India court sentences 16 police to life for killing 42 Muslims

Hindu fanatics are seen demolishing the Babri Mosque in 1992, five years after clashes with Muslims in which 350 people died. On Oct.31, 2018, an Indian court sentenced 16 police officers to life imprisonment massacring dozens of unarmed Muslims during the 1987 riots in the country’s north. (Video grab from an HTV video via YouTube)
Updated 01 November 2018
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India court sentences 16 police to life for killing 42 Muslims

  • The officers were found guilty of shooting 42 men and tossing their bodies into canals DURING violent clashes between Muslims and Hindus in 1987
  • Months of rioting over the Babri Mosque, where Hindus believe a temple was once built to Lord Ram, left an estimated 350 dead in 1987

NEW DELHI: : An Indian court Wednesday sentenced 16 police officers to life imprisonment for rounding up and massacring dozens of unarmed Muslims during historic riots in the country’s north decades ago.
The officers were found guilty of shooting 42 men and tossing their bodies into canals, in one of the bloodiest moments of violent clashes between Muslims and Hindus in 1987.
A lower court had acquitted the officers from a special branch of Uttar Pradesh’s police force in 2015 for a lack of evidence.
But a two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court overturned that decision, saying they conducted a “targeted killing of unarmed and defenseless people.”
The court found them guilty of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, murder and the destruction of evidence, the Press Trust of India reported.
Grisly photographs submitted as evidence to the court showed lines of Muslim men kneeling at gunpoint as uniformed police stood guard, rifles at the ready in what came to be known as the “Hashimpura massacre.”
The policemen, all of whom have retired, have been asked to surrender to authorities before November 22.
Uttar Pradesh has a long history of violence between its majority Hindu population and a sizeable Muslim minority.
The Hashimpura massacre was one of the deadliest incidents in a long-running feud over a religious site in Ayodhya considered sacred by Muslims and Hindus.
Months of rioting over the Babri Mosque, where Hindus believe a temple was once built to Lord Ram, left an estimated 350 dead in 1987.
In 1992, the centuries-old mosque was razed by Hindu nationalists, sparking further violence that killed more than 2,000.
The murder of Hindu pilgrims returning by train from Ayodhya in 2002 triggered revenge attacks on Muslims in Gujarat state that left more than 700 dead by government estimates.
Hindu groups have lobbied India’s top court to consider their claim to build a temple on the site, but the case been adjourned until January.


El Chapo trial witness: Ex-Mexico security chief was bribed

Assistant United States Attorney Gina Parlovecchio questions witness Jesus Zambada (L), the brother of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada who was Guzman's alleged partner in running the Sinaloa Cartel, with photos showing hierarchy of cartel, during the trial of the accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman (R), as defense attorney A. (REUTERS)
Updated 16 min 19 sec ago
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El Chapo trial witness: Ex-Mexico security chief was bribed

  • Garcia Luna was once seen as a powerful ally in the American effort to thwart Mexican cartels from flooding the US market with cocaine and other illegal drugs. But he had also previously come under suspicion of taking bribes

NEW YORK: Mexico’s former top security chief and another law enforcement official who once worked under the country’s new president-elect took millions of dollars in bribes from the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel in the mid-2000s, a witness testified Tuesday at the US trial of kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Former cartel member Jesus Zambada made the allegations Tuesday while testifying about what he described as widespread corruption among authorities who were paid to keep their hands off the lucrative and violent drug operation.
During cross-examination, Zambada claimed he personally made at least $6 million in hidden payments to the former federal security chief, Genaro Garcia Luna, on behalf of his older brother, cartel boss Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. The cash was delivered during two meetings at a restaurant in Mexico between the start of 2005 and the end of 2007, he said.
Cartel leaders had agreed that they would pool up to $50 million to buy the protection of Garcia Luna, Jesus Zambada added when being asked about previous statements first made after he was flipped by US authorities.
The witness also said a separate bribe of “a few million dollars” was made in 2005 to Gabriel Regino, who worked in the administration of current President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador when he was mayor of Mexico City.
In a letter published in Mexican media, Garcia Luna responded, “I repeat that it is false, defamatory and perjury to say that I have ever received any material goods from any person, police officer or criminal group.”
Regino, now a private lawyer and law professor, wrote on Twitter, “I categorically deny these accusations.”
Jurors in federal court in Brooklyn also heard testimony on Tuesday from US agents about how they intercepted cocaine-stashed jalapeno cans and more than $1 million in drug proceeds hidden in the paneling of a Ford Bronco used by Guzman’s brother. The trial is off the rest of the week and is to resume Monday.
Guzman, perhaps best known for escaping from Mexican prisons, has pleaded not guilty to drug-trafficking charges. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
His lawyers, saying he was either in prison or in hiding when prosecutors allege he oversaw a cartel that sent tons of cocaine into the US, have sought to portray Ismael Zambada as the actual boss. The elder Zambada remains on the loose in Mexico, they claim, because of bribes that “go up to the very top,” including hundreds of millions of dollars paid to the current and former presidents of Mexico.
US District Judge Brian Cogan admonished the defense for making that claim, saying there was no evidence. He also turned back efforts by the defense to question Zambada about it.
Garcia Luna was once seen as a powerful ally in the American effort to thwart Mexican cartels from flooding the US market with cocaine and other illegal drugs. But he had also previously come under suspicion of taking bribes.