March for Justice at Devaria

Brijesh Chourasiya was shot to death by criminals in July 2017 at Sohanpur village, Bankata Thana, Devaria district in Uttar Pradesh. The police at Bankata Thana tried their best to suppress the matter under pressure from those in power, but heavy public pressure forced them to register a case under Section 302 against unknown person(s), after which they put the case in cold storage. CPI (ML) activists held a protest in front of the DM’s office on 15 September 2017 to demand arrest of the killers but no action was taken despite the DM’s assurances. After this, when the police started mental torture of the victim family, a huge Meeting for Justice was organized on 8 October 2017 at Sohanpur Bazaar which was attended by thousands of people. The Meeting for Justice gave the administration one week’s time to come out with the facts of the incident and arrest the killers.

When after a week the police took no action, CPI (ML) activists sat on an indefinite dharna at Sohanpur Bazaar on 15 October with the slogan ‘Remove BJP, Erase Crime’. Even after 25 days when no one from the administration came to meet the protesters, the Deputy Collector was given a written warning that if the killers are not arrested without delay the CPI (ML) would hold a Yatra for justice from village to village and would march up to Bankata Thana on 12 November 2017.

The Yatra was taken out from 3 November to 11 November and crowds of people started gathering at the dharna venue on the morning of 12 November. Soon thousands of people had gathered at the spot raising slogans against the government, demanding arrest of the killers of Brijesh. The march for justice started from Sohanpur Bazaar, marched through 4 km and reached Bankata Thana. The people surrounded the Bankata Thana in spite of heavy police presence. The police wanted to use force but was forced onto the back foot by the anger of the people. The leaders addressing the dharna said that the BJP government’s promise to make Uttar Pradesh crime-free has proved to be a false promise. The coming to power of Yogi Adityanath has brought forth a spate of crimes and boosted the morale of feudal criminals. The dharna was ended after assurances from the police that the truth of the incident would be brought out and the killers arrested. The indefinite dharna at Sohanpur Bazaar is still on with 16 November being the 33rd day.