Madhubani murders: Brutal killing of five of a family on Holi brings back spotlight on Bihar’s infamous caste armies

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Updated: April 08, 2021 4:55 PM

Madhubani Murder: The pond which was the bone of contention is under the control of the dominant Rajput community of the village while Jha wanted it for Brahmins.

Madhubani Murder CaseThe Madhubani killing has once again put focus on Bihar's infamous caste-based militia groups which made headlines mostly in the 1990s.

On the day when India celebrates the festival of colours Holi, five persons of a family were brutally shot dead in Mohammadpur village in Madhubani on April 29. According to the police, the murder was a result of a clash between two factions. Madhubani police had said that the killings were a result of a prolonged conflict between the two caste-based groups over the control of a fish pond located between the two villages – Mohammedour and Gebipur which falls under Benipatti police station. According to the police, the pond is currently owned by Sanjay Singh of Mohammedpur, who is currently in jail because of a previous clash related to the same fish pond.

Those killed included Rana Pratap Singh, his nephews Ranvijay Singh, Birendra Singh, Amrendra Singh, and their cousin Rudra Narayan Singh while one person Manoj Singh is battling for life at a Patna hospital. In a breakthrough on Wednesday, the Bihar Police arrested four more people in the murder case. With the latest arrests, 18 of the 35 accused named in the case have been arrested so far. This also includes the main accused Pravin Jha.

The killing has once again put focus on Bihar’s infamous caste-based militia groups which made headlines mostly in the 1990s. Caste armies are not new to Bihar and some of its examples are Ranveer Sena, Lorik Sena and Bhumi Sena of Bhumihars and Kisan Sangh of Rajputs.

The main accused in the Madhubani case Pravin Jha was also heading a private army which he named Ravan Sena which mainly consists of Brahmins. The pond which was the bone of contention is under the control of the dominant Rajput community of the village while Jha wanted it for Brahmins.

Leader of the Opposition in Bihar assembly Tejasvi Yadav had alleged that the murder case took place at the behest of BJP MLA and former minister Vinod Narayan Jha and demanded a probe into the call records of the MLA. Pointing fingers at the role of Madhubani police. Yadav had said that the victim’s family would never get justice till the district magistrate and the police superintendent of Madhubani continue to remain on their posts.

Tejashwi also continued his tirade against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the brutal killings. Yadav accused Nitish Kumar of protecting the criminals by following a premeditated Standard Operating Procedure. “Nitish Kumar follows a premeditated SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to save the convicts, murderers, criminals and corruptors responsible for appointment discrepancies, financial irregularities, notorious killings and scams. The public has understood his trick, character and face…After the infamous incident, he will stay away from the media for a week, then in ignorance, he will say, “Do you know what we are doing?” Then he will say that the matter is not in his cognisance. He will then say that he has read about the incident in the newspapers. He will then say that he has asked the authorities and the law will do its job.

“Meanwhile, he keeps writing the script to destroy the evidence and save the culprits and trap the innocents. It is also a strange coincidence that most of these scams and scandals are investigated by his self-styled and loyal bureaucrats. The truth is that in all these big incidents and scams, he has always saved the real culprit,” said Yadav in a series of tweets. Yadav had earlier said that the Chief Minister only works for one district and one caste.

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