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Brutal kllings of ten Nats -Dalits in Bihar-NCDHR on a fact finding mission

by udaya — last modified 2009-04-06 14:24

Demanding Justice to the 10 Nats – Dalit Victims who have been massacred on 13th Sept 07 in Dhelpruva Village of Vaishali District by uppercaste people.

Atrocity inflicted 

 

Ten Nats-Dalits were brutally lynched to death by Dominant Caste people at Dhelpurwa village near Hajipur in Vaishali District of Bihar alleging them as thieves. The incident took place on 13th September when the uppercastes attacked 11 of the Nats and killed all ten of them. Nats falls under the SC Category in Bihar state. The single one survived was admitted in Patna Medical College Hospital with serious injuries. The victims were identified as residents of Tajpur block of neighboring Samastipur District.  This horrible news was carried by all Local and National Dailies and TV Channels.

 

 National campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), a larger Coalition of Dalit organizations, Human Right Activists and Academics determined to address the issue of Dalits with a Human Rights perspective to protect and promote the Dalit Human Rights in this country, with the slogan “Caste out Caste”, was shocked by the heinous crime committed on the Nats. 

The National Commission for De notified Tribes and Nomadic Tribes and Semi Nomadic Tribes visited the place of incident and issued a Press Release condemning the killings and the inaction of the Government.

The moment we came to know  about the gruesome incident committed on Dalits NCDHR formed a Fact Finding Mission  led by its General Secretary.

The team visited the place, met the people, officials and brought out its Observations and Recommendations on the issue.

 

NCDHR demands the Government of Bihar to initiate Legal Action against the offenders and extent Justice to the Victims who lost their lives.

 

While giving below the FF Report of this Team, we urge you to initiate appropriate action to punish the Perpetrators and render Justice to the Victims who lost their lives.

 

Major  Legal Gaps 

 

           HORRIBLE Atrocity on Dalits – 10 NATS LYNCHED TO DEATH  on 13th September 07

           SC/ST (PoA) 1989 was NOT Invoked in FIR !

           NO serious effort was made to Trace the families of the Deceased who ran away from the village  fearing further attack from the same offenders!

           NO Compensation whatsoever was provided to the bereaved family Members as laid down under  the SC/ST (POA) Rules 1995

           NO one is arrested even after 10 full days of the gruesome  Murders  in the name of Vigilant  Justice

           No “Rule of Law”  is prevailing in  Bihar to protect the Lives of Dalits.

           NO ARREST OF ANY OFFCIAL under sec. 4 of the SC/ST (PoA) 1989 WHO FAILED TO PROTECT THE LIVES OF DALITS.

           Insensitivity of the Rulers towards Dalits led to this kind of a massacre but  enjoy IMPUNITY

           Selective silence of Civil Society which not raising its voice against this Atrocity committed on Dalits is abominable.

           An Appeal to all Dalit Organisations, Movements and Civil Society to come together to condemn this barbarous killings of Nats and to formulate a common strategy to ensure  JUSTICE TO VICTIMS.

 

 

The Team first went through the news carried by the media and also had access to the Preliminary Report issued to the Press by the National Commission for De notified Tribes and Nomadic Tribes and Semi Nomadic Tribes after its visit

The Fact Finding mission met the following officials:

 

Dr. A.K. Jha- Residential Surgical Officer, Mr. R.A. Sayyadin Station Master-Sarai Railway Station, Mrs. Ur Parmeela  -Village Head ( Mukhiya) South Raja Pakar, Mr. Raghuvir Prasad- S.H.O. Raja Pakad, Ms. Vibha Kumari -S.H.O. Raja Pakad (Suspended),  Dr. Pratima I.A.S- District Magistrate Vaishali Dist, Mr.Paras Nath-Superintendent of Police Vaishali Dist.

 

 

The Team visited Sarai – Opposite to the Railway Station - where the Lynched Dalits lived along with their families –  and also  Dhelpurwa,  where they were killed by a mob.

 

Major Observations:

 

           This murders were alleged to have been   committed at 4.40 am on the 13th and that around 5000 people chased and attacked the victims

           The local police of Rajapakad Police Station claimed that they completed their Night  Patroling by 4 am,  and it is  surprising that how it was  possible for 5000 persons to assemble within 40 minutes  where the Patrolling was there just before a few minutes

           It is unbelievable that the villagers living in scattered over the vast farms have assembled at the wee hours to chase these Victims.

           One of the villagers whom the Team met said that there was an Over night Dance Program and these 11 victims must have been there to watch it and slept on the same place for few  hours  as it was already midnight and would have left for their houses  which is 10 km away from this village at  around 4.30am .

           Another version  is that the Victims had an altercation with an  Auto Rickshaw Driver who demanded higher fare to drop them at their  residence, the provoked auto driver  just yelled out  “ Thieves”,  “ Thieves” and many slept near by came running.

           It is also said that there was a heated argument between the Auto Driver and the victims and the villagers gathered joining the part of the driver. The crowd attacked the victims and one fell dead and the mob decided to kill others also as they were eyewitnesses.

           It is a mystery how it came that the Local Police Personnel never heard the  voice of 5000 people and came to the spot only at around 5.45 am from the station just half kilometer away . 

           It is also surprising how the Local Panchayat President who visited the  spot at  9 am was  kept  ignorant of  all these .She lives just 2 kms from the place.

           While there was no complaint of theft with the police, it has to be believed that the gold ornaments produced by the mob before the police claiming that they recovered it from the bodies of the victims didn’t hold water. They must have cooked up the story to prove that the victims were thieves.

           It is more surprising that most of the persons, except one or two the Team met  hold the opinion that the victims  were “thieves”. Even though  5000 people are  involved  in  the  issue no one knows who attacked the hapless victims. 

           It is also surprising how Officials and Media confirmed, carried and propagated an impression that the Victims were “thieves” when there were no evidences to prove it and there were no criminal record pending on the  victims in the police station and no complaints were made against them.  

           It was shocking that how the bodies were cremated purposely without following  the Rules and Regulations when it comes to unclaimed bodies by the Administration and Police. 

           It is still more shocking that a case was registered under Crime Number 138/2007 under sections 147, 148, 302, 307 and 358, and no one was arrested till the date. But a case was registered against the surviving victim under Crime Number 139 / 2007 under sections 457, 380 and was arrested. He was discharged from the hospital on 18th September and sent to Judicial Custody for stealing of gold ear rings. It should also be remembered that no complaint was with the police pertaining to loss of gold ornaments.

           Although it  is  well known that the victims were Tribes living in a distance of ten kilometers , it is surprising that this case No: 138/2007 did not evoke sections  3(1) (x), (xv), & 3(2) (i), (v) of  SC/ ST (POA) ACT 1989

           It is abominable that the District Administration even after 10 days claiming that they were not able to trace out the families of the deceased.

           It was highly disturbing that No effort was made by the District Administration  to trace out the Families and  offer  the  Relief and Rehabilitative measures  stipulated  under SC/ST (POA) Rules 1995

           No action whatsoever was initiated against the Village Panchayat President who simply sat quite as if it was a very ordinary incident while the lives of 10 Human Beings were brutally taken away by some miscreants.

           No penal Action against  the erring Police and Administration Officials was initiated under section 4 of the SC/ST (POA) 1989 except the DM and the SP were transferred and  4 other  lower level officials were suspended.

           This sort of inaction and the lethargic attitude of Police and the Administration will give a free hand to the Non Dalits to Harass and Kill the Dalits as it is granted that  they would be left scot free.

           The Indian Police and Administration capable enough to nab even Terrorists and Militants within hours of incident, were not even able to identify the dependents of  the victims or  to  arrest the Culprits.

           The CM and the Ministers failed to instigate the Criminal Justice Administrative System to do its responsibility except a meeting of Officials.

           The impunity being enjoyed both by the Non Dalits and the Bureaucrats   was not checked and cracked by the Political Rulers of the State.

           It appears that there is no Political or Administrative will to render justice to the Victims.

           No where in the Legal Jurisprudence “Vigilance Justice” was allowed in our country where  Rule of Law  alone reigns.   

 

 

 

Recommendations: 

 

We strongly condemn the massacre of  Dalits by the dominant Caste in Vaishali district. It  only reaffirms the total failure of the Criminal Justice Administrative System and Justice Delivery Mechanism in the state in protecting the lives of Dalits and Arresting the Culprits.

 

We recommend the following:

 

1.         Invoke  sections  3(1) (x), (xv), & 3(2) (i), (v) of  SC/ ST (POA) ACT 1989 in the FIR registered  under Crime No: 138/2007

2.         Arrest the Offenders immediately and bring them under the purview of Legal Proceedings.

3.         Provide adequate protection to the lone survivor – Ranjeet Kureri -  the offenders may  try to eliminate him to destroy evidence. 

4.         The District Administration should immediately trace out the Bereaved Families of the deceased and give Protection to them as well.

5.         Provide compensation to all families of the victims immediately as specified under SC/ST (PoA) Rules 1995.

6.         Ensure Relief and Rehabilitation package to the Families of the victims who lost their lives. 

7.         To ensure no more attacks on Dalits  Identify and Declare  Atrocities Prone Areas as laid down under SC/ST (POA) Act 1989

8.         Initiate Legal action against the Transferred and Suspended officials u/s 4 of the SC/ST (POA) 1989 for their negligence of duty - not protecting the lives and properties of Dalits.

9.         Initiate Legal action against newly appointed officials both the DM and the SP as well,   u/s 4 of the SC/ST (POA) 1989 for their negligence of duty,  by not arresting the perpetrators of this brutal atrocity on Dalits and also Not  be able to trace out the Families of the deceased to provide protection and compensation..

10.       Ensure that the Terms of references of the Enquiry Ordered by the Government should also include the role of the Local Panchayat Leader and also all other Officials of the CJA system whose timely intervention would have saved the lives of Dalits.

11.       Call for a meeting of State Level Monitoring and Vigilance Committee under the Chairmanship of  the Chief Minister as laid down under the SC/ST (PoA) 1989 and Rules 1995

12.       Ensure that the District Level Monitoring Committee functions promptly under SC/ST (PoA) 1989

13.       Attach the Properties of those who involved in this murder under SC/ST (PoA) 1989

14.       Excommunicate the Habitual Attackers on Dalits as laid down under the SC/ST (PoA) Act 1989

15.       Initiate Action to impose “Collective Fine” as laid down under SC/ST (PoA) 1989 on the entire Villagers who committed this murder collectively – as they  themselves claim -  and also remained as  silent  witnesses to the killings

16.       Provide TA / DA to the Witnesses of this case to appear before the Officials during investigation and also before the Court for Trial

17.       Provide Legal Assistance to the Victims to have the Lawyer of their choice to appear for this case in the Special Court, as laid down in the SC/ST (PoA) 1989 and Rules 1995

18.       Provide Arms License to the Dalits as laid down under SC/ST (PoA) 1989 and Rules 1995 to protect themselves from the continued atrocities of Non Dalits

19.       “Crack Impunity” being enjoyed both by the Non Dalits and Officials of the Criminal Justice Administrative system  in cases of  attack against Dalits

20.       Declare that there is no justification to kill any one in the name of

”Vigilance Justice” , as there is no space for such crude and illegal measures in the Rule of Law.

 

J. VINCENT MANOHARAN

GENERAL SECRETARY – LEADER OF THE FF TEAM.

22.09.07

 

 

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