Md Sagir was beaten to death in by the Narpatganj Primary School headmaster Hardev Ram in Bihar’s Araria district in February because he demanded a proper mid-day meal for his daughter. His children witnessed their father's gruesome end as Hardev beat Sagir together with teachers Mastaan, Shambhu and the school cook Sanjit. The incident took place in Bihar’s Araria District, Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Mandavi Devi’s village Gokhulpur who reported it.
In the past six months, the cook and the teachers have been apprehended but the main accused, Hardev Ram is yet on the run. When initially, Rukhsana tried to lodge a complaint against the accused, the village head had advised her to leave the matter alone. “The Village head wanted me to say that my husband was in Patna for health check-up when he died. But I have lodged a FIR against the accused” she reveals to Mandavi.
The incident took place when his daughter, by a class 5 student of Narpatganj Primary School. "When my son went to ask for extra porridge for his sister during the mid-day meal, the cook hit him with a ladle," says Rukhsana, Sagir's widow. Angry that his child was beaten for asking more food, Md. Sagir went to the school to complain a behaviour. It was the last time his wife or children would see him. His daughter Kashida saw her father in the last moments of his life and describes it, “All the teachers started beating him up. Then they dragged him into a room and shut the doors behind him.”
While the teachers and cook have been apprehended, the main accused Hardev Ram, the school headmaster is yet to be arrested. “He is a known neighbourhood ruffian. Even today, we see him in the village sometimes but the police have so far not arrested him,” Mandavi tells us.
Was it caste that played a role in Md Sagir’s death, was it religion violence? “This is not any caste-based violence. It is atrocity on the poorest population. Md Sagir’s family is the poorest in the village. They are so poor; their house is in the outskirts of the village. This is the case of justice denied to the weakest section,” says Ajeet Bahadur, the Video Volunteers’ State Coordinator, Bihar who guided Mandavi on this story.
Kashida and her siblings are afraid of going to school while Hardev, the man who killed their father, walks around freely in Gokhulpur. Help their mother Rukhsana, get justice for her husband. Call Superintendent of Police, Araria, Bihar on +91-9431800002 and demand that the authorities arrest the accussed.
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Mandavi Devi. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ They give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org.
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Amit Topno joined Video Volunteers in 2012, and worked extensively on various community issues without fear! This video is a tribute to Amit's courageous work.