West Champaran
CPI(ML) Rises against Crime-Police-JD Nexus

 On 19 July 1996 some 100 goons led by Dilip Verma, the MLA who has joined Janata Dal, launched an attack on village Barpurwa in West Champaran in which two villagers were killed and 8 injured. Earlier villegers had resisted the occupation of a ceiling surplus plot by landlords of big estates who have now mobilised under the banner of Kisan Sangh. Against this attack to terrorize them, villagers fought back and in the cross fire two of the goons were also killed.  

Political patronage to crime and deriving political strength from that basis is common in Bihar scenario today. Take, for instance, an incident of July 2 this year in which a person was abducted by an organised criminal gang patronized by Dinesh Arya, a Janata Dal leader at Chanpatia, and then the firing of 6 rounds in a bid to put down people's resistance. Such has become the routine method sanctioned by Laloo Yadav to project the JD leaders. And moreover, this incident took place in the very presence of the police force. The people came out openly against both police and criminals. However, the police, instead of arresting the abductor Vinod Arya, launched a false case in the name of the person abducted and sent him to jail. People's discontent against this mounted high but then the SP and DSP tried to crush it with the help of a 200-strong police contingent. At 2 p.m. the police contingent started brutally beating up common people, shop-keepers and those who had come for marketing at Chanpatia Bazaar and even forcibly entering into the houses to beat women and children therein.

CPI(ML) local unit organised street-corner meetings against the abduction as well as this act of police siding with criminals, and took out a procession on 4 July with a call to observe a bandh in the market. Police force led by the SP, DSP and DDC conducted a brutal lathicharge on the procession, seized the microphone and arrested 21 comrades including CPI(ML) leader Virendra Prasad Gupta and RYA National Executive Member Bishundev Yadav after ruthlessly beating them.

In protest against this whole episode, the CPI(ML) District Committee called for a district-level bandh in West Champaran on 5 July demanding suspension of the SP, DDC and Police Station Incharge of Chanpatia and arrest of JD leader Vinod Arya. A demand of unconditional release of the arrested CPI(ML) leaders and activists was also forcefully raised.

In this course, an investigation team led by the CPI(ML) Legislature Party leader Comrade Ram Naresh Ram, CPI(ML) legislators Comrades Rameshwar Prasad and Satyadev Ram, CPI legislator Birbal Sharma and CPI(ML) Northwest Regional Committee Secretary Nand Kishor Prasad reached Chanpatia and based on the investigations there questions regarding Chanpatia incidents were also raised in the Legislative Assembly.

The Champaran Bandh on 5 July had its widespread influence even as the district administration had stopped a torchlight procession brought out in Betia town on the evening of 4 July and deployed massive Bihar Military Police forces at all crossroads and chowks. The police also instigated BJP followers at Narkatiaganj into skirmishes against our comrades during the bandh. Despite all this the bandh was quite successful in which widespread participation of the masses was observed. Bus and train services came to a complete halt and shops remained fully closed.

With this political initiative taken by CPI(ML), other parties including BJP, CPI and Janata Dal are in trouble and they are now warming up to oppose us. The district administration is feeling quite uneasy with the rising identity of CPI(ML) as a party opposed to crime, because CPI(ML) has exposed the nexus of crime, administration and Janata Dal in a consistent, thoroughgoing and comprehensive manner.

- Virendra Kumar Gupta
Incharge, West Champaran District Committee.