PATNA: Brahmeshwar Singh alias Mukhiyaji, the chief of Ranvir Sena, the dreaded private militia of ‘upper caste’ landowners, was shot dead in Ara town, 75 km from Patna, on Friday early morning by unknown assailants.
Over a dozen bullets pierced the frail body of 66 years old Brahmshwar who once terrorized the state police and remained fugitive for a long time. He had been arrested, jailed for about 8 years and released late last year.
His murder, around 5 in the morning near his house, sent shockwaves across the central Bihar. Mukhiaji’s supporters spilled out into the streets and indulged in large scale violence. They attacked several government offices besides setting many government vehicles on fire.
When the police team led by Bhojpur SP reached the murder spot, the furious mob not only manhandled the police chief but forced the police party to beat a hasty retreat. Some trains were also attacked on Ara station and several trains coming from Delhi on mainline were stopped for hours.
The violence soon spilled to adjoining areas – Jehanabd, Arwal, Paliganj and Bihta. For several hours the mob did not allow the police to reach near the body. DGP Abhyanand who was camping with chief minister Nitish Kumar at Bhagalpur rushed to Ara.
Brahmeshwar, who was ‘mukhiya’ (chief) of Khopira panchayat in 1980 shot into fame when he formed an organization of farmers to fight the growing popularity of Naxalism in the central Bihar. As per the police record the list of crimes against Brahmeshwar is quite long as his private militia Ranvir Sena was the mastermind of several caste carnages including Bathe, the worst ever carnage in Bihar history and Bathani tola.
Brahmeshwar had also contested Lok Sabha election from Ara in 2004. Though he lost, he secured about 1.75 lakh votes. Recently he had expressed his desire to expand his base by launching socio-political agitation. He always denied that he was chief of Ranvir Sena, arguably the most dreaded private army in Bihar.
Condemning the murder, RJD supreme Lalu Prasad demanded a Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the killing. “Had this murder taken place during the RJD regime, I would have been directly blamed for it,” said Lalu whose government had arrested Mukhiyaji. JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwary alleged that the murder was the result of a political conspiracy to ignite social tension in the now peaceful Bihar. CM Nitish Kumar has appealed the public to maintain social harmony and peace.