This is part I of a Vantage three-part series on the Hashimpura massacre and the continued delay of justice.
The political and social contract between the state and its citizens is largely founded on trust, or so we are often assured. Yet two recent events have revealed seemingly irreparable breaches in this contract that is meant to bind society together. The incidents in question may seem far removed from each other, geographically and socially, but they both accentuate an inherent and prevalent distrust of our country’s institutions. More importantly, an analysis of these events is useful in understanding some of the reasons that have led to this distrust.
The first incident is the recent acquittal of the men accused in the Hashimpura massacre. Spanning twenty-eight years, the Hashimpura trial—one of the longest in the country—ended last Saturday, 21 March 2015, when a Delhi court acquitted all the sixteen surviving men of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) of Uttar Pradesh who were responsible for the homicide of over forty Muslim men in Hashimpura, Meerut.