Four Dalits gunned down in Bihar

PATNA, April 26 (DHNS)

At least 4 Dalits were gunned down, 3 others received serious injuries and more than a dozen houses were burnt by upper castes in Khairahni village under the jurisdiction of Nokha police station in Rohtas district of central Bihar during the wee hours today.

According to information reaching the state headquarters, a strong contingent of armed upper caste Rajputs attacked the Dalit village, pulled out seven male members and shot them. Four of them died on the spot while three others are struggling for life in the hospital.

Later the armed men set fire to a dozen huts, which later spread in the entire village and gutted almost all the houses rendering at least 25 families homeless. Police has been deployed in the village.

The police suspect that land dispute between the Dalits and the Rajputs of a neighbouring village could be the reason behind the killings.

The Dalits are said to be sympathisers of the CPI-ML (People`s War) who in the recent past had killed two Rajputs.


Ranveer Sena attacks marriage party; BSP leader among 4 killed in Rohtas

By Raj Kumar and Alok Chamaria

PATNA/SASARAM: In what appears to be a retaliation to the killing of an upper caste man by alleged CPI(ML) supporters on Sunday, suspected armed squad of the outlawed Ranveer Sena gunned down four scheduled caste persons and injured three others, including one critically, at Pachpokhari village under the Nokha (Baghala) police station of Rohtas district on Tuesday evening.

The deceased included the Rohtas district secretary of Bahujan Samaj Party Upendra Narain Das, 35, while the other three victims were identified as Guddu Ram (20), Sadhujee (60) and Chhotu (16). The injured have been admitted to the local Sadar hospital.

According to reports reaching here, the suspected Ranveer Sena men on Tuesday evening attacked a baraat party of Dalits, which was proceeding towards Pachpokhari from Sultanpur under the same police station. After confirming their caste identity, the armed squad kidnapped seven of the baraat members and kept them as hostage in a nearby school building.

Later, according to one of the injured, the Sena men tied the victims' hands and thrust pieces of clothes into their mouths. After three hours of their captivity, the victims were asked to sit in a row following which they were fired upon from point blank range. While four of the victims died on the spot, three others sustained injuries.

One of the injured, Ram Vilas Ram, told this newspaper that the assailants claimed themselves to be the members of the Ranveer Sena. He further said that the ultras, who were six to seven in number, mistook the injured as dead. "And thus we escaped," he muttered.

The zonal inspector-general (IG) of police, Neelmani, who rushed from the state capital to Rohtas on Wednesday noon, however, denied the involvement of Ranveer Sena in the killings. "It was a result of old enmity between two groups --one belonging to the Rajput caste and the other to a scheduled caste," the IG told this newspaper. According to him, at least eight persons have been killed in this old enmity between the two groups in the last five years or so.

Incidentally, the Tuesday killings came close on the heels of the murder of Birendra Singh of Bhawandihari village under the same police station allegedly by CPI-ML supporters on Sunday. The Sena, a private army of landed gentry, and the CPI-ML, a political outfit espousing the cause of landless, are engaged in a war of attrition in parts of central Bihar for long, and observers felt that the Tuesday incident could have been averted had the district police administration taken precautionary measures in the wake of Singh's murder.

Acute tension prevails in and around the said village and possibility of further violence cannot be ruled out. Irate villagers, reports said, had refused to hand over the bodies to the administration for post-mortem examination till the filing of this report.

Time of India


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