Senari massacre: 10 awarded death sentence

A total of 70 persons were made accused in the case while there were 67 witnesses.

The district court of Jehanabad in Bihar on Tuesday awarded death sentence to 10 persons and life imprisonment to other 3 in connection with the infamous Senari massacre involving the killing of 34 upper caste villagers by the Maoists in March 1999.

A total of 70 persons were made accused in the case while there were 67 witnesses.

The judgment on remaining two other absconding accused will be pronounced later by the district and sessions judge in Jehanabad district.

The Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) had killed 34 upper-caste people with blunt objects at Senari village on March 18, 1999. The victims were forced out of their houses and lined up near a village temple, where their throats were slit.

On October 27 last month the district court had convicted 15 people and acquitted 23 others in connection with the Senari massacre.

Altogether 34 villagers from upper caste Bhumihar were massacred at Senari village by the Left-wing extremists. According to the prosecution at least 1,000 armed Maoists had surrounded the village and made the villagers captive. The killings started around 7.30pm and continued till 10pm after which the Maoists fled.

The Senari incident was the last of a series of case-related massacres, in which MCC and upper caste organisations such as the Ranbir Sena are suspected to have been involved. The Senari incident was a response to the Lakshman-Bathe massacre, in which 57 Dalits were killed in 1997.

Bihar’s countryside saw a series of carnages in the 1980s and 1990s with the Maoists and the landed gentry taking on each other. At least 34 scheduled caste people and 42 upper caste villagers were killed in the five massacres that took place in neighbouring Jehanabad and Gaya districts in 1999 alone.