1996 Bathani Tola massacre

1996 Bathani Tola massacre

The 1996 Bathani Tola massacre was an incident of [1]

Massacre

21 Dalits were slaughtered by [1]

Following the massacre, there were further attacks on Dalits and Labourers organized by the Ranvir Sena in Laxmanpur Bathe (1 December 1997) and Sankarbigha (January 199) in which 81 Dalits were killed. [3]

The Landlords wanted to reassert their feudal tyranny over the poor who have started becoming more vocal and by attacking the most vulnerable, women and children, they wanted to send a clear message that they would not allow anyone to disturb the social structure. [1]

A Ranvir Sena sympathiser, who spoke to the Hindu correspondent Shoumojit Banerjee, justified the mobilisation of the upper castes against those Naxals. "The land is ours. The crops belong to us. They (the labourers) did not want to work, and moreover, hampered our efforts by burning our machines and imposing economic blockades. So, they had it coming."[3]

Trial

  • 12 July 1996 - FIR lodged against 33 persons the day after the massacre
  • 24 March 2000 - Charges framed against 64 accused[4]
  • 5 May 2010 - The civil court at Ara sentences three persons to death and 20 others to life imprisonment. The court acquitted 30 others for want of evidence.[4]
    • Ajay Singh - charged with killing 10-year-old Phool Kumari - death sentenced[2]
    • Manoj Singh - charged with murder of 3 month old daughter of Naimuddin - death sentenced[2]
    • Nagendar alias Narendra Singh - charged with murder of Sanjharu and Ramratiya Devi - death sentenced[2]
  • 17 April 2012 - The Patna High Court acquits 23 men convicted of the murders. A Division Bench of judges Navneeti Prasad Singh and Ashwani Kumar Singh cite "defective evidence" to acquit all of them. [3][2]
  • 18 April 2012 - Bihar State SC/ST Welfare Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi told PTI in Patna that NDA led Govt (under Nitish Kumar). has decided to move to Supreme court challenging the Patna HC Order. [5]
  • 16 July 2012- The Supreme Court admitted appeals filed by the Bihar Government and some of the family members of the victims against acquittal of 23 persons, allegedly responsible for the massacre. [6]

References

  1. ^ a b c Smita Narula; Human Rights Watch (Organization) (1999). Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's "untouchables".. Human Rights Watch. pp. 71–.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Shoumojit Banerjee (1996-07-11). "News / National : All accused in 1996 Bihar Dalit carnage acquitted". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  3. ^ a b c d Shoumojit Banerjee (19 April 2012). "States / Other States : For residents of Bathani, it is a horror they cannot forget". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  4. ^ a b Shoumojit Banerjee (2010-05-14). "News / National : Death for three in Bathani Tola massacre case". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  5. ^ PTI (1996-07-11). "News / National : Bathani Tola case: Bihar Govt to move SC against verdict". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  6. ^ "Bathani Tola: SC admits appeals against acquittals". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 17 July 2012.