Hundreds of activists and supporters came out on the streets for the Bhagalpur bandh called by the CPI(ML) on 30 November 2017 against the growing number of crimes and killings, feudal repression, and the protection given to killers and rapists by the Nitish government in Bihar. A rally was taken out from Ambedkar Chowk and NH 80 was jammed for hours. The bandh received unprecedented support and citizens were seen raising slogans against the criminal-supporting Nitish government.

The immediate cause for the bandh was the brutal killing of dalits at Jhandapur in Bihpur, Bhagalpur district. About 10 houses in Jhandapur Basti belong to Ravidas families. The current atmosphere in the village is so terror-filled that nobody is willing to say anything. On the morning of 26 November 3 out of the 4 members of the family of Gayatri Das were found dead—the dead were Gayatri Das, his wife Meena Devi and 12 year old son Chhotu Kumar. The heads of all the dead were badly crushed and streams of blood were flowing on the floor. There were injury marks on many parts of the bodies. The 17 year old daughter of Gayatri Das was found fully nude and in an unconscious state with several injuries on her body. The private parts of Gayatri Das and his son had been cut off. There were injury marks on the private parts of the women also. Party leaders met with and spoke to the victims and their families at Sadar Hospital.

Speaking at the meeting in Ambedkar Chowk, leaders pointed out to the people how crimes and violence by feudal dominant forces against women, dalits, children had increased during the Nitish-BJP government: burning of houses and beating of dalits in Rangra by criminals under protection of JD(U) Block President Bhola Mandal; attempts at rape and repression of dalits at Nathnagar; gang rape of a girl student by rich spoilt brats in Bhagalpur; murder of advocate Arjoo; brutal murder of 4 young players at Bihpur; these are only a few examples of the growing number of crimes under the present dispensation. The CPI(ML) will fight for justice for the victims and will not give up the fight till justice is achieved.

Hundreds of people participated in the bandh. The issue was also raised inside the Bihar Assembly by Party MLA Com. Satyadev Ram during Zero Hour. He said that the incidents of rape and murder of dalits are on the rise in the entire State and especially in Bhagalpur but the Nitish government is merely sitting back and watching. On an earlier occasion dominant castes had burnt dalits’ huts in bastis and brutally beaten them at Teentenga Diyara in Rangra Block, Bhagalpur District. We have also witnessed the mayhem by criminals in Khagaria and Chhamasia. We want to ask the government the question: on whose orders did the STF team conduct the raid in Chhamasia?