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Laloo under glare after Ranbir Sena strikes

Patna, Nov. 4: Two Maoist Communist Centre members were killed last night as the Ranbir Sena struck for the third time in 10 days, setting off speculation that a new alignment between Bihar’s ruling RJD and the Brahmarshi Mahasabha is responsible for the outfit’s resurgence. The Mahasabha is a body of Bhumihar landlords.

Ramunej Singh and Karu Paswan, two members of the MCC’s action squad, were killed when activists of the upper-caste outfit raided Dalit homes in Dighi village, 40 km from Gaya district. After the incident, angry villagers refused to let police take the bodies away. Three days ago, five Dalits were killed in the Fatepur area, leading the police to suspect the Sena.

Earlier, on October 25, the Sena had killed four members of the CPI(M-L) Liberation in Kurmuri village of Bhojpur district. The violence, in which the Sena lost two men after the CPI(M-L) retaliated, marked the organisation’s first attempt to hit back at the Naxalites after the arrest of their chief Brahmeswar Singh Mukhia, who is in jail. The attacks and counterattacks between the two organisations have left a trail of destruction in at least half-a-dozen villages in the area.

“In pockets, the Ranbir Sena appeared to be keeping a low profile for some time but they are now hitting back as the Naxalites have been trying to make inroads in their pockets in the absence of Sena chief Mukhia,” said Bhojpur SP A.K. Ambedkar.

But the CPI(M-L) Liberation blames Laloo Prasad Yadav for the Sena’s resurgence. At a recent meeting, the RJD chief talked of a “beti aur roti ki sampark (a daughter and bread relationship)” with Bhumihars.

“Mr Laloo Yadav’s recent utterances about having cordial relations with Bhumihar landlords appear to have emboldened the Ranbir Sena to go into a fresh killing frenzy,” said Prabhat Kumar, office secretary of the CPI(M-L) in Patna.

At a rally of the Brahmarshi Mahasabha, in S.K. Memorial Hall in Patna last month to mark the 115th birth anniversary of Bihar’s first chief minister Sri Krishna Singh, Laloo Prasad had called upon Bhumihars to forget their past bitterness and look forward to a better relationship. He even promised to visit Bhumihar villages to erase the scars of earlier massacres. Observers feel this is an attempt by the RJD boss to wean away Bhumihars from the BJP.

“The meeting is going to hit Laloo Yadav politically as hard as earlier meetings that conveyed the standoff between the Yadavs and Bhumihars,” said an RJD minister from Munger. He said in his district, too, Laloo Prasad’s utterances are being wrongly interpreted as, early this year, a Bhumihar Congress leader was responsible for the killing of Yadavs.

The Left parties, too, are planning to make a political campaign out of the “hospitable detention” of Mukhia.

The Sena chief is reportedly being given a royal treatment by the state police and is being allowed to even meet his death squad members, the CPI(M-L) says.

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