Justice Denied: A case of casteism in Bihar

News reports from Bihar are scarcely positive, thanks to decades of incompetent and ignorant administration. The hope of development, on the basis of which Nitish Kumar was elected the chief-minister back in 2005, started to decay slowly and is non-existent today. Worse still, discrimination on the basis of caste still stems flagrantly from rural Bihar.

Incidents of such discrimination surface with such frequency that they only come as a surprise to the avowedly obtuse. VV-PACS Community Correspondent Indu Devi reported another story that further dims an already dismal montage of Bihar’s reality.
August 2013: It was about 7 a.m. when a goat broke loose and ventured out from the house of Mira Devi, who was mourning a family member who had passed-away the previous night. Whether the goat grazed at the cornfield of Jalan Yadav’s property next dor is a matter of disagreement, but it shouldn’t matter considering what followed.

Yadav took the goat and tied it at his own house, as a compensation for his ruined harvest — as he believed it to be. It is not unusual for cattle to walk into an open field but according to Yadav, Mira Devi belongs to a ‘lower-caste’ and the crop was now a heap of waste. When Mira Devi went to Yadav’s house to get the goat back, he not only refused to return it, but also deemed it appropriate to abuse her verbally and brutalised her with a cane plank.

For Mira Devi, who was in the fourth month of her pregnancy, the beating led to a miscarriage. She went to the police station and filed a complaint. The case was filed and two months later, with efforts of VV-PACS CC Indu Devi, Yadav was arrested after two months, in November.

But as it happens in a crooked bureaucracy like Bihar, Yadav was released after a couple of weeks. Later in February, in a series of events that can’t possibly be articulated — “it’s just how it goes here,” VV-PACS CC Indu Devi said plainly — the case was turned against Mira Devi, who now frequents the district court on days the blindfolded lady calls.

Call to Action: Superintendent of Police, Begusarai District, Bihar. Phone: +91-9431800011
Call on this number to appeal for the case against Mira Devi to be dropped.

 

About the Partnership: The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme and Video Volunteers have come together to create the Community Correspondents Network. The videos generated by the network will be able to highlight voices from the margins, providing skills to social communicators to provide advocacy tools to community based organisations.

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