Ara (Bihar): Brahmeshwar Singh, who headed the outlawed private militia of landlords, Ranivr Sena, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Bhojpur district today, triggering tension in the area where authorities have clamped day-long curfew.
Singh was taking a stroll when the unidentified gunmen pumped several bullets into him, killing him on the spot at Katira Mohalla under Nawada police station, 71 kms from Patna, the police said.
Singh, alias Mukhiya ji, who faced life imprisonment in several cases of carnage he had perpetrated on the lower caste landless poor, including in Laxmanpur Bathe where 61 Dalits were massacred in December, 1996, was acquitted and released from jail in April this year. Between 1976 and 2001, Bihar had witnessed a number of massacres executed either by the feudal forces or by the self-styled champions of the landless poor.
He is also suspected to have organised carnages in the districts of Jahanabad, Aurangabad and Nawada in the 1990s. As the news of the killing spread, hundreds of Sena supporters gathered at the site of the killing and shouted anti-government slogans. They also tried to chase away policemen including the superintendent of police, who had arrived on the spot. A day-long curfew has been imposed in the town as a precautionary measure and police patrolling intensified as tension ran high. "We have imposed a day-long curfew on Ara town,"
Sub-divisional officer Dharmesh Kumar said, adding the situation is tense but under control. Prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were also enforced in the district after the killing of Singh.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called upon the people in Bhojpur to maintain peace and harmony. Kumar, who is in Bhagalpur in connection with his "Seva Yatra", said senior officials had been despatched to Ara to help maintain law and order.