A CPIML-AIKM team visited Karama village in Chauparan Thana, Hazaribagh District, Jharkhand on 6 May to find out the facts behind the death on 28 April of a dalit man Chhakkan Bhuiyan who was brutally beaten by the police.
The enquiry team comprised All India Kisan Mahasabha State Secretary Puran Mahto, CPIML Hazaribagh District Committee members Sher Mohammed, Shekhar Rai and Khurshid Anwar Ansari.
The team spoke to the victim's widow Babita Devi, elder son Suraj Bhuiyan, father Jethu Bhuiyan (70 years), relative Vifar Bhuiyan, neighbours Sunny Bhuiyan and Vijay Bhuiyan, as well as other villagers. They also visited the spot where the brutal incident took place. The following facts emerged from the team's investigations:
At about 6.30 pm on 28 April 2021 the deceased with his wife Babita Devi and brother Shankar Bhuiyan started for the neighbouring village Mangarh on his motorcycle, to go to his aunt's house. They were to attend his cousin sister's marriage. They stopped at Karama to fill petrol at the local petrol station. Just then the Chauparan Thana police arrived there in two vehicles and started beating the people present there with lathis and sticks. Everyone started running. Beaten with lathis by the police, Shankar Bhuiyan also got scared and fled. The police started beating Chhakkan and his wife. Chhakkan kept saying in defence that they were on their way to a wedding, but the police paid no heed. With relentless beatings Chhakkan fell on the roadside on to a heap of sand. Despite this the police continued to beat him brutally with lathis, as a result of which Chhakkan died. His wife Babita Devi received injuries. After that the police ran away from the spot. The dead body of the victim lay on the spot for several hours. At about 11.30 pm Barhi SDO and DSP arrived there with a police contingent and took away the body for post mortem. The next day, 29 April, Chhakkan's body was brought to his village Machla after the post mortem and handed over by the police to his family. The family performed the last rites. The victim's family told the enquiry committee that the local MLA gave Rs 10000 as assistance to the victim's dependents. The victim's dependents also said that the Chauparan Thana in-charge gave them Rs 50000 in the name of assistance and took the signature of the deceased Chhakkan's brother Shankar Bhuiyan on a piece of paper. The family does not know what was written on the piece of paper.
The enquiry team leader Puran Mahato told that the Chauparan police wielded undue violence. If they did not want to allow Chhakkan to go for the marriage they should have allowed him to go home. That would have avoided this lethal incident. The police beat Chhakkan so brutally that he died. Later the police tried to hide their crime by deceiving Chhakkan's brother Shankar into putting his signature on a piece of paper. This is prima facie a criminal act.