A retired high court judge, who probed the December 1997 killing of 58 Dalits in Jehanabad district, said Wednesday’s verdict on the carnage let the real masterminds get away.
Exhorting that justice had not been truly served even though 16 were sent to the gallows and 10 sentenced to life imprisonment, Justice (retired) Amir Das said they were only foot soldiers.
On December 1, 1997, the Ranveer Sena, a private militia raised by the landlords of central Bihar, perpetrated the carnage at Laxmanpur-Bathe village in Jehanabad district, now part of Arwal district.
Justice Das told PTI on Thursday: “There are several patrons, who masterminded the massacre are now in power in Bihar.”
The Justice Das commission was constituted on December 27, 1997 by the Rashtriya Janata Dal government led by Rabri Devi. But the commission was disbanded on April 10, 2006 by the National Democratic Alliance government led by Janata Dal (U) leader Nitish Kumar.
Since its brief was to probe the Ranveer Sena’s links with politicians, the commission summoned and examined several leaders, including Bharatiya Janata Party’s Murli Manohar Joshi and Deputy CM Sushil Modi, Dr C.P. Thakur and Ramashray Prasad Singh, a member of Nitish Kumar’s cabinet.
Justice Das said he would have nailed the “real perpetrators” of the massacre had he been allowed a little more time by the government.
He said he had a fair idea of who were the politicians and political parties involved in the massacre.
JD(U) spokesman Shivanand Tiwari dismissed as baseless the allegation of complicity of those in power in the carnage. State BJP president Radha Mohan Singh too refuted the charge.
(With PTI inputs)