Fresh probe ordered into Bhagalpur riots
In a politically significant move, the NDA government in Bihar on Friday announced institution of a judicial probe into the 1989 Bhagalpur riot cases to bring to justice those accused who managed to escape conviction, punish errant officials and suggest a rehabilitation package for the victims.
A special meeting of the Nitish Kumar Cabinet, chaired by the Chief Minister, decided to get 27 cases of the communal riots re-investigated to bring the guilty to justice and punish the officials responsible for their acquittal despite existence of "solid" evidences against them.
Emerging from the meeting which lasted for over three hours, Kumar said that in accordance with the decision taken by the Cabinet, he would be writing to Patna High Court Chief Justice JN Bhatt to nominate a serving or retired judge of the High Court for a one-member panel to be constituted under the Commission of Inquiry Act.
The commission will be asked to submit its report on the riots, which claimed over 1,000 lives and left in its wake a trail of devastation, within six months of its inception.
However, the commission will be free to give an interim report before that.
Referring to the terms of reference of the commission, the Chief Minister said that the commission would probe afresh all the cases of the Bhagalpur riots and examine the manner in which the prosecution and investigation agencies carried out their duties resulting in closure of the cases against the accused.
"We have identified 27 cases in which closure reports have been filed by the prosecution agencies despite sufficient evidence against the accused," he said.