Tension gripped Ara town and its adjoining areas on Wednesday after the murder of Ichari village mukhiya (panchayat head) Binod Singh in Bhojpur on Tuesday. Former minister Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha has been made a named accused in the case.
Binod was also the district president of Akhil Bharatiya Rashtravadi Kisaan Sangathan, a non-political outfit formed by former Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh “Mukhiya”.
Ara sub-divisional police officer Ravish Kumar said five persons, including Kushwaha, have been made named accused in the FIR lodged with Garhani police station on the statement of the deceased’s kin. He, however, refused to divulge more information saying it would affect the investigation.
On Tuesday night, Binod (45), was killed by criminals near Varar overbridge while returning to Ichari from a neighbouring village on his motorcycle.
He had earlier received threats allegedly for offering to get his statement recorded in a trial court in the Ichari massacre case of 1993 in which five farmers belonging to a particular dominant caste were killed.
Kushwaha was a named accused in the Ichari murder case.
Sources said Binod’s father was a witness in the case. After the death of his father, Binod approached the trial court in 2011 and gave in writing that he was willing to get his statement recorded as a witness in the mass killings. Kushwaha was, however, not available for comment.
On Wednesday morning, agitated supporters of the slain panchayat head stormed into Ara town and blocked the main road, paralysed vehicular movement at different places and indulged in arson. They also prevented the police from taking the body for post-mortem examination. However, the cops were prepared to combat any situation that could arise out of the murder. The supporters proceeded for the funeral in an open vehicle.
Indubhushan appealed to the supporters to maintain peace and blamed the state government for the murder. “The murder is a politically motivated one and has been executed on the direction of the state government. It might be the work of some criminal-turned politician and former minister of the Nitish Kumar government.”
Deputy inspector-general (Shahabad range) Ajitabh Kumar was asked by the state police headquarters to camp at the Ara district headquarters and monitor the law and order situation arising out of the murder.
Kumar said two armed companies of Bihar Military Police have been deployed.