I really struggled to find heading for article but convinced myself that content is more important than heading of article.
There is urge to write through Bihar Times about issues which is causing massive upsurge in rural areas across country. The glimpses have been seen in Nandigram in WB and many other Nandigram has gone unnoticed. One of the Nandigram brewing is in Rahua Mani of Saharsa District of Bihar. Before writing about the incidence will like to deal on broader issues of development with land acquisition. There had been and will be massive unrest where unfair means has been put to acquire land of farmers. For farmers that is not only means of sustenance but pride which is carried over from generation immemorial and when that is forcefully or tactfully grabbed by local contractors (Mostly are muscleman) couple with government department create immense anger among people and society. That’s the reason behind massive upheaval of any land acquisition on name of development. Development can’t be perceived from point of view of facilitator of the process but from recipient of development. Until and unless that is understood and imbibed with governance development of above type will be resisted with sacrifice of many lives.
Now lets dig what is happening in few of Bihar village (Rahua Mani, Garhiya & Balha Tola) which is viewing construction of road (Road no 29/27) by National Building Construction Corporation abbreviated as NBCC. The land of the farmer has been grabbed by contractor named Niranjan Singh who has many professions besides executing the construction of project on behalf of contractor. This gentleman is physical teacher in school with criminal antecedent ranging from Murder, Extortion, possession of illegal arms, intimidating people etc and can be verified by different police station of Saharsa district. Above all biggest surprise is the role of NBCC (decoding of abbreviation will result in National Building of Coercion/Corruption/Criminal corporation) and Project Manager Mr. RP Guha who even after so many application doesn’t bother to have proper measurement and re-look at whole project rather he entered in village with goons and few policeman to abuse farmers at their own land. It is typical story of Bollywood movie KISAN staring Jackie Shroff, Arbaz Khan and others. Here also village Panchayat was managed by above mention goons (Niranjan Singh) and family was threatened with life in case of disobedience. In fact one of the farmers Chnadrakishore Shah was called to Project Manager office of NBCC in Saharsa and threatened to withdraw or face police action with dire consequences. The only thing he did is to send written complain to administration which is of no avail.
As in movie there is silver line to it few of the farmers with the help of some renowned face approached to District Magistrate of Saharsa Mr. R Lakshmanan who acted swiftly by asking concern authority to investigate in to it. The report was prepared but here comes twist, the Project Manager disputed it again but administrative skill of DM overpowered his shrewdness who ordered enquiry and measurement in presence of all concern department including NBCC officials. As you know truth can’t be buried for long almost 5 Kathas of private land was grabbed by contractors in connivance with Project Manager was identified by authorities present at spot. The enquiry revealed twice the encroached land than first enquiry in presence of Circle Officer of Kahra Block. The DM has assured farmers of stern and appropriate action against culprit including Project Manager and contract executor.
Even after so many proof of misdeed by Project Manager of NBCC no action has been initiated against him rather different excuses has been thrown to farmers by NBCC Bihar & Jharkhand head Mr. PK Seth. Ridiculous is the enquiry conducted by NBCC (before the district administrative enquiry )which shows that there are no issues of land grabbing. This really reflects on organization and system at place which not only lit fire but fuel Nandigram like situation.
The issues haunting is, in situation like one above what should a farmer do who doesn’t have any means of approaching district administration nor you get capable DM like Mr R lakshamanan who took cudgel to correct and prevented Nandigram like episode though final action is awaited and farmers are confidant that guilty will be booked and rule of law will prevail.
Through Bihar Times I urge viewers to bring in to notice to nation and state in order to prevent spread of Naxals and averse attitude towards development by farming community. We really need to ponder with episode like this who is going to get motivated towards farming probably none and this is one of the reason people are averse to farming and migrating to towns and metros.
In this era of food crisis these species should be protected as endangered species and should be compensated for mental agony , harassment and demeaning of pride.
The views expressed by the author are personal.