A Bihar court on Wednesday sentenced to death 16 of 26 convicted persons in the Laxmanpur Bathe carnage in Jehanabad district in which 58 people were killed by a private militia of landlords in 1997.

Announcing the judgement, Additional District Judge Vijay Prakash Mishra sentenced to life imprisonment the remaining 10 convicts and imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 on each.

The trial in the case had concluded on April 1.

Altogether 58 Dalits were gunned down by the Ranvir Sena, a private militia of land owners, at Laxmanpur Bathe on December 1, 1997.

Earlier, the case was transferred to Patna from Jehanabad following a Patna High Court order in October, 1999.

Charges were framed in the case against 46 Ranvir Sena men on December 23, 2008.

Around 91 of 152 witnesses in the case had deposed before the court.