After Manju, Now Kunti:
Target of State Terror and Feudal Violence in Jahanabad!

T he scene of oppression is again Arwal, the victim a poor dalit labourer named Lallan Paswan. On 28 May, upper caste supporters of the Ranveer Sena brutally beat Lallan to death with an iron rod for having borrowed a bicycle. The killers were not arrested, instead Lallan’s father Sitaram Paswan, was also beaten up severely and his complaint torn into shreds by the local thana in-charge. Villagers who gathered in large numbers to protest the police highhandedness and prevent the police from seizing the body of Lallan, held their ground despite being lathicharged.the next morning, the OC even threatened Kunti Devi, Zila Parishad member of Jehanabad and National leader of AIALA and AIPWA, who had reached the spot, warning her to leave or he would shoot her. By noon a huge police force led by the DSP of Arwal, Vijay Singh, arrived and began firing indiscriminately without any warning, killing a 12 year old schoolboy and injuring several other bystanders including two other children.


Kunti Devi has been an activist of the CPI(ML) from the age of 13. hailing from a family of agricultural labourers of the backward Bind community, she resisted feudal and patriarchal oppression all her life, becoming a wholetimer of the Party in 1986. It was Kunti who brought Manju into active political life.

After this shocking incident of police highhandedness and brutality, the police have now registered (at the behest of the Ranveer Sena) 16 false cases including murder, attempt to murder and Arms Act, against Kunti Devi and a thousand others (unknown) holding her responsible for the killing of the schoolboy.

Again, on June 3, when workers were dredging an 8-km long pyne funded by ZP funds released by Kunti Devi, which would help irrigate thousands of acres of land in Jehanabad, Masaurhi and Kako, a PWG gang led by an armed criminal Kapildev Yadav attacked the workers asking them to stop the work or pay tax. The workers resisted and in the ensuing struggle, the criminal was killed. (Kapildev was wanted in the killing of 4 dalits of Barmachak in 2001 and was absconding since then). The police have again framed Kunti Devi in the killing.

After Manju Devi, it is Kunti against whom the Govt. is conducting a witch-hunt. On 1 December 03, the Secretary of the local People’s Guerilla Army, the armed wing of the PWG, held a press conference and issued a threat to kill Kunti Devi. From the month of December onwards, the PGA had been attacking and looting several villages and killing poor and dalits of CPI (ML). On 3 rd January there had been an attack on the village of Kunti Devi and houses of sympathizers had been razed with dynamite. It is ironical that on this very day Kunti was protesting against an attack by the Ranvir Sena on members of the Peoples’ War at Pariyari village. Members of the erstwhile Bhoomi Sena in the feudal strongholds of Narhat and Bhawanipur who have now joined PW, backed by the RJD Minister Akhilesh Sharma (now minister of state for civil supplies etc. and a supporter of Ranvir Sena who masterminded the killing of Manju Devi) are systematically targeting Kunti. The State Women’s Commission, headed by Ex-MLA of CPIM, Manju Prakash, as well as the CM Rabri or RJD supremo Laloo took no action against Manju’s killers failing even to implement the recommendations of the NCW despite the lapse of the 3-month time limit set for arresting the killers, and instead absolving 6 of those named in the FIR of guilt in the police chargesheet. Emboldened by all this, the RJD and the feudal forces in the Sena and PW have shifted the target to Kunti Devi, who had contested for Assembly on IPF banner in 1990 and CPI (ML) banner in 2000. She won the ZP elections with 5713 votes and from an area which is supposed to be the stronghold of the Peoples War, getting overwhelming support from the poor, and defeated the RJD candidate who was covertly backed by the PW whose ‘poll boycott’ was only used to terrorise the supporters of CPI (ML).

The RJD in Arwal-Jehanabad is trying to use all possible means—from reviving TADA cases, slapping false cases on popular leaders, abetting murders through Ranvir Sena and PW, violence against CPI (ML) in the name of election boycott by MCC and PW, as well as police raids to intimidate the CPIML). But this opportunist nexus of the RJD and PW, in which they are targeting the very same women leaders from among the poor and oppressed classes who are in the firing line of the Ranveer Sena, only serves to expose their claims of being pro-poor.