Patna High Court acquits 14 in Khagaria carnage

Patna, Jan 3: The Patna High Court Friday acquitted 14 people accused of massacing 16 farmers in a village in Bihar’s Khagaria district in 2009, a government lawyer said.

A bench of Justice B.N. Sinha of the Patna High Court acquitted the 14, saying there was insufficient evidence against them in the charge sheet filed by police.

Of those acquitted, 10 were sentenced to death and four awarded life imprisonment in 2012 by the additional district and sessions judge of Khagaria.

Sixteen poor farmers of Ichwara village in Khagaria district were killed four years ago over a land dispute. The massacre, the first during Nitish Kumar’s tenure as the chief minister, was carried out by a group of armed men owing allegiance to the Communist Party of India-Maoists.

Police said a total of 37 people were listed as accused in the First Information Report lodged after the carnage.

Earlier, 21 were acquitted by the court for lack of evidence.

IANS