The witnesses in the 1981 massacre in Behmai village here, where bandit Phoolan Devi and her gang allegedly killed around 21 men, have sought exemption from court appearances due to old age and set up a commission to record their statements.
Government counsel Rajeev Porwal said that an appeal was submitted in the court yesterday stating that the five witnesses in the case, namely, Vishwanath Singh, Karan Singh, Vakeel Singh, Takhat Singh and Marjaath Singh, are not keeping well due to old age and thus are unable to appear for the court proceedings.
He said that the witnesses, all in their seventies, have requested the judiciary to set up a commission to record their statements.
Meanwhile, one of the accused in the case, yesterday filed an appeal at the local court that he was a juvenile at the time of the incident. He submitted the necessary documents claiming that he was 15-year-old when the massacre happened.
Behmai was the village where Phoolan Devi was allegedly raped and the massacre in 1981 was said to be a revenge attack. She surrendered to police in 1983. She went on to become MP from Mirzapur and was shot dead outside her Delhi home on July 25, 2001.