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15 Jun 1989

In the late 1982, for the fifth time in two decades, Meerut witnessed a major riot between Hindus and Mustims. Report of the time suggest that over a hundred and fifty people were killed. The Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) of Uttar Pradesh actively participated in these riots and killed may people. In the immediate aftermath, a writ petition was filed in Supreme Court demanding action against PAC, Srimati Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister, visited the building in which about thirty people were reportedly shot dead by the PAC. She promised action against the guilty policemen and ordered a judicial inquiry. Five years later, her son, the present Prime Minister, visited Maliana, Hashimpura and other areas of Meerut that witnessed a major riot in the summer of 1987. A judicial inquiry was ordered into the events at Maliana. A writ petition was also filed, on the events in Hashimpura, in the Supreme Court. In the meantime, six years after its institution, the Justice Parikh Commission of Enquiry submitted its incomplete report over the 1982 riots, in September 1988. The Justice Srivastava Commission on Maliana is still continuing its work.

The passage of time has made communalism and the role of the state in its spread, a series of disjointed events where the dead becomes numbers and the massacres becomes dates. The brief report by People’s Union for democratic Rights is an attempt to remember the processes, to trace the invisible links the connect one riot with the next. It seeks to record the after math of 1987 riots in Meerut.

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