Ramgarh’s Dalits Threatened As They Testify in Court Against Attack

(Dalits of Ramgarh village (Dadri, UP), have begun testifying in court against the gram pradhan Kuldeep Bhati and his henchmen, who had subjected them to a murderous attack on March 14, 2012. They have been waging their battle for justice under the banner of the CPI(ML). To prevent them from testifying in court, or to pressure them to turn hostile, the gram pradhan and his men have intensified their campaign of intimidation.

A CPI(ML) team comprising PB member Kavita Krishnan, State Committee members Aslam Khan and Shyamkishor, as well as Anas Kidwai, Mohit Kashyap, Rituparna Biswas and Prashant Gupta of RYA, Susanne Adley visited Ramgarh on July 20, 2014. A report.)

The March 14th Attack

On March 14, 2012, the Dalit Jatav families of Ramgarh (Dadri, UP) had been subjected to an assault by the gram pradhan Kuldeep Bhati, and his henchmen. This attack, happening soon after the UP Assembly poll results, had the purpose of punishing the Jatavs from having staked claim to commons land that had been allocated to Dalits as homestead plots.

Towards the end of 2011, 4.75 bighas of panchayat land, allocated by the state government to the Dalit families in Ramgarh, was illegally occupied by the gram pradhan, Kuldeep Bhati, and his henchmen.

The Jatavs, led by Brahm Singh – a young Dalit resident of the village, filed a written complaint about the land garb with the Sub-Divisional Magistrate on January, 24th, 2012. This led Bhati and his supporters (from the dominant Gujjar caste) to resort to abuses and threats. Soon after when another young Jatav, Vinod, S/O Bidha, refused to carry the carcass of a dead buffalo, he was beaten up for the audacity.

On March 14th though, Kuldeep Bhati led his men in a barbaric attack on the Jatav families. Men, women and even old people were attacked with rods and axes in their houses, which left dozens of them with broken bones and skull injuries.