Ramesh Susarla

TSUNDUR (GUNTUR DT.): Twenty- one persons have been sentenced to life imprisonment and 35 others one-year rigorous imprisonment and a penalty of Rs. 2,000 each in the sensational Tsundur massacre case.

Eight Dalits were hacked to death in broad daylight on August 6, 1991, with over 400 people chasing them along the bund of an irrigation canal in Tsundur.

Delivering the judgment seven days short of anniversary of the attack on Dalits of Malapalli here, special judge Anis of Special Court under the SC/STs Prevention of (Atrocities) Act 1989, felt that it was not the rarest of the rare cases, which attracted death penalty. In the country’s first-ever special court set up for trying a case under the Act at the scene of offence, the judge acquitted 123 out of the 179 accused. In the case of 41 accused, the court did not find any evidence, while 62 of them were released on benefit of doubt. The other 20 were let off due to omission of evidence or having only single witnesses.