Print edition : November 15, 2013

( For Frontline go with item sent by Mr. Ajoy Ashirwad ) Patna:21/10/2013:Sonadhari Devi who lost five members of her family in Shankar Bigha massacre where 23 people were killed, at Shankar Bigha village in Arwal district of Bihar.
Photo:Ranjeet Kumar 

 Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Siyaram Chaudhury.

Sundari Devi. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

Malti Devi. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

"Parents always wish that they die first. But I saw my five-month-old daughter and two-year-old son die in front of me. They were with my mother-in-law when a group of at least 150 people attacked our village. I hid myself near the cow dung cakes. They kept firing randomly. When they saw my father-in-law, they cut his throat with a sickle as they shouted ‘Ranveer Baba ki Jay’ [Hail Ranveer baba]. The government promised to give all the victims some employment. None of us in Shankarbigha was given any job. Only some compensation money was given under the Indira Awas Yojana.”

Sonadhari Devi

Survivor of the Shankarbigha massacre on January 25, 1999.

She lost five members of her family. Total number of dead: 23.

“The court says we did not recognise them. How can we not? We see them 10 times a day. The court also asks how I survived if I saw them. I can recognise them from their voices also. Should the dead go and tell the court that these people killed them? They are so elated with the verdict that a few days ago they got into a Malah’s [Malahs are Dalits] house and beat up the family brutally for sitting on a cot in front of them. We cannot even go to the police. The court must tell us who we should go to then.”

Siyaram Chaudhary

Survivor of the Laxmanpur Bathe massacre on December 1, 1997.

Total number of dead: 61

“My two sons were killed. They did not even spare my husband, who was over 60 years old. He could not walk, but he pushed me out to flee as he did not want to see me killed. It was late in the evening. I fled in the dark with my two sons. But the attackers tricked my sons. They said that they are bada babus [police] and that they need not fear. My sons left me in the fields and never returned. Only when I came back in the morning I saw the three of them dead. My husband was shot in the bed itself where I left him.”

Sundari Devi

Survivor of the Sendani massacre on April 21, 1999. She lost three members of her family.

Total number of dead: 12

“Lalu Prasad promised to be our leader. Look, he could not even ensure any justice. He fought against us in favour of the Bahvans [synonym for Bhumihars]. The perpetrators roam about, openly threatening us again. This time, I am not going to leave them. I will cut them to death, even if I die. I will not flee. They raped our daughters, we could not do anything. But not this time. Everyone just wants to loot the money off the poor and the illiterate. All this while I was scared. Not anymore. They have started to torture my children now.”

Malti Devi Yadav

Survivor of the Sendani massacre.

She lost three members of her family.