COMRADE Arun Singh was not just a Mukhiya but a well-beloved leader of the people. He was killed on 5 August 2019. Within hours of a single call for a road blockade against his murder and for justice for Arun Singh, about 500 people came out of their homes on to the roads.
This was not done for a person who is just a Mukhiya; it was a spontaneous action for their beloved leader Arun Singh who fought shoulder to shoulder with the people on issues of livelihood, agriculture, farming, as well as day to day issues. The outpour of anger at his killing with which people from all sections of society — poor, dalits, workers, sharecroppers, farmers, backward castes, justice-loving upper castes, and 8 Panchayat Mukhiyas of Garhani Block (only one Mukhiya was the exception by his absence) — participated in the road blockade is in itself an example of Arun Singh’s huge popularity.
As we spoke with the people, dalit women of the village told us, ‘Ab hamni ke aisan mukhiya na milihan’ (We can never again get such a Mukhiya). He was with the people in all their joys and sorrows, and never discriminated against anyone. Comrade Arun Singh had deep bonds with the people. He had twice been elected Mukhiya of Barap Panchayat in Garhani Block, and used to lead struggles for the issues of the people of the Panchayat. He came from a well-to-do farmers’ family and was loved by all for his spontaneous and friendly relations with the people. It was because of this very popularity that he was killed.
About 40 meetings were held at various villages to prepare for the successful organization of the Sankalp Sabha. Farmers, workers, students, youth, and women participated in these meetings, and their anger against feudal forces was evident from their slogans, flags, and banners. Appeals for this Sabha are going viral on social media. A campaign vehicle was also organized in order to take the campaign to the people everywhere.
A student-youth team led by former AISA State Secretary Shivprakash Ranjan and State Secretary Shabbir Kumar and comprising Vikas Kumar, Sudhir Kumar, Ujjwal Bharti, Sonu Kumar, Randhir Kumr and others held meetings with students and youth at various places. The road from Garhani Bazaar to the venue of the meeting was decorated with flags.
A Sankalp Sabha (Memorial Meeting) was organized at Garhani Block Maidan on 31 August 2019 against the killing of CPI(ML) and Kisan leader Arun Singh and against the increasing incidents of feudal attacks in Agiaon Assembly constituency.
Despite the humidity and heat, thousands of people from the Agiaon Assembly constituency — workers, farmers, students, youth, women, minorities — gathered at the meeting, holding red flags and raising slogans for justice for Arun Singh. Before the meeting started, a rally with hundreds of motorcycles welcomed Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya and arrived with him to the meeting venue. The General Secretary hoisted the flag and paid floral tribute to martyred Comrade Arun Singh and all the other martyrs. The meeting, conducted by Kisan leader Chandradeep Singh, began with a song in honor of martyrs sung by people’s poet Nirmohi.
The meeting was addressed by main speaker Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, CC members Manoj Manzil and Raju Yadav, Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad, RYA State President Ajit Kushwaha, Insaf Manch State Secretary Qayamuddin Ansari, AIPWA District Secretary Indu Singh, Arun Singh’s son Anshu Singh and others.
Comrade Dipankar put the local representatives in the dock in the matter of Arun Singh’s murder and said that as people’s representatives they should condemn this incident. Arun Singh was first and foremost a people’s representative. The struggle in Bhojpur had begun with the fight for Mukhiya elections, and today if after 50 years an Arun Singh becomes the Mukhiya and talks of farmers, workers, and CPI(ML), he is killed. Comrade Dipankar said that the governments in both Delhi and Patna want to suppress all voices of dissent, even at the Panchayat level. These governments want to use their power as a gunpoint to snatch away our rights. The history of Bhojpur is witness to its spirited fight against such loot, and the CPI(ML) will carry forward this spirit of Bhojpur and fulfill the dreams of all the martyrs.