PATNA (TIP): Dharma Singh, a member of outlawed outfit Ranvir Sena and prime accused in the Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre in which 58 Dalits were killed in 1997, was arrested here on July 18, the police said. He was evading arrest for nearly 16 years and was taken into custody by a police team from Arwal district, said Superintendent of Police Anand Kumar Singh.
Laxmanpur-Bathe village situated on the banks of the Sone river in Jehanabad district was targeted by armed members of Ranvir Sena, a private militia of land owner upper caste people, who butchered 58 Dalits, including 27 women and 10 children, to death on Dec 1, 1997. According to police records, four Dalit families were completely wiped out in the bloodbath.
Soon after the massacre, the state government then led by Rabri Devi set up the Amir Das Commission to probe the political connections of the Ranvir Sena. But the commission was wrapped up by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar soon after he came to power in 2006.