A CPI(ML) team comprising Comrades Dhirendra Jha, Rameshwar Prasad, Nawal Kishore and Jaynarayan Yadav visited the site of the killings in Rahariya village, Bhargama block in Araria district, where two CPI(ML) leaders, Comrade Satyanarayan Singh Yadav (Araria district secretary) and Comrade Kamleshwari Rishidev were brutally killed and several people have been gravely injured while 3 are still missing.
35 to 40 Musahar (Rishidev) families have been settled for years in Rahariya Pokhra Tola barely 5 km from Bhargama thana in Arariya district. Most of them have ‘bandobast’ papers and have been tilling the land for years. Dayanand Yadav and some others have made fake registration papers of the land in their names. They have the protection of both RJD and BJP. Earlier, RJD candidates used to win from here but lately BJP had won. However, this time the sitting MLAs from Bhargama and Raniganj are from RJD and JD(U) respectively. On 1 January before the carnage, a mahabhoj (feast) was held on this land and goons were collected. The Bhargama thana in-charge and other officials and constables were part of this mahabhoj. The plan was to destroy and burn the Pokhra Tola musahar basti. (Koshi-Seemanchal region has had an old history of burning of Musahar Tolas). This information reached the CPI(ML) which has a long-standing association with the dalits and mahadalits of this area.
On receiving the information District Secretary Satyanarayan Singh Yadav and AIARLA leader Kamleshwari Rishidev reached the spot. They were conducting a meeting of men and women when goons of the landlords attacked them. Even women and children were beaten up. Comrades Satyanarayan and Kamleshwari were thrashed and dragged outside. Men were tied to pillars and beaten in front of the thana in-charge. Pokhra Tola was surrounded so that information could not reach outside. Satyanarayan Yadav, though in great pain, managed to phone Baiju Mandal and Rameshwar Prasad. At 2.50 pm ML leader Sushil Kumar informed the Police Superintendent by phone. The Raniganj thana in-charge then reached the spot and freed the captive Rishidevs and sent the injured to hospital, but he made no attempt to find the missing leaders thus giving criminals the opportunity to perpetrate the killings. In the morning the people who set out to find the missing leaders found the bodies at about 10 AM, brutally dismembered and killed. The angry people came out in protest and blocked the Saharsa-Arariya NH. The block was lifted only after assurances that the Bhargama thana in-charge would be suspended. Dozens of injured Rishidevs are being treated in hospital. 5 people including a 15 year old girl are still missing.
The enquiry team has irrefutable proof that this murderous incident was perpetrated in the presence of the Bhargama thana in-charge and has informed the DSP of Forbesganj and the Block Officer. The local BJP and RJD leaders are implicated in these killings. Even earlier, the RJD and BJP have been complicit in crimes and conspiracy against Musahars and Muslims.
CPI(ML) has made the following demands in a Press Conference: a high level enquiry into the incident to expose the politician-police-bureaucrat nexus; arrest without delay of Dayanand Yadav and his goons; confiscation and distribution to the Musahar community of all disputed government lands; Rs 20 lakh compensation to the victims’ families; Rs 5 lakh compensation to the injured; immediate removal of the Bhargama thana in-charge and action against Forbesganj Block Officer and DSP; implement land ceiling in Purnea and Koshi blocks; distribution of Bhoodan and government lands among the landless poor; and a special tribunal for the ancestral rights of sikmidars (permanent tenancy, in which a person shares occupancy rights on the tilled land).
Comrade Dhirendra Jha said that the year 2016 has been one of dispossession from lands for the poor and the dalits, in which dozens of poor have been killed by feudal landlords in Saharsa, Arariya, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Purnea, Beguserai, Darbhanga, Champaran and many other districts. If the government does not take concrete action in the matter, the agitation will be intensified.