Comrade Jharo Devi

Comrade Jharo Devi, 52, a popular CPI(ML) and AIPWA leader of Patna, was killed by PWG goons on October 11, 2004. The incident occurred at Panchavati Nagar under Digha police station where comrade Jharo Devi ran a small vegetable shop near the railway track. Around 7 o’clock in the evening, a group of criminals came to her shop, asked for cigarettes and amidst the noise of a train passing by, they shot her in the head and fled.

Comrade Jharo Devi was leading a movement against one Uma Singh of Jehanabad, a PWG goon who had fled Jehanabad after raping a dalit woman and started residing in her neighbourhood. Of late she had started receiving threats from the latter. Soon after her murder, all vendors of the locality spontaneously came out on the streets. The news spread like wildfire and soon hundreds of Party members and supporters reached the spot. The next day the funeral march was joined by hundreds of urban poor. The march started from PMCH and after an angry demonstration and protest meeting near the Chief Minister’s residence, her mortal remains were cremated at Bansghat.

Born to a landless peasant family of Dharahara village of Bhojpur district of Bihar, Jharo Devi was brought up in an environment of militant anti-feudal struggles. She joined CPI(ML) in 1990 and remained actively involved in Party work till the last day of her life.

While she was a vegetable vendor by profession, she used to distribute “Aadhi Zameen”, the Hindi organ of AIPWA, and collect contributions for struggle fund. She led several movements against eviction of the urban poor by the administration, demanding permanent home sites for them. She was a bold and fearless comrade who came out to mobilize people against any incident of injustice or repression even at the most difficult hours.

A member of Patna West Area Committee of CPI(ML), Comrade Jharo Devi was State Councillor as well as Joint Secretary of Patna City Committee of AIPWA. Rebuffing offers from other parties or NGOs to join, she declared that she could never enjoy such dignity and love in any other organisation as in the CPI(ML), and therefore she would live and die for the Party. She never bowed down to any hurdle or threat and always encouraged her sons and daughters to join the Party. She used to attend each and every programme held by the Party, and was a delegate to the 6th Congress of Party held at Varanasi. She was also a delegate to the 6th and 7th Bihar State Conferences.

With her enthusiasm and vigour, she left her distinct imprints on all the mass activities she had participated in. She worked hard for the expansion of the Party and her absence will be deeply felt by all comrades who have been working with her.

Red Salute to martyr Comrade Jharo Devi.