Custodial Killings In Nitish-Modi Raj in Bihar

Two Muslim youths taken into custody to Dumra Thana in Sitamarhi from village Ramdiha, Chakiya Thana, Eastern Champaran died in police custody on 5 March 2019. A CPI(ML) fact-finding team visited Ramdiha (Sitamarhi) on 9 March and spoke with the victims’ families and the local villagers. The team comprised of former MP Rameshwar Prasad, Insaf Manch State Vice President Aftab Alam, Kisan Mahasabha leader Umesh Singh, CPI(ML) Eastern Champaran District Secretary Prabhudev Yadav, District Committee member Vishnudev Yadav, Jeetlal Sahani, Bhagyanarayan Chaudhary, and Rasoiya Sangh leader Dinesh Kushwaha. The report of the enquiry team is given below.

The hatemongering against Muslims incited by the BJP has led to a great increase in atrocities against the minority community, including mob lynching and custodial killings. The enquiry team found that on the night of 5 March dozens of police brooke the door of the house and dragged away Tasleem and Gurfan to Chakiya Thana where they were mercilessly beaten. The next morning when family members went to Chakiya Thana they learnt that the youths had been taken to Dumra Thana. When they went to Dumra Thana, they did not find the youths there either. They finally went to Sadar Hospital where they learnt that the youths were admitted and under treatment. Later the Dumra Thana in-charge told them that both the youths were dead. Tasleem was the Chowkidar at the Madarsa and d got his passport ready to go to the UAE after Holi. There were some cases against him, but the police took the law into their own hands and killed him by beating him brutally. Gurfan had come to the village from the UAE only 4 months ago, and there were no cases against him.

The police say that they had questioned the two youths in connection with a motorcycle loot case in Runni-Saidpur, but they say they know nothing about how the two youths died.( Some time ago, CPI(ML) leader Ashok Sah was killed in police custody at Runni-Saidpur Thana). Under pressure, a case has been registered against the Dumra Thana in-charge and other police personnel, but they are absconding after going to ‘surrender’ at Runni-Saidpur Thana. The Runni-Saidpur Thana in-charge has been suspended, but this action is insufficient, and action needs to be taken against higher officers also. The local MP, MLA and Mukhiya have not bothered to come and enquire about the victims or their families. The enquiry team has demanded: judicial enquiry into the entire case; strict action against the 3 Thana in-charges; removal of Eastern Champaran and Sitamarhi SPs for making irresponsible statements; Rs 25 lakhs and government jobs to the families of the victims; compensation and job to the family of the motorcycle loot victim; resignation of the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on moral grounds.

The CPI(ML) and Insaf Manch declared statewide protests against this incident on 12 March. Protest marches and meetings were held at Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur and other places. The speakers at the protests demanded justice for the custodial killing victims as well as for the victims of the shelter home rapes in Muzaffarpur and other places.