October 19, 2014

Six Mahadalit Girls Gang-raped in Bihar

Arun Kumar Mishra

THE horrendous incident of gang-rape of six teenager Mahadalit girls in Kurmuri village under Sikarhatta police station of Bhojpur district did not create the situation which we had witnessed during the Delhi gang rape case. There was no candle march, no outpourings of emotions, no media reporting from ground zero, no panel discussions on various TV channels and no celebrity visited the place to console the hapless girls who had gone to sell the scrap which they had collected from garbage heaps to help their families in their daily struggle for survival. They are the easy prey, most vulnerable, and the high and mighty of the society can always play with their bodies to satisfy their lust. One of the rapists, the scrap dealer Nilnidhi Singh happens to be a former area commander of the dreaded feudal armed outfit Ranveer Sena. This speaks volumes about the feudal grip on the Bihar Society. The incident had occurred on October 8 evening when six teenager Mahadalit girls went to the scrap dealer to sell the scrap. They were held at gun point and raped by Nilnidhi Singh, his brother Jay Prakash Singh and their associate Jaggu Pandit. All the six victims including three minors are from Dumaria village under Tarari police station of Bhojpur district. After rescuing herself from the clutches of the rapists, one of the girls reported the incident to the family members of the victims. The family members informed the local police. But the police did not move. When the local people raised hue and cry then the Piro SDPO visited Kurmuri and Dumaria villages and took stock of the situation. Till now all the three accused have been arrested and chargesheeted. The leaders of different political parties have visited the Kurmuri and Tarari villages. The government has given compensation to the victims. Bandh has been observed locally on October 13. The government boasts of its swift move in apprehending the culprits and punishing them in the shortest period of time. But will it create a situation where such incidents will not occur in future? There are many Nilnidhis amongst us. They are on the prowl. Can we stop such incidents? Bihar needs an answer. We have a Mahadalit chief minister who is aware of the plight of the most exploited sections of the society. These people are homeless, resourceless and are at the mercy of the high and mighty of the society. They are untouchables but their bodies are not safe. They can be violated at will. There are many more such incidents. On October 13, a tribal woman working in brick-kiln at Maner near Patna was gang raped and murdered and her body was thrown on the road. Atrocities against Mahadalits have been reported from Gaya, Nawada and other districts too. Will the chief minister stop the likes of Nilnidhi and other such monsters who inhabit the vast hinterland and urban centers of Bihar. Will the chief minister implement land reforms and empower the Mahadalits by providing resources, housing, education and employment etc so that they can lead a life of dignity. The traumatised Mahadalit girls deserve the same respect and support as a normal girl deserves. Let us join hands to fight this menace so that such incidents never occur in the future.