Supreme Court thunders against Caste India
Thirty years after seven Dalits were massacred by upper caste Thakurs in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court has sentenced to life imprisonment five of the accused and said caste system should be abolished soon for ensuring rule of law and smooth functioning of democracy.
Reversing the acquittal of the six accused, the apex court said “unfortunately, the centuries-old Indian caste system still takes its toll from time to time. This case unfolds the worst kind of atrocities committed by the so-called upper caste (Kshatriya or Thakur) against the so-called lower caste caste in a civilized country. “It is absolutely imperative to abolish the caste system as expeditiously as possible for smooth functioning of rule of law and democracy in our country,” a bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Patnaik said in a judgement.
The apex court said minor discrepancies in statements of witnesses should be ignored by courts in such carnages as they are bound to be under tremendous fear. The accused belonging to Thakur caste butchered seven totally innocent persons belonging to Harijan caste and to wipe out the evidence of their atrocities, threw their bodies in the strong currents of the Ganges, the apex court said adding the massacre was carried out to teach a lesson to so-called lower caste and commit dacoity at the village. It was at the intervention of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram that the police had arrested 18 people in connection with the massacre on September 9, 1979, at village Lohari, under Hussainganj police station in Uttar Pradesh.
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