Saturday, May 06, 2006

Feudal-police nexus against land right of Dalit

Almost 15 years ago, UP government declared 12 Bigha of agricultural land of Ramden Pandey under ceiling for 2 years that land remained uncultivated but after that landless Dalit of that village started cultivation on that land. But after 3 years of continuous cultivation Ramdev Pandey with the help of other pendal lords stoped them from cultivation for less 10 years the land remained uncultivated. On 5 Nov. 05 Ramdev Pandey with the help of his relatives most of them taken from Bihar, who were nearly 50 in numbers taking in tractors raided to take possession over the disputed land. Dalits protested the attack of feudal lords, at this initially feudal lords threatened than by making firing in the air. But when Dalit did not agree to give the possession of the land then feudal lords fired on Dalits in which Triloki (30 years) and Gujratin (45 years) were shot dead at spot and housala (25 years) Dasharth (40 years) Rampati (55 years) Rambachan (40 years) Kumari (20 years) Fula Devi (40 years) Gurudev (16 years) manoj (18 years) Dukhanti (40 years) Durga (40 years) Shravan Kumar (20 years) Pardesi (25 years) Ramsahare (10 years) Sachchidanand (20 years) Nihor (15 years) became seriously injured as result of in discrimate firing made by feudal lords. All injured persons were admitted in Kabir Chaura Hospital, Varanasi. Bhanupratap Pandey son-in-law of son of Ramdev pandey a resident of village Ailagen PS- Chand dist Kamur also shot dead by firing made by his own people. Meanwhile other people of the village gathered there and began to throw stones on them.
Sheela Devi- The feudal lords attacked with gun and my sister-in-law Gunja was shot dead she was a wider to body is there to look after her children.
Statement of injured person- Ramsahere (10 years) Pandey’s men fired on us. We are protesting peacefully sitting in the way.
Pardesi (25 years)- We has informed to police on phone before Pandey’s men set out from his home. If police would have been acted timely they would he able to arrest the Pandey’s men and they the his incidents could be avoided.
Kumari (40 Years)- It the land belonged to him them why be had been not cultivating the land for last 45 years. Radev is a Gunda. He wants to kill us. Police do not hear us. They help Ramdev.
Housala 18 years- There is a case pending in the court. Ramdev gave money to police. Police reached to the place after 3 hours.
Durga (40 years)- Ramdev wants to get possession over the disputed land, which falls under ceiling. Administration is co-oprating with him.
R.P. Azad- We got information of the incident from police station. After getting information I reached to the place along with circle officer. Untill then incidence had taken place. We reached late because we find information late.
Akhilendra Pratap- It is attacked of feudal lords. Shahpur incidence is nothing but one sided attack of armed feudal lords on poor land less Dalits. It is a Part of preplanned conspiracy in which not only feudal lords of Bihar and police administration also gave their support. This attack is burning example of collusion between administration and feudal lords. Feudal lords of Bihar and their organizations like Sri Ram sena also played an important role in this attack.
Note: Both sides related to this attack have lodged FIRs against each others, but first FIR lodged by Dalit people under Crime No.:100/2005 under sections 147,148,149,302,307,504,506 IPC and 3(2) Five SC/ST Act Daed:5 Noveber,2005 Time:12:45 PM and upper caste hindus lodged FIR under Crime no: 100 A/05 under section 147,148,149,302,504,506,435,427,336 IPC dated:5 Nov. 2005,Time:1:30PM.
Incident took place at 11 AM on 5 Nov. 2005 at village shahpur.

Everybody from both sides named in FIRs has been bailed out. But tensions still remains their between Dalits and feudals. Dalit people are living under fear due to continuous threatening from feudal lords.

Statement of Dalit witness named Rajesh S/o Chauthiram aged about 22 Yrs. My name is Rajesh. I am 22 years old. Earlier my father was village head and he has been fighting a case for last 15 Years against Ram Dev Pandey. Disputed land comes under ceiling and the same was given to Dalits of this village. Lower court had given their decision in our favour. Then Ram Dev Pandey filed a case in commissioner’s court of varanasi and on the basis of a false judgment with collusion of SDM Chakia wanted to take possession of the disputed land. On 5-11-05 Ram Dev Pandey with their armed men, who were 35 to 40 in numbers and most of them were taken from Bihar attacked on Dalit community. Ramdev Pandey and his men were firing continuously aiming Dalits. We were empty handed. We tried to stop them. But they were firing indiscriminately, due to which a man and a woman died on spot and 15 others became injured. Brother in-law of son of Ramdev Pandey, who was from Bihar was trying to hit the Dalits by throwing stones, was also shot dead by the firing of their own men. On this unexpected happening, they became embarrassed and in hurry they took away the victim on a tractor, leaving their other tractors behind. After 3 hours police came at the place. If the police had come within time, this incident would have not taken place.
My name is Kumari Devi. I am a 35 years old Dalit woman. My husband name was triloki. My mother- in- law and father- in-law are no more. They have died 5-6 years ago. I have three children. Kumari Reena 12 years old, Kumari Savita 5 years old and Kumari Sarita 3 years old. There all three girls are minor. My village is shahpur Ps. Chakia Block Sahabganj post Saidpur dist Chanduali. My husband Triloki and I myself were earning our livelihood by working as labourers and we were living peacefully. We had no enmity with others. For 10-15 years before there has been a parti(uncultivated land) land which is almost 12 Bigha. According to the people this land falls under ceiling, on which my husband and other dalit families of my village have been fighting a case in the court by collecting donations among our Dalit community. I and other Dalits have no land. All are landless. We work as labourers in the agricultural fields of upper caste Brahmins who(each of them) have at least 50 to 200 Bigha lands. The disputed land is associated with us and has been parti(uncultivated). So we submitted an application to the government, hoping that probably we could get some lands to use as Abadi(residential land) land. When the case started then Ramdev Pandey who is a resident of neighboring village Oosari also became a party in the said case and declared that that land belonged to his ancestors. After a long time, court gave decision in our favour. After that Ramdev Pandey filed a case in commissioner’s court, Varanasi and on the basis of a false judgment and with collusion of government officials, Pandey wanted to take possession over the land.
This incident took place at 10.30 AM on 5Nov2005. We were sitting at our doors. All of sudden we heard sounds of several Tractors coming from the house of Ramdev Pandey and near about 50 men making firing led by Ramdev Pandey and his son’s Ramakant, Diwakant, Rajneesh and Bhanupratap pandey who was brother-in-law of one of R%amdev pandey’s sons. They were abusing and giving threatening. They were shouting; sale Chamaran Ko aj Aukat pata chal Jayega ( that today these Dalits will be treated brutally).They were provoking ‘come on and stop us, we Challenge you today. we will take possession over the land by ploughing it’. Hearing their shouting, there were fearful situation in Dalit community. I with my husband Triloki and with other Dalit people reached to the Chakroad near by the disputed land and tried to settle down the matter peacefully through talking. But against it, they began to fire on Dalits. Most of them were armed with guns. Due to firing there occurred stampede among Dalits. Meanwhile Gujarati W/o late Badhu was shot dead on the spot. Watching this people began to run away to save their lives. But in the house of village head, Bhagawat maurya, two or three armed men were ready and they fired from there and my husband who was trying to escape from there received a shot on his chest which was fired from the house of the village head and my husband died on the chakroad near the house of village head. Others succeeded to run away from there. Meanwhile brother- in- law of son of Ramdev Pandey who was picking the pieces of bricks up to hit us, the same persons who were hidden in the house of village head fired again which accidentally shot on the chest of Bhanu Pandey and he died there. At this they became embarrassed. They took the dead body of Bhanu Pandey in a Tractor and went away leaving behind their other tractors. After 3-4 hours police came there and wanted to take dead body of my husband and of Gujrati forcefully for post mortem. Villagers did not allow this. Again after one hour, district magistrate Chandauli came with a huge police force and assured us that each family of the victims will get Rs 1 Lac and Rs 25000 would be given to injured persons and after making enquiry of the incident, perpetrators would be punished rigorously. Then villagers allowed taking the dead bodies for post mortem. We were earning our livelihood anyhow by doing labour work. We get only 4 kg food grains for the work of whole day. My husband Triloki was the only earning member and I with my three small daughters was totally depended upon him. Now no body is here to look after us. Now, how can I remain alive and how can I arrange their marriages. I am not able to understand anything. Government should give me compensation and should give money for the marriage of our daughters. I need pension and land and security of my life and punishment for those who killed my husband. These are my demands.
Statement of cousin of Ramdev Pandey- My name is Sripati Pandey S/o Bholanath Pandey. I am 54 years old. I am a resident of village Osari under Gram Panchayat Shahpur, Post saidpur Ps. Chakia Dist. Chandauli. I am a cousin and neighbor of Ramdevpandey. Ramdevpandey is 60 years old and has three sons, Ramakant (45 Years) Divakant (38 years) Rajneesh Pandey (34 years). They all are peace loving and graceful men. They have never been involved in any kind of quarrel or enmity with others. With Dalits they had very good relations. Both had a good relationship of master and servant. Ramdev Pandey is owner of 60/70 Bigha agricultural lands. The Said disputed land is also ancestral property of Ramdev Pandey. Due to limited family members they were unable to cultivate the disputed land.
About 15 years ago leader of CPI Akhilendra Pratap, former village head of shahpur Chauthi Chamar and others organized a meeting of Agriculture workers and farmers at disputed land and from the Manch they gave slogans that those lands which are parti(uncultivated) belong to them. Declaring this, after meeting taking Dalits they hoisted Red flag on disputed land and filed a case in the court of SDM Chakia. After fulfillment of that demands a compromise was made among 10-15 people. In which former village head of shahpur Chauthiram, Bachchan Singh and some members of Dalit communities after fulfillment of that demand reached on a compromise. After some time members of CPM again began to provoke Dalits and stoped Ramdev Pandey to take possession over the land. Then Pandey filed an appeal in commissioner’s court in varanasi and commissioner gave his decision in favour of Ramdev and on the basis of that order Ramdev pandey made an appeal with SDM Chakia, Urmila Sonkar to ensure possession over the disputed land. On 25 September 05 SDM Chakia Smt Urmila Sonkar, herself making a visit to the disputed land and by making the land ploughed she ensured possession of Ramdev pandey over the disputed land. At that time Dalits, who were present there made no objection. At the time of Block Pandhayat election, CPM leader subhasini Ali and a member of district Panchayat, Dumari, Hosila Prasad visited the place and provoking Dalits they hoisted red flag over the disputed land and declared to take possession over the whole disputed land and said that what would happen later, did not matter.
On 5-11-05 Ramdev Pandey taking a Tractor of his son-in-law, two tractors from the father-in-law house of his middle son and an other tractor taking from father-in-law house of his younger son and taking Tractor of his own, were going to plough the disputed land. As they reached near the chakroad before the disputed land, already gathered women, men, old men and children from dalit community began to throw bricks. Ramdev Pandey could be able to understand anything, meanwhile a gun was fired by Dalits and Bhanu pratap pandey S/o Nikhenor Pandey aged about 25 years R/o of village Ayilayen, Ps. Chand, district- Bhabhua (Bihar) who was driving his tractor received fire on his chest and died on the spot. Having forced people from our side opened fire by which a men and a women from dalit community died. Leaving our tractors behind we ran away from there to save our life. After our returning all the tractors were burnt badly and they took away some parts of the tractors as Dinamo, pump etc. After three hours of the incident, police reached to the place and took Ramdev Pandey away. Having reached to the police station Ramdev pandey lodged an FIR against opposite parties.
For this incident CPM leaders are responsible who collect donations by Dalits and play politics on that money. If there would be no communist then there would be no problem in the area and people can live peacefully.

Bachchan Singh,Advocate- (Local leader of CPM and a member of State committee) we are communist and our aim is to implement land reforms. We want that the lands, which are parti(uncultivated) or vacant should be distributed among those who are landless agricultural workers. Taking into view this aim, we identified these types of land 10 years ago and have been conducting movement to distribute such type of lands among landless workers. With the same objective we identified the disputed land of Shahpur. We are convinced that disputed land also comes under the same category.
To save the disputed land from ceiling, Ramdev Pandey by means of Benami transaction transferred it to Virendrakumar, who was brother in-law of Ramdev and who was a resident of Bihar. It happened 20 years ago. Ramdev Pandey had other lands too of this type in village Passupur, Sultanpur etc. Dalits of village Shahpur were cultivating the disputed land. But subsequently due to the protest of Ramdev Pandey, they stopped cultivating the disputed land and due to this the disputed land became parti (uncultivated land). After that in 1990 dalits again started cultivation on that land and got possession over the land. For one year Dalits maintained their possession over the land. Again after receiving threatening from Ramdev Pandey, they stopped cultivation. In 1998 there was a compromise made between Dalits and Ramdev Pandey of which I was a witness. In that compromise it was decided that since Dalits have cultivated the land therefore Ramdev will give cost of cultivation to Dalits and Dalits will give up their possession over the land. In pursuance of this compromise each related person of dalit community was given Rs. 500 and dalit gave up their possession over the land. After some years of this compromise, Virendra Pandey died and once again the said land became ownerless. You have seen the house of Ramdev Pandey. It has been built on the land of Gram Sabha and when movement was conducted in this respect, then Ramdev Pandey gave other land of 10 biswa for the place of occupied land of Gram Samaj. About that now he says that he has given land in exchange of disputed land, which is totally false. After the death of Virendra Kumar Pandey, having made a forged will, Ramdev pandey applied for mutation in the office of Nayab Tahasildar. Nayab Tahasildar said that the will was false and the application was dismissed and file was sent to record room. Again Ramdev Pandey took the false will from the record room and filed an appeal with SDM and filed another false will. At that time R.P. Singh was SDM. He having accepted the appeal remanded the file to Nayab Tahasildar. Again case began in the court of Nayab Tahasildar. There in the court of Nayab we do not remember year and month but it was 10th day of that particular month and next date was fixed on 26. But giving bribe to the concerning officials, pandey took out the old original page from the file and added there another forged page on which there was date fixed for 14 of that particular month for the argument and thus ex parte argument was heard on behalf of Gram Sabha and on 17 day of that particular month, Judgment was delivered on the ground of ex parte argument that dismissing the name of Virendra Kumar entry of name of sons of Ramdev Pandey be made in respective land revenue records and it is interesting to note that at the same date 17 in transfer register of Tahasildar entry of their names were made on the same date and entry was made in land revenue records. At the same date even Khatauni was also issued by lekhpal. All above mentioned activities were done knowingly and it indicates clearly that everything was pre-planed. On the date of 26 of that particular month as was fixed by the court, when we went to the court to pursue the case then it was found that there was no case of ours on that day. We were puzzled at this unexpected happening and tried hard to find out the file but we could not find the file. But on 28 day of that month when we got the file then we came to know that on restoration application there had been made an ex parte order. Soon after this we submitted a restoration application in the commissioner’s court and the case is under consideration in commissioner’s court and until now final order has not been given. This is one aspect of that land. There is another aspect of that land which as follows.
In 1980 in a case filed under Ceiling Act, Ramdev Pandey said that the disputed land did not belong to him; it belonged to Virendra Kumar Pandey. He had transferred it to Virendra pandey. Even after that there was extra 20-acre of land of him falls under ceiling Act. Again he made written request with SDM that his sons had attained majority, therefore each of them should be taken separately. SDM taking bribe money accepted his application and in 1981 case started. After several years case was dismissed and after that an appeal had to file on behalf of government but Government counsel did not file the appeal because he along with other concerning officials had collusion with Ramdev pandey. Again in 1997-98 an appeal was filed by village head Chauthi Ram in which Additional commissioner (Judicial) gave an order in 2005 that village head had no right to appeal and dismissed the appeal of village head. But at the same time he directed to Government counsel to seek permission from collector to file an appeal and a letter in this respect he dispatched on 15 May 2005. Subsequently we met with DM of Varanasi and submitted our demand but appeal has yet not been filed and we are still struggling for that. All officials know this fact therefore they made no effort to give possession to either party. But this new SDM Urmila Sonkar only seeing the name in Khatauni, on 25 September she visited the disputed land along with a large police force and made the land ploughed and gave possession to Ramdev Pandey. But Ramdev Pandey could not plough it again. Ramdev Pandey again approached the SDM then SDM said that Go and plough your land, leave other things to handle me. Then Ramdev Pandey went to CO Chakia and said that he did not need to visit the place of disputed land within one hour, meanwhile he would plough the disputed land. Thus on 25-11-05 having been pre- planed, Ramdev pandey along with their armed men raided the disputed land with definite intention that it does not matter that how many Dalits are killed to get possession over the disputed land. It was luck of Dalits that the indiscriminate firing made by feudal lords gunned their own man down and they became embarrassed and took the victim to hospital otherwise there would have taken place a greater tragedy and we could do nothing.
Note: PVCHR filed petition to all concerned officials and NHRC, SC/ST commission. NHRC issued notice to SP, Chandauli (Case no.31585/24/2005-2006-OC,dated 6 Jan.,2006).Member of Fact finding team: Shruti and DR. Lenin from PVCHR and Moosa Azami of NCDHR. Edited and prepared by Shiv Prasad Singh (Adv.)
1. District Magistrate, Chandauli, UP,India
Ph.+91-5412-262557 Fax: +91-5412-262500
2. Superintend of Police, Chandauli, UP, India
Ph.+91-5412-262480 Fax:+91-5412-262478