Bihar police arrests six in Madhubani "massacre" case
(Sourced from PTI)
Bihar police has arrested six people from near the Indo-Nepal border in Madhubani in connection with killing of five persons last month, an incident dubbed as a "caste-war" by the media, and a "massacre" by opposition. All six persons, including the alleged mastermind Praveen Jha, were arrested from a village in the Bisfi Police Station area on Wednesday, said Madhubani Superintendent of Police Satya Prakash.
Those arrested were allegedly involved in gunning down five people, including four brothers, belonging to the Rajput caste, in a village under Benipatti Police Station area on March 29. The Hindustan Times had reported that a group of 35 people had opened fire on rivals.
According to The Hindu, all 35 people including Jha alias Ravan were named as accused in the case. Out of these 18 are from Brahmin community, 13 from Rajput community, one from Backward Class and others are from Extremely Backward Class. Those who died were—Ranvijay Singh, Virendra Singh, Rana Pratap Singh (ASI in BSF), Amarendra Singh, and Rudra Narayan Singh.
The SP maintained that the incident that took place on Holi had followed a dispute over catching fish from a pond between Muhammadpur and Gebipur villages of Madhubani. However, some media reports said that the mass killing was a fall out of a protracted struggle for supremacy among two dominant castes Brahmins and Rajputs in the area.
The Times of India had reported that the pond was owned by Sanjay Singh from Muhammadpur, but another group from Gebipur wanted to capture it. The HT had reported that a Special Investigation Team was constituted to arrest all the accused.
The opposition-RJD had latched on the issue to train its guns at the Nitish Kumar Government claiming that the police was trying to "shield" the killers since they enjoyed the patronage of a powerful local BJP leader. Amidst growing criticism the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had vowed that swift action will be taken against those responsible for killings in Madhubani, HT had reported.
RJD, which was often criticized for massacres carried out by rival Naxal groups and private armies of landlords while it ruled the state, has contended that the "carnage" in Madhubani was proof that "jungle raj" prevailed in Bihar.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had earlier this week traveled to Benipatti to console the family members of the deceased. He posted on Twitter, "Police announced the arrests just 10 minutes ahead of a press conference where we were going to expose the collusion between the administration and the perpetrators. This is the power of the opposition."