A court on Thursday sentenced life imprisonment to the main accused in one of the bloodiest massacres in the state’s history by the banned Maoist outfit that killed 37 people in Bara village of Bihar’s Gaya district three decades ago.
Gaya District and Sessions Judge Manoj Kumar Tiwari also imposed fine on Ramchandra Yadav alias Kirani 3.05 lakh, convicted him under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC.
Kirani was named in the massacre that took place on February 12, 1992, when 37 upper caste Bhumihars were executed by the Maoist Communist Center (MCC).
Central Bihar made headlines in the 1980s and 1990s for a series of retaliatory violence involving ultra-left guerrillas and private militias of upper-caste landlords.
The Bara massacre was described by the MCC as “revenge” for the killing of Dalits elsewhere by the ‘Savarna Liberation Front’, one of several upper caste militias during that time, including the most notorious ‘Ranveer Sena’. Was. Which was held responsible for the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre in Jehanabad, where 67 Dalits were murdered.
Kirani’s lawyer Tariq Ali told reporters after the verdict that “we are not satisfied and look forward to challenging the trial court’s order before the Supreme Court, as high courts cannot hear TADA cases.”
“We were expecting the release of our client as he has spent almost 17 years behind bars. This order is against the principles of natural justice.
In response to a question, the defense counsel said, ‘Many people were arrested in connection with the massacre. However, my client was being tested independently.”
A total of 13 people were made accused in the case, out of which four were given death sentence in 2001. Later, his mercy petition was accepted by the President of India and the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
In 2009, three others were sentenced to death. Three others were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Kirani went absconding after the massacre and was arrested almost 15 years later. Since then he was in jail and facing trial in the case.
Meanwhile, Satyendra Sharma, whose eight family members were killed in the massacre, said Kirani was a butcher and life imprisonment was not appropriate. He said, ‘He should be hanged.