In a painfully long investigation, named Operation Black Rain, Cobrapost captured on-camera six operatives of the notorious outfit Ranveer Sena confessing their involvement in six major massacres of Dalits in Central Bihar: Bathani Tola, Laxmanpur Bathe, Shankar Bigha, Miyanpur and Ikwari.
It is to be recalled that over 150 Dalits were killed in these massacres including many women and children.
The six men are Chandkeshwar alias Chandreshwar, Pramod Singh, Bhola Singh, Arvind Kumar Singh, Siddhnath Singh and Ravindra Chaudhry.
According to the Cobrapost, these mass murderers not only revealed how they planned and executed indiscriminate killings on such large scale with precision and ruthlessness of a war machine but also admitted who trained them, who provided them arms who financed them and who lent them political support, naming some big politicians, mainly from BJP.
Prominent among them are senior Bihar BJP leaders CP Thakur, Susheel Kumar Modi, former union minister Yashwant Sinha and BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi.
Posing as a film-maker, supposedly working on a film on Ranveer Sena, Cobrapsot journalist K. Ashish interviewed Chandkeshwar alias Chandreshwar, Pramod Singh, Bhola Singh, Arvind Kumar Singh, SiddhnathSingh 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.
Here are some excerpts of interviews that the Cobrapost reporter had with the Sena men.
Chandkeshwar Singh: Put on life imprisonment by the lower courts for his involvement in Laxmanmur Bathe massacre but released later on by the Patna High Court on October 13, 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 speaks out,”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,” 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.”
He went on to confess how he beheaded five poor fishermen, supposedly CPI-ML supporters, that night at the Sone River: “ I was very angry at them. Why I should 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, he 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: “ … 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.
Pramod Singh: Incarcerated in Arrah jail for some other crime, Pramod Singh confesses to his involvement in the Miyanpur massacre in which 32 were killed: “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: “ 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: “ 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 and heinous plan: “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 livein this country.”
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: “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: “The attack was led byone of my nephews, Santu, from Ikwari village.” He adds with a sense of pride:“Haan hum bhi thay (Yes I too was there).”
The fact that Ranveer Sena had ample political support is borne out not only by the on-camera confessions of these functionaries of the notorious 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:
“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].”
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,” 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 still pending.
This is how India treat Dalits, a peace loving and submissive community. The upper caste people unleash terror on them for silly reasons. The state machinery, the judiciary etc, managed by casteist forces don’t take any action but they collude to favor the so-called upper caste criminals.