A platoon commander and 16 of his men from the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) were accused in the 1987 massacre at Hashimpura locality in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
Platoon Commander Surender Pal Singh had died during the pendency of the trial, and the acquittal of 16 others from the trial court was overturned Wednesday by the Delhi High Court which awarded them life imprisonment for killing 38 people of a minority community.
Earlier it was stated that 42 people were massacred but the high court, which carefully perused the records of the case, concluded that 38 people were killed and there were five survivors.
Hashimpura, a small area of Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh had witnessed the massacre of 42 to 45 men, old and young, all Muslims, by the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) on May 22, 1987.
The massacre was carried out by 'C-Company' of the PAC's 41st Battalion.
The PAC had picked up the men, who were later shot and their bodies were thrown into a canal. Only five had survived the shooting.
A charge sheet was filed against C-Company's 19 personnel, including Platoon Commander Surender Pal Singh.
However, the Crime Branch, Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) of Uttar Pradesh police had in its report indicted 66 personnel of the PAC for the killings.
Out of the 19 accused, three persons -- Om Prakash Sharma, Kush Kumar Singh and Surender Pal Singh, died during the pendency of the trial.
The high court Wednesday convicted the remaining 16 former PAC officials and sentenced them to life term.
Those convicted are: Suresh Chand Sharma, Niranjan Lal, Kamal Singh, Ram Bir Singh, Sami Ullah, Mahesh Prasad Singh, Jai Pal Singh, Ram Dhiyan, Arun Kumar, Lila Dhar Lohni, Hamir Singh, Kunwar Pal Singh, Buda Singh, Budhi Singh, Mohkam Singh and Basant Ballabh.
(With inputs from agencies.)