Laxmanpur-Bathe Massacre of 61 Dalits, Dec. 2, 1997 by Brahmin Terrorists of the Ranvir Sena

In a series of bloody and cruel displays of ferocious Hindu fundamentalism, fanatic Brahmin terrorists killed at least 61 innocent civilians on December 2, 1997. More than 100 heavily armed Brahmin terrorists, belonging to the Hindutva militia group known as the Ranvir Sena, secretly entered two Dalit villages in Jehanabad district and embarked upon a savage display of Hindu fanaticism. Police officials stated that the Brahmin terrorists had killed 16 children, 27 women and 18 men. Some of the unarmed Dalits were shot in cold blood, whilst others were hacked to death by the cowardly Brahmin terrorists. Such was the bigotry displayed by these Vedic Brahmins that even pregnant women were mercilessly butchered. Official sources revealed that 8 of the 33 unarmed women killed by the Brahmin savages were pregnant. Following their cruel act, the Brahmins then fled by boat, later killing the boatman. These clashes are in continuation of the Vedic Arya-Sudra race wars, which started when barbaric Aryans annihilated the Indigenous Dravidian Indus Valley Civilization in ca. 1500 BC. The Ranvir Sena Brahmins have repeatedly called for the ethnic cleansing of Dalits, or Black Untouchables, from all of Bihar.

`61 massacred in Bihar as Ranvir Sena goes on killing spree'

by Surendra Kishore
Indian Express
Wednesday, December 03 1997

LAKSHMANPUR-BATH, JEHANABAD, Dec 2:
Sixty-one residents of this village, most of them landless Dalits, were massacred by the Ranvir Sena, a private army of upper-caste landowners, late last night. Police said that 100 armed Sena activists crossed the Sone canal and slipped into the village at around 10 pm. Then they barged into 14 houses and killed the occupants, including women and children, one by one. The toll in the end was: 16 children, 27 women and 18 men. While most were shot, several were hacked to death. This is the worst carnage involving Naxalites in the recent history of land-related violence in the state. In 1987, activists of the Maoist Coordination Centre had killed 52 upper-caste villagers in Aurangabad's Dalelchak-Baghora village.

Yesterday's massacre ended at 1 am and the attackers escaped under the cover of darkness in two boats. They later shot the boatmen, police said.

Most of the victims -- of all age groups -- belonged to families of CP(M-L) (Liberation) sympathisers.

This Naxalite group has for long been leading the agitation against upper-caste landlords demanding better wages and more equitable land distribution. Police say that among those killed were also some members of the CPI(M-L) (Party Unity), a rival Naxalite faction which has been fighting a bitter turf battle with Liberation.

Police said the assailants were from nearby Sahar block of Bhojpur district.One has to walk 3 km to reach this village, there's no electricity, no pucca road. Today, it was shock and anger, more than grief, that was evident with several villagers saying that a retaliatory attack couldn't be ruled out. Akhilendra Prasad Singh, SHO of the local Mehadiya police station, said he got to know of the incident at 7 am. DGP S K Saxena asked local policemen to explain why they hadn't reacted when they heard the gunshots.

However, Saxena later told reporters that the police station wasn't well-equipped and there weren't enough personnel. ``That's why we couldn't prevent this,'' he said.

Angry villagers did not allow the police to take the bodies away despite repeated requests from DGP Saxena and CPI (ML) MLA Rameshwar Prasad. They insisted that Chief Minister Rabri Devi visit the village. Recently, the CPI-ML had blasted the neighbouring Arwal police station. The scene of last night's massacre, barely a kilometre away, has for long witnessed a conflict between the Dalits and the Rajput, Bhumihar communities over land and daily wages.

The CPI(M-L) is caught in a two-pronged conflict in the region where it is up against both the Ranvir Sena and the MCC. The conflict between the two Leftist groups led to the killing of eight Liberation supporters at Kharasin village on September 2 and two on October 4 at Sao village.

This time, however, the immediate reason for the massacre seems to be a tussle between the landowners and landless farmers over a piece of government land. The landowners had forcibly captured the land and were cultivating it and the labourers were against it. State RJD chief Uday Narayan Choudhary claimed that while the government was of the poor, the administration was still dominated by upper-castes. ``These officers don't have a pro-poor attitude,'' he said.

State Chief Secretary B P Verma, has sought 35 companies of para-military forces . The Centre has sent one CRPF battalion to the village. New CRPF chief M K Sabbharwal is to visit the massacre site tomorrow. Chief Minister Rabri Devi has announced the formation of a special investigating team to probe the incident and a special court for speedy trial. The Chief Minister said the killings were designed to defame her government. ``The Ranvir Sena enjoys patronage of a particular political party,'' she said. Seventeen Opposition parties, including the Janata Dal, CPI, CPI-M, CPI-ML and Samajwadi Party, have called for a state-wide bandh on December 5 to demand the resignation of the Chief Minister.



AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

" At least 250 men of the Ranbeer Sena, a private army set up by predominately upper caste landlords, crossed from Bhojpur into neighbouring Jehanabad district across the River Sone and entered two hamlets of Bathe Lakshmanpur village on the night of 1 December. During the next two hours, they slit the throats of five fishermen and then shot dead at least 56 people, many of whom were in their beds. Most of the victims were the families of agricultural labourers from low caste and dalit communities, suspected to have links with left wing Maoist groups active in the state. Eight of the 33 women who were killed were pregnant. Sixteen children were killed."

Amnesty International Press Release ASA 20/48/97, 3 Dec. 1997.


Human Rights Watch World Report 1999

" In Bihar, the Ranvir Sena, a private militia controlled by high-casteandlords, was responsible for murdering at least fifty-eight people on December 1, 1997. During the attack, five teenage girls were raped and mutilated before being shot in the chest. Local policestablished a camp in the village after the massacre, but situated it in the higher-caste landlord neighborhood, strengthening suspicions about police tolerance of Ranvir Sena activities. No one responsible for the rapes or murders was arrested. "



" In December 1997, 61 people were done to death by the Ranvir Sena in Laxman Bathe. Earlier, the Sena had killed 19 Dalits in Bathani Tola in July 1996. "

Times of India Jan 28, 1999


INDIA CURRENT AFFAIRS

" Ranvir Sena massacres 61 Jehanabad : In what seems to be a retaliatory attack, 300 armed thugs of the banned Ranvir Sena, a private militia of upper caste landlords, slaughtered at least 61 people, mostly Dalits, at Laksmanpur village in Jehanabad district on Monday night, said official sources.

The immediate reason for the massacre is said to be a tussle between upper caste landowners and the landless farmers of the area over a piece of government land. The landowners, said to be sympathisers of the Ranvir Sena, had forcibly captured the land and were tilling it despite the villagers objections."

India Current Affairs, December 03 1997

-- Sohan Banwar,
Dalitstan Journal,
Volume 1, Issue 2 (Oct. 1999)


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