ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Silence on Killings in Bihar

Nitish Kumar is able to brazen out the police killings in Forbesganj, thanks to the silence of the media.

On the afternoon of 3 June, the police in Forbesganj block of Araria district of Bihar shot, stomped on and beat to death four unarmed villagers and injured at least nine others, in what is, by all accounts, a wanton act of state violence. The dead include a pregnant Shazmeena who received six bullet wounds in her hand, spine and stomach, six-year-old Naushad who was shot twice in his spine, 22-year-old Mukhtar Ansari who was shot in his head, chest, stomach and spine and 18-year-old Mohammad Mustafa, who was shot six times and then when not yet dead, had a policeman repeatedly jump and stomp on his injured body and kick it mercilessly to make sure he died. All the bullet wounds of the dead and injured are in the head, chest, stomach, hands and spine. Not only do these indicate a clear intent to kill in the firing, it also shows that those who were running away or had fallen down were shot by a trigger-happy police.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appears to have decided to brazen out the incident, alleging that some activists were making a mountain out of a molehill. Police officials have said that they only fired in “self-defence” when villagers supposedly threw stones and brandished firearms. However, testimonies of the victims, video footage and photos show that the Bihar police shot unarmed villagers who were not even protesting at the time. Given the manner in which the state machinery already appears to have absolved the killers of Forbesganj and is busy building alibis for them, there can be little hope that the victims will receive any justice from the judicial inquiry that Nitish Kumar has reluctantly ordered.

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