Investigation into Police Repression on Dalits in Jehanabad

Following the Jehanabad Jailbreak, the frustrated Administration had heightened its repression, with the excuse of hunting out extremists. We carry excerpts from the report of a CPI(ML) fact finding team which visited the site of one instance of repression.

In yet another indication of the new regime’s future course, the Jehanabad police let loose a reign of terror on the helpless dalit agrarian labourers in Shivnagar of Jehanabad, killing one person, injuring many thousands, molesting women and looting the dlit tola of their meagre possessions.

A CPI(ML) investigation team including Comrades Meena Tiwari (CC member and General Secretary, AIPWA), Arun Kumar Singh, (State Committee Member and Deputy leader of the CPI(ML) legislative group), Dr. Kamlesh Sharma, (National General Secretary, RYA), Kunti Devi, (National Secretary, AIALA), Anita Sinha, (State Joint Secretary AIPWA), Dr. Ramadhar Singh, Secretary, District Committeee, Jehanabad, as well as Pradip Kumar, Rita Barnaval and Leela Verma, visited Shivnagar and made a thorough enquiry into the incident.

It transpires that on December 5, at around 5 pm , 2 jeeps and one police van loaded with STF jawans and policemen from Makhdoompur PS, reached Shivnagar and surrounded the entire village. They started beating young men indiscriminately, abusing and molesting women, looting all the belongings including livestock like chickens. This mayhem continued till 8 pm. Police caught Baldev Paswan (aged 29), Sagun Majhi, (30), Dimagi Majhi alias Surendra Majhi (25) and began beating them with lathis and rifle butts. They were told to reveal information about the whereabouts of extremists and arms. When the young men expressed complete ignorance, all three were taken to the hills and brutally tortured. One policeman placed a heavy stone on the chest of Sagun Majhi and sat on it, while another policeman placed his foot on the boy’s stomach and began rotating his boot, causing him to bleed from the mouth. This torture in the name of interrogation continued for an hour as the condition of all three deteriorated. Then they were dragged to a spot in the village where all the women were gathered. When a woman stepped forward to offer Sagun water, she was threatened with rape and shoved away. Meanwhile another police team looted the village thoroughly.

Later all arrested people were taken to the Makhdoompur PS and put into lock up.Brutal torture of the three youths continued there, and they were deprived of food and medical care. On the evening of Decemebr 7, when the condition of Sagun Majhi became critical, the police brought them out of lock up and ordered them to flee. None of them had enough clothes to protect them from the biting cold. They were taken to the home of the village Mukhia Siyaram Yadav in the Makhdoompur market. The Mukhia, instead of arranging for treatment, sent them back to the village. On the morning of December 8, Sagun Majhi began vomiting blood, and collapsed as villagers were taking him to a local hospital.

Threatening the poor with the fear of police action, the Mukhia Siyaram Yadav, District Panchayat Member Gorelal Yadav and Rajendra Singh of Kharauna, ensured that the corpse was cremated in a hurry.

Some papers carried reports of this incident of police repression. CPI(ML) as well as some other parties came out in protest and demanded an enquiry into the incident.

CPI(ML) and AIPWA held a dharna at the District HQ on December 12 and a March against police repression on December 18, demanding high level enquiry into the Shivnagar case, bringing the DM and SP within the ambit of the enquiry; lodging of cases against the STF jawans and the Makhdoompur PS incharge, as well as the Mukhia Siyaram Yadav and Gorelal Yadav, as well as adequate compensation for Sagun Majhi’s family and the other two injured youths. Jehanabad continues to remain a bastion of the revolutionary movement as well as a laboratory of ruling class repression.