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Friday 14 October 2011

Dalit Mukhiya burned to death: Villagers shocked, doubt conspiracy

Dalit Mukhiya burned to death: Villagers shocked, doubt conspiracy

BEGUSRAI/PATNA -  Sajjan Choudhary had his last word with one of his close friend, who didn’t want to reveal his identity – “I don’t have any faith in Police”.
Sajjan Choudhary(42)  got burn injuries and died late at night on Saturday, while he was trying to save his wife Kiran Devi (35), Village Head, who was engulfed in flames and died on the spot on 29 Sept.
Scene at village
Sajjan choudhary’s new house consisting of three rooms and a verandah was deserted, none of the children were at home. I found from a neighbor that his children Nitish 10, Gulshan 7 and Raja 6 were sent to their maternal grandmother’s home , his eldest son Raushan Kr alias Vikky 16 became numb and his only daughter  Khooshboo 12 lost her consciousness frequently due to intense grief.
The victim’s parents think that this was not an ‘accident’ but a planned ‘murder’, and when asked “who were the killers?” victim’s mother went unconscious due to crying and cursing the unnamed perpetrators. The co villagers said she and her grand children were locked. They even couldn’t come out from home. We reached and open the closed doors in the night. The family saw two tragic deaths in last ten days.
The death news of Kiran Devi shocked the Koraiya Panchayat under Gadhpura Block. Her husband referred to Apollo Burn Hospital, Patna, where he died of sans proper care after ten days.
Reason of Killing
‘There was an accident of bombing few months back over a project by a group of criminals headed by Ajay Singh’ says Ram Ashray Prasad, a human rights activist at Begusarai Town. ‘One can read the fear of the perpetrators at villagers face. But the villagers had strong perceptions that it was planned attack. Those who had influence over contracts and other development projects found themselves un-privileged after this Panchayat election. Most probably they would be the men behind this killing’ added Ram Ashrya.
A man named Shambhoo Singh, 38, of nearby Sujanpur village, after getting assurance of ‘NO problem’; he was ready to speak up. He said ‘When she was sleeping on the ground after observing first day of Navratra, the other doors of the rooms were closed and locked. Her husband Sajjan Choudhary, was also in that room. The ‘sudden’ ablaze in the mid night charred Kiran Devi. Sajjan initially tried to save her but he was compelled to leave the room through window due to inferno, but he also sustained serious injury.’
He further added that neither Children nor their old mother-father wanted to share his doubt. They all were given strict indication from their injured father not to open their mouth. But he insisted that two times Mukhiya, Jay Prakash Yadav had strong resentment against Sajjan Choudhary after biting a dust in last Panchayat Election.
Inept Administration
The above incident has raised very serious question to the role of local administrations. The whole village was in grip of fear. No one was ready to share the details about the reason behind this ‘killing’. A kind of forced silence one could feel at Koraiy village, 42 km from north of Begusrai town and 170 km from Patna.
The behavior of the police is certainly in question, which did not acted promptly against criminals even after repeated complaints filed by Sajjan Choudhary of getting life threats and extortion calls. Number of times deceased had pleaded local police station and Dy SP for his family’s proper security.
Begusrai SP, Chhatranil Singh, while speaking to Newzfirst said, ‘He couldn’t say yet the role of policemen is in suspicion. We have made three arrests in this connection’. At the same time he rubbished the ‘conspiracy theory’ of upper caste against Dalit.
But, the nearby villagers have a very contrary view to this police version. Villagers claimed that SHO of Gadhpura police Station arrested Ex-Mukhia over tip off after this incident of Mukhya’s burning to death but he was let off after intervened by Dy SP. ‘Without Police collusion this incident couldn’t take place’ said a co-villagers of Sambhoo without revealing its identity.
DM Jitendra Kumar Srivastava, announced compensation and handed over the chequeof 1.5 lakhs and another cheque of 2 lakhs is expected too. According to local media reports, DM also feels that this is the case of murder.
Villagers’ solidarity
Women of the village showed courage to protest against this atrocity. As the news of death of Sajjan Choudhary reached village in the wee hours of 8-9 Oct., the villagers mostly consists of women blocked the road at Sujanpur Crossroad of Gadhpura-Hasanpur road.
The agitated villagers demanded arrest of the perpetrators as soon as possible and compensation for the victims’ family.
Earlier, Koraiy Panchayat people collected money to help Sajjan Choudhary in his treatment.
The villagers have also decided to avoid one time of day food in solidarity of the Mukhiya and her husband sacrifice for one month.

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