Attacks on Dalits and Minorities in Bihar

CPIML Bihar State Secretary Kunal on 25 July expressed grave concern about the relentless attacks on dalits, most backward castes and minorities in Bihar and said that there seems to be no value for the life and dignity of the poor under the Nitish government's rule. On the one hand feudal criminals have become bolder while on the other hand it has become futile to expect anything from the administration and the police. The latest incident is from Sarta village in Parsibigha Thana, Ratni Block, Jehanabad. 28 year old Govind Manjhi was arrested on the excuse of prohibition and he died in jail three days later. This is evidently a case of custodial killing. A similar incident occurred at Dulhinganj in Bhojpur and at Baishadi BJP-supported feudal criminals brutally axed Vijay Kahar (Chandravanshi) to death. These incidents go to show that there is no law and order in Bihar and the state is living in fear of the police and criminals protected by the powers that be.

CPIML MLAs Mahanand Singh and Rambali Singh Yadav visited Sarta and other villages in Jehanabad on 25 July. They said that the anger of the villagers at the death of Govind Manjhi was justified. The police enter the homes of the villagers as and when they wish, day or night, and carry off people to the Thana. Govind Manjhi's death in jail was due to beating by the police and lack of treatment. Angered by this, the people blocked the Jehanabad-Arwal main road at Nehalpur and demanded action against the guilty police personnel and a government job for the victim's kin. The police responded by lathi charge and firing. A stampede ensued, injuring several persons. While trying to board her vehicle during the stampede, a woman police constable fell and was run over by the vehicle, killing her. After that the police arrived in larger numbers and started beating and chasing people. 17 houses were fully broken, goods destroyed, and 5 persons arrested. Again on 25 July 10 persons were nabbed and taken to the Thana. The entire area lives in fear and terror and Govind Manjhi's body has not been handed over to his kin.

The CPIML demanded immediate release of all the arrested poor, government job and compensation for Govind Manjhi's kin, and strict action against the guilty.

Similarly, on 23 July Vijay Kahar was axed to death by feudal criminals at Baishadi in Piro, Bhojpur. His wife Nirmala Devi was tied with her own sari and brutally beaten, till she was conscious. On 24 July these criminals beat up Sumitra Devi, Indu Devi and Bhuwar Rajwar. Sumitra Devi suffered serious head injury and died the next day during treatment at Ara Hospital.

Pressure from the people resulted in the arrest of the killer Janardan Upadhyay, while the other attackers have not yet been arrested. CPIML MLA Sudama Prasad has demanded a speedy trial and punishment for all the guilty persons. He also said that the matter would be raised inside the Assembly. He demanded the immediate arrest of attackers Manish Upadhyay and Kamlesh Upadhyay. ML activists blockaded the Piro-Terari road at Baishadi for 4 hours. The blockade was called off after assurance was given for a compensation to the victim's kin, Rs 3000 for the last rites, Indira Awas, and Rs 1 lakh from the labour department.

Another Instance of Savarna Feudal Brutality in Bihar

Another act of brutal violence perpetrated by savarna feudal criminals has come to light at Dayalpur village in Antichak Thana, Kahalgaon. On the night of 15 July an ST youth Akhilesh Kumar was eating at the same table as Rajkumar Singh at a wedding function. Rajkumar found Akhilesh Kumar sitting on a chair and eating at a table, objectionable and hurtful to his feudal ego. He grabbed Akhilesh Kumar by the collar, dragged him to the door, and all his family members brutally beat Akhilesh till he was almost dead, after which they called the police, put a country made pistol in Akhilesh's hand and handed him over to the police. On getting the news in the morning dozens of villagers led by CPIML District Committee member Randhir Yadav went to the Thana and informed the Thana in-charge of the incident. The Thanedar released the seriously injured Akhilesh Kumar without giving him medical treatment. Instead of charging and arresting Vijay Singh and his sons including Rajkumar Singh, the police got busy protecting the feudal criminals. This continues to be the attitude of the police.

The villagers of Dayalpur led by CPIML organized a protest meeting against the feudal-criminal-police nexus and the increasing attacks on SC/ST and weaker sections. Village elder Mithan Prasad Singh presided over the meeting which lasted late into the night of 26 July and was attended by hundreds of people. AICCTU leader Mukesh Mukt said that the feudal-criminal-police nexus has escalated under the BJP-Nitish regime. The agitation will continue till the criminals are arrested and the false case is withdrawn.