Tamil Nadu, INDIA --- The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) criticized the Patna high court on acquitting 23 convicts in connection with the infamous Bathani Tola massacre in which 21 dalits, including women and infants, were killed in the Bhojpur district village on July 11, 1996 in India.
“Justice denied to the victims of Bathani Tola Massacre. The Patna High Court on 16th April 2012, set aside the death sentence and life imprisonment promulgated by the Bhojpur court,” remarked Fathima Burnad, APC Chairperson and a leader of Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum (TNWF).
The Dalit leader said, “The Patna High Court virtually over turned a trial court judgment in Ara which convicted 23 accused with death penalty in May 2010 for the carnage which 21 dalits were killed by Ranvir Sena, a private militia of upper caste people,on July 11, 1996 at Bathani Tola in Bhojpur district in India.”
The APC leader added, “The Dalits have been fighting for their land rights and minimum wages for working in the land of these feudal landlords, much to their discomfort. It is dificult for us to accept the Patna High Court judgment when it says that theinvolvement of the accused could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt. What evidence is needed by this court? ”
“It can not be denied that Bhumihars are a powerful caste which not only own land but control the politics in Bihar,” stressed Burnad.
“We demand that the responsible for the Bathani Tola massacre be punished. We call for the protection of the Dalits in Bihar and we stand firm to support them,” ended Burnad.