Bhojpur incident result of land dispute between locals, Nut community; woman targeted under plan: AIPWA
The All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) alleged on Tuesday that the woman who was paraded naked by irate locals following the death of a teenager in Bihiya in Bihar’s Bhojpur district on Monday belonged to the Nut community and was targeted under a land-grab plan.
An AIPWA team that visited Bihiya to meet the victim claimed land dispute between locals and the Nuts, who are accused of running brothels in their locality, Dafali, had fuelled the mob attack.
Around 20 Nut families have been living in the locality for several decades. But people in the neighbourhood had been trying to drive them away to usurp their land, the AIPWA alleged.
Locals who paraded the woman naked had accused her of running a sex racket and killing Bimlesh Kumar of Damodarpur village. Bimlesh’s body was found on railway track near the Nuts’ locality on Monday. A day before he was found dead, Bimlesh was seen with the woman in a video.
Locals had a long standing grudge against the Nats for running the brothels.
“Dafali is a small settlement of Nuts. Several Nut families have been living here since decades. But the locals didn’t want them here and the mysterious death of the teenager near their settlement provided them the opportunity to drive the woman and others of her community to leave the place,” said AIPWA national general secretary Meena Tiwari.
Bimlesh’s father and elder brother were in Rajasthan when the murder took place. Bimlesh’s sister’s death due to shock added more fuel to the locals’ fury.
Anita, another team member of the AIPWA said the role of local police was dubious in the entire episode. For almost four hours, the teenager’s body was left lying along the railway track. “While the railway police claimed the case was under the jurisdiction of the Bihiya police, the latter kept repeating that railway police would handle the case. By then locals had started gathering and vented their ire on the Nuts,” she said, asserting that the incident could have been easily avoided.
Criticising the incident, former state women commission member, Savita Natraj said the way the crowd reacted to the incident indicated that they were hell bent to drive away the Nuts from the area. “The crowd ransacked their homes, burnt their shops and also thrashed other women in the locality,” she said.
Eight policemen were suspended on Wednesday for dereliction of duty.
The ruling JD (U) said it the mob attack handiwork of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) as a local RJD leader was among the 17 people arrested so far their role in the attack on the woman. The RJD insists that the arrested individual is not associated with the party.
The woman who was admitted to a hospital in Ara was later shifted to a shelter home in the same town.