The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati removed Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Surinder Adlakha attending to the Hashimpura case, replacing him with S. Banerjee.
The Chief Minister’s order came on October 19 in fulfilment of the long pending demand of the human rights activists and social workers as well as Hashimpura victims and Muslims, who had lost faith in Adlakha as the latter was bent upon protecting the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) personnel accused of killing 42 Muslims in Hashimpura during the May 1987 Meerut communal riots.
On September 23 last, a delegation comprising former VC of Lucknow University Prof. Roop Rekha Verma, Magsaysay award winner and social worker Dr. Sandeep Panday, Madhavi Kukreja, Arundhati Dhuru and journalist Nasiruddin Haider Khan called on Principal Secretary (Home) of UP Dr. J. N. Chambers to submit two petitions signed by eminent personalities.
One petition signed by Kuldip Nayar, Surendra Mohan, Teesta Setalvad, Mukul Sharma, Johnd Dayal, Salim Kidwai, Sanjay Kak among others, asked for the removal of Adlakha as the petitioners found the performance of the SPP “very unsatisfactory” since his appointment by then Mulayam Singh government about three years ago.
As many as 250 postcards addressed in September last to the Chief Minister by the family members of Hashimpura victims had also urged the government of Uttar Pradesh to remove Adlakha.
On July 31, 2006, Adlakha was fined Rs. 5000 for failure to appear in the court for hearing. On many other occasions the presiding judge N.P.Kaushik had verbally remarked that the SPP was not sufficiently prepared with his brief and was not familiar with documents on the case file.
Meanwhile, the Additional District and Sessions Judge of Tees Hazari Court Delhi, who has been hearing the case since September 2002 on the orders of the Supreme Court, has fixed February 1, 2008 for next hearing of the case. Earlier the court was to hear the case on regular basis from November 13 to 16 and pronounce its judgement by November end. But president Hashimpura Legal Advisory Committee Maulana Mohammad Yamin, who has been spearheading the case on behalf of Hashimpura victims, fell seriously ill and was unable to travel from Meerut to Delhi, the court had to postpone the hearing.