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इंडियन आवाज़     14 Apr 2024 08:12:55      انڈین آواز

Ranveer Sena had tacit support of big politicians: Cobrapost

(Last Updated On: 17/08/2015)

—OPERATION BLACK RAIN—

AMN /

Cobrapost a website known for its investigative journalism has claimed that it has made sensational revealation about killing on Dalits by Ranveer Sena during 1995-2000 in Bihar. 144 Dalits were killed in different massacare during the period in Bihar particularly Bathani Tola, Laxmanpur Bathe, Shankar Bigha massacre.

Named as Operation Black Rain, Cobrapost captures on-camera six operatives of the dreaded outfit Ranveer Sena confessing to their involvement in six major massacres of Dalits in Central Bihar: Bathani Tola, Laxmanpur Bathe, Shankar Bigha, Miyanpur and Ikwari. Put together, 144 Dalits were killed in these massacres including several women and children. The six RS men are Chandkeshwar alias Chandreshwar, Pramod Singh, Bhola Singh, Arvind Kumar Singh, Siddhnath Singh and Ravindra Chaudhry. All except Ravindra Chaudhry were accused in Laxmanpur Bathe massacre. Ravindra Chaudhry was however mainly involved in the Sarthua(Bhojpur),massacre.which had taken place in 1995.Chandkeshwar and Pramod Singh have been set free by the Patna High Court, while Bhola Singh, Arvind Kumar Singh and Siddhnath Singh were let off the hook by the lower courts. The Cmassacre_laxmanpur batheobrapost team also tracked down Upendra Magiha who is alleged to have killed at least hundred Dalits while commanding the Sena death squads on such missions.

These mass murderers not only reveal how they planned and carried out indiscriminate killings on such scale with precision and ruthlessness of a war machine but also candidly admit who trained them, who armed them, who financed them and who lent them political support, naming some big-time politicians.

This is why the abrupt dismissal of Justice Amir Das Commission of Inquiry the state government had set up on December 27, 1997 in the wake of Laxmanpur Bathe massacre as soon as the JDU–BJP alliance came to power in Bihar was not a coincidence. In his interview with Cobrapost, Justice (Retd.) Das categorically states that it was because his report could have implicated some prominent politicos for their support to the private army he was asked to shut shop.

The following facts about the Ranveer Sena emerge from these confessions:

 The Sena had a diabolical plan of carrying out 50 massacres in as many villages in a single day which they failed to execute.
 The Sena had the tacit support of certain political quarters both at the centre and at the state level.
 A politician would evacuate them in his car when they found to have been surrounded by the police after a massacre.
 The Sena cadre received training from army jawans either on leave or retired.
 The Sena cadre was equipped with modern weapons like AK-47, LMGs, semi-automatic, SLRs and Mousers. Some of these arms were bought from the consignment that was part of the Purulia arms drop on December 17, 1995.

Posing as a film-maker, supposedly working on a film on Ranveer Sena, Cobrapsot Associate Editor K. Ashish interviewed Chandkeshwar alias Chandreshwar, Pramod Singh, Bhola Singh, Arvind Kumar Singh, Siddhnath Singh and Ravindra Chaudhry. All except Ravindra Chaudhry were accused in the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre. Ravindra Chaudhry was however mainly involved in the Sarthua(Bhojpur),massacre which had taken place in 1995. Chandkeshwar and Pramod Singh have been set free by the Patna High Court, while Bhola Singh, Arvind Kumar Singhss and Siddhnath Singh were let off the kook by the lower courts. Bhola Singh is still wanted by the Bihar Police and is hiding in Tata Nagar in Jharkhand.

Here are some excerpts of interviews that the Cobrapost reporter had with these six Sena men.

Chandkeshwar Singh:
Put on life imprisonment by the lower courts for his involvement in Laxmanmur Bathe massacre but let off by the Patna High Court on October 13th 2013. Chandkeshwar confesses not only to his involvement in the Bathani Tola massacre in 1996 killing 22 Dalits but also to have beheaded five fishermen.

The details of how the massacre was carried out are as chilling as the pathologic nonchalance with which Chandkeshwar pouts them out: “Teen baja aur humara sena goli chalana chaloo … teen baje din mein wahan police chowki bhi tha kar diya narsamhar hua (As the clock struck 3, the Sena began firing … it was 3:00 at daytime … there was a police chowki. The massacre was carried out).” Chandkeshwar gives the headcount of the victims: “Kuch laash usmein se bahar kheench liya tha farari admi ka tab par bhi laash wahan par spot par tha bais … haan bais log ka laash wahan par tha (Some bodies of those who were part of the assault had been cleared from there, but still there were 22 bodies on the spot … yes there were 22 dead bodies lying about).” The massacre was executed at the behest of one Gupteshwar Singh of Khandau village.

He vividly remembers the time when the Sena launched its assault on the poor Dalits of Laxmanpur Bathe that fateful night on December 1, 1997 with LMGs, automatics, SLRs and Mausers: “Samay dus … Hum log charh gaye the humara Sena jo tha wahan par hamla kar diya dus baje net firing ka time hoga goli chala 29 minute (It was 10 when we arrived there and the Sena began the assault. The firing went for 29 minutes). The assault left 58 dead.

Chandkeshwar goes on to confess how he beheaded five poor fishermen, supposedly CPI-ML supporters, that night at the Sone river: “Gussa aa gya jaise goli se kyon maarega hum kyon goli kharch karenge chakoo mere paas hai hi sau do sau ki goli barbad karenge hum chakoo se hi isko kato … kaat diye (I was very angry at them. Why should I waste a bullet on them that is worth Rs 100 or so, I thought. Better use the knife I have. So I cut them down with it).”

Siddhanath Singh:
The self-assured aide of the Sena chief Barmeshwar Singh Mukhiya does not bat an eyelid when he owns up to his involvement in six major massacres of Dalits. Churning out details with cold-blooded apathy that only hardened criminals are known to possess, Rai not only recounts the night of bloodbath that Sena had in Laxmanpur Bathe and who were behind it and who executed it but also names a former Prime Minister who had helped his outfit to procure arms as military reject. This is what he told the police when he was in custody: “… toh wo military ka rejected saman tha wahi hum logon ko uplabdh hua tha … hum kahe uplabdh hua tha jab pradhan mantri humare huye the … Chandra Shekhar … (… I told them we got them from Indian military as rejected lot … we got the arms with help from our Prime Minister … I said Chandra Shekhar …).”

And the conduit who got the so-called rejected lot of military weapons, according to Siddhnath, was Surya Dev, a powerful politician from Dhanbad and a close friend of Chandra Shekhar.

Siddhnath also spoke to the police about his involvement in Aibatpur massacre: “Hum kahe ki wo kaand hua tha wahan Aibatpur Kanpath thana mein wahan saat wo Mushar jaati ke log mare gaye the wo humare samarthakon ke dwara mara gaya tha ye baat satya hai theek na … (I told them about the massacre that took place in Aibatpur under Kanpath police station. Our men had killed seven people of Mushar caste …).”

Pramod Singh:
Incarcerated in Arrah jail for some other crime, Pramod Singh unabashedly confesses to his involvement in the Miyanpur massacre in which 32 were killed: “Gaon jo tha Naxali support gaon tha Ranveer Sena ke target par bahut pehle tha uss karya ko log anzam diya (That (Miyanpur) village was the supporter of the Naxals and was thus on the target of the Ranveer Sena. We executed that massacre).”
He alleges a prominent BJP leader lent the dreaded outfit with both political and financial support: “Bhajapa ka sarkar jiss samay tha … Atal Behari Vajpai the … uss samay the Yashwant Sinha … barabar aate the … mukhiya ji se barabar milte the … wo toh humare gaon mein hi … jiss samay chhape mari ho rahi thi uss samay barabar humare gaon mein the (it was when there was the BJP government [at the centre] … there was Atal Behari Vajpai [prime minister] … there was Yashwant Sinha [finance minister]… he would visit regularly … meet the Mukhiya [Barmeshwar Singh] regularly … he was there in my village when the police were hot on our heels and raiding our places. ” Yashwant Sinha allegedly lent both monetary and political support to the Sena as Pramod Singh claims: “Paise se … sarhe paanch lakh ([He] gave us money … Five and half lakh).” He adds, “Aur kya support karega … jo bhi rajnaitik support jo hota hai (What else support he could lend … other than political support).”

Pramod Singh recounts how Jahanabad MP Arun Kumar would help: “Farar stithi mein … jaise maan lijiye police gher li … paanch chheh logon ko nikalna hai jsaise Arun Kumar the saansad Jahanabad saansad wahan pahunch jaate thay apni gadi se jo log tha sabki nikal dete the … (When on the run … suppose the police had closed in about us … five–six people were be evacuated … then Arun Kumar, the Jehanbad MP, would reach the spot and would escort away all of them in his car … ).”

Ravindra Chaudhry:
The Cobrapost reporter met Chaudhry at Belaur village in Bhojpur. He divulges about the Sena’s most diabolical plan: “Hum log toh aisa ranneeti banaye the ki ek hi din mein pachas gaon mein narsamhar ho tab jaaker sarkar ki need tootegi nahi toh sarkar toh bas yehi soch rahi hai ki ek desh mein alpsankhyak hain ati pichhri hain pichhri hai iske alawa koi jaati hi nahi hai (We had in fact worked out a strategy to execute massacres across 50 villages to wake up the government from its torpor. Otherwise, the government will always think that no castes other than the minorities, most backward and backward live in this country).”

Chaudhry also divulges how the likes of Anand Mohan Singh helped them: “… Anand Mohan aaye bechare poora keh gya ki humare paas hathiyron ka jakhira hai jo jo hathiyar lena chahte ho aaker le jao (… Anand Mohan came and told us that he has a cache of all kinds of arms. Whatever you need you can pick).”

His confession makes it undoubtedly clear what role he played in the Sena: “Humare kehne se anzam mane anzam maan lijiye hum anzam nahi diye lekin huqam toh humi na diye maan lijiye kaam humen nahi kiya hatya nahi karte hain lekin kahe ki hatya karo toh hum hi na kiye ([the massacres were] executed upon … you can say I did not execute them but it was me who ordered. You can say I did not execute the job, I did not kill, but when I ordered to commit a murder then I did it).”

Bhola Rai:
Living incognito with his family in Tata Nagar, Bhola Singh confesses to have taken part in the killing of 58 Dalits at Laxmanpur Bathe: “Saath pachas ko wahi par mara tha Laxmanpur Bathe mein (We killed about 50–60 people then and there in Laxmanpur Bathe).” According to him there were 100 members of the Sena who launched the assault that was led by one of his nephews: “Uska lead kiya tha Ikwari ka hi humara ek bhatija tha Santu naam tha (The attack was led by one of my nephews, Santu, from Ikwari village).” He adds with a sense of pride: “Haan hum bhi thay (Yes I too was there).”

Arvind Singh:
The erstwhile Sena strongman from Ikwari tells us: “Haan Ikwari mein doh narsamhar hua tha … Pehla narsamhar mein saat log mare gaye … doosra mein aath-nau log tha … ek 96 mein hua ek 97 mein hua (Yes, two massacres took place in Ikwari … Seven were killed in the first massacre … in the second eight–nine people were killed … one happened in 1996 and the other took place in 1997).” Arvind Singh maintains that both Ikwari massacres were the handiwork of the local Bhumihar villagers only.

However, the murderers forced a compromise on the families of the victims.
Apart from these Cobrapost team was also able to locate Upendra Magiha, the Most Wanted murderer of the lot; however, he refused to meet the team. Says Sanjiv Singh of Magiha: “Upendra Magiha Ranveer Sena ke jo hathiyar band log the unka wo command karte the un karraviyon mein aur wo hain … Magiha bahut seedha aadmi hai … jo sahi mein jo saikadan hatya kiya hai wah aadmi bahut seedha aur saccha aadmi hai (Upendra Magiha used to command the armed squad of the Ranveer Sena during those operations … and he … Magiha is a simple fellow … the man who has murdered hundreds is really a very simple and innocent fellow).”

The police have not been able to track down Magiha in all these years.

The fact that Ranveer Sena had ample political support is borne out not only by the on-camera confessions of these functionaries of the dreaded outfit but also by the interview that Cobrapost had with Justice (Retd.) Amir Das, as the judge names those who lent support to the Sena: “Kuchh ka naam toh bata sakte hain jaise Shivanand Tewary hain, C.P. Thakur hain. Murli Manohar Joshi hain aur Sushil Kumar Modi aur ek mikhiya the naam tha unka uss gaon mein Laxmanpur Bathe ke bagal me conclusion aya hai ki wo bhi support karte the (I can tell some names, for instance, Shivanand Tewary, C.P. Thakur, Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushil Kumar Modi. Then there was a head of a village in the neighbourhood of Laxmanpur Bathe about whom we had drawn the conclusion that he too supported [the Ranveer Sena]).”
It will be in order to recall the emergence of Ranveer Sena in 1994, formed by Dharicharan Singh of Belaur village in Bhojpur district to counter the rising unrest among the farm labour who had started protesting against their exploitation under the banner of CPI-ML (Liberation), an underground leftist outfit. Barmeshwar Singh Mukhiya turned the private army of the upper caste landowners into a well-oiled machine trained to kill, ruthlessly and indiscriminately, equipped with modern weapons like AK-47, LMGs, semi-automatic, SLRs and Mousers, executing 16 massacres within a span of next six years, killing 300 Dalits across six districts of Arrah, Arval, Bhojpur, Gaya, Aurangabad and Jahanabad.
However, almost all Sena killers have been set free either by the lower courts or by the Patna High Court for lack of evidence. Though Dy SP CID (Retd.) Mirza Maqsood Alam Beg would disagree: “Dekhiye usmein direct evidence toh unke against tha hi eyewitness … logon ne dekha pehchana … uske alawa iss occurrence ke pehle un logon ke yehan meeting bhi hua karti thi meeting mein ye log attend karte the na haan inhi logon ke yehan meeting hua karti thi wo sab cheezein diary mein hain (You see, there is direct evidence against them … eyewitness … people saw them and identified them … apart from that before the occurrence [of a massacre] these people would hold meetings at their places … all these things are recorded in case diary).” Beg’s words carry weight as he was the IO of the major massacre Laxmanpur Bathe and was responsible for filing the charge sheet.

These acquittals have been challenged in the Supreme Court and thus are subjudice. Cobrapost claimed to have contacted Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, CP Thakur, Susheel Kumar Modi for their reaction but didn’t receive any comment in this till the time of going to press.

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