In a village in Sigdema district of Jharkhand, the saffron gang has wreaked havoc on the tribals. He not only insulted her by twisting her hair and wearing a garland of shoes but also beat her. He was also asked to chant slogans of ‘Jai Shriram’. The saffron gang here has been targeting the tribals of the area for a long time simply because they had converted to Christianity years ago. The important thing is that despite the BJP government leaving here, the oppression of tribals has not stopped.
Simdega district is 160 km away from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. Jhulan Chowk is on the main road just a few hundred meters from the district headquarters. This square is covered with ocher colored flags. Bhedikudar village is at a distance of 10 km from this area. People of Khadia and Uravan tribes live here. He has been a Christian for a long time. Despite this, tribalism is still intact in them.
The saffron gang has been keeping a close eye on these tribals for a long time. These people have always been doing some propaganda against them or torturing them under some pretext. Last September 16, at 6 am, about 60-70 members of the saffron gang beheaded seven tribals of the village, accusing them of eating beef and smuggling cattle. He was given a garland of shoes and slippers. Jai Shriram’s slogan was raised, beaten and spread all over the area.
Some people reported the incident to the police, when the police came, the attackers also handed them over to the police. With the allegation that these people smuggle cows. Police found the allegations wrong during the investigation and released them. There is panic in the whole village since this incident.
When former district council member Neil Justin Beck came to know about the incident on September 16, he lodged an FIR against the attackers at Simdega police station on the same day and again on September 17, he registered a case of ethnic harassment at SC-ST police station.
The most surprising aspect is that the information of this incident of September 16 was not seen on any local newspaper, social media or any web news for eight days. This information came to light when a YouTube channel broadcast from Jharkhand on September 25 showed this news. In this regard, Neil Justin Beck explains that no local newspaper or journalist dares to write such news for fear of these hooligans. He later told this news to the web portal. The Telegraph has also covered it on September 26 after the news came on September 25.
The FIR has been filed by Rosleen Kullu, wife of the victim Raj Singh, who was also not spared. He was also beaten. A total of nine people have been nominated and more than three dozen people have been registered under unknown names. The named accused include Nayan Keshari, Sonu Singh, Sonu Nayak, Tulsi Sahu, Srikanth Prasad, Deepak Prasad, Aman Keshari, Nakul Patar and Rajendra Prasad.
Regarding the incident, Simdega police station in-charge Ravindra Singh said that Gaukshi’s information was given to the police. After this, the police reached the village and investigated, but found no evidence of cow or beef from any house in the village. After this, all the victims were released after interrogation at the police station. Acting on the FIR filed by Roslyn Kullu, four of the nine named accused Sonu Singh, Sonu Nayak, Nayan Keshari and Rajendra Singh have been arrested. Police are looking for other people.
The saffron gang turned the heads of Raj Singh, Deepak Kullu, Emanuel Tete, Sugad Dang, Sulin Barla, Sosan Dang and Sem Kido, residents of Bhedikudar village, and shouted slogans of Jai Shriram. He was then beaten and rounded up all over the area. Bhedikudar reached a garden located in the village itself. Meanwhile, some people reported the incident to the police. Police arrived shortly after. When the police arrived, the attackers accused the youths of smuggling cows and handed them over to the police.
The victim Raj Singh said that on the morning of September 16, at six o’clock, 60 to 70 people reached my house and started beating me with sticks. During this, my wife Roslyn Kullu started intervening to save me, then the youths present in the crowd shouted racial slurs and insults at them. After this my wife started shouting for help. After this, the people around reached there and started forbidding the beating youths, but the youths also started abusing them and started beating them as well.
Rosleen Kullu, Raj Singh’s wife and a victim in the incident, said that the youths of Bajrang Dal who reached the village made seven youths of the village, including my husband Raj Singh, stand under a jackfruit tree and beat them all with the handle of a spade. After this, he took them to another group and shaved them all. The number of those people was quite high, due to which the villagers got scared and quietly watched the whole incident. When someone dared to forbid him from doing so, he also abused him and got into a fight.
Deepak Kullu, a 26-year-old victim, told about the incident that at six o’clock in the morning I reached my village with milk from another village, then I saw some outsiders reaching my village and beating Raj Singh with sticks. When I asked them why you are doing this, they insulted me and said that you do gaukshi and ask why you are killing. Then they showed a video, in which an old man is saying that there was gookshi in the village, based on the same video, they had reached the village and were doing such an act. Then those people hit me a lot too. Even after taking us to another village, we were all beaten a lot.
When I was given a shoe garland after shaving and asked to chant the slogan of Jai Shriram I did not, then those people hit me hard with the stick of Thethar (Ipomia). After that I shouted Jai Shriram out of fear. Two days after the incident, when I spoke to the man who said in the video that there has been gookshi in the village. The man then said that they had forcibly told me to do so by threatening to kill me. The people of the village are scared after this incident.
Theodore Kido, a former MLA and minister of the region, explains that when the BJP is out of power, it starts preparing to poison the society. The BJP has a hand in this incident too. They point out that this area is inhabited by people of Khadiya community in abundance who eat beef so far that if a cow or ox dies in their cowshed, they do not even touch it themselves, but throw it away from other castes. The same is true of the people of the Khadia community who have become Christians.
Sanjay Verma, a senior journalist of Taza Khabar, explains that when we spoke to Deepak Thakur, the state convener of Bajrang Dal, about the incident, did Bajrang Dal have a role in this incident? So he told that the members of my organization have no hand in this incident, but this incident has been carried out by the people of ‘Jai Bhavani Sangathan’ which is run at the regional level. There is a WhatsApp group in the district called ‘Jai Bhavani Sangathan’. Deepak Thakur also said that the people of Bajrang Dal are not active in Biru Panchayat.
The 60-70 youths who had arrived in Bhedikudar village in the name of Gaukshi to carry out the incident were not from a single village, but from several villages. This shows that the incident was carried out not by any personal enmity, but by an organizational meeting, because if the youths from different villages arrived at the designated village together at six in the morning, it meant that the incident Preparations for the execution had already been made and the strategy had been prepared through WhatsApp.
These are quite dangerous signs for the future. Somewhere this incident also raises questions about the Hemant government. Outrage against the saffron gang is growing in the tribal community of Jharkhand over this matter, which is a sign of a big struggle in the future.
(Report by Vishad Kumar, Senior Journalist from Jharkhand.)