Death Sentence for Mahadalits

Miscarriage of Justice in Amausi Case

On 21 February, the CPI(ML)led a massive protest march to the Bihar Assembly in Patna, to protest the recent verdict of death sentence to 10 and life sentence to 4 Mahadalits in the Amausi (Khagaria) massacre of 2009. A large numbers of mahadalits participated in the march, expressing angry protest against the biased verdict and the attitude of the Nitish Government towards the most oppressed mahadalits.
The Amausi carnage of 2009 was a fallout of the Nitish Government’s adamant refusal to implement land reforms and give the mahadalit musahars the land that was their due. But instead of identifying the real masterminds of the massacre, the verdict of the local court in Khagaria has passed a death sentence on 10 innocents, including the popular mahadalit leader Bodhan Sada, and life sentence to 4 others. Participants in the March protested this verdict as reflective of deep bias and injustice.
The March began at JP roundabout and concluded at the Station roundabout. The procession was led by CPI(ML) leaders Arun Kumar Das from Khagaria, Ramesh Manjhi and Sharifa Manjhi from Patna district, AIPWA National General Secretary Meena Tiwari and State President Saroj Chaubey, RYA General Secretary Kamlesh Sharma and State Secretary Naveen Kumar, AISA State President Abhyuday, Patna city councillor Tota Chaudhury, workers’ leader Murtaza Ali, Anita Sinha of AIPWA and others.
Scores of mahadalit women participated in the march, with placards and slogans saying, “Atrocities on Mahadalits, Shame on Nitish Govt”, “Reality of Nitish’s ‘Sushasan’ – Death Sentence for Mahadalits, While Ranveer Sena Chief Brahmeshwar Singh Goes Free”, and “Nitish Kumar Come to Your Senses – Keep Promises to Mahadalits”.
The protestors demanded a judicial enquiry into the Amausi massacre and a strong punishment for the real perpetrators. The death sentence to Bodhan Sada and the other convicts is a mockery of justice.
Speakers who addressed the gathering pointed out that Bodhan Sada is being painted as a ‘Maoist Area Commander’ and a ruthless killer – but the fact is that he is a popular mahadalit leader. His wife Amla Devi had been elected mukhiya from Barai panchayat, and had been killed by a Maoist squad, and the killers of Amla Devi are yet to be punished.

There are dozens of cases of land dispute in Khagaria district. Years ago, mahadalits got the land papers for ceiling surplus land that had belonged to absentee landlords, yet they are yet to get custody of the land. Instead these lands have been grabbed by others. And there are innumerable cases of false charges on mahadalits, of which the most common charge is that of being a Maoist extremist. Clearly the ‘Maoist’ tag is being used to deprive mahadalits of their rightful share of land. The protestors demanded a Legal Commission to investigate cases of land dispute and ensure justice for mahadalits. The struggle against the unjust conviction of mahadalits in the Amausi case will continue.