Elections 2019: Two Decades After Worst Dalit Massacre in Jehanabad, Kin Still Await Justice

For Laxman Rajvanshi, Subedar Ram, Vinod Paswan, Sikandar Choudhary, Manoj Kumar and Parbatia Devi, a single issue will decide their preference to support or vote in the Lok Sabha polls – whoever ensures them punishment for the 26 accused in the 1997 Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre of dalits. The accused were acquitted by the Patna High Court, citing lack of evidence.

All these six persons are close relatives of the 58 dalits, the poorest of the poor, who were allegedly massacred by the upper caste Ranvir Sena in 1997 in Laxmanpur-Bathe village in the then Jehanabad district of Bihar. The victims included 27 women and 10 children. Arwal is part of Jehanabad parliamentary constituency of Bihar.

With electioneering picking up in Bihar, dalits and backward caste villagers of Laxmanpur-Bathe, a village on the banks of Sone river, want only punishment for the accused. The helpless kin of the victims said acquittal of all the accused had forced them to think that poor would never get justice.…