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Case against neta who termed Ranvir Sena chief a Gandhian

By M I Khan
June 08, 2012 15:20 IST
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A case was filed on Friday against Bihar's Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh for calling slain Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh alias Mukhiya a Gandhian.

Brahmeshwar Singh dubbed as the 'Butcher of Bihar' faced life imprisonment in several cases for killing the lower caste landless poor, including in Laxmanpur Bathe where 61 Dalits were massacred in December, 1996. He was acquitted and released from jail in April this year. 

Mukesh Kumar, a leader of Bihar Nav Nirmal Manch, has filed a case against Giriraj Singh in the civil court in Bhagalpur district. Kumar said that court has fixed June 26 for hearing the case.

"I have filed a case against Giriraj Singh for defaming Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, by calling slain Ranvir Sena chief as a follower of Gandhi," Kumar said.

Griraj Singh, who is also a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, repeatedly claimed that slain Ranvir Sena chief was a Gandhian thinker and a farmer leader, who had faith in peace and social harmony. "Brahameshwar Mukhiya visudh rup se Gandhiwadi vichardhara ke the," he had said in chaste Hindi.

Griraj Singh, a vocal supporter of Hindutva and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, also blamed the opposition for large-scale
violence and arson across Bihar after Mukhiya's murder.

The chief was shot dead by six unidentified gunmen who pumped several bullets into him while he was taking an early morning walk.

The Ranvir Sena was formed in 1994 in Belaur village of Udwantnagar block in Bhojpur district by Mukhiya, former head of Khopira panchayat.  It was dominated by upper caste Bhumihars.

Its victims were usually landless labourers and peasants. The Sena said it was committed to protecting the rights of farmers, and was avenging the murders of members of the upper caste, often landowners, who were killed by the Naxals during insurgency in Bihar in the 1980s and 90s. 

The Sena's deadliest strike was in the Lakshmanpur Bathe area in 1997, in which 58 Dalits were killed. In 1999, the Sena massacred 24 Dalit men, women and children in Shankarbigha village of Jehanabad district.

Mukhiya was arrested in 2002 from Patna for the murders of 21 Dalits in a village in Bhojpur in 1996. He spent nine years in jail. He was released on bail in 2011.

In April this year, the Patna high court ruled that the prosecution had not been able to prove its case against him and others accused of the massacre.

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