Bhawanipur encounter was a massacre: Report

The Times of India News Service

VARANASI: The Bhawanipur incident, in which 16 persons were allegedly gunned down by police on the pretext that they were Naxalites, is a warning of impending danger to democracy, said the report of a study circle associated with the Centre for Alternative Policy.

It further says that the incident not only exposed the fascist character of the state government but also gave a clear indication of a strong polarisation of Dalits and tribals against the unholy nexus of feudal-mafia elements with police. A team of study circle comprising of Prof. Dipak Malik, former president of Teachers Association and professor in faculty of commerce, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Dr. Annd Deepayan, Dr. Anand Prakash Tiwari, Dr. Pramod Kumar and Arvind Jaiswar visited Bhawanipur village of Mirzapur district recently to take first hand account of the incident.

They met a number of villagers and not only collected facts and figures but also made a deep study related to different aspects including local topography, social environment, people's unrest and their inclination towards left ideology, uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources by the feudal class and so forth. It may be recalled that 16 persons were killed in an encounter at Bhawanipur village on the eve of Holi on March 9.

The police claimed that the killed persons were Naxals involved in crime cases. The 16-page report, published in a booklet form, terms the incident as a massacre and claims that several innocent persons were killed in the incident. The villagers were forced to sit outside of their house under the shadow of gun, and the invited guests of Bhagwan Das were killed despite the surrender before the police.

Among the killed were Hari Narayan (12), Shiv Shankar (both were students), Lakshmi Shankar (28), who was a teacher of Wagahi village and Bharosa Kole. They were innocent. The report also says that the area commander of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), Deo Nath Kole and Lalvrat are still alive, while the police claimed that they were killed in the encounter.

The increasing self-confidence and consciousness among the tribals and oppressed class worried the feudal forces as it might pose a challenge to their supremacy. The report further sates that the emergence of mafia elements in 1980s in this region of eastern UP brought a big trouble to the tribal populace.

Prof. Malik said that the feudal-mafia forces got the patronage of the state government as they have soft relations with the chief minister, Raj Nath Singh, who gave a green signal for a crackdown on Naxalites.

He said that the Bhawanipur incident should not be seen merely as an accident, but a forward move of fascist forces. He said that a copy of the report would be sent to the President to apprise him of the real aspect of the story.

Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: April 26, 2001
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