[Reader-list] Andhra HC strikes down all sentences in Dalit massacre case IANS | Hyderabad April 22, 2014 Last Updated at 16:00 IST
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Thu Apr 24 07:50:45 CDT 2014
Andhra HC strikes down all sentences in Dalit massacre case
* IANS | Hyderabad *
*April 22, 2014* Last Updated at 16:00 IST
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In a dramatic judgment, the Andhra
Court <http://www.business-standard.com/search?type=news&q=Court> Tuesday
set aside an order of a special court that sentenced 21 people to life
imprisonment and 35 others to one year's jail for the 1991 massacre of
Dalits in Guntur district.
The high court struck down the sentence for lack of evidence in the
sensational case, which had attracted national attention.
A division bench headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy observed that the
prosecution failed to produce sufficient evidence before the court, and
noted that the accused have already spent a long time in jail.
The high court pronounced its judgment on a petition by the convicts who
challenged the special court's order in what is known as Tsundur massacre
The court directed Guntur district superintendent of police to make
adequate security measures and ensure that no procession or celebration is
organised after the convicts are released.
In 2007, a special court sentenced 21 to life imprisonment and 35 others to
one year's rigorous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.2,000 each,
convicting them for the massacre.
The court set up under the SC/STs Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, held
56 people guilty but acquitted 123 others for lack of evidence.
Eight Dalits were killed and many others injured in attacks allegedly by
upper caste people on Aug 6, 1991 at Tsundur village of Guntur district,
about 350 km from Hyderabad.
The houses of Dalits were looted and set afire and many families were
forced to flee from Tsundur and adjoining villages.
The police filed a charge sheet against 219 people, of whom 33 died during
the course of the trial and seven were let off as police did not find any
evidence against them.
The case was heard over nearly 16 years in the country's first-ever special
court set up at the scene of an atrocity.
Guntur superintendent of police Satyanarayana said the high court order
would be challenged in the Supreme Court.
Several Dalit organisations have also reacted strongly to the high court
order. They plan to challenge the high court order in the apex court.
Tsundur case: Dalit bodies to chalk out future course the hindu 24th april
Representatives of several organisations representing the interests of
people from different walks of life, including Dalits and other weaker
sections, will meet at the Sundaraiah Vignana Kendra between 10 a.m. and 1
p.m. on Thursday to discuss their future course of action to register their
protest against the verdict of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, acquitting
the accused in the Tsundur carnage of 1991. A few dozens of representatives
of different organisations on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest at the
statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on Wednesday, demanding justice. Prominent
among those present were Vara Vara Rao of the Revolutionary Writers’
Association, M. Anjaneyulu, Director of the Centre for Dalit Studies, M.
Veda Kumar of the Telangana Praja Front President and State general
secretary of the Committee Against Caste Discrimination, John Wesley.
They regretted that the line ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ appeared
to be proved correct. On Thursday, they would meet to firm up their future
course of action, which included petitioning Governor to see that
government went in appeal to the Supreme Court, apart from meeting the
Chief Justice of India, Justice P. Sathasivam and Chief Justice of Andhra
Pradesh, Justice Kalyanjyoti Sengupta. “We will also move the Supreme Court
in our appeal, separately,” he said.
*Representatives of different organisations stage a peaceful protest at the
statue of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar demanding justice*
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