An incident of murder has been reported from the Warisaliganj village of Navada district in Bihar. A heated altercation between two sides in Maha Dalit colony in Warisaliganj rendered one dead and several others injured. The fight which started as a minor scuffle quickly escalated in a shootout after which a 55-year-old Dalit man named Ravidas was shot dead by the main accused Mohammad Irfan. Besides, 6 other people including a woman were injured in the brawl.
Eight accused in the connection with the shootout have been arrested by the Police. However, the prime accused, Mohammad Irfan is still at large. Soon after killing Ravidas, Irfan is said to have absconded from the spot. According to the reports, the situation between the two factions of the village had been tensed for the last 20 days, after which the killing was carried out on Friday (April 18, 2020).
It is being claimed that the dispute was mainly between Kishore Raja Ravidas and one Mohammad Mahir. The exact cause of the dispute between the two men is yet not clear. The altercation happened close to the Vivekananda Public School. After this, the family of Mohammad Mahir reached Ravidas’s house, dragged him out of his house and mercilessly thrashed him. The incident was not reported to the police until then. Even the local police were not informed about the beating that Ravidas received at the hands of Mahir and his men. Ravidas stayed in the Maha Dalit colony of the village, where on Friday morning, Mohammad Mahir arrived along with 60 people and started fighting with Ravidas.
When the Dalits opposed the beating, stones were pelted on them by the Muslim faction. In response to stone-pelting by Muslims, Dalits too started hurling bricks and stones at the Muslims in order to deter them from continuing the attack. However, the Muslim faction continued attacking the Dalits and vandalising their colony. Thereafter, Mohammad Irfan started firing indiscriminately towards the Dalits. Ravidas was mortally injured in the shootout and he succumbed to his injury during his treatment. All the other 6 injured, including a woman, belonged to the Dalit community. They are all under treatment at VIMS Pavapuri.
Soon after the incident was reported, the ASP and the team of the local police station rushed to the spot. Additional soldiers were summoned from the district headquarters. Four large swords were also seized from the accused. Those accused of violating blockade were taken into custody. However, police is still on the lookout of Mohammad Irfan who is still on the run.
The two factions were engaged in a fight last month as well
Last month, on March 29, a skirmish had broken out between the two factions over who had killed the fish in a pit in the village. 8 people were injured in the clash during that time. The village panchayat had managed to somehow broker a truce between the sparring sides. No police complaint was registered by either of the sides then. However, the police had preemptively filed a case against several people from both the sides for defying strict lockdown amidst the raging coronavirus pandemic. No arrests were made by the police in the case.
A similar incident of Dalit murder in Madhubani
Recently, in a similar incident of murder was reported from Madhubani, where a 70-year-old Dalit woman Kala Devi (aka Kaili Devi) was killed by Suleiman Nadaf, Malil Nadaf and Sharif Nadaf on the intervening night of April 5 and 6. The sarpanch of the village, Fakre Alam, tried all his might to save the killers and alter the postmortem report.