Forbesganj firing: Ram Vilas Paswan meets PM, demands CBI enquiry

By Md. Ali,,

New Delhi: Ram Vilas Paswan, MP and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Supremo today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded a CBI enquiry into the Forbesganj police firing. The PM assured the delegation that he will ask the Home Minister P Chidambaram to look into the matter.

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On 3rd June 2011, residents of Rampur and Bhajanpur villages under Forbesganj block in Araria district came out, after Juma Prayer, to protest against blockade of the connecting road between the two villages for a factory. The police not only opened fire on the protestors but chased them to their homes and killed four people including a pregnant woman and a seven-month-old infant.

Ram Vilas Paswan addressing media after meeting the PM, here seen with LJP MP Sabir Ali (first from R) and LJP general secretary Abdul Khaliq

Giving the details of the police firing to the PM, Paswan demanded that the “central government should order an enquiry into the whole incident so that guilty officers of Bihar government are punished for the gross misuse of power and violation of human rights.”

Paswan also told Dr. Singh that the “NDA government in Bihar is terrorizing and scarring the Muslim community on a planned and systematic basis and thereby vitiating the communal harmony in the state.”

Recounting several instances of harassment, torture and killing of members from the minority community in the state, the former Steel Minster told the PM that, “We fear that the NDA Govt. in Bihar is moving in a dangerous direction to replicate Gujarat.”

Later talking to over phone Paswan said that the “state BJP is doing all preparations to replicate Gujarat in Bihar. For instance the party is raking up the issue of Bangladeshi Muslims because the state shares its border with Bangladesh and most of the bordering districts are populated by the minority community.”

Talking about the Forbesganj incident Paswan said that the lack of sensitivity of the Nitish Kumar led Bihar government can be seen from the fact that despite the occurrence of these serious human rights violations no cabinet minister visited the site. Chief Minister instead went to China, he added.

When asked for his reaction over the alleged statement of JD (U) national president Sharad Yadav where Yadav had expressed disapproval of the Bihar government’s decision to order a judicial probe into Forbesganj, which Yadav thought might deter industrialists from setting up factories in Bihar, Paswan said that, “I am not aware of any statement made by Sharad Yadav.”

Talking to TCN Sabir Ali, MP LJP said that “we have demanded that SP and SDO who were present at the time of firing should be suspended and removed from the district so that free and fearless inquiry could be conducted.”

There are ground reports that the local MLA Zakir Hussain is trying to save Garima Malick, the SP, who was present on the spot when the brutal violation of human rights happened. When asked about this Sabir Ali rejected the “allegation” saying that “I don’t know what is going on behind the curtain but as far as the official party line is concerned we want both the SP and the SDO to be booked for murder charges.”

The LJP has also demanded SP and SDO to be booked under the 302 of IPC for murder.

Other demands include compensation of 20 lakhs each for dead and 5 lakhs each for injured and a government job for one member of the deceased family. The delegation also wants the road connecting the two villages, being used for over 50 years, to be reopened and made available for the poor villagers.