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Outside the news: killings in Forbesganj

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Forbesganj police brutality Forbesganj police brutality Forbesganj police brutality

Police fired on unarmed villagers in Bhajanpur village of Bihar (near Forbesganj), killing four, including a pregnant woman and a six-month old child. The dispute was over land acquired by the government for a factory owned by Saurav Agrawal, son of BJP MLC Ashok Agrawal. This happened on June 3, whereas the earliest records found by Google seem to date from June 20. A policeman was photographed kicking people injured from the firing. One of these victims later died. One report alleges that the factory owner joined the police in opening fire.

Here is an account by Rediff:

The police had opened fire on villagers when they brought down a wall on government-acquired land, which the villagers claimed was blocking the connecting road between two villages. The police fired indiscriminately, killing four, including a seven-month-old, and a pregnant woman.

Tired of knocking all the doors available to them in their state, the residents of Forbesganj, who lost their kin in an unprecedented police firing on June 3, have reached the capital. The 45-minute-long police action claimed four lives, including a pregnant woman and a seven-month-old baby. The parents and relatives of the four deceased arrived in the Capital last week, and have met Sonia Gandhi, the National Human Rights Commission and the Minority Commission.

Despite the brutality, the incident found its way into the news days after it took place. So far, only one government officer has visited the site to talk to the aggrieved residents — Wajahat Habibullah, chairperson, National Commission for Minorities –18 days after the incident was reported. KJ Balakrishnan, chairperson, NHRC, has so far only announced that a team will be sent to Forbesganj, despite the blatant human rights violation in the case.

IE has a clearer report:

Four Muslims, including a pregnant woman and a seven-month-old child, were killed in police firing on people protesting blocking of a road due to the construction of a the boundary wall of a factory at Bhajanpur village of Forbesganj in Araria.

The factory is co-owned by Saurav Agrawal, son of BJP MLC Ashok Agrawal.

On Tuesday, the Commission ruled that the incident could have been “easily averted had the district administration initiated a dialogue with Bhajanpur villagers for an alternate road”.

On June 22 TOI reported:

Government has ordered speedy trial of the home guard jawan, Sunil Kumar Yadav, who was caught on camera stomping on an injured person who had sustained bullet injury in police firing, and later died, in Forbesganj on June 3.

DGP Neelmani said on Wednesday that Yadav, who had been deputed as driver of the fire brigade vehicle, had been arrested on June 4 and a case lodged against him under Section 302 of the IPC. While he is in jail, a charge sheet was submitted against him on last Monday. “The case will be put on speedy trial,” the DGP said.

TOI reported on June 23:

Chief minister Nitish Kumar said here on Wednesday that those found guilty of the firing incident at Forbesganj by the judicial inquiry ordered into the incident would ” in no case go unpunished”. Four persons were killed in the firing. The CM, addressing huge election rallies in Majheli village and Purnia, said that the Patna High Court (HC) Chief Justice has already nominated a High Court judge who will preside over the judicial inquiry, and a notification for the judicial inquiry will be issued in a day or two.

IBN Live makes the point that public property is being privatized under the thin guise of development and protesters are killed or beaten up. This story is being repeated across India by all governments.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

June 23, 2011 at 4:51 am

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