The militia was equipped with modern weapons like AK-47s, LMGs, semiautomatics, SLRs and Mausers, executing 16 massacres within the span of the next six years, killing 300 Dalits across six districts of Arrah, Arval, Bhojpur, Gaya, Aurangabad and Jahanabad. The Sena also had plans of carrying out 50 massacres in as many villages in a single day which they failed to execute.
Siddhnath Singh, let off by a lower court, recounts how he wreaked havoc in Laxmanpur Bathe and who gave the outfit weapons and finances. Singh reveals the weapons were from the rejected lot of the army and was provided to them by Surya Dev, a powerful politician from Dhanbad.
“… Woh military ka rejected samaan tha wahi hum logon ko uplabdh hua tha… hum kahe uplabdh hua tha jab pradhan mantri humare huye the… (I told them we got them from Indian military’s rejected lot… we got the arms when the prime minister was ours),” recalls Singh,who is also said to have confessed this to police.
Another accused Pramod Singh also confesses to his involvement in the Miyanpur massacre in which 32 people were killed. He also alleges some prominent BJP politicians helped the outfit financially and politically.
“Bhajapa ka sarkar jiss samay tha… Atal Bihari Vajpayee the… uss samay the Yashwant Sinha … barabar aate the… mukhiya ji se barabar milte the… wo toh humare gaon mein hi… jis samay chhape mari ho rahi thi uss samay barabar humare gaon mein the… (it was when there was the BJP government [at the Centre] … there was Atal Bihari Vajpayee [Prime Minister] … there was Yashwant Sinha [Finance Minister], he would visit regularly and meet the chief [Barmeshwar Singh] regularly. He was there in the village when the police were raiding our places,” he recalls. He further claims that Yashwant Sinha also gave them 5 lakh. “Jahanabad mp Arun Kumar, would help us escape in cars after the killings,” he adds
Meanwhile, Ravindra Chaudhary reveals the details of the most gruesome plan of the Sena, which it failed to execute. “Hum log toh aisa ranneeti banaye the ki ek hi din mein pachas gaon mein narsamhar ho tab jaaker sarkar ki neend tootegi nahi toh sarkar toh bas yehi soch rahi hai ki ek desh mein alpsankhyak hain ati pichhri iske alawa koi jaati hi nahi hai (We had in fact worked out a strategy to execute massacres across 50 villages to wake up the government from its torpor. Otherwise, the government always thought that no castes other than the minorities, and the most backward live in this country),” he says without an expression of remorse on his face. He further alleges that the likes of Anand Mohan Singh helped them with weapons and armoury. Anand is currently serving a life sentence for murder of the district magistrate of Gopalganj in 1994.
The Cobrapost team also tracked down Upendra Magiha, the most wanted murderer of the lot. However, he refused to meet them. Interestingly, the police could not find him all these years.
The allegations of political support to the Ranveer Sena find solid ground from the fact that the BJP-JD(U) government dismissed the report of Justice Amir Das Commission right after coming to power in the state. The Commission was formed by the state government on 27 December 1997 to probe killings by the Ranveer Sena. Justice Das states that his report could have implicated some prominent politicians for their support to Ranveer Sena.
“I can give some names, for instance, Shivanand Tewary, CP Thakur, Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushil Kumar Modi. Then there was the head of a village in the neighbourhood of Laxmanpur Bathe about whom we had drawn the conclusion that he too supported the outfit,” Justice Das tells Cobrapost.
The courts in Bihar have acquitted all the accused for lack of evidence, which shows the kind of support the Ranveer Sena possesses. Shockingly, no single conviction has been announced for hundreds of murders by the dreaded private military outfit. It is a pity that police could not collect enough evidence against the accused even after all these years. Meanwhile, the acquittals have been challenged in the Supreme Court and the matter is sub judice.