In Old Meerut’s Hashimpura locality, where every second home has a story about a massacre that took place 31 years ago, survivors and families of victims said the Delhi High Court’s verdict has finally acknowledged an injustice.“The trial court judgment had been very disappointing. At least now the High Court has agreed that a massacre took place,” said Zulfiqar Nasir, one of the lead petitioners in the case and a survivor of the shooting by the U.P. Provincial Armed Constabulary men. Mr. Nasir pointed to a spot below his right armpit to show where the bullet entered and passed through. “I pretended to lie dead and managed to escape,” he said.Another resident, Riyazudin, who was 18 years old at the time, remembered being taken to a maidan and beaten up in a parked truck. “Constables climbed onto the iron grill of the truck, and we were hit with sticks from all sides while we crouched like scared animals. I soon fell unconscious, but there was blood everywhere,” he said.‘A conspiracy’Jamaludin, 81, whose son was also killed, claimed the incident was a consequence of a conspiracy. “Some scuffles had taken place between Hindus and Muslims in the city and rumours spread that Hindus were being killed in the area. But that was a lie.”Jaibun Nisha was walking around with a photograph of her husband Mohammad Iqbal, who was also killed on the fateful day. “Our youngest daughter was two days old when they came to take him. I don’t know why they came for us. That’s the question,” she said. “Not a day passes by when we don’t talk about the massacre,” said Mohammed Abid, who was called in about four to five months later to identify the clothes of his two younger brothers, Jamshed and Shamshad.On the day of court verdict, children in Hashimpura stood around with wide-eyed curiosity as elders in the area recounted numerous stories of brothers and sons being abducted and killed. “They know all about it. They’ve heard these stories forever,” said a resident.