The CPI(ML) Jehanabad District Committee held a protest in front of the Jehanabad Collectorate on 21 July 2017 against the draconian provisions of the Anti-liquor Law and the arrest of Mastan Manjhi and Painter Manjhi and demanded the revoking of the draconian anti-liquor law. The Party leaders said that the government is oppressing dalits in the name of this law and criminalizing those poor people who consume alcohol. Politicians, administrations, and liquor mafia are conspiring to punish and oppress dalits under the excuse of this law. The protest march started from the ML office, traversed through various roads of the city and culminated in a meeting at Kako chowk. The effigy of CM Nitish Kumar was burnt during the march which was led by State Committee member Rambali Singh Yadav and District Secretary Shrinivas Sharma and State Standing Committee member Mahanand. In a very short time, more than 45,000 poor have been made victims of this law and falsely trapped. The protest was attended by Wasi Ahmad, Kunti Devi, Santosh Kesri, Bitan Manjhi, Renu Devi, Sonfi Devi, Jagdish Paswan, Ganesh Das, Mukesh Paswan, Gariban Das and others.

Poor workers who earn their livelihoods by pulling hand-carts or by doing daily labour are going through a deep crisis today. Their families are on the brink of starvation, but the Bihar government is treating them as if they are hard-core criminals. The CPI(ML) and AIARLA have announced a statewide protest week from 24 to 30 July on the issues of the unconditional release of the two arrested brothers Mastan and Painter Manjhi, and the revoking of the draconian Anti-Liquor Law. 

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Swacch Bharat Terror In Bihar

On August 3 in Khurmabad (Chenari, Sasaram district) of Bihar, terror of an early morning Open Defecation monitoring team drove people to jump in the Kudra river. The ODF team was known to illegally take pictures of defecating women and humiliate them. Two children were among those who were so terrified that they jumped in the river – and these two were missing for hours and presumed dead. It was found later that they had clung to reeds in the river for three hours and survived.

There are complex social and economic reasons for the continuation of open defecation. Instead of persuasion accompanied by the provision by Government of toilets that the poor are willing to use, coercion, humiliation, violence and sheer terror are being used as ‘Swacch Bharat’ tools, and the worst affected are the poor, dalits and women.