Laxmanpur Bathe:Citizens Protested at Bihar Bhawan

Citizens demand reinstatement of Justice Amir Das Commission, opposed the acquittal of perpetrators of Dalit massacre

New Delhi: A citizens protests was organised on Friday at Bihar Bhwan in New Delhi in which activists, intellectuals, students and artists demanded justice in the Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre where 58 innocent dalits were killed by a sena of landlords in December 1997. With placards saying “No one Killed 58 Dalits?” “Oppose Capitulation of Nitish Govt to Feudal interests” and “Stop Shielding Perpetrators of Laxmanpur Bathe massacre”, they marched to Bihar Bhawan in Chanakyapuri in the capital.

Biha

The protesters registered their strong protest against the Bihar government’s deliberate weakening of the case against perpetrators of the 1997 dalit massacre in Laxmanpur-Bathe. The Nitish Kumar government has capitulated to the feudal interests in the state and the recent development must be seen in the series of acquittal of criminals from other such cases like Bathani Tola and Miyanpur. To elicit the support of the so called upper castes, Nitish Kumar disbanded the Amir Das Commission that was looking into feudal massacres in which scores of innocent dalits, including women and children, were killed as they had started asserting for their rights and dignity.

They marked their fierce opposition to every such move trying to turning back the wheel of justice and social assertion in Bihar. After the political break-up with the BJP, the Chief Minister seems to be in particular desperation to retain the upper caste support which this development signifies. Although the Chief Minister had verbally said that his government would pursue the case to the Supreme Court, we are aghast at how could the culprits, convicted by the session court and awarded capital punishment, got scot-free at High Court without the govt’s complacency. In his reaction over the HC judgement, Justice Amir Das has exposed Nitish Kumar government’s dismantling of all probe committees in the Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre on behest of the upper castes.

This cruel joke on justice is also a reminder that our judicial system needs to be reformedand made more democratic and representative. The dalit community and other democratic sections of the society take strong reservation of this denial of justice and resolve to take ahead the assertion of dalits’ rights in Bihar and elsewhere. Those banking politically on such dubious ploys will be defeated and isolated.

The agitators demanded that Justice Amir Das commission be reinstated at the earliest and the government acts on its reccommendations in transparent and effective manner. Only that can be a justice to all the innocents killed brutally by the hegemonic castes. We also demand that a transparent and representative citizens’ commission be formed and facilitated to ensure that justice is delivered in the criminal case at the Supreme Court level.