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Land Mafia Allegedly Attacks Dalit Farmers in Bihar Demanding Land Ownership

Reported by

Aditi Patil

Legal Review by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 10, 2019

May 17, 2022

Edited on

September 10, 2019

State

Bihar

Sector

Land Use

People Affected by Conflict

1517

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

4

ha

Starting Year

2003

Location of Conflict

Runni Saidpur

Sitamarhi

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Caste-based Conflict

Land Conflict Summary

In Runni Saidpur village in Bihar's Sitamarhi district, 316 landless Dalit families, who have been living on 10.7 acres of land since 2003, have been claiming ownership over the land under the Dakhal Dehani programme of the Bihar government, which allows landless people to take possession of the land on which they have been living for many years. The Dalits are being supported by the All India Kisan Sabha and All India Agricultural Workers Union. After multiple visits to various government offices, the block circle officer finally inspected the disputed land in early January 2019, and it was decided that the Dalit families will receive the ownership papers. But soon after, the circle officer went on a long leave due to health problems, and the responsibility was shifted to Block Development Officer (BDO) Saroj Baitha. On January 10, 2019, the BDO visited the area accompanied by 100 policemen. They were allegedly also accompanied by the local land mafia. The BDO informed the Dalits that he would conduct the inspection again and then take a decision regarding the ownership. The Dalits protested and clashed with the policemen, during which several local women were hurt. This further angered the protesters, and they sat on an indefinite hunger strike from January 11, 2019, demanding legal documents proving their ownership over the land. The Dalits claim that the local administration is siding with the uppercaste land owners, who do not want the Dalits to get this tract of land.  On January 16, the BDO called the Dalit representatives for a meeting. Just as they were about to leave the protest for the meeting, they were attacked by the land mafia, who hurled a petrol bomb at Devendra Jadav, their leader, which he narrowly missed. But two of the protesters, Binda Sahni and a Dalit woman named Anari Devi, were critically injured, along with several others. The Dalits decided to call off the hunger strike after the incident. They organised a protest rally with the call, Chalo Runni Saidpur.

Fact Sheet

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for promised land

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Details of sources (names of accused, names and numbers of any lawyers, names of any police officers contacted)

Status of Project

Original Project Deadline

Whether the Project has been Delayed

Significance of Land to Land Owners/Users

Whether the project was stalled due to land conflict

Source/Reference

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Legal Data

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Reform Laws, Central/State Government Policy, Other, Land Ceiling Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Operation Bhoomi Dakhal Dehani, Government of Bihar, 2015
The objective of this policy is to help Dalits take possession of land they have titles over.
Bihar Land Disputes Resolution Act, 2009
Section 4(1),(b),(g) [Disputes pertaining to the restoration of the right of an allottee, or for the declaration of the right of person, shall go before the Competent Authority]
Bihar Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling Area and Acquisition of Surplus Land) Act, 1951
Section 27(1) [Disposal of 50 per cent of the surplus land to landless persons belonging to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Backward Classes]
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

On January 16, 2019, goons belonging to the land mafia and landlords threw a petrol bomb at a protest led by All India Kisan Sabha leader and local committee secretary Devendra Jadav. The bomb was flung at Yadav, but it missed its target and hit a protester, Binda Sahni, who sustained 100 per cent burns and died at the hospital on January 20. Anari Devi, a woman from the Dalit community, also sustained serious burns on the back and arms, but she survived.

Date of Violation

January 16, 2019

Location of Violation

Additional Information

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Development of a network or collective

Hunger strike

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Bihar government

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

All India Kisan Sabha, All India Agricultural Workers Union

Information on the use of criminal law

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Resources

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Images

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Video

In Runni Saidpur village in Bihar's Sitamarhi district, 316 landless Dalit families, who have been living on 10.7 acres of land since 2003, have been claiming ownership over the land under the Dakhal Dehani programme of the Bihar government, which allows landless people to take possession of the land on which they have been living for many years. The Dalits are being supported by the All India Kisan Sabha and All India Agricultural Workers Union. After multiple visits to various government offices, the block circle officer finally inspected the disputed land in early January 2019, and it was decided that the Dalit families will receive the ownership papers. But soon after, the circle officer went on a long leave due to health problems, and the responsibility was shifted to Block Development Officer (BDO) Saroj Baitha. On January 10, 2019, the BDO visited the area accompanied by 100 policemen. They were allegedly also accompanied by the local land mafia. The BDO informed the Dalits that he would conduct the inspection again and then take a decision regarding the ownership. The Dalits protested and clashed with the policemen, during which several local women were hurt. This further angered the protesters, and they sat on an indefinite hunger strike from January 11, 2019, demanding legal documents proving their ownership over the land. The Dalits claim that the local administration is siding with the uppercaste land owners, who do not want the Dalits to get this tract of land.  On January 16, the BDO called the Dalit representatives for a meeting. Just as they were about to leave the protest for the meeting, they were attacked by the land mafia, who hurled a petrol bomb at Devendra Jadav, their leader, which he narrowly missed. But two of the protesters, Binda Sahni and a Dalit woman named Anari Devi, were critically injured, along with several others. The Dalits decided to call off the hunger strike after the incident. They organised a protest rally with the call, Chalo Runni Saidpur.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for promised land

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Reform Laws, Central/State Government Policy, Other, Land Ceiling Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Operation Bhoomi Dakhal Dehani, Government of Bihar, 2015
The objective of this policy is to help Dalits take possession of land they have titles over.
Bihar Land Disputes Resolution Act, 2009
Section 4(1),(b),(g) [Disputes pertaining to the restoration of the right of an allottee, or for the declaration of the right of person, shall go before the Competent Authority]
Bihar Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling Area and Acquisition of Surplus Land) Act, 1951
Section 27(1) [Disposal of 50 per cent of the surplus land to landless persons belonging to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe or Backward Classes]
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

On January 16, 2019, goons belonging to the land mafia and landlords threw a petrol bomb at a protest led by All India Kisan Sabha leader and local committee secretary Devendra Jadav. The bomb was flung at Yadav, but it missed its target and hit a protester, Binda Sahni, who sustained 100 per cent burns and died at the hospital on January 20. Anari Devi, a woman from the Dalit community, also sustained serious burns on the back and arms, but she survived.

Date of Violation

January 16, 2019

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Development of a network or collective

Hunger strike

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Bihar government

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

All India Kisan Sabha, All India Agricultural Workers Union

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch

Other Land Conflicts in Bihar

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