Why Is The Grand Alliance Government in Bihar Letting Feudal, Communal and Criminal Forces Run Amok?

THE Grand Alliance Government won the Bihar elections riding a powerful anti-BJP wave, because the people of Bihar were determined to teach the feudal-communal BJP a lesson.

However, as in its previous avatar, the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance Government is once again tacitly colluding with the feudal and communal forces. In a series of grave incidents of organised violence by these forces, the Government has looked the other way and failed to act either to prevent or to punish the perpetrators. In an emerging pattern, Dalits claiming land that rightfully belongs to them are being attacked, and activists leading such struggles are being killed.

Dalit Basti Burnt In Kajhiya In Akbarpur

Criminals under BJP protection burnt down a dalit basti in Kajhiya in Akbarpur block of Nawada district. Even after such a big incident local BJP MLA Anil Singh did not visit the spot.

A CPI(ML) team comprising CC member and former MP Rameshwar Prasad, Legislative Party leader Mahboob Alam, and Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad found that the police picketing by the administration has served not to protect the dalits from attack but to prevent them from rebuilding their basti there.

The FIR has been deliberately weakened and the police investigation states that the fire was ‘accidental’, which claim our investigative team has found to be blatantly false. A rumour is being floated that the poor people there deliberately torched their own huts!

The CPI(ML) team found that poor Dalits were living in huts made on 1 acre and 62 dismil of Bihar government gair mazarua land. The site has a total of 9 acres of government land. This land is quite valuable as it is bounded by roads on 3 sides. For this reason feudal dominant caste forces have had their eye on this land for some time.

In the past also, huts of the poor had been burnt with a view to terrorizing them and driving them out. Work is under way to set up a private college at that site. The constructors of the college also have their eye on this gair mazarua land.

The administration has placed the number of burnt huts at only 35, whereas the actual number is 60. People are living under the open sky; not even temporary living arrangements have been made for them. Neither food nor plastic for shelters has been made available to them.

The villagers had written several times to the zonal authorities for issue of parchas but in spite of the Government’s much touted ‘dakhal-dehani’ scheme (that promised to give papers and secure possession of land for the landless), attempts to evict the poor from their land are in full swing.

Nitish Kumar and RJD leaders lose no changes to make speeches against the BJP – but they do not walk the talk when it comes to protecting the poor from the feudal and communal forces on the ground.

Attacks on Dalits and Murders of CPIML Activists

Two CPI(ML) activists Comrade Mahesh Ram(25), member of Party’s Begusarai block committee and Comrade Rampravesh Ram (27) were killed by the men of BJP supported feudal criminal Surendra Singh in Baliya block of Begusarai district at 6 pm on 21 March 2016. Both leaders were ambushed when they were returning from Baliya bazaar to their village Maksudanpur.

Both these comrades were leading an ongoing struggle for the landless in the village. 134 dalit-poor families of their village were allotted land pattas on 120 acres of land in 1980-81, but were kept deprived of their lands since then. After a protracted struggle as well as a long legal effort the district administration and the High Court both gave a verdict in favour of the landless patta holders. The feudal goons perpetrated an attack on landless families when they went to take possession of their lands in November 2015 resulting in many injured. The police present at the spot remained a mute spectator. This attempt too was repulsed valiantly by the united villagers and all the patta holders were able to sow seeds on their lands. Few month ago patta holders harvested their crops under party’s leadership and mass mobilisation in their support.

The Nitish Government’s tacit support and refusal to rein in feudal criminals has boosted the morale of anti-poor forces which ultimately resulted in this cowardly killing of two activists who were much-loved by the villagers. Not long ago Comrade Rajendra Mahto in Bhojpur and Comrade Sanjay Chaurasiya in Siwan were brutally murdered. But the government which claims ‘Development with Justice’ has failed miserably to arrest and punish the killers in all these incidents.

On the morning of 22 March ML legislator Sudama Prasad, AIARLA leader Gopal Ravidas, and Kisan Sabha leader Umesh Singh visited Begusarai and the site of the crime and met with the families of the martyred comrades.

‘JNU Speaks’ Event Attacked by ABVP at Muzaffarpur

In Muzaffarpur, a citizens’ forum Muzaffarpur Nagrik Manch organised a ‘JNU Speaks’ (Main JNU Bol Raha Hun) program on 13 March, inviting several JNU teachers, students and alumni. They had booked the Municipal Corporation hall. At the last minute, the Bihar Administration cancelled the permission citing objections from one Pandit Chandra Kishor Parashar who runs a Cow Protection Committee (Gau Raksha Samiti – this is a vigilante, violent outfit of the kind that killed a man in Dadri on the pretext that he ate beef). The organisers then continued the program on a stage outside the hall. Around 20 ABVP goons flung huge rocks at more than 200 people gathered peacefully for the program, injuring several. The gathering included a large number of women.

The police did not arrest the assailants, and instead made an attempt to arrest the organisers, but could not do so because hundreds courted arrest along with the organisers.

Participants included Dr.Subodh Malakar, JNU Professor and Comrade Kanhaiya’s guide, ex-JNUSU President and Delhi AISA Secretary Ashutosh, Prabir Purkayastha, Science Activist who as a JNU student was jailed during Emergency, Dr.Ish Mishra of Hindu College, JNU alumni Qaiser Shamim, former JNUSU President Jagdeeshwar, ex-JNUSU Joint Secretary Kavita Krishnan and several others.

The gathering then held a protest march on the streets of Muzaffarpur where all was peaceful, and then culminated the ‘JNU Speaks’ event in the garden outside the CPI(ML) Office.

The Grand Alliance Government headed by Nitish Kumar – with its newfound bonhomie with Modi – kneeled to the Sangh and cancelled permission at the diktats of the Gau Raksha goon. The cancellation of the program deliberately exposed the participants to the violent attacks of a handful of ABVP assailants, whom the police did nothing to disperse or arrest.

On 15th March, Left parties and people’s groups held a strong protest against the attack in Muzaffarpur. CPI(ML) CC Member Comrade Meena Tiwari addressed the protest.

Left leaders have demanded that the City Commissioner who is chiefly responsible for this whole incident must be removed and action must be taken on the guilty officials of the district administration. The true intent of the district administration becomes apparent by the fact that instead of reining in the Sanghi goons they were actually trying to arrest the organizer of the programme, Vijay Shankar.

On the same day, a statewide protest was held under the Party banner on the question of growing violence against dalits, murder of kisan leader Rajendra Mahto in Bhojpur and ML leader Sanjay Chaurasiya in Siwan, and the BJP-Sangh’s violent attack on the JNU solidarity event in Muzaffarpur.

CPI(ML) Legislative Party Initiatives In Budget Session

Even before the Governor’s address on 25 February the ML legislators raised questions in the Assembly portico on justice for Rohith Vemula and revoking of false cases of sedition on JNU students. Legislative Party leader Mahboob Alam and MLA Sudama Prasad raised placards related to their demands.

On the following day during zero hour Mahboob Alam proposed a censure motion against the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula and the attempts by the BJP and Sangh Parivar to use the JNU incident to foment hatred. Mahboob Alam also raised the demand for the release of ML legislator from Darauli Satyadev Ram, RYA National President Amarjeet Kushwaha, ML leader Manoj Manzil and other activists who are languishing in jails on false charges, and the issue of the murders of peasant leaders from Bhojpur and Siwan.

Commenting on the Governor’s address, the Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad in his address said that the 2016-17 budget presented by the government once again shows statistical trickery. They talk of a growth rate of over 10% in the last 10 years (that is, during the JD (U)-BJP rule as well as the present JD (U)-RJD rule); if the growth rate is indeed so high, why has not even one new factory been opened in Bihar in the last 10 years? The old industries are near closure; what is being brought in the name of new industries are dangerous and life-threatening ones such as liquor and asbestos factories. On the one hand, liquor factories have been opened on agricultural land forcefully acquired in Naubatpur (Patna district) and Bhoodan lands in Kanpa in Vikram (Patna district) and Deorhi (Bhojpur); on the other hand this government is making a pretence of prohibition. A life-threatening asbestos factory has been hastily opened in Bihiya in Bhojpur. This development model of the government is a model without employment opportunities.

He said that the government is talking of a second agricultural road map but remains silent on land reform which is the key to radical change in Bihar. If the growth rate is indeed so good, why is not farmers’ paddy being purchased? 337 quintal and 20 kilos of paddy taken from 6 sharecroppers in Tarari block of Bhojpur on 29 January 2015 is still kept in Pratinidhi Bhavan. Payment has not been made till today. Similarly, hundreds of farmers have not got last year’s pending payments. How can new purchases be made with bonus?

Farmers, sunk deep in debt, are forced to commit suicide. Farmers’ suicides are a new tendency in Bihar. On 22 February Rajendra Mahto, a sharecropper guarding his crop, was murdered in Son Diyari, Baruhi (Bhojpur); this is a matter of grave concern. The government is not prepared to recognize sharecroppers as farmers, whereas it is these sharecroppers who are shouldering the burden of agriculture in Bihar. There is consensus among all Parties on this issue. Sharecroppers have no legal rights; they are not even being given identity cards. What kind of ‘development with justice’ is this?

The government talks of encouraging agriculture with ‘Shrividhi’, but we can see the example of several districts. In Vaishali farmers had used paddy from Shrividhi to grow their crop. Their crops grew lush green but did not produce a single grain. 16 block agricultural officials along with the district agricultural official in Vaishali wrote to the State government about this, but till today the victim farmers have received no compensation and the government has taken no action on the companies which sold the fake seeds. The same fate (no grains produced) affected the maize crops in Katihar, Purnea, and Bhagalpur of Eastern Bihar.

All the old canal systems including Son canal have become defunct. 80% government hand pumps do not work. How then is the government claiming growth and development in irrigation facilities? Leave alone new hand pumps, a mere 144 out of 514 government hand pumps in Bhojpur district are operational today.

Food grains from the Public Distribution System are being sold openly in the markets today. The poor do not get rations for 6 months’ running. On the contrary, the government has now implemented the cash-for-food scheme.

The government claims that 7170.40 acres of homestead land has been distributed among 2 lakh 34 thousand families; this is not even a small fraction of what needs to be done. In spite of the availability of 21 lakh 85 thousand acres of government land and ceiling surplus land, 60% of the poor in rural and urban areas do not have a roof over their heads. There are several examples where 15-17 persons live in a single room. When there is no room to live, how can toilets be made? The government is not making housing land available for the poor; on the contrary, many poor are being evicted from land on which they have been living for years. In some places the poor do not have parchas for their land, and in other places they are being evicted in spite of having parchas. Our Party has given a list of 100 such examples to the Land Reform Department.

Before the elections Nitish Kumar had promised the youth of Bihar that each youth would be given an unemployment allowance, but the government now says that only those youth between the ages of 20 and 25 who are in search of employment will be given Rs 1000 as aid; this age is actually the age to study, and when the youth is later actually unemployed, he will be given no aid.

Whatever appointments are being made are being done under the contract system. The budget has remained silent on the demand for regularization of contract workers. The government is not concerned with the social security of these social groups. Teachers are removed from teaching work and kept busy in non-teaching activities such as census. They have not received wages for the last one and a half years.

Prior to the budget the government increased VAT and further burdened the people already struggling with spiraling prices. 8234.70 crores have been allotted for the health department. What is happening to this money? Doctors and medicines are missing from hospitals. On 28 February 2016 a mahadalit girl child studying in Class II was raped In Pasaur (Bhojpur). The victim child was left lying in Ara Sadar hospital from 8 pm till the afternoon of 29 February. The doctor on duty referred her to Patna; when the child’s family expressed inability to go to Patna, the hospital took Rs 500 from the father and purchased antibiotics from outside. In such conditions how can the poor get medical treatment?

Apart from these important questions the ML legislators highlighted many people’s issues through questions in zero hour, requests, calling attention and adjournment notices. Questions in the interests of honorarium workers were also strongly raised.

The ML legislators also raised their voices once again on 14 March against the attack by Sanghi goons on the ‘Main JNU Bol Raha Hun’ programme held in Muzaffarpur under the aegis of the Nagrik Manch on 13 March.

Citizen’s Delegation Submits Memorandum Signed By 5 Lakh People to CM on The Issue of Justice

A memorandum on the questions of justice signed by 5 lakh people through a signature campaign initiated by the CPI (ML) in January 2015 was submitted to the Chief Minister on 17 March. The demand have been made through the memorandum that the decisive mandate given by the people of Bihar in favour of democracy, secularism, and justice should be respected and necessary steps in some prominent instances be taken.

The memorandum demanded a guarantee that the Ranvir Sena leaders acquitted by the Patna High Court in the Bathani, Bathe and Miyanpur carnages will be given strict punishment and these matters will be monitored properly in the Supreme Court. The Cobra Post sting operation has made a stunning expose about the Ranvir Sena in these massacres of dalits, women, and children. Taking cognizance of this expose, all the Ranvir Sena chiefs involved in the massacres as well as the politicians and officials who aided them should be arrested and punished.

It was also demanded that newly elected Darauli MLA and AIARLA State President Satyadev Ram, RYA National President Amarjeet Kushwaha, and popular youth leader from Bhojpur district Manoj Manzil who are in jail on fabricated charges against them, as well as other political prisoners should be released without delay.

It has also been demanded that the 10 TADA prisoners still in jail even after expiry of their life imprisonment term should be immediately released (14 CPI (ML) leader-activists were slapped with life sentences in false cases against them under the draconian TADA law, of whom 4 including the popular Mukhiya Shah Chand died in prison due to lack of adequate medical treatment).

The memorandum demanded implementation of the schemes for comprehensive rehabilitation and compensation for the Bhagalpur victims and guarantee of justice for the victims through just punishment for the guilty.

During talks with the Chief Minister, the issue of revoking the false charges against Rajaram Singh in the Aurangabad incident was also raised. A letter from the Human Rights Commission was also handed over to the Chief Minister which exonerated the Aurangabad protesters and imposed a fine on the administration which it held guilty for the incident.

The delegation which met the CM included former NIT teacher Prof. Santosh Kumar, physician Dr PNP Pal, former MP Rameshwar Prasad, former MLA and AIARLA General Secretary Rajaram Singh, CPI (ML) Legislative Party leader Mahboob Alam, and Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad.

The delegation also raised the matter of growing incidences of crime, especially violence against dalits and women. They told the CM that the incident of 60 huts of poor dalits being burnt in Kajhiya (Nawada) by BJP- The delegation also raised the issue of the RSS attack on the ‘Main JNU Bol Raha Hun’ programme in Muzaffarpur.


AISA-RYA Show Black Flags On PM Modi’s Bihar Visit

AISA-RYA took out a protest march with black flags to protest against PM Modi’s Bihar visit. Students and youth associated with AISA and RYA held a vociferous protest at Gandhi Maidan with slogans such as ‘Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi Go Back’, ‘Down with the Conspiracy to Destroy Educational Institutions’, ‘Take Back False Sedition Charges Against JNU Students’, ‘Stop Sanghi Violence on Educational Institutions’, ‘Bring Rohith Act for ending Social Discrimination in Institutions’, ‘Nationalism of Bhagat Singh-Ambedkar Zindabad’, and other slogans.

There was a clash with the police and the agitators were stopped from moving forward and all leaders were arrested. The arrested leaders included RYA State President Raju Yadav, AISA State Secretary Ajit Kushwaha, AISA State Joint Secretary Tariq, Sudhir Kumar, Akash Kashyap, Shabbir, Nikhil, Abhay Kushwaha, Sandeep, Amit, Vikas, Bunty, Ravi Prajapati, Babu Saheb and others. Former JNUSU President facing false sedition charges Ashutosh Kumar, AISA General Secretary Sandeep Saurabh, and RYA State Secretary Naveen Kumar participated in the protest.

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