1997 Dalit Massacre convicts given 'benefit of doubt' by Patna HC

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Patna, Oct 10: Call it luck or political underplay, the Patna High court today acquitted the convictions of all 26 convicts related to the 1997 Dalit Massacre case. 16 of them were awarded death sentence by a lower court.

"We are of the view that the prosecution witnesses are not reliable...so, all convicted persons are entitled to the benefit of doubt," said a division bench comprising Justices VN Sinha and AK Lal.

The men suspected of the massacre belonged to the upper caste militia Ranveer Sena and have been charged of massacring 58 Dalits at Laxmanpur Bathe on December 1, 1997.

In 2010, Additional District Judge Vijay Prakash Misra considered them guilty and sentenced 16 of them to death sentence and the remaining 10 to life sentence.

Subsequently, the convicts appealed to the Patna High Court, challenging the order. The HC, on the other hand, reserved its order on appeals filed by the 26 convicts after hearing the case on July 27.

OneIndia News

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