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Bihar: Ranvir Sena activist held

Posted by Indian Vanguard on December 22, 2007

JEHANABAD: In a major breakthrough, the Jehanabad police on Thursday night arrested the self-styled divisional commander of the Ranvir Sena, Ajgaybee Sharma, along with five associates from Pokhwan village under Shakurabad police station in the district.

Ajgaybee, wanted in two dozen cases of extortion, murder and massacre, registered with Tekari, Konch and Belaganj police stations of Gaya district and Goh and Uphare police station of Aurangabad district, had been evading arrest for the past several years. While in hiding, he had been coordinating the activities of the banned outfit in the Magadh division.

The most gruesome incident in which Ajgaybee is alleged to be involved is the massacre at Miyapur village in Aurangabad district when he and his associates reportedly shot dead 34 persons and injured another 20.

A police team headed by Shakurabad PS OC Ashok Kumar, raided a house in Pokhwan village around midnight and arrested Ajgaybee and his associates including the owner of the house, Sachidanand Sharma.

Two country-made pistols and live cartridge were also recovered from their possession.

Timesof india

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Nine Ranvir Sena men get life term for massacre of 34

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 21, 2007

By IANS

Patna : A Bihar court Thursday sentenced nine Ranvir Sena members to life imprisonment for the massacre of 34 people in 2000.

Aurangabad Additional District Judge Krishna Kant Dwivedi passed the sentence after finding them guilty of the massacre. Two other accused in the case were acquitted for want of adequate evidence.

According to the police, 34 people belonging mostly to the backward castes and dalits, including nine children and 13 women, were killed and 15 others injured by the armed men on June 16 2000.

Ranvir Sena, private militia of the landed upper caste, claimed responsibility of the massacre a day after the incident.

Miyanpur is an inaccessible backward village, barely 10 km from Senari village where the Maoists killed 34 upper caste villagers in 1999.

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Bihar PUCL report::

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 18, 2007

Rivalry between armed groups claims more lives

— By Prabhakar Sinha, National Vice-President; Kishori Das, General Secretary, Bihar State; Mithlesh Kumar, Secretary, Bihar State; Nageshwar Prasad, Member PUCL, 14 January, 2004

The Bihar State PUCL constituted a fact finding team to enquire into the killing of six persons at Pariyari (Tolal Dih and Bigaha) in Arwal district. The team consisted of Dr. Prabhakar Sinha, National Vice-President, Kishori Das, State General Secretary, Mithilesh Kumar, Secretary and Nageshwar Prasad, member, PUCL. The team visited the village Pariyari and Kinjar police station in whose jurisdiction this village falls. A large number of villagers including men, women and children spoke to the team. It also met Asharfi Manjhi Assistant Officer-in-charge of Kinjar and other police officers assisting him and perused the FIR of the case No. 1/2004 pertaining to the unfortunate incident and also the FIR of case No. 69/2002, both of Kinjar police station.

A few of the people who spoke to the PUCL team are Sona Devi, Brat Devi, Savitri Devi, Shanti Devi, Mukesh Kumar, Sheokuri Devi, Dailati Devi, Ram Udar Singh, Ful Kumari Devi, Sanjya Singh, Mishri Bhagat, Guddu Kumar, Thakur Bhagat, Indra Deep Singh and others.

The following persons were killed or injured in the incident
A. Names of the deceased:
Kaushalendra Paswan (22) alias Goth Paswan, Sudarshan Paswan (40), Rajnath Paswan (60-70) (the father of the two named above), Guddu (16), Kamaldeo Bhagat (50), suffered from leprosy. Umesh Singh (35-40) died 4 day after the incident.

B. The injured
Sahjanand Singh, S/o late Deep Narain Sing Nagandra Thakur (30-35).

Old Jehanabad district including Arwal
This district of Bihar has been an area of armed clashes between the armed squads of CPI (ML) groups namely, the Liberation, Party Unity (which is now Peoples War Group) and MCC (Maoist Community Centre) on the one hand and the armed groups of the land owners on the other for almost last two decades. Some of the armed groups which clashed with the squads of the CPI (ML) groups were Kunwar Sena, Bramharshi Sena, Bhoomi Sena, Sawarna Liberation Front, Kisan Sena and now the Ranveer Sena. The clashes have caused a huge loss of lives – mostly of unarmed and defenceless men (old and young), women and children simply became they belonged to the villages perceived by the opposite side to be supporters of their enemies. According to a report sent by the SP of Arwal by his letter No. 456 dated 10.5.03 the Ranveer Sena has killed 132 persons between 1997 and April 2003 only in the district of Jahanabad which includes district Arwal now carved out of it.

According to the same report between 29.4.1995 and 14.4.2003, the Ranveer Sena has perpetuated the crime of such killings on 33 occasions in the districts of Bhojpur, Jehanabad, (including Arwal), Rohtas, Aurangabad, and Patna causing 292 deaths. The combined number of attacks by the CPI (ML) groups and the loss of lives caused during the last two decades should be much larger. At present, other armed groups of the land owners are not in existence. The Ranveer Sena continues to operate. The SP Arwal has drawn the attention of the government to the fact that though the MCC and the People’s War Groups have been declared terrorist organisations under Section 18 of POTA, the Ranveer Sena has not been declared a terrorist organisation (this is the stand of the SP, the PUCL is opposed to POTA itself).

The locale of the incident
The village Pariyari is in the district of Arwal which falls in the area of conflict between the Ranveer Sena and People’s War Group and MCC. The village consists of three Tolas and stretches from the east to west. In the east is Pariyari Mathia followed by Pariyari Bigha and then Pariyari Dih (East Mathia-Bihga-Dih-West), Pariyari Dih has a sizable population of Bhumihars (an upper caste which is believed to be the patron of the Ranveer Sena). However, it also has a large number of people from other castes including Brahmins, Kurmies, Telies, Kahars, Julahas, Gararies, Dhobies, Naies and Lohars (except Brahmins the rest are backward castes, Dalits, and also Muslims). The other two Tolas are largely inhabited by the backward castes and the Dalits.) as a rule, the CPI (ML) groups have the support of the down trodden i.e. of the backward castes and the Dalits. Since Bhumihars are a land owning caste (this is not to suggest that all Bhumihars own land and are rich) the conflict between them and the down trodden caused by conflicting economic interest also assumes the colour of caste conflict, though in many cases the conflict is truly caused by the assertion of their caste based superiority over the backwards and the Dalits. Thus, a situation has been created in which the down-trodden are almost totally distrustful of and hostile to the Bhumihars (this attitude is not confined to Pariyari village but is discernible throughout the area of such conflict).

The incident of 3 January, 2004
According to the eye witnesses, the killers arrived from the side of Pariyari Dih at 8 am or so and moved towards Pariyari Bigha. It was an extremely cold morning full of dense fog. A few defenceless and unsuspecting persons were sitting around a ‘Ghoora’ (fire around which people sit in the open to warm themselves). They arrived and opened fire indiscriminately killing Guddu and injuring Sahjanand Singh and Nagendra Thakur. All sitting there ran for their lives. Umesh Singh was near a hand pump presumably to wash his hands and clean this teeth as is the routine in villages in the morning. Some of the killers shot and seriously injured him there. He died after four days. Some of them shot Kamaldeo Bhagat (a leprosy patient) dead, who was just sitting in front of his hut. Then the killers moved towards Pariyari Dih and shot Gout and Sudarshan Paswan dead in front of their hut. Their father Rajnath Paswan ran towards Pariyari Bigha side through a narrow passage between the huts, but unfortunately found himself in an open field fully exposed to some of the killers who were returning from the Bigha side. He was shot at and he fell dead in the field behind their huts. The eye witnesses said that after doing their deed, they went towards Pariyari Dih i.e. the side from which they had come.

The eye witnesses said the killers had their faces covered. Besides, the fog was too dense to make the identification of the killers impossible. Some of the persons who were sitting near the fire in the open said that they ran to save their lives and did not even think of identifying the killers. Not one eye witness claimed to identify any of the killers.

The villagers claimed that there was no conflict or tension of any kind between the bhumihar landowners of Pariyari Dih and them. They categorically stated that there was no reason for them to apprehend any attack from anyone.

As for the cause for the killing, they were equally unanimous that the crime had been perpetrated to cause terror among the poor. They were also unanimously of the opinion that the crime had been committed by the Ranveer Sena. However, when asked why the Ranveer Sena chose their village as a target for creating terror, they said that their was no reason and they were clueless.

Then their attention was drawn to the fact that three members of the Bhumihar caste from Pariyari Dih were killed by the CPI (ML) groups in August 2002, and they were asked if the Ranveer Sena suspected the involvement of some people from their part of the village. They categorically denied any such connection or suspicion.

FIR of the Incident: An FIR in Kinjar case No. 1/2004 has been filed by Sheoratia Devi, mother of the deceased Kaushalendra Paswan and Sudarshan Paswan and wife of deceased Rajnath Paswan. In the FIR she has named several persons and given a detailed description of the arms which each of them had in their hands. She has also stated that they all raised slogan in favour of Ranveer Sena.

The PUCL team had a feeling that the choice of one Tola of their own village by Ranveer Sena or any other group of persons without any rhyme or reason (for creating terror) did not appear logical, though occurrence of illogical things cannot be wholly ruled out in the present scenario. In order to confirm the assertion of the villagers that some from Pariyari Bigha were accused of involvement in the killing of three persons from Pariyari Dih, the PUCL team perused the FIR of Kinjar PS case No. 69/2002 pertaining to the killing of three young men of Pariyari Dih in August, 2002. It was found that several persons including Sahajanand Singh s/o late Deep Narain Singh, who was injured in the attack on 3 January, 2004 were named as accused in that case. Some other names figuring in the FIR from Pariyari Bigha and Pariyari Dih are Rajinder Singh, Ravinder Singh, Braj Kishore Thakur, Anil Singh, Jagdish Thakur, Kanhia Sharma, Hazari Sharma and Uday Sharma (all from Pariyari, Dih). A few names from Pariyari Mathia also occur in the FIR.
However, the PUCL expenses no opinion on the involvement or otherwise of the persons named in the FIR at Kinjar PS case No. 1/2004 regarding the incident of January 3, 2004 or the FIR at Kinjar PS case No. 69/2002 regarding the incident of August 2002 in the village Pariyari.

The Ranveer Sena and the People’s War Group (PWG)
In the continuing series of clashes between the Ranveer Sena and the PWG, none of them deny their hand in the killing they effect. In this case also, the Ranveer Sena has issued a press statement taking responsibility for killing at Pariyari and announcing that they would repeat such killings if the CPI (ML) groups do not desist from imposing economic blockade and killing of farmers (Aaj, Patna 05.01.2004). The PWG has also issued a press statement and taken the responsibility of killing Shalesh Sharma (26) of village Nirakhpur for his participation in Pariyari carnage (Aaj, 08.01.2004). The clashes are likely to continue.

Finding: the killing at Pariyari is the hand-work of the Ranveer Sena as they have themselves claimed. The PWG has also retaliated by killing Shalesh Sharma of Nirakhpur. The killing at Pariyari Dih and Pariyari Bigha was an act of retaliation by the Ranveer Sena against those they consider to be with the PWG, MCC or Liberation.

The following points emerge from the situation as it exists

  • The series of killing would continue causing heavy loss of lives most of whom are likely be unsuspecting defenceless persons.
  • The armed groups do not seem to confront each other and appear to attack unarmed defenceless unsuspecting persons only.
  • Defenceless villages, where there is no risk of armed resistance, is chosen as a soft target and attacked.
  • The state government has abdicated its responsibility of protecting the life and liberty of the people and left them to fend for themselves. Thus, there is a situation of free for all, leading to a situation where might is right.
  • The only remedy is for the government to enforce its law, and offer the protection of law to all in the state. Establishing the rule of law is the only solution of the problem.
  • Though it offers some relief to the families of those killed and we support such financial help, we condemn state government’s practice of leaving the people at the mercy of killers and then offering the families of the killed some money as a compensation as if money can compensate for the loss of life.

http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Industries-envirn-resettlement/2004/arwal.htm

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The private armies and the politics of ban

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 17, 2007

In the late ’60s the lower caste peasants from Bihar drawing inspiration from Naxalism in West Bengal raised the banner of revolt against the traditional exploitation of the landlords. The upper caste landlords and intermediate castes formed many private armies. The Rajputs were the first among the upper castes to form the private armies, the Kuer Sena in 1969. The formation of Kuer Sena was followed by the Brahmarishi Sena of Bhumihars, Lorik Sena of Yadavs, and Bhoomi Sena of Koiris. [1]

The Bathani Tola massacre of July 11, 1996 was a turning point in the State’s troubled caste history. The Ranvir Sena men killed 21 Dalits.

In the intervening night of 1 and 2 December 1997, Ranvir Senas perpetrated Laxmanpur Bathe massacre in which 59 Dalits including 26 women and 19 were children under the age of 10 slaughtered.

In the Shanker Bigha massacre in Jehanabad on 25 June 1999, 23 Dalits were killed by suspected Ranvir Senas

On 10 February 1999, 12 Dalits were massacred at Narayanpur in Jehnabad. The Narayanpur massacre was a political landmark in Bihar’s rocky history. The National Democratic Alliance government dismissed the Rabri Devi government only to be reinstated later.

The Ranvir Senas have been reportedly involved in 33 massacre cases claiming over 280 lives. [2] Pregnant women and children appear to be the Ranvir Sena’s special targets, for it apparently views attacks on them as an easy means to check the increase in the Dalit population. [3] Four central Bihar districts of Jahanabad, Arwal, Gaya and Bhojpur, as well as Goh block of Paliganj and Paliganj block of Patna district bore the brunt of the Ranvir Sena.

The Ranvir Sena Chief Barmeshwar Singh, alias Mukhiaji, has been arrested and facing in a large number of criminal cases, which included those related to massacres. The state government opposed the bail application of Mr Singh before the Patna High Court in April 2006.

However, unlike the Peoples War (PW) neither the Central government nor state government of Bihar banned Ranvir Sena. The Centre declared the MCC and PW as “terrorist organisations” under section 18 of the Prevention of Terrorist Act, 2002 and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 2004.

The Amir Das Commission was set up on December 27, 1997 to probe the alleged political links of the banned outfit of upper castes, Ranveer Sena, whose activists had reportedly butchered 61 Dalits at Laxmanpur Bathe on December 1, 1997. Until today, not a single report has been submitted. Instead of seeking the truth, Bihar government has disbanded the Commission after its term expired in the first week of April 2006.


[1] . Caste war in Bihar: Role of private armies, The Hindustan Times, available at http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/6253_150369,00160003.htm

[2] . Voters panic as Ranvir Sena chief joins fray, The Statesman, 24 February 2004

[3] . Caste war in Bihar: Role of private armies, The Hindustan Times, available at http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/6253_150369,00160003.htm

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Central Bihar and land lord sena

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 17, 2007

Private armies are an exclusive phenomenon of Bihar. It is often said that where social-democracy ends, revolutionary-democracy begins its journey. This most backward Indian State has proved to be a forward post of revolutionary democracy, with the lowest rung of the society being drawn into the vortex of peasant struggles. From blood-thirsty landlord-armies to trigger-happy paramilitary forces, protagonists of ?total revolution? to ?His Majesty?s Opposition?none could enforce the ?peace of the graveyard? on the flaming fields of Bihar and it seems none would be able to drive these unconventional actors to the backstage of historical action.

Emergence of the Senas

There are different opinions about the emergence of Senas in Bihar, which are as follows:

? Some consider that the Senas came into existence in response to the Naxalite terrorism.

? Some attribute the rise of Senas as, fallout of the green revolution. According to them the greater productivity could not remove the basic inequalities that existed between the landlords and the landless. The demand of fair distribution by the peasants led to the formation of Senas to suppress the landless labourers.

? Some others advocates that the adoption of the overt political participation i.e. a tactical shift by CPI(ML)-Liberation in 1989, left the field open for the emergence of various Senas in Bhojpur district of Bihar. The Liberation was operating underground from early 1970 to 1988. The Kisan Sangh, the Kisan Morcha and the Ganga Sena were smaller in size and operated in small areas. The Ranvir Sena became the most dreaded of all.

Causes

The Dalits and the poor peasants could no longer accept the existing oppressive feudal social system. The radical peasant organisations mobilised the aggrieved parties to fight for their dignity, freedom, proper wages and redistribution of land. The intolerance of the upper castes led to the formation of various Senas one after the other to resist the revolt of the poor.

Sena usually means an ?army?. However, in the semi-feudal social structure of Bihar, Sena refers to Caste-based private gangs. These are non-party socio-political formations, which are considered to be reactionary and counter-revolutionary by nature in the struggle waged by peasants. This phenomenon thrives on a strong nexus between the landlords, politicians, administration, criminals and contractors.

These Senas came into existence during the early 1980s. However, the historical records reveal that Senas have existed in the past too. The Rajputs were the first to form the Kuer Sena as early as 1979 in Bhojpur district of Bihar. The Bhumihars have formed about eight Senas in central Bihar. Except the Ranvir Sena, all other Senas stands eliminated in prolonged struggle waged by the radical peasant organisations.

Now there are two types of Private Armies in Bihar. First and the most common are the armies of the landlords. The landlords employ the musclemen to keep the peasants and the tenants in their place, and to ensure that taxes and rents are paid regularly. Second is the dominant caste Senas or private caste militias or armies, which have become a part of the agrarian struggles of Central Bihar. They are constituted mainly to repress and suppress the militant peasant organisations.

Profile of Major Senas in Bihar


Sunlight Sena

This was formed by the Muslim Pathan landlords of Garwah, Palamu and Gaya in alliance with the Rajput landlords of Palamu. It is still operative in the above mentioned areas. The armed squads of the MCC, Party Unity, and the Liberation have waged a relentless war against this Sena.

Bhoomi Sena

The rich Kurmis had formed the Kisan Suraksha Samiti in early 1980 and later converted it into the Bhoomi Sena. Some Kurmi landlords, bad gentry and professional criminals had taken initiative to form an armed gang. They accumulated a huge quantity of arms, recruited some Kurmi youths and launched a professional armed gang, named the Bhoomi Sena.

However, the Bhoomi Sena was dealt a heavy blow by CPI(ML) armed squads. Many of their leaders were executed. Their efforts to expand their activities to other parts of Patna and Gaya did not succeed either. In Jehanabd, they were given a serious blow by the armed squads of CPI(ML) (Party Unity). For all practical purposes, they are now confined to 7 to 8 villages of Poonpoon and Masaurhi blocks of Patna district, where, too, they are now in a process of retreat. Their disintegration has been hastened all the more by their internal bickerings. Their social base among the Kurmies has also become considerably weak.

Lorik Sena

This was formed by the upper backward caste Yadavas in 1983. The Lorik Sena appeared initially in Hilsa-Ekangarsarai blocks of Nalanda district. But soon it spread its activities to other parts of the district as well as to some villages of Ghosi block in Gaya and Dhanarua block in Patna. Ramashraya Singh is the brain behind this Sena.

Armed with guns and rifles, the Lorik Sena began its operations in the true traditions of Sena culture in Bihar. The Lorik Sena is named after one of the legendary heroes of the Yadava community who had fought against a tyrant Yadava landlord of his time along with the Dalit masses.

This gang in their killing and extortion spree did not spare Yadava either. Roving with guns and rifles, they would extort money from the Yadava peasants, and would even threaten them with dire consequences in case they refused to join the gang.

Thus, it did not take the Yadavas too long to realise that the Lorik Sena was more a liability than an asset. The Lorik Sena has got largly disintegrated in the areas where it has originally emerged, however, in many other parts of the central districts of Bihar, powerful Yadava gangs are nowadays sporting the Lorik Sena badge.

Ranvir Sena

Ranveer Sena is a private army of upper caste landlords mainly Bhumihars and Rajputs, which came into existence in August 1994 in Belaur, a village of 1,200 population, with the full backing of the middle caste and local level district administration. The main objective of the Sena has been to teach the Dalits a lesson and wipe out Naxalism. The forerunners of Ranveer Sena in Bhojpur were Brahmarshi Sena and Kuer Sena, which could not sustain for long. The formation of Ranveer Sena is indication of class polarisation from above. This is not solely an individual caste?s Sena as happened to be the case with other private Senas. The class aspect is fairly pronounced in Ranveer Sena?s support base and functioning. Bhumihar and Rajput caste people have never seen eye to eye and have a history of being mutual foes throughout Bihar. They first time joined hands to form Ranveer Sena. Further, it is the class interest, which goaded the ruling stratum of the middle castes to extend support to the Sena.

Brhameshwar Singh, on whose head there is a Rs. 5-lakh reward, is the supreme commander of the Ranvir Sena, which has a more than 400-member killer squad. The landlords finance the Sena through ?generous? subscriptions. Each member of the Sena squad is said to be drawing between Rs. 1,100 and Rs. 1,200 per month for work that involves shooting Dalit men, women and children.

Two years after its formation, the Ranvir sena in August 1996 slaughtered 10 Dalits at Tiskhora Village to mark its appearance in the flaming fields of central Bihar and subsequently drove all the Dalits from Belaur village.

The change of policy of the Liberation ? which had earlier proved catastrophic for the atrocious landlords in Bhojpur District in 1970s and `80s ? helped the Ranvir Sena to swell its ranks and expand further.

http://www.ipcs.org/newDatabaseIndex3.jsp?check=7&database=1005

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Tackling the State forces and Ranvir Sena

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 17, 2007

People’s March January 1999

(A tale of Resistance Struggle of the last two years in the planes of Central Bihar)

In Bihar, State has adopted from the beginning, two methods to crush the armed peasant resistance struggle:

First, by organising caste-based landlord-army and providing them administrative and political support and Second, by launching state repressive measures itself. In the beginning of the movement, the first aspect was primary and direct intervention of the state played a secondary role. Govt. launched repressive operations but they were time hound and confined to a limited area. The command and coordination of the police forces were not much centralised and organised. But after Arwal massacre in 1986, when the police opened fire on a peaceful mass meeting killing 23 and injuring dozens; the state came out in its true colour more openly before the struggling masses. After ’86, the state repression started taking a more organised and planned course. This began with the banning of MKSS a militant peasant organisation of Bihar. The initial response of the erestwhile CPI(ML) [Party Unity] was to launch mass resistance against the repression and preparing for armed resistance by : a) expanding the mass base vertically through mobilising middle peasants and other sections of people -in rural areas politically; b) expanding the base horizontally, i.e. expanding the area of resistance; and c) strengthening the party and the guerilla squads. Since 1992 the state offensive intensified and organised and the revolutionaries also began resisting militarily by attacking police forces and other govt. offices. Since then armed clashes between the state forces and the communist guerrillas became more frequent.

Since last three years revolutionaries are fighting the landlord army Ranvir Sena as well as the Bihar Police forces and Para-military forces. We shall, however, deal here with the resistance struggle of last two Years against the state forces and the Ranvir Sena. Ranvir Sena is a new phenomenon. We will deal with the resistance against the State repression and Ranvir Sena simultaneously.

Nov. 8,1998, CPI(ML)[PW]’s armed squads surrounded village Rampur (Karpi, Jehanabad) and annihilated seven active supporters of Ranvir Sena – the notorious landlord army of Central Bihar. Barely a kilometer west there is -a police picket at village Aiyara (Karpi) to protect the Ranvir Sena goons and there is another police picket about two kilometer South of Rampur at Imamganj Bazar. One section of armed squad engaged the Aiyara police picket in encounter, another section blocked the Imamgan-Rampur route and the rest punished Arjun Singh and other Ranvir goons who had killed three agricultural labourers, while they were working in their field, on July 25, 1988 at Rampur.

Emergence of Ranvir Sena.

Ranvir Sena, now, has earned a lot much disrepute because of the medieval barbarity it displays in its operations. It is a private ‘army’ of the landlords and reactionaries based on Bhumihar caste – politically and economically the most dominant caste in the Central Bihar and a good part of North Bihar. As the revolutionary peasant movement developed, the landlords and feudal reactionaries driven by the fear of losing their age-old authority in the countryside, took offensive -and formed various private armies. Not only the old type landlords belonging to caste-Hindus organised goons of their respective castes also followed them, sometimes with more- ferocity. In Bihar, the widespread culture of arms and strong cast feelings facilitated such armed formations on caste basis Govt., with all its might, encouraged and backed such landlords armies and the latter have their patrons in the ranks of their caste leaders in various bourgeois parties and also in the bureaucracy.

Thus, revolutionary peasant movement had to confront Bhumi Sena formed by landlords and reactionaries of Kurmi Caste, Lorik Sena of reactionaries belonging to Yadav caste, Kunwar Sena, Krishak Sevak Samaj and Sunlight Sena of landlords and reactionaries of Rajputs, Kisan Sangh of reactionaries of Kurmies, Yadavs and Bhumihars etc. The reactionaries and the landlords belonging to Bhumihar castes had also tried to organise a Sena earlier. Bhumihar landlords formed Brabmarshi Sena and Swam Liberation Front. But both these armed formations were not so well organised and could not survive due to people’s resistance and its own internal contradiction. Ranvir Sena was formed in Bhojpur by the end of 1994. Incidentally, it should be mentioned that almost all the major landlord armies in Central Bihar first developed in the area under the influence of Liberation group where the feudal and reactionary forces found a more congenial atmosphere and in the presence of a compromising and class-collaborationist policies of a ‘left’ force they developed faster. Thus, Bhoomi Sena and Kisan Sangh, the two-better organised armed gangs developed in that part of Patna district which is dominated by the Liberation group and Ranvir Sena developed in Bhojpur district, the socalled citadel of Liberation group. Bhojpur struggle, in the beginning, challenged the feudal and upper caste domination but later on as the revisionist leadership took a U-turn, the struggle was degenerated into that of mere wage and other partial social and economic issues. Land and arms – the two legs of landlords in Bihar – must be seized to cripple and ultimately smash the feudal authority. As long as these two continue to exist, they would work as the breeding ground for private armies. The other factors such as grip of certain caste army on bureaucracy and state body politics, caste feelings which encourage the middle and sometimes even poor peasants to join the caste army etc. add, in the main, flesh to the frame. Liberation group didn’t do this job -they didn’t launch arm seizure programme, and land seizure programme as a campaign. So, the breeding ground was always there. Moreover, the parliamentarism of Liberation group which gave rise to various class collaborationist policies, encouraged Ranvir Sena to continue with its killing spree.

Repression & resistance in the last two years

Ranvir Sena struck first at Sarthua (Bhojpur) on January 25, ’95 and killed 6 supporters of Liberation group. Till the end of January 19, ’97, within a span of two years, Ranvir Sena massacred more than 150 people at 13 places including Bathanitola of Barki-kharaun village in Sahar (Bhojpur) where 22 persons – mostly women and children were butchered – in the most barbaric manner.

For two years the Sena confined its operations in a few blocs of Bhojpur. By the end of ’96, it began to cross river Sone and tried to expand in Magadh – the stronghold of erstwhile CPI(ML)[Party Unity]. It first chose village Jalpura (Pali, Patna) at the bank of river Sone where landless and poor peasants have fighting since long for 700 acres of gair-mazurua land of river bank. People had won the struggles. The district administration, to divert the struggle intervened and distributed 300 beeghas of land among the landless. The landlords and reactionaries were then beginning to surrender. People were resisting the move of the administration and demanding for the distribution of entire land. In this period, precisely Ranvir Sena stepped into the village with the help of nearby reactionary dominated villages like Massourha, Kaab, Raghopur etc. They burnt the Sarkanda and on 28th Jan.’97 attacked the landless tola of Jalpura looting the property and forcing the landless to flee and leave the village. On Feb. 1, ’97 the armed squads of CPI(ML)[PU] attacked the supporters of Ranvir Sena who were forcibly cultivating a part of disputed 700 acres of land. Immediately after an encounter took place at about 11 a.m. between the armed guerilla squads and Ranvir Sena-police combine (a police picket has been in the village in the protection of the landlords). Soon reinforcement took place and almost 200 policemen joined the encounter. The encounter lasted for 7 hours in which 5 Ranvir Sena supporters and activists and one police were annihilated.

This was the first big blow to Ranvir Sena in Magadh in the very beginning. On 31st January 1997 in Jehanabad-Gaya border, 45 Kms. away from Jalpura, at village Machhil (Hariharpur Tola) of Makhdampur PS., another batch of Sena massacred 3 supporters of mass organisation, including the village secretary. On Feb.15, ’97, armed squads of PU annihilated 6 of Ranvir Sena at Turri where the assailants planned for massacre. In the month of March, 1997 Ranvir Sena struck again at village Haibaspur (Patna district) on 23rd, killing 10 dalit agricultural labourers and at village Akopur on 28th March ’97 (Arwal, Jehanabad) killing 3 agricultural labourers – supporters of Liberation group. On 10.04.97 police and Ranvir goons jointly massacred 7 poor people at Ekwari (sahar, Bhojpur). In retaliation to these massacres, squads of Party Unity attacked village Raghopur (Bikram), which is the village of BJP MLA Janardhan Sharma, one of the chief patrons of Ranvir Sena and smashed the house of MLA and annihilated 6 sympathizers of Ranvir Sena on April 20, ’97. As the squads were retreating, the police force ambushed them near village karnpura (Palli, Patna) on April 22, ’97. Squads immediately retaliated and a small police party fled. Squads burnt down the police jeep. But on April 23rd ’97, police attacked the village Indo. The squad stationing there retreated after an encounter, but another squad which had taken a shelter nearby, came to rescue the Indo squad and was trapped in the encirclement. In this encounter at village Indo (Massourhi) 6 comrades of a guerilla squad were killed including Corn. Lalit (Commander) and Corn. Brind (Deputy Commander). In protest people burnt down the railway stations Nadma and Chakand.

Meanwhile as the attacks of Ranvir Sena began in magadh, especially Patna and Jehanabad district the police repression also intensified. Raids, illegal arrests, looting people’s properties, spoiling cereals, beating and abusing, and fake encounters became a routine. For 12 March ’97 incident, police arrested 4 members of peasant mass organisation including village secretary Rustom Javed from village Tali, Jehanabad and beat them severely. They beat Corn. Rustam Javed to death in police custody. It evoked massive mass resistance in the form Bandh, road blockades and protest demonstrations.

On the eve of Arwal day 19th April ’97, police in civil dress alongwith a notorious police agent Sriniwas of village Rampur (Karpi, Jehanabad), who is now, also, Jehanabad district leader of Ranvir Sena, attacked a torchlight procession at Imamganj Bazar. They shot corn. Pawan Nat, a local activist of mass organisation and in retaliation people immediately shot the driver of the police jeep (who was in fact the driver of Jehanabad S.P.). Mass meeting at Jehanabad, scheduled on .19th April, 97 was foiled and leaders were arrested and severely beaten. On 18 May ’97 police killed a sympathizer 6f PU in fake encounter at village Dadpur (Ghoshi, Jehanabad) after an encounter between guerilla squads and the raiding police in which a constable was killed and two policemen were injured. Again on 24 May ’97 CRP forces tried to encircle and kill a guerrilla squad at village Azad Beegha (Bela, Gaya) in which the later retreated after four hours of encounter.

The fresh repression campaign unleashed by the police encouraged the attacks of Ranvir Sena on the struggling people. At many places they called on their caste bretheren to foil the economic blockade imposed by struggling masses on selected landlords and reactionaries. To foment the caste sentiments, they even killed an innocent shopkeeper belonging to Bhumihar caste, Jitendra Singh of village Rampur (Karpi) on 15th August ’97 and on 16th blocked the Jehanabad-Arwal road accusing Naxalites behind this murder. Immediately PU came with posters denying the charges and declaring a memorial meeting. The plot was exposed very soon. Then they tried to mobilise their caste men from Bhojpur and other places to break economic blockade at Aiyara (Karpi). It also failed as the police intervened to save its own face.

Meanwhile Ranvir Sena increased their movement in squads in PU’s area. One such armed band of goons encountered a guerilla squad in the fields of village Ankuri (Pali) in which five of their gunmen were killed in Sept.’97.

Observing increased police and Ranvir Sena’s repression Party called on the rank and file and the people to resist the state and the reactionaries both by mobilising masses and also militarily. Against the police-Ranvir nexus a massive mass mobilisation was sought at Ara – the centre of Ranvir goons – on Nov.11 ’97 on the eve of November Revolution celebration programmes. Police of Magadh region and Bhojpur made all efforts to prevent the meeting. They held 55 vehicles full of demonstrators near Dulhin Bazar (Patna), more than 18 vehicles at Arwal (Jehanabad), 20 vehicles at Kinzar (Jehanabad) and many vehicles elsewhere. As people protested at Dulhin Bazar, heavy lathi charge ensued injuring many men and women activists of organisation and peasant masses. Even a two year child was not spared. mikes, banners and flags were seized and destroyed. People resorted to stone throwing. At Arwal few activists were detained. However, at Ara 1000 people gathered and demonstrated on the roads shouting slogans against the Ranvir Sena and the police. In the mass meeting, Ranvir goons hurled four bombs and two granades which fortunately didn’t explode because of wet land and some technical faults. Police during all these happening remained a mute spectator. Resisting police atrocities during the course of this programme guerilla squad exploded the parts of Arwal bloc (Jehanabad) on Nov. 13.

Party Unity in August, 97 gave a call to seize the arms of the police and the reactionaries. For three months it became the main task. During these three months in Magadh alone more than 50 arms were seized from the police and the reactionaries. The campaign includes the raid on the Bishunganj police picket (under Makhdampur P.S. of Jehanabad) on Oct. 8 ’97. The squads pasted a poster after the raid which reads “This raid has been carried out with a view to disarm the repressive police forces which imposed an undeclared ban on mass movements and has launched a campaign of encountering of revolutionaries, bulldozing houses of activists and sympathizers, illegal arrest of struggling peasants, looting and seizing of property of villagers in the name of attachment of property.”

Similar raids also took place in Koel-Kaimur region (that is Palamau, Garhwa, Rohtas, Bhabhua, South Aurangabad, Lohardagga and Gumla districts). After one such successful raid at Kandi (Majhiaon, Garhwa), second raid was attempted at Dabara (Lesliganj, Palamau) on Nov.28, ’97. In this raid senior RCM of Magadh Corn. Promod alias Umesh Yadav (34), who was also in-charge of Sainya Sanchalan Team (SST) of Magadh, and Com. Ranjit alias Prayag Ram (25), an ACM and Commander of one of the Bishrampur squads became martyrs.

Baffled by the defeats at the hands of CPI(ML)[PU], Ranvir Sena planned a big massacre in desperation. Their aim was to terrorise the masses by displaying more barbarity and brutality. They chose village Bathe (Arwal, 3ehanabad) at the bank of river Sone. In the night of Dec. 1,’97, the marauders attacked Batan Beegha tola of Bathe and killed 58 persons including 32 women, 14 children and 8 old men. In one of the most barbaric acts they raped at least three pregnant women and killed even the babies of one and half to three years. As a rehearsal of this diabolical design, they massacred 6 poor peasants and agricultural labourers of Orani Tola – Mangabeegha (Karpi, Jehanabad) on Nov.22, ’97. Bathe massacre evoked nation-wide reaction and the democratic and progressive forces protested the killing and the police-Ranvir nexus. Outside Bihar at Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and Punjab, several protest marches, meetings and seminar were organised. In Bihar revolutionary and democratic forces formed “People’s Campaign Against Bathe Massacre” which organised a number of mass protest programmes.

As was expected, police launched a repression campaign against the masses in the name of averting any possible retaliatory Naxalite move against the Sena. Bihar Govt. demanded 50 companies of para-military forces and was provided 45 companies immediately. The aim of the police combing were:

i) The sensitive area, that is the area where Ranvir leaders and patrons were in target, should be free from Communist guerilla squads.

ii) Creating terror among the people by implicating them in false cases, beating men and women, destroying houses and properties etc., so that they may not give shelter to guerilla squads.

iii) Preventing mass protest programmes to augment terror and prevent the spread of resistance.

Administration set up police pickets at the houses of targeted Ranvir gang leaders. They guarded Sone bank for several days to ensure that guerrillas may not cross Sone and reach Bhojpur in big numbers. In a planned manner the police forces harassed the middle peasants of Bhumihar caste and left the big-fishes untouched to foment the caste sentiment. Govt. also tried to project it as a caste struggle.

Almost each and every village of Jehanabad district and blocs of contiguous Patna district were raided. On Jan. 6 ’98 they raided 45 villages in a day in Makhdampur bloc in search of guerilla squads. At many places the police forces exchanged fire among themselves in terror and projected those as encounters with Naxalites. On Dec. 27, ’97 during such raid in an encounter at Kodhiara (Pali) two squad members Corn. Bhtali Mazhi (27) and Corn. Pappu (21) became martyrs. In retaliation of this incident Ranti bloc (Jehanabad) was blown. According to an estimate more than 500 people were arrested within two months.

As the crop season came nearer, district administration tried to form ‘Peace Committees’ in village Aiyara-Rampur. Party called upon the people to boycott such ‘Peace Committees’. People in this area had a bitter experience regarding such ‘Peace Committees’. During Kansara struggle also, district administration formed ‘Peace Committees’ and reactionaries then could caught and massacred four bidi labourers (in 1986) who were uncareful and unprepared. People at Rampur, Aiyara boycotted such peace committees as they were designed to sabotage economic blockade. But a few agricultural labourers couldn’t understand the intrigue and believed the reactionaries. At Rampur the reactionaries called on three agricultural labourers to work in their field on July 25th ’98. As they were already in the ‘peace committee’ they believed the reactionaries. While working in the field, they were shot by the Ranvir goons.

Nov. 8 ’98; incident was a retaliatory action against this killing of three innocent agricultural labourers whose only fault was that they believed their enemies.

Ranvir Sena is the most organised and brute reactionary armed force which has been made during revolutionary resistance struggle. It is different from the earlier private armies like Bhoomi Sena, Sunlight Sena, Lorik Sena, Kisan Sangh etc. Some features of the Sena can be observed thus:

i) Sena’s grip on bureaucrats is much more than its predecessors. Not only a section of upper caste retired police officers and bureaucrats but also a good section of present bureaucrats and police officers are their sympathizers. Their caste men in various political parties are their patrons. BJP especially played an active role in organising and defending Ranvir Sena.

ii) They are better organised militarily and their gunmen are paid stipends.

iii) They begin their organisation secretly and even their second rank leadership and main hit-men don’t live in the countryside generally. They prefer dens in the towns and came to village when any operation is planned.

iv) Their main form of attack and the means to create terror is massacre. No private army adopted massacre as its primary form of oppression.

v) It is politically more matured as it is trying to pose the whole revolutionary movement as the struggle between the agricultural labourers and owner peasants. It has organised an open front in the name of ‘Rastravadi Kisan Mahasnagha’.

CPI(ML)[People’s War] (which has been formed after the merger of erstwhile CPI(ML) [People’s War] and erstwhile CPI(ML)[Party Unity]) has called upon the people to smash Ranvir Sena politically, militarily and economically. The Party has reaffirmed its conviction in the correctness of the twin tactics of selected enemies may include village level secretaries, presidents and active members of Ranvir Sena. It is necessary to expose the political leaders and parties who patronise the Sena and also bring them under attack when opportunity comes. The party has also taken measures to arm people who can defend themselves against possible Sena attacks. Party has called upon the people to expose police-Ranvir Sena nexus and attack this whenever they get chance. There is one argument which comes naturally after a massacre from the ranks and the people that this massacre should be answered by a similar massacre by the revolutionary forces. But this is a deviation. If the revolutionaries adopt this policy, they’ll not be able to polarise and isolate those ordinary owner peasants who have gone over to other side in the name of caste. It is basically because of this correct tactics of handling other private armies and also Raijvir Sena, that the CPI(ML)[PW] has able to prevent this struggle from degenerating into caste struggle. This is perceively why the Ranvir Sena has not been able to corner the support of the majority of their own cast men. But again in dealing with such caste armies one must understand the caste-class complexity in Bihar society. An ordinary owner peasant of upper caste is in socially dominant position and he may be very much interested in maintaining the existing social order. So, in such a situation he may take active part in ‘killing-spree’ of Sena. The revolutionary forces must take the’ steps carefully in such complex situation where caste and class are interpenetrating. The struggle against the Ranvir Sena or any other landlord’s armies is not just for better wages or gair-mazurua land, nor it is a caste struggle. It is a struggle between the two opposing forces in the countryside – the landlords and feudal reactionaries on one hand and the toiling masses on the other. It is a struggle for political, social and economical authority in the rural areas, launched by the agricultural labourers and poor and middle peasants. Unless and until the feudal authority is completely smashed and people’s authority is established, private armies, in one form or other, will continue to emerge.

As the armed resistance struggle is becoming stronger day by day, police repression is also intensifying. Police combing is being carried on with more intensity and bruteness. On Sept. 8 ’98 almost 500 police encircled a guerilla squad at village Bara (Karpi, Jehandbad). The encirclement had a radius of 3 Km. After a long encounter the squad retreated safely. Similarly at Pipardanha (Pali) on Oct. 8 ’98, the guerrillas successfully broke and came out of a similar encirclement. In a recent spurt of repression beginnings from Rampur incident and the annihilation of a Sub-inspector at Bhagwanganj (Massourhi, Patna), more than 50 sympathizers and activists of MKSP and PW were arrested. During raids the para-military forces are not sparing even the pedestrian and old persons. Mass programmes are banned in an undeclared manner. Meanwhile, in another daring action armed squads of PW blew the house of Kisan Sangh President Ram Dayal Yadav on August 20, ’98 and annihilated him along with his three henchmen. In another land struggle at Pathra (Wazirganj, Gaya) two comrades Pankaj alias Arun (Commander) and Prem alias Arun (Squad member) became martyrs.

Braving police repression and the onslaught of Ranvir Sena, CPI(ML)[People’s War] is, on the one hand, mobilising larger sections of peasantry on the question of land, agricultural development and against the imperialist exploitation in agriculture and trying to launch massive mass movements on these issues and, on the other hand, is strengthening the subjective forces, i.e., the party, the armed squads and various mass organisations to take on the state and the reactionary forces.

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Ranveer Sena goons training children in using fire arms in gunda raj Bihar.

Posted by Indian Vanguard on August 8, 2007

Ranvir sena is a private army of upper-caste landowners and is known to be operating in central Bihar.

Sena came into existence primarily to counter the influence of various Maoist/ Naxalite, parties in central Bihar. It was founded in September 1994 in Belaur village of Udwantnagar block, Bhojpur district following the merger of private caste armies like Savarna Liberation Army and the Sunlight Sena.

The forerunners to the Ranvir Sena in Bhojpur district were the Brahmarshi Sena and Kuer Sena, Kisan Morcha and Ganga Sena.This group is responsible for the murder of hundreds of people.

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