Samastipur-Khagaria Bandh: Protests Across Bihar Against Spate of Violence

Ever since Nitish Kumar betrayed the Bihar mandate and brought the BJP to power through the back door, communal venom and criminal incidents have been on the rise in the state. The morale of criminals is high and the police and administration are colluding with them in their criminal activities.

Samastipur has seen a spate of heinous crimes in recent times. 17 year-old Monica was kidnapped by armed criminals on motorbikes on 15 October and when her father, mother, and brother protested, they were brutally beaten. The police took no action even though the villagers caught hold of 2 of the criminals. The angry villagers then gheraoed the Thana and blocked NH 28 till the SP gave an assurance that action would be taken. On 19 October Dr Janardan Thakur was shot and killed by criminals in the same Thana area. The police fired 20 rounds on protesters who were demanding the arrest of the killers; one person, Jitendra, was killed and a few others injured in the police firing. On 18 October feudal dominant forces burnt down the houses of 70 Mahadalits from the Musahar community in Chhamsiya village (Morkahi Thana), Khagaria district. In addition, heavy firing was also done and Mahadalits were beaten up. Property worth lakhs has been reduced to ashes, including household goods and goats. Many people are reported missing.

A CPI (ML) team enquiring into the Tajpur incident was prevented from reaching the spot, and local Party leader Upendra Rai was arrested on false charges. He was later released, but Tajpur Block Secretary Surendra Singh’s name has been falsely included in the FIR. The enquiry team report said that 82 houses were set ablaze and destroyed, out of which 79 belong to people from the Musahar community and 3 to poor Kumhar families. Properties worth about 80 lakhs, 13 goats, 1 cow and 1 buffalo have also been burnt to ashes. The attack was carried out by the Munna Yadav gang at 9 Pm. This area has always been prone to power tussles by different gangs. Munna Yadav alleged that the people of Chhamasiya supported his rival gang led by Angad Singh. The recent burning incident was done to teach them a lesson.

On 23 October, CPI (ML) organized a Samastipur-Khagaria bandh and statewide protests across Bihar. A rally was taken out from the Malgodam Party office in Samastipur appealing to the common citizens, shopkeepers, rickshaw drivers and others to make the bandh successful. The people responded very positively and the bandh was a success, culminating in a meeting held in front of the Block HQ. Speakers at the meeting condemned the police-criminal-politician nexus and appealed to the people to throw out this nexus from the land which had produced great leaders like Karpoori Thakur and Vashisht Narayan Singh.

Around 500 people joined the rally in Baluahi (Khagaria) and demanded the arrest and speedy trial of the criminals, and Rs 5 lakh compensation for the victims’ families. A massive protest march was also taken out in Motihari with protesting raising loud slogans. The march culminated in the form of a public meeting which was addressed by district secretary Com. Prabhudev Yadav and other leaders.

A protest meeting was also called in Gardanibagh in Patna town which was addressed by CPI (ML) Central Committee member, Com. Shashi Yadav and other leaders. In Fatuha, the protest march culminated in the form of effigy burning of the Chief Minister. Effigy burning of the Chief Minister was also organized in Jehanabad and Nawada. Protest marches and meetings were also held in Beguserai, Kaimur, Arwal, Biharsharif (Nalanda), Bhagalpur, Siwan and other places.