I was shocked to read the news (April 17) that all the accused in the 1996 Bihar Dalit carnage, in which 21 Dalits were butchered by the Ranvir Sena, have been acquitted by the Patna High Court on grounds of “defective evidence” and that the Ranvir Sena supremo, Brahmeshwar Singh, butcher of Bathani Tola, was freed from jail last year. All this makes one wonder whether the nation's conscience remains frozen even after 64 years of Independence.
Twenty-one Dalits were hacked to death in Bathani Tola. Even babies were not spared. Of the 23 accused, three were awarded capital punishment and 20 were sentenced to life by the Sessions Court. This shows that the prosecution did a good job. What happened at the appellate stage? I hope the Supreme Court will do the needful to bring the guilty to book. And that the media will take up the matter as they have done many times in the past.
The Patna High Court's verdict is disappointing. Did the Ara Sessions Court give a wrong verdict? Did the massacre never take place? Is it not the state's responsibility to prevent and punish such dastardly acts? Where is justice for the victims?
K. Jagadeesh Chandra Bose,