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Bhagalpur riots case verdict-justice delayed

The laboured progress of the wheels of justice in the 1989 Bhagalpur riots cases extracted its own price, reports Avijit Biswas.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2007 20:49 IST
Avijit Biswas
Avijit Biswas
Hindustan Times

The laboured progress of the wheels of justice in the 1989 Bhagalpur riots cases extracted its own price. Many members of the victims' families met their Maker during the extended pendency of the Logain case trial. One of accused persons also died during the 16 years that have elapsed since the Logain killing trial started.

The case was recommended for trial by a sessions court on September 19, 1991 and trial commenced on September 27, 1991. Thanks to the time consumed in police investigations and submission of charge-sheet, another nine years elapsed before the charges against the accused were framed by the court on December 15, 2000.

The examination of witnesses commenced in March 2001 but the progess of trial was hampered by a variety of factors, including vacancies on the bench. The CID, entrusted with the probe, recommended the filing of charge-sheets against 24 persons. A number of witnesses turned hostile during the long years of trial.

According to special public prosecutor Quamrur Rehman, out of 24 persons chargesheeted in the case two had to be dropped from the list after they moved the high court. Two of the remaining 22 turned absconders and were placed in a separate category on court directive. As such, trial started in this case after framing of charges against 20 persons.

The list contracted to 19 when one of the accused died during the trial. It was reduced, subsequently, to 18 when one of the accused facing trial was found to be a minor. His case, too, was split up on the directive of the court. There was a further split up when four out of 18 facing trial also absconded. In the end, only 14 accused faced trial in the main case and all were convicted.

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