BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi : The CPI(ML) held a protest demonstration against the shameful verdict of the Bihar High Court overturning the conviction of 26 men for the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre and acquitting all the killers. The protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar, raising slogans against the ‘massacre of justice’ and the Nitish Kumar Government for its betrayal of the promise of justice for victims of the dalit massacres. Protesters burnt the effigy of Nitish Kumar and a copy of the Bihar HC verdict too.
Addressing the protest demonstration, CPI(ML) State Secretary Sanjay Sharma asked, “On December 1, 1997, a feudal landlords’ private army the Ranveer Sena massacred 58 Dalits, including 27 women and 10 children, in Laxmanpur Bathe in Arwal, Bihar. Does the HC want us to believe that ‘noone killed these 58 people’? Does the HC hold that the dalit eyewitnesses can’t be believed? Or do the lives of dalits have no judicial value?”
AISA’s National President Sandeep Singh said that in repeated cases, the Bihar HC had overturned lower court convictions in the Bathani Tola, Nagari and Bathe massacre cases. In the Bathani case, the HC declared any true witnesses of the massacre could only be dead. But in the Bathe case, the court held that the eyewitnesses were genuine, yet chose to disbelieve their identification of the killers on the technicality that the actual names were added to the FIR a few days after the massacre. The HC, like in the Bathani case, has again held in the Bathe case that the IO and the prosecution have been biased and have weakened the case. But this bias can only be corrected by placing faith in the eyewitnesses who testified at risk to their lives. The HC has insulted the survivors by letting loose the killers – once again putting the eyewitnesses at risk.
Human rights activist Mahtab Alam deplored the Patna High Court verdict and said that struggle for justice must go on.
Aslam Khan, Vice President, Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) said that Dalit landless poor who assserted themselves politically by supporting the CPI(ML) were massacred by Ranveer Sena in Laloo’s Bihar, and now justice is being repeatedly massacred in Nitish’s Bihar, exposing the cruel truth behind his claims of ‘justice for mahadalits.’
AISA Delhi President Sunny Kumar said that the first thing that Nitish Kumar did on assuming power was to abandon the Amir Das Commission set up to probe the political links with the Ranveer Sena, because it was well known that BJP and JDU leaders formed the bulk of political support for the Sena, while some RJD and Congress leaders too were known to support the Sena.
JNUSU General Secretary Sandip Saurabh reminded that when Ranveer Sena chief Brahmeshwar was killed recently, the Ranveers unleashed violence on dalit hostel students in Ara – even as Nitish’s police took a leaf from Modi’s book and let them ‘vent their rage’.
Santosh Roy, CPI(ML) State Committee member, said that Rahul Gandhi speaks of Dalits moving ahead powered by ‘Jupiter’s velocity’ – but he’s silent on the Bathe verdict. Meanwhile Congress, earlier partner of Laloo who presided over the massacres, now cosies up to Nitish Kumar, who presides over the massacre of justice! And on Independence Day this year, the Baddi dalit atrocity took place in Bihar, reminding everyone that Bathani and Bathe are not horrors of the past, but terrors of today in Nitish-ruled Bihar.