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The Supreme Court on Monday admitted the appeal of the Bihar government challenging the Patna High Court’s judgment which had set free 13 people convicted for the Senari massacre.

At least 34 upper caste members were killed allegedly by cadres of the banned Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) at Senari village in 1999.

A Bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari agreeing to hear the appeal of the Bihar government against the High Court’s order asked the state to serve notice on all acquitted accused persons.

The High Court in May 2021 had set aside the judgment of a lower court while acquitting the 13 accused and ordered their immediate release. In 1999, extremists allegedly linked to the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) executed 34 members of an upper caste in an open field in Senari.

On November 18, 2016, the Jehanabad district court had sentenced 10 people to death and awarded life imprisonment to three others. The district court had acquitted 23 others for lack of evidence.

Bacchesh Singh, Buddhan Yadav, Butai Yadav, Satendra Das, Lallan Pasi, Dwarika Paswan, Kariban Paswan, Godai Paswan, Uma Paswan and Gopal Paswan were awarded the death penalty. Arvind Yadav, Mungeshwar Yadav and Vinay Paswan were given life imprisonment by the court.

As per the prosecution, on the evening of March 18, 1999, alleged MCC members forced 34 people, belonging to the upper caste Bhumihar community, to line up near a temple at Senari village and killed them by slitting their throats and shooting them.

The police had filed the case on information provided by Chintamani Devi, whose husband and son were among the 34 victims. (ANI)