CPI (ML) and Insaf Manch’s Fact Finding on Lathi Charge in Biharsharif

The incident at Gagandiwan in Biharshariff has exposed the true face of the so-called ‘secular’ Bihar government. ‘Not in My Name’ is a countrywide campaign through which peace and justice loving citizens are raising their voice to save the country’s composite culture. But the Nalanda district administration, terming this campaign and the Insaf Manch which has long campaigned for justice for dalits and minorities, as ‘suspicious’ tried to crush the voice of resistance and brand the minority community as trouble-makers. The administration unleashed a well-calculated cycle of repression and slapped false cases on members of the minority community. Many of those against whom cases have been slapped were not even present in the rally; false cases have also been wantonly slapped on CPI (ML) and Insaf Manch activists.
In this Lalu-Nitish regime minorities are being targeted on the one hand while the poor are being oppressed in the name of the anti-liquor ban on the other hand. The Gagandiwan incident too illustrates very clearly the prejudiced and autocratic attitude of the administration against minority communities; just 2 days ago the Bajrang Dal had taken out a march in the city in which they were carrying arms but the administration made no attempt to stop their march. Only after much pressure did they register cases against one or two of them. The double standards of the administration are not only condemnable but also against the Constitution, democracy and India’s composite culture.

The CPI (ML) and Insaf Manch both sent enquiry teams to enquire into the incident. The State level CPI (ML) team included Legislative Party leader, Com. Mahboob Alam and Central Committee member Com. Saroj Choube. The Insaf Manch team comprised Suraj Kumar Singh, Mohd Fahad Jama, Mohd Ehtasham Ahmad, Aslam Rahmani, Sunil Kumar, Surendra Ram, Madhusudan Sharma, Pal Bihari Lal, Naval Pasad and others. The team spoke to the subdivisional officer and enquired why the program was not given permission. The officer responded by asking what was the aim of such a program in Biharshariff as there has been no trouble-causing incident here. He openly said that all the people in the march were trouble-makers and had come to create riots under the Insaf Manch banner. Clearly the administration is strongly prejudiced against the minority community. The team found that names in the FIR have been willfully added with no basis. Names like those of Akhlaq and Sogra College Principal Mohd Sagir Ujjama are in the FIR who were either not present on the spot or had nothing to do with the march.

Sub-divisional officer Sudhir Kumar issued the letter denying permission for the program one hour before the start of the program when hundreds of people had already gathered for it. The people started the march to show their opposition to the autocratic attitude of the administration; they had not even advanced 30 meters when they were stopped by the police. The protesters were ready to be arrested but the administration did not arrest them at that time. The meeting continued at that place for one hour. Just then the administration arrested 20-25 other Muslim young men and people were demanding their release. But instead, the administration unleashed a brutal lathi charge on the protesters and threw several people into jail. These people had gathered for a peace march and to pay tributes to those killed in mob lynchings and the Amarnath Yatris killed in the recent terrorist attack. In what way were they disturbing the peace? Hundreds of people were injured in the brutal police lathi charge, including Surendra Ram, Ramdas Akela, Maksudan Sharma, Manmohan, Pal Bihari Lal and others. The repressive action of the administration has created an atmosphere of fear and terror in the Muslim community. They are not prepared to speak out openly.

The enquiry team has demanded the release of the arrested protesters without delay, revoking of all false cases, strict action on the Subdivisional officer, and establishment of peace and harmony in Biharshariff city. It was decided that State level protests will be held on 23 July on these issues.