States Round Up Issue-01 July to September 2010 Index Page
Full version of the report

Bihar



I. Highlight: Law finally catches up!

Ruled by the United Janata Dal (JD-U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition, Bihar was readying for the State Assembly elections and the law finally caught up with 10 more accused in the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riots cases. On 1 September 2010, the court of Second Additional District and Session Judge, Bhagalpur convicted ten more accused in one of the 1989 Bhagalpur communal riot cases and sentenced them to seven years of rigorous imprisonment. With the conviction of 10 more accused on 1 September 2010, the total number of conviction in the 1989 Bhagalpur riot cases reached to 300. Among those, 125 were sentenced to life imprisonment. [1] As per official information, over 1,000 persons were killed while non official figures claimed that about 10,000 persons were killed in the Bhagalpur riots in October-November 1989. [2]
 
In December 1989, the State government set up Justice RN Prasad Inquiry Commission. The Inquiry Commission submitted two reports in 1995, but the state government failed to act on the findings and recommendations of the Inquiry Commission. In 2005, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appointed Justice NN Singh Inquiry Commission for a fresh probe into the circumstances leading to the riots. In 2008, about 700 next of kin of riot victims received compensation of Rs.3.5 lakhs each. [3]

II. Violations of civil and political rights

There were reports of disproportionated force. On 30 July 2010, a home guard personnel identified as Omprakash opened fired at devotees inside the temple premises of Lord Shiva at Singheshwar in Madhepura district resulting in killing of one and injury to three devotees. The accused home guard detailed for law and order duty at the temple, opened fired after he picked up a quarrel with the devotees who broke the queues while entering the temple to offer prayer. [4]

III. Abuses by AOGs
The Maoists, also known as Naxalites, were responsible for violations of international humanitarian law.

On 12 July 2010, a group of alleged Maoists reportedly abducted 11 villagers from Loda village in Kaimur district and also took away their licensed weapons. [5]

On 12 August 2010, alleged Maoists abducted one Lakhan Lal Verma, an aide of Bihar Assembly Speaker Udai Narain Choudhary and tortured him at a jan-adalat, kangaroo court of the rebels. They accused the victim of illegally capturing the land of poor people. The rebels released him after torture and directed him to inform Bihar Assembly Speaker Udai Narain Choudhary not to enter Gaya’s Imamganj, his Assembly Constituency, for campaigning ahead of the forthcoming elections. They reportedly warned Choudhary not to organise programmes for distribution of the Indira Awas Yojna funds and also objected to his initiatives for construction of roads and bridges in the area. [6]

On 29 August 2010, the Maoists abducted Manoj Kumar Singh, Tariyani Block Development Officer (BDO) in Sheohar district and demanded the release of eight Maoist leaders who were in jail. The BDO was set free 40 hours of captivity. [7]

In another incident on 29 August 2010, the Maoists kidnapped Sub-Inspectors Rupesh Kumar and Abhay Prasad Yadav, Bihar Military Police (BMP) havildar Ehtesham Khan and Lucas Tete, a BMP Assistant Sub-Inspector after killing eight policemen in an encounter in Kajra police station in Lakhisarai district. [8] On 3 September 2010, the rebels shot dead Lucas Tete whose dead body was found with a bullet hole in his chest on the next morning near Simra Tari Sringirishi dam. [9] On 6 September 2010, the Maoists released all the other three policemen after nine days in captivity. [10]

In September 2010, the Maoist rebels reportedly renewed their threat to kill the villagers of Vishrampur under Shivsagar police station in Rohtas district after the villagers under the banner of Ugravad Virodhi Manch, an anti-Naxalite forum, leader Amrendra Kumar Singh deposed in a case against 10 Maoists in the court of additional district and sessions judge-II at Sasaram. The rebels were held after a gun battle between police and the Maoists in 2005. The villagers led by Singh, an affluent farmer, had helped the police in the operation. [11]

On 15 October 2010, Maoists reportedly set afire a private bus at Jagdishpur Chowk under Purnahia police station in Sheohar district. [12]

IV. Violations of the rights of the child

There were reports of violations of the rights of the child. According to Ramdev Prasad, the chairman of Bihar State Commission for Child Labour as of August 2010, there were around 1.5 million child labourers in/from Bihar. Among these, more than half a million were working outside the state. [13]

Rights of the child were violated with impunity.

On 26 July 2010, a boy identified as Rajesh Mahato belonging to Other Backward Classes, was reportedly hung upside down and beaten in a village in Bihar by the husband of the panchayat chief Sangita Devi. The victim had to be admitted to a hospital. [14] The victim’s only fault was to expose corruption by the Panchayat chief. The victim’s family had demanded the panchayat chief to return the Rs.10,000 they had given to her for construction of a house under Indira Awas Yojana scheme. [15]

On 9 September 2010, a police team from Ahiyapur police station in Muzaffarpur while patrolling the streets at night caught a 14-year-old girl wandering on the streets. They brought her to Ahiyapur police station and detained her for two days. The minor victim who hailed from Adigopalpur village under Ahiyapur police station alleged that two policemen raped her twice during her detention and thereafter asked her to leave the police station. [16]  

V. Violations of ESCRs

Violations of the right to health

Mis-appropriation of funds provided under the National Rural Health Mission adversely impacted the enjoyment of the right to health.

During March 2008 to October 2009, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) conducted the performance audit of the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) in Bihar for the period 2005-09 through test-check of records of the State Health Society. The Audit, among others, found that during 2005-2009 in 14 Primary Health Centers of five districts, Rs 9.17 crore was paid to women beneficiaries as cash incentive under the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). During test-check of records related to the payments of cash incentives, the Audit found that 298 beneficiaries (detected on the basis of their photographs and registration numbers/dates mentioned on the JSY payment registers) were paid two to five times within a period of one day to two months, which resulted in fraudulent payment of Rs 6.66 lakh. [17]It was also found that out of Rs 51.20 crore paid to 3.73 lakh beneficiaries during 2005-09, payments of Rs 25.19 crore were made to 1,82,037 beneficiaries after delays of eight to 732 days. [18]

Endnotes:
1. 10 get jail for 7 yrs in riots case, The Telegraph, 2 September 2010
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
4. One killed, three injured in firing in Bihar, The Hindustan Times, 30 July 2010
5. Maoists abduct 11 villagers in Bihar, The Times of India, 13 July 2010
6. Maoists threaten Bihar speaker, The Hindustan Times, 14 August 2010
7. Maoists want to barter policemen with jailed cadres, The Hindustan Times, 1 September 2010
8. Maoists kill abducted cop; Nitish offers talks, The Hindustan Times, 3 September 2010
9. Maoists kill different cop, The Telegraph, 4 September 2010
10. Hostage crisis ends, Naxals free three abducted cops, The Hindustan Times, 6 September 2010
11. Red threat spurs villagers’ night patrol, The Telegraph, 10 September 2010
12. Maoists set afire bus, The Times of India, 16 September 2010
13. Plans to curb child labour menace, The Telegraph, 21 August 2010
14. Boy hung upside down, beaten in Bihar village; IBN Live, 27 July 2010
15. Ibid
16. Custodial rape whiff spurs protest - Villagers attack Ahiyapur police station, pelt stones at cops, The Telegraph, 11 September 2010
17. http://www.cag.gov.in/html/cag_reports/Bihar/rep_2009/civil_chap1.pdf
18. Ibid
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