Thirty years after eight Dalits were massacred by upper-caste Thakurs in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court has awarded six of the accused life imprisonment.
The apex court also advised abolition of the caste system to ensure rule of law and smooth functioning of democracy.
The bench headed by Justice Dalveer Bhandari said: “Unfortunately, the centuries-old Indian caste system still takes its toll from time to time. This case unfolds the worst kind of atrocities committed by the so-called upper caste against the so-called lower caste caste in a civilised country.”
The bench reversed an Allahabad High Court order acquitting the accused. The Supreme Court ignored minor discrepancies in statements of witnesses as they were believed to be under pressure.
In September 1979, some Thakurs of Lohari village killed the Dalits and threw the bodies in the Ganga. After the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram intervened, 18 people were arrested.