Lambasting the Nitish Kumar government for ‘patronising feudal and criminal elements’, CPI-ML(Liberation) politburo member Ramji Rai, on Tuesday said Supreme Court should take cognisance of 1996 Bathani Tola carnage case in which Patna High Court had set aside death sentence to three persons.

“Nitish Kumar government is involved in the larger conspiracy to facilitate the acquittal of those convicted in the case ...It is a political conspiracy against the poor,” Mr. Rai told newsmen in Patna.

“Supreme Court should take note and cognisance of the case and pass an appropriate order,” he said.

The HC had also set aside on Monday life imprisonment to 20 others after a division bench of Justices Navniti Prasad Singh and Ashwini Kumar Singh allowed appeals against the conviction order of Bhojpur court on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove the involvement of the appellants in the crime beyond reasonable doubt.

“...The investigation was not fair in respect of the persons who perpetrated the ghastly crime ... Apparently investigation has directed in a particular direction far from the truth and not above suspicion,” the HC order had said.

The Bhojpur court had on May 3 convicted and sentenced three persons to death and 20 others to life imprisonment for the carnage in which 21 dalits were killed allegedly by the Ranvir Sena on July 11, 1996 at Bathani Tola in Bhojpur district.