Patna : A Bihar court Saturday sentenced 14 convicts, including a police official, to rigorous life imprisonment in a case about the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riots that had left over 1,000 people dead.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Shambhunath Mishra delivered the sentence in a packed courtroom nearly 18 years after the Oct 27, 1989 riot in Logai village in which 116 Muslims were slaughtered by a mob.
On June 18, the court had convicted 14 people and deferred the sentencing to June 27 as police had failed to produce one of the accused – said to be absconding.
The wife of the convict, Jaiprakash Mandal, alleges that her husband has been abducted and has pleaded that his sentence not be pronounced in his absence.
Logai village in Jagdishpur block witnessed one of the worst killings in the month-long communal riots in Bhagalpur district.
Soon after the verdict last month, 13 of those found guilty, who were out on bail, were taken into judicial custody.
There were a total of 32 accused. While six died during the course of the trial, the others were acquitted due to lack of evidence.
According to Deputy Inspector General of Police Ajit Dutt, who investigated the Logai killings and recovered the bodies, 116 people were killed and buried in a nearby field by the rioters.
In his report, Dutt said that land grabbing was a major cause of the riots.