21 September, 2020

When Blood Thirsty Ranvir Sena Went On A Rampage And Even Paid For It

In Bihar, caste violence erupted like a plague in the late 1990s. There was the armed Ranvir Sena, composed mostly of Bhumihar landlords, baying for Dalit blood. And then there were retaliatory strikes of Maoist groups.

Photograph by Tribhuvan Tiwari
When Blood Thirsty Ranvir Sena Went On A Rampage And Even Paid For It
outlookindia.com
2019-09-13T12:44:05+05:30

Green patches have sprung from the season’s first rain at Shankarbigha, a village about 70 km from Patna. In the heart of it, Sona Jhari’s eyes could still see the bloodstains that darkened the dusty courtyard of her home on the eve of Republic Day, 1999. She was just over 20 when it happened. Men of Ranvir Sena, a militia of the privileged castes, descended upon the Dalit village. In the massacre that followed, 23 people lay dead—among them were Jhari’s two children, two and three years of age, her mother-in-law and her brother-in-law. She was hit too. The barrel of a gun took her down and she fainted.

Their only crime was they were Dalits. “I want to kill those who killed my children. But I am powerless,” she says.

In Bihar, caste violence erupted like a plague in the late 1990s. There was the armed Ranvir Sena, composed mostly of Bhumihar landlords, baying for Dalit blood. And then there were retaliatory strikes of Maoist groups. The goriest was the massacre of 58 Dalits, ­including men, women and children, in...

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