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Kanpur :

The Kanpur trial court has postponed the much-awaited verdict on the Behmai massacre that took place 39 years ago.

The verdict will now be delivered on January 18.

District government counsel Raju Porwal said that the counsel for the Posha, an accused, had sought some time to present written arguments and the court directed him to present the same by January 16 after which the verdict will be delivered on January 18.

The counsel for the accused Girish Narain Dubey said that he had sought time to present some crucial documents in court.

The Behmai massacre that shook the country took place on February 14, 1981, when the then bandit queen Phoolan Devi gunned down 20 Thakurs of the Behmai village in Kanpur Dehat.

The killings were an act of revenge on the Thakur community after two Thakurs – Lala Ram and Sri Ram raped Phoolan Devi and killed her paramour Vikram Mallah.

The killings also led to political fallout, with then UP chief minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh resigned, owning moral responsibility for the massacre.

Phoolan Devi, the main accused, was killed in 2001 in Delhi and 14 other accused persons have died during the period of trial.

Charges were framed against the accused in 2012 in the special court.

The government counsel said that of the four accused who are alive, three – Bhikha, Shyam Babu and Vishwanath – is out on bail while Posha is still in jail.

Three other accused, namely, Vishwanath, Ramkesh and Maan Singh are still absconding even after 39 years.

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