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Regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Revenge roar salutes final journey

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SALMAN RAVI AND SHAHNAWAZ AKHTAR Published 18.01.05, 12:00 AM
CP-ML supporters at the funeral procession of slain legislator Mahendra Prasad Singh in Bagodar. Picture by Prashant Mitra .

Bagodar (Giridih), Jan. 18: ?Khoon ka badla khoon se.?

A frenzied crowd of around 25,000 people at the Saria Teachers? Training College roared revenge as the white Tata 207 station wagon rolled out with the body of CPI-ML legislator Mahendra Prasad Singh towards the Jamunia ghat for the cremation.

?Comrade Mahendra Singh ko laal salam,? chanted the ocean of people who had queued up behind the vehicle carrying the body of the MLA. Wailing and weeping women, the elderly and children marched silently for 12 km up to Saria where the body was taken for the people to pay their last respects to the man who fought for their rights and ?liberation?.

The mood was charged in the CPI-ML camp and the warning by party general secretary Deepankar Bhattarcharya is being interpreted as an indication of what is in store in Jharkhand politics in the days to come. ?Shaheed saathi Mahendra Prasad Singh ki shahadat khaali nahin jaayegi (The matyrdom of Mahendra Prasad would not go in waste),? Bhattacharya fired out. A ?sankalp sabha? (resolve meeting) sent the message loud and clear as the CPI-ML members were administered the ?oath of revenge? by senior leaders.

?Chunao nahin hote to badla ho gaya hota, chunao ki wajah se kuch kar nahin pa rahe hain (Had the election not been there, we would have taken revenge right now. We are unable to do anything due to the election),? Bhattacharya said. Supporters of the CPI-ML took pains to point out why Singh was such an admired legislator. One of them, Santosh, drew the attention of this reporter towards the community centre set up by Singh from the MLA?s fund.

The two-storied sprawling community centre is one of the best in the state and Santosh informed that it was Singh who stood there while it was being constructed. Most of the boards along roads in Bagodar state they were built from the funds released by Singh from his MLA?s quota.

Bagodar and its adjoining areas downed shutters as a mark of respect. For the last three days, people from far-flung rural areas have been walking several kilometres to have a last glimpse of Singh as his body lay under a tent erected in the middle of the teachers training college at Saria.

The funeral procession reached Jamunia Ghat around 4 pm and the last rites were performed at 4.30. It was an end of an era ? though shortlived ? for the people of Bagodar whom Singh has been representing since 1990, first in the undivided Bihar Assembly and later in the Jharkhand House.

 

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