadur Singh, withdrew the security forces soon after the violence subsided.

Meerut exploded again, and the state government was caught unawares. Thousands of people, incited by inflammatory speeches and slogans broadcast over the public address system, barricaded the national highway and burnt factories, shops, houses, vehicles and petrol pumps.

The scale of the riots can be imagined from the fact that 50 gazetted police officers and more than 60 companies of the PAC, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and later, the Army, had to be pressed into service.


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