‘Murli Manohar Joshi and C.P. Thakur instigated Ranvir Sena members to commit murders’
Retired Justice Amir Das, who inquired into the massacre of 58 Dalits in Lakshmanpur Bathe village in Jehanabad in 1997, has stated on record that BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and C.P. Thakur, were responsible for instigating members of the Ranvir Sena, an armed private militia of landowning upper caste men, to commit the murders, according to a documentary produced by ‘Cobrapost’ screened here on Monday.
Mr. Das is also quoted as naming Janata Dal (United) leader Shivanand Tiwari as one of the politicians who also played a part in instigating the Ranvir Sena.
Four major massacres of Dalit men, women and children occurred in Bihar between 1997 and 2000, and in all these cases the accused, who were convicted by the trial court, were mostly let off by the Patna High Court.
‘Operation Black Rain’, the sting operation Cobrapost conducted, exposes how justice has been delayed and denied to the victims. Undercover journalist K. Ashish travelled to villages of Bihar in Jehanabad, Bhojpur and Gaya in search of the witnesses to the killings and many of them have deposed before the camera recounting the horrors of the incident.
The film also exposes the impunity with which the Sena carried out the murders. Chandeshwar Singh, a commander of the Sena, has been captured on camera talking about how he murdered 32 Dalit villagers in Bathani Tola using mostly unlicensed weapons.
Some other Sena members also confessed to committing murders. All of them went scot free after acquittal. The documentary also contains an interview with Bhola Rai, who is considered absconding in
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