Skip to main content

Reeks of conspiracy to suppress democratic dissent: CASR on lifer to Bihar Left MLA

Counterview Desk

The civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR)*, taking strong exception to allegedly “frivolous framing" and conviction of Bihar MLA Manoj Manzil and 22 others in the nine year old Badgaon murder case, has called the special court judgement awarding lifer to them as reeking of “conspiracy to suppress democratic dissent”.
Demanding their immediate unconditional release, CASR said, the judgment shows that “the role of police and judicial system, in imparting justice in cases of struggle between landless/poor peasantry and feudal forces like Ranveer Sena or Karni Sena (to which killers of Satish Kumar – the victim – belong to) cannot be ignored.”

Text:

On 13th February, 2024, a special court convicted Liberation leader Manoj Manzil and 22 others in a nine year old murder case of one Jay Prakash Singh and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The state has alleged that Jay Prakash's killing was in retaliation to the murder of Satish Kumar, a leader of CPIML-Liberation. Satish Kumar was killed on 25th August, 2015, by feudal forces of Badgaon panchayat of Bhojpur for struggling to get the crops of landless and poor peasants purchased by government authorities.
This led to him becoming the target of a local feudal element, Rinku Singh, who was also the President of Badgaon Panchayat Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS). Four persons, including Rinku Singh and Awdhesh Sah, named in the murder of Satish Kumar were acquitted in 2019, interestingly around the same time when a local court took cognizance of charges against Manoj Manzil and others in Jay Prakash’s killing.
The special court, while awarding the sentence, stated that the prosecution has not provided “peculiar” evidence to categorize the case as “rarest of rare" and, therefore, cannot grant death sentence. But what is more important to understand is that not only the state didn’t provide “peculiar" evidence but they did not provide any material evidence at all and the court relied merely on the 9 witness testimonies, including those of Jay Prakash Singh's son, investigating officer, medical examiner and few others.
The very reason that the judicial system let the killers of Satish Kumar roam free and convicted the leaders of Liberation without ample evidence beyond ‘reasonable doubt’ reeks of conspiracy to suppress democratic dissent of people and all those who stand with them. It is important to point out that state has alleged that Jay Prakash was assaulted by Manoj Manzil and others when he was passing by a protest against killing of Satish Kumar. According to this version, the son of Jay Prakash who is also a witness in the case, fled the scene and Jay Prakash went missing, only to be found dead 2 days later, on 27th August 2015.
However, there are no sufficient further arguments or material evidence to justify that Manoj Manzil and others were involved in the killing. Furthermore, the role of police and judicial system, in imparting justice in cases of struggle between landless/poor peasantry and feudal forces like Ranveer Sena or Karni Sena (to which killers of Satish Kumar belong to) cannot be ignored.
This particular case cannot be evaluated in isolation from the history of massacres like Bathani Tola or Laxmanpur Bathe, carried out by Ranveer Sena that is rising its heads again in the form of Karni and many other private militia of landlords. Whether be it case of murder of Satish Kumar, massacre of 21 landless dalit peasants in Bathani Tola of Bhojpur or massacre of 67 Dalit landless peasants in Laxmanpur Bathe of Jehanabad; the courts from lower to the upper rung have betrayed the oppressed and exploited people by overturning the convictions or delaying justice, ultimately letting the feudal militia roam scot free. However, this very state has been eager to incriminate the leaders and activists working among the oppressed and exploited sections.
On March 2, 2023, Gaya Sessions Court awarded life sentence to Ram Chandra Yadav, who has already spent 17 years under-trial, for alleged involvement in Killing of 37 Bhumihars (a feudal class- upper caste) by Maoists in February 1992 in retaliation to massacres done by Ranveer Sena. In this case also, a person, who already spent 17 years.
In jail, was sentenced to life in TADA case, whereas in massacres by Ranveer Sena, let alone TADA, not even normal penalty under relevant sections of IPC has been awarded. We see the conviction of Manoj Manzil and 22 others in this similar pattern and believe that the protector of Ranveer Sena, Nitish Kumar along with Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist BJP-RSS is unleashing this onslaught on leaders of Liberation to suppress any voice of democratic dissent against rising feudal, casteist and communal violence in the country.
This attack should not be seen as an isolated one, but a well coordinated attack on the very idea of struggle against oppression. Therefore, all the forces that strive to struggle for a democratic society, free from exploitation and oppression, must perceive this attack as one on their own and fight it back unitedly.
Campaign Against State Repression strongly condemns the frivolous framing and conviction of Comrade Manoj Manzil and 22 others in Badgaon murder conspiracy case and demands their immediate unconditional release. We also call upon all democratic, progressive and justice-loving people to unite and fight back such offensive against the democratic forces.
---
*IRSO, AISA, AISF, APCR, BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Forum Against Repression Telangana, Fraternity, IAPL, Innocence Network, Karnataka Janashakti, Progressive Lawyers Association, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, NAPM, Nishant Natya Manch, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Smajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, United Peace Alliance, WSS, Y4S

Comments

TRENDING

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.