Abolish caste system: SC, gives lifer to 6 for Dalit killings
Agencies Posted online: Saturday , Dec 05, 2009 at 1654 hrs
New Delhi : Thirty years after eight 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
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
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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