10 convicts to be hanged,3 get life term in Senari village butchering case in 1999

Patna,Nov16:More than 17 years after 34 upper-caste Bhumihar men were butchered in an attack on Senari village by Maoists, a Jehanabad court awarded capital punishment to 10 convicts while sentencing three others to life term on Tuesday. The punishment of two absconders has been reserved by the court, a government lawyer said.

According to the prosecution, hundreds of outlawed Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) (now CPI-Maoists) members had attacked Senari village under Karpi police station of Arwal district, then Jehanabad, on the evening of March 18, 1999, and held the villagers captive for hours. What followed was the death of at least 34 upper-caste men, who were pulled outside their houses, lined up near a village temple and their throats were slit by the alleged Maoists.

 An FIR was lodged on the information provided by Chintamani Devi, whose husband and son were among the 34 men killed in the bloodbath. The police filed a chargesheet in this connection in 2002 against 74 persons. However, a number of accused remained absconders or died during the trial.

On October 27 this year, the court of Additional District Judge-III Ranjit Kumar Singh convicted 15 people in connection with the massacre while acquitting 23 others for lack of evidence. It led the victim families to question how only 15 men could have slaughtered 34, sources said.

The convicts sentenced to death include Dwarka Paswan, Gorai Paswan, Uma Paswan, Kariman Paswan, Gopal Saw, Budhan Yadav, Butai Yadav, Satendra Das, Lallan Pasi and Bachchesh Singh. While pronouncing the quantum of punishment, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the three convicts – Vinay Paswan, Arvind Yadav and Munneshwar Yadav – who have been awarded life term.

The Arwal district administration has stepped up security at the village after the pronouncement of the much-awaited verdict on Tuesday