Death Penalty

An Appeal to The President for intervention in ensuring the release of Bara convicts

We bring to your attention the plight of four prisoners - Nanhe Lal Mochi, Veer Kuar Paswan, Krishna Mochi and Dharmender Singh- convicted in the Bara massacre case (Bihar, 1992) having spent around two decades in jail and appeal for your immediate intervention in ensuring their release. The four prisoners belonging to extremely poor backgrounds, of which three are Dalits, were accused in the Bara caste massacre and were awarded death sentence in a trial that condoned several evidential infirmities by a TADA designated court in 2001, unfortunately upheld by the Supreme Court in 2002. The mercy petitions filed by the prisoners in 2003 did not reach the designated authorities for over ten years due to bureaucratic negligence and it was only in January 2017 the President, citing inordinate delay, commuted their death sentence to life imprisonment with no clarification on the terms of remaining sentence. Veer Kuar Paswan, and Krishna Mochi have already spent around 25 years in jail, Nanhe Lal Mochi has spent 20 and Dharmender Singh has spent 19. The four are currently lodged in Gaya Central prison

The question of justice: convictions in 1984 riots

On November 20, 2018, a Delhi Sessions Court awarded death penalty to Yashpal Singh and life imprisonment to Naresh Kumar for their role in murder and arson in Mahipalpur on November 1, 1984 which caused the death of two persons and injuries to three others. A week later, the Delhi High Court upheld the conviction of 70 persons who had been awarded five-year prison sentences by a Sessions Court in 1996 for their role in rioting, looting and burning in Trilokpuri, between October 31 and November 3, 1984.

PUDR deplores responses of 12 states to upheld death penalty

In August 2015 the Law Commission had recommended abolition of death penalty except in terror related cases. Recently 14 states have responded to these recommendations. Barring the exception of Karnataka and Tripura, other 12 states have rejected the recommendations. The states opposing the move include Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. PUDR strongly deplores the responses of these states against abolition.

Collective (Conscience) Killer

President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee rejected five more mercy petitions between 25th and 26th May, 2017. With his current rejections, he has achieved 42 rejections and seven acceptances of mercy petitions during his tenure. There has been marked increase in rejections of mercy petitions in recent years, especially, after Mr. Pranab Mukherjee assumed office in 2012, former Presidents have chosen to exercise “pocket veto” i.e., delaying the Presidential assent on the recommendation than rejecting petitions.

Deterrence is Through Prosecution, Not Through Death Sentence

On 5th May, 2017 the Supreme Court upheld the High Court judgement giving death penalty to the four accused in the ‘Nirbhaya’ case ie the brutal gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh on December 16, 2012. The trial and conviction of the guilty in a time bound manner within  four and a half years, is a welcome step in the context of the frequent denials of justice to victims of sexual assault.

बारा हत्याकांड मामले में फांसी की सज़ा को उम्रकैद में बदला जाना: अधूरा न्याय

1992 में बिहार के हुए बारा हत्याकांड के मामले, जिसमें 35 भूमिहार जाति के लोगों की हत्या हुई थी, के सज़ायाफ्ता नन्हे लाल मोची, वीर कुअर पासवान, कृष्णा मोची (तीनों दलित) और धमेन्द्र सिंह की फांसी की सज़ा को राष्ट्रपति द्वारा उम्रकैद में बदले जाने का पीयूडीआर स्वागत करता है। परन्तु इस मामले में फांसी को उम्रकैद में बदला जाना अधूरा न्याय है क्योंकि इससे संबंधित शर्तों के बारे में किसी तरह की स्पष्टता के अभाव में ये चार कैदी अनिश्चित समय के लिए जेल में सड़ते रहेंगे। इन चार कैदियों को 2001 में टाडा डेज़िगनेटिड कोर्ट ने एक अत्यधिक पक्षपाती मुकदमे द्वारा फांसी की सज़ा सुनाई थी और 2002 में सर्वोच्च न्याय

Commutation of Death Sentence in the Bara Massacre Case: Justice Half Done

PUDR welcomes the decision of the President commuting the death sentences of Nanhe Lal Mochi, Veer Kuar Paswan, Krishna Mochi and Dharmender Singh, convicted in the Bara massacre of 1992 for killing 35 members of the Bhumihar caste in Bihar. Commutation in this case, however, is justice half done as the four prisoners will continue to languish in jail indefinitely in the absence of any clarity on the terms of commutation. The four prisoners were sentenced to death in 2001 by a TADA designated court in an extremely biased trial and the sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2002.

Appeal to Bihar CM: Release of Death Row Prisoners, Nanhe Lal Mochi, Veer Kuar Paswan, Krishna Mochi and Dharmender Singh, convicted in the Bara Massacre Case, 1992


The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Bihar

4, Deshratna Marg,

Patna, Bihar - 800001


2nd November, 2016


Subject: Release of Death Row Prisoners, Nanhe Lal Mochi, Veer Kuar Paswan, Krishna Mochi and Dharmender Singh, convicted in the Bara Massacre Case, 1992. 



मौतों की फ़सल - बिहार के हत्याकांड और न्याय का सवाल

ग्रामीण बिहार में 1980 और 1990 के दशक में हुए हत्याकांडों के इतिहास के सन्दर्भ में और पीयूडीआर द्वारा किये गए अलग-अलग फैक्ट फाइंडिंग जांचों की मदद से, हम बिहार के गया ज़िले के बारा गाँव
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