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Senari massacre | Patna High Court acquits 13 accused

The Patna High Court on Friday acquitted 13 accused persons in the Senari massacre case in which 34 persons were killed on March 18, 1999 by an erstwhile Maoist group in Senari village in central Bihar.

In November 2016, Additional District Judge-III of the Jehanabad District Court had convicted and awarded the death sentence to 10 accused persons and life imprisonment to another three. As many as 23 accused persons were acquitted for lack of evidence by the district court and four others who were accused had died.

The police had filed the case on information provided by Chintamani Devi, whose husband was among the 34 victims.

On Friday, a Division Bench of the Patna High Court, comprising Justices Ashwani Kumar Singh and Arvind Srivastava dismissed the lower court’s order and acquitted all 13 accused persons of Senari massacre case for lack of evidence.

Those who were acquitted are Bacchesh Singh, Buddhan Yadav, Butai Yadav, Satendra Das, Lallan Pasi, Dwarika Paswan, Kariban Paswan, Godai Paswan, Uma Paswan, Gopal Paswan (all were sentenced to death), Arvind Yadav, Mungeshwar Yadav and Vinay Paswan (life imprisonment).

In the caste war which had raged in parts of central Bihar in 1990s, the banned Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) had killed 34 people belonging to the upper caste Bhumihar community with weapons at Senari village in the then Jehanabad district. The village now falls in Arwal district, which was created later.

The Senari massacre was said to be a fallout of the Laxamanpur-Bathe massacre in which 57 Dalits were killed in 1997. Of the 91 massacres between 1977 and 2000, 76 took place between 1990 and 2000, in which over 350 people were killed. Districts of central Bihar such as Gaya, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and the Shahabad region of Bhojpur were the worst affected.

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Printable version | Feb 14, 2022 8:24:46 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/senari-massacre-patna-high-court-acquits-13-accused/article34616271.ece