The Bihar State Committee of the CPI(M-L) New Democracy strongly opposes the decision of the Patna High Court declaring all the accused in the Bathe genocide not guilty and freeing them. The result is that after a long process of 16 years, the govt., its police machinery and the judiciary has not found guilty or punished a single person for the brutal cold-blooded massacre of 58 landless poor peasants mostly dalits in Laxmanpur Bathe on the night of 1-2nd December 1997. It is no secret that Bathe massacre was a part of a series of murderous assaults unleashed by landlord goonda gangs and private armies in order to terrorize landless and poor peasants of Bihar who were daring to stand up against feudal exploitation and oppression. This decision and the earlier similar decision in the Bathani Tola massacre case will further embolden the oppressor upper caste landlords and their goonda gangs and armies like the erstwhile Ranvir Sena in Bihar. This decision is another reminder to the exploited and oppressed toiling masses particularly dalits, adivasis, minorities that they cannot expect to get justice under the present law enforcement system and it is only through intensifying their own struggles that they can defend themselves.
It is worth recalling that the final chargesheet in this case was submitted in 1999 to the court but the actual trial and taking of evidence began only in 2009. After the long delay by the judicial system has ensured a gap of 12 years between the massacre and the taking of evidence in the court, the High Court has picked on minor inconsistencies in evidence to discount the evidence given and concrete identification of the accused by over a dozen eye-witnesses, including four who were injured in the attack and has overturned the decision of the trial court. In an attempt at sympathy with the victims the High Court has directed the Govt. to pay compensation to the victims, the amount to be determined by the trial court on the basis of the prevalent minimum wages. No judicial order was required for this since compensation from the Govt is a right of the victims under the law and the Govt. is duty bound to pay even without the judicial order. The effect of this has been only to add insult to injury.
The Bihar State Committee of the CPI(M-L) New Democracy has called upon its ranks to immediately hold demonstrations at the district level and prepare to organize a big broad-based movement opposing this decision of the High Court and appeals to all democratic sections of the people to come forward in opposition to this decision. The party calls upon the landless and poor peasants to intensify their struggles against landlord oppression and be prepared to directly defend themselves against landlord-goonda violence since the law enforcement machinery and the judicial system has proved unable to defend them or give them justice. The party demands that Supreme Court should punish the guilty and if needed, get further investigations conducted under its own supervision.
10.10.2013 Bihar State Committee, CPI(M-L) New Democracy