Let us raise our voices in protest against the acquittals of all accused in Shankarbigha massacre by a single judge bench of Jhehanabad court. It is in line with earlier acquittals of accused of upper caste landlord gangs (usually Ranveer Sena) of genocide of landless dalit peasantry in Bathanitola massacre (Oct.2012), Lakshmanpur Bathe massacre (2013 October) and a host of other such killings in Bihar. The actual lesson is to reiterate the need for new democratic revolution in India.
In the Shankarbigha massacre in Jehanabad, on the night of 25th January 1999, in this hamlet of around 68 households descended 100 armed Ranveer Sena shouting slogans of dreadful vengeance. Twenty three people including women and children were killed of the families of landless peasants, all dalits, who lived there. Shankarbigha is located fairly close to Laxmanpur Bathe where 61 landless, again all dalits were massacred by the landlord goons of Ranveer Sena. The killings were all located in areas of intense class struggle between upper caste landlords and landless peasantry. Few days before Shankarbigha massacre, the head of Ranveer Sena had openly boasted of plans to give what he called a big blow of vengeance to the fighting peasantry.
The current acquittals are quite in line with the lower judiciary’s other verdicts in Bihar letting off the guilty of such massacres. This is usually done citing lack of evidence, which also exposes the pro landlord pro upper caste bias of the police and other investigating agencies. It has to be faced that the state in India stands in service of the landlord classes and the judiciary is quite in harmony despite blatant facts and the obvious injustice. The whole move for Land Reform laws of the stat was due to the need to subvert the revolutionary movement and its call for land to the tiller. Now, of course the Govts. have put what laws there were to this effect into dustbins and ruling classes have tried to substitute MNREGA in the place of land reforms.
The parliamentary parties who project themselves as representing the dalit masses have never been heard condemning these acquittals. Yet it was the Mandal Commission and not revolutionaries alone which stated that without radical land reforms caste exploitation could not be eradicated in India. The real role of such parties boils down to trying to keep the attention of the people away from the root cause of dalit oppression and confined to electoral politics and to distract them from realizing that the only New Democratic Revolution can solve their basic problems including that of caste oppression.
All democratic forces and individuals must unify to condemn the acquittals by the judiciary of the guilty of the massacre of landless dalits. We urge all such to protest these acquittals.
CPI (ML) New Democracy