Another Rural Activist Killed in Jharkhand

After Lalit Mehta and Kameshwar Yadav, now yet another rural CPI(ML) activist Rajeshwar Das of Deoghar, Jharkhand has been killed. Comrade Rajeshwar of Baghmari village, Mohanpur Block of Deoghar, was an agricultural labourer, and had been a party member since 2005. He was known in the village for being outspoken against corruption and malpractice wherever he observed it. He had been the treasurer of the Gram Vikas Samiti (Village Development Committee) of his village, and the President of the same committee, Rita Devi, also belonged to CPI(ML). The local BSP people were incensed that CPI(ML) was able to have effective control over the Samiti. Recently, 92 people whose homes were destroyed by severe rains were supposed to receive compensation, but there was much corruption in the disbursal of the funds. Rajeshwar exposed the role of brokers and openly challenged the corruption. In the last six months, many crores of rupees had come to the panchayat for development schemes; but local labourers were not being employed, and labourers were being underpaid. Rajeshwar had been vocal on these and other issues like NREGA implementation. He had therefore earned the ire of local contractors, who are close to the BSP. At noon on October 8, he was attacked by assailants with an axe and killed, and his wife who tried to save him lost several fingers off her hand (she is now undergoing treatment). Rajeshwar left behind his wife, three daughters and one son, and he had been the sole breadwinner. The local party branch is collecting funds for food and medical care for the bereaved family.

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