Bhagalpur: June 27, 2007 - The announcement of quantum of punishment to 14 convicts of massacre of 116 people during the Bhagalpur riots in 1989 was today deferred till July seven as one of the convicts continued to abscond, ten days after being pronounced guilty.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Shambhunath Mishra postponed the sentencing of the convicts as Jaiprakash Mandal, who had not turned up before the court on June 18, the day the accused were held guilty, could not be produced despite an arrest warrant pending against him.
The judge directed the police to produce the absconder on July seven so that all convicts could be sentenced together.
Adding a new twist to the disappearance of Jaiprakash Mandal, his counsel Abhaykant Jha told the court that the convict’s wife Baby Devi had sent letters to state’s Additional Director General of Police, IG and DIG of Bhagalpur range and Superintendent of Police, Bhagalpur suspecting that her husband had been kidnapped.
Jha said Jaiprakash Mandal had left his house on June 17, a day before his conviction, after which his motorcycle was found abandoned at Sanhaula raising doubts about his abduction.
The judge refused to take cognizance of the letter on the ground that Jaiprakash was “not in attendance”.
When the court asked the police about the attachment of the convict’s property in order to force him to surrender, it was told by the prosecution that the absconder had no immovable assets that could be impounded.
Those convicted in the case are: the then officer in-charge of Jagdishpur police station Ramchandra Singh, Chowkidar Thakur Paswan, Kuldip Mandal, Arjun Mandal, Prabhas Mandal, Sukhdev Mandal, Subhash Mandal, Ajablal Mandal, Shivlal Mandal, Naresh Mandal, Jattu Mandal, Ramdev Mandal, Saryu Prasad Singh and Jaiprakash Mandal.
Full story: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200706271326.htm