`Masterminds of Laxmanpur Bathe carnage in power`
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 08, 2010, 16:09
Patna: A retired judge of the Patna High Court who probed the nexus between politicians and Ranvir Sena, a private militia of landlords responsible for the 1997 Laxmanpur Bathe carnage in Jehanabad district, Thursday claimed that the "masterminds" were currently in power in Bihar.

Retired Justice Amir Das, who headed the Amir Das Commission instituted in 1998 by the Rabri Debi government and wounded up by the Nitish Kumar government, told a news agency from Jamshedpur, "There are several patrons in power in Bihar who masterminded the massacre of 58 innocent Dalits at Laxmanpur Bathe on December 1, 1997 and are going scot-free."

Several politicians in power now had deposed before the Commission, he said "which had enough evidence on record to prove that the real perpetrators were in collusion with the Sena."

The Commission, which started proceedings in 2001 after being constituted in 1998, was allowed to file an interim report, but was disbanded in January 2006 shortly after the NDA came to power in Bihar.

"The Commission was disbanded without assigning any reason though we were in the midst of preparing our final report to submit before the state government," he said.

The step, he alleged, was taken "obviously to save the skins of the real perpetrators now in the government."

Wednesday, a court had sentenced 16 of the 26 convicted in the case to death and ten others to life imprisonment.

Das claimed the verdict in the case would have been different had the Commission been allowed to complete its inquiries into the criminal-politician-Sena nexus.

Among those who were examined were BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Dr C P Thakur and Water Resources Rameshray Prasad Singh in the Nitish Kumar cabinet, official sources said.

The Nitish Kumar government had disbanded the Commission saying that even after nine long years; it had failed to submit the final report though a huge amount was spent.

Das, however, said "although the Commission was notified in December 1997 shortly after the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre, I got the letter only in March 1998."

He suggested the state government should revive the Commission and appoint a judicial officer as its chairman afresh who would go into the evidence and facts for giving final touches to the report.

The Patna High Court on July 2, 2007 had directed the state government to take action as per the recommendations of Amir Das Inquiry Commission to probe the links of political leaders with the banned Ranvir Sena for the Lakshmanpur Bathe massacre.


First Published: Thursday, April 08, 2010, 16:09

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