Sunday, December 6, 2009

[ZESTCaste] Six get life for massacring Dalits

Six get life for massacring Dalits

New Delhi, Dec 5 : The Supreme Court has sentenced six upper caste men
from Uttar Pradesh to life terms for killing seven Dalits 30 years

Sentencing the six men after reversing their acquittal by the
Allahabad High Court, a bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice
A.K. Patnaik 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
(Thakurs) against the so-called lower caste caste in a civilized

"It is absolutely imperative to abolish the caste system as
expeditiously as possible for smooth functioning of rule of law and
democracy in our country," the bench said in its verdict, which was
delivered Friday but released Saturday.

In September 1979, a horde of around two dozens Thakurs descended on a
Dalit settlement in Lahori village of Fatehpur district and kidnapped
eight members of a family, hacked them to death and threw their bodies
into the Ganga river.

The case was registered on the statement of a woman member of the
family who survived a murderous bid on her.

The case was registered after she wrote to then prime minister Indira
Gandhi and Dalit leader and former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram
as the police dilly-dallied in booking the offenders.

Though the Fathehpur trial court had convicted 18 people for the
offence, the Allahabad High Court had acquitted them all, giving them
the benefit of doubt. The Supreme Court, however, reversed the
acquittal of six of the accused.

"In the instant case, the accused persons belonging to Thakur caste
literally butchered seven totally innocent persons belonging to the
Harijan caste and to wipe out the entire evidence of their atrocities,
after shooting they were thrown in the river Ganga where currents were
very strong.

"Out of seven, even the bodies of five persons could not be
recovered," said the bench.

The Dalits murdered were identified as Jasodiya, Ganga, Tulsi, Deo
Nath alias Madan, Din Dayal, Sukhlal and Shripal. One person survived
the incident.

The apex court ordered Uttar Pradesh government to forthwith arrest
the six men.

The six convicted were Mathura Singh, Udai Bhan Singh, Dhirendra
Singh, Munna, Ram Niwas Singh and Vijay Karan Singh.


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