PUCL Bulletin, July 2001

PUCL Begusarai
Second District Conference Report

We are gathered here today for the second district conference at historic Barauni village. This village is well known not only for its role in the independence struggle but also for being the home of the well-known historian Dr. Ram Sharan Sharma.

PUCL has been active here from its inception. Shri Ganesh Prasad Singh was its leading light at that time. With his departure it became inactive but was revived in 1995. It took two more years to activate it formally and the first conference was held in 1997. It has never looked back. It is the pressure of the PUCL that in this notorious district famous for fake encounters there has not been any such incident in the one year. We have received full support from the people of the district. Four court cases are being fought against police excesses.

We are aware of our shortcomings while dealing with the administration and of delays while approaching the judiciary. Still we are not discouraged. We are also aware that the political parties are either not interested or are hand in glove with the police. We are aware that in such an atmosphere the PUCL has a role to play.

We have realized that the traditional ways of making enquiries and publishing reports are not enough in our work and we have therefore expanded our activities to organise discussions etc., and to utilize the courts for our work. We also do stocktaking from time to time and review our work and methods. With limited financial and human resources we have been able to achieve satisfying successes.

Six people were killed in a fake encounter on October 23, 1993 at Nandlalpur. We succeeded to get them a compensation of one lakh rupees in 1997. we are still fighting in the High Court for compensation for other people.
PUCL also investigated the encounter killings of Bharat Singh and Lalloo Singh of Simiria by Birju Ganju, Thana incharge of Tiyaya. We had approached the NHRC and its teams have paid visit 3 times. Journalist Arun Kumar's report was mentioned in the legislative council. The legislative council appointed a Human Rights Committee under Shri Subdh Rai. The matter is also in the court.

A section of the known gusseted employees of Bihar had approached the PUCL for help in pursuing the case regarding the killing the Upendra Malik by some personnel of B.M.P-8. The PUCL was able to get a job for his widow. The accused were arrested and the case is in the court.
Mahendra Rai and employee of the electricity board had died sometime ago and because of the complicity of some officials and legislators an imposter had obtained employment as his next of kin. The PUCL helped his wife to get the job and expose the imposter.

The PUCL took initiative to expose a Peshkaar of the district court for its corruption. He remained suspended for 11 months.

The PUCL also took up the cases of the killing of Umashankar Mishra of C.P.I.; accusation of false encounters against Kamal Narayan Chaube, Superintendent Police, and went to the High Court. The case of custodial rape of Babita Devi at Bhagvanpur Thana was also taken up and the case is going on. The main accused is on bail. We are also fighting the custodial death of Umakanta Ram and Mahavir Sharma in Jail. The PUCL also took up the case of false implication of Dr. SSP Chowdhary by the Police and succeeded in the High Court to get bail for Dr. Chowdhary. There was a police firing on a procession of CPI (ML) sometime ago and the PUCL for a false case under arms act and was able to expose the concerned SDO and DSP.

The PUCL also helped Prof. KK Sinha to fight false police cases against him.
The police, because of local politics, detained the Supreme Court lawyer, Naval Kishore, of village Phul Malik in 1998. The PUCL was able to get him released. The present district magistrate Harjaut Kaur was involved in the beating up of one prisoner Mukesh Yadav during her inspection of the prison. The PUCL took up the case. Journalist Arun Kumar also wrote a report. The incident was mentioned in the Legislative Council. The Human Rights Committee of the Council visited the jail.

We were successful in getting the landless scheduled caste villagers of Cheriyabariyapur to take possession of the land that was allotted to them and for which they were being prevented. The PUCL had taken the case to the NHRC and the SC/ST Commission.

The PUCL demonstrated against the custodial deaths of Ram Udit Singh of Pabra and Tuntun Paswan of Baagar. False encounter of 2 persons picked up from cornfields in Pabra and brutal killing of Ajay Singh and Atal Singh in a false encounter, killing of three persons in Mathurapur in false encounter, and killing of Patia Paswan, Kare Paswan, and Ranjit Chowdhary again in false encounter.

Apart from these there were many more cases of police brutality and highhandedness, arrests, not to inform the relatives of the arrested person, torture in detention, not to produce the detained person in courts for up to 10 days in common in this district.

The PUCL is also actively involved in the publication of a magazine, Manavadhikar that has become a medium of expression for every one.
Eight members from the district PUCL participated in the National Convention at Jaipur.

In all these activities of the PUCL valuable help has been provided by our journalist member Arun Kumar and our lawyer members Ram Murty Prasad Singh and Ram Naresh Sharma. A large number of other members have also extended help.

-- Ramashraya Prasad Singh, President, February 23, 2001

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