Free as a fugitive in lawless Bihar

By Raj Kumar

PATNA: The chief of outlawed private army Ranvir Sena, Brahmeshwar Singh, on Monday addressed a press conference in the heart of Patna to announce plans of his outfit to extend operations to Jharkhand, where "the Left extremists have of late stepped up their nefarious activities".

Surrounded by over a dozen extra-vigilant youths and teenagers, the bespectacled, tilak-sporting lean and thin man, whose name figures on the top of the state police's wanted list, smiled, laughed and showed no sign of fear of the law as he spoke to a group of reporters in a house in the Punaichak locality.

Singh, who is said to be the mastermind behind many massacres of alleged Naxalites and their kin in the state, claimed that the Ranvir Sena has "freed" over 35,000 acres of land from the economic blockade imposed by the Naxalites. The self-styled messiah of the landed farmers said Naxalites, scared of the private army, have fled to Jharkhand. "But we have a unit in Jharkhand as well, and we are concentrating on the new state to take on these lambs who have disguised themselves as lions," he said.

Singh said the Sena, which was formed in 1994, today had no dearth of men and weapons, including the sophisticated AK series assault rifles. He said that the central Bihar areas, which have been witness to the bloody war of attrition between the Ranvir Sena and the Left extremist groups like the Maoist Communist Centre and People's War Group, have been peaceful in recent times. But he said, "Woh ek ashanti karenge to hum teen ashanti karenge (if the Naxalites commit one act of violence, we will retaliate with three)."

Singh denied that the Ranvir Sena represented only a particular upper caste and fought for only its interests. While justifying the killing of children and infants during its operations, the Singh said, "The children are also our target because they are the children of Naxalites; it is to feed these family members that the Naxalites loot the farmers."

A father of three, the chief of the private army said he would never lay down arms, even if his family members are killed. "I shall now surrender before the Almighty," he said.

Asked about his organisation's political affiliation, Singh said all the political parties are "ek hi thaile ke chatte-batte (different sides of the same coin)". "The Rabri government is a gathering of goondas while it's a napunsakon ki sarkar (government of the impotent) at the Centre," he said.

Incidentally, the Ranvir Sena, which was originally formed to protect the "innocent farmers" from Naxalites, has now taken upon itself to act as a "moral guardian" in Bihar a la the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. "To stop screening of vulgar movies and programmes in cinema halls and on small screen" is one of the "objectives" of the Sena for which, it said, it may resort to violence. Besides, it will execute the ban on cow slaughter; ensure prohibition; protest the entry of MNCs; force the offices to work in Hindi; and work against the dowry system.

Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: May 9, 2001
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