Lockdown has brought double trouble for the poor labourers in Bihar. While on the one hand, thousands of them have been left unemployed due to the lockdown and have no work to eke out their livelihood right now, on the other hand, they are being assaulted by the influential persons for refusing to harvest their standing Rabi crops.

In the past week, three such incidents have taken place in the state.

In a fresh incident, a labourer was badly beaten up by an influential villager for refusing to harvest his Rabi crops. The incident took place at Kevai Village under Daniyawan Block in Patna district on Sunday. Reports said Bholu Yadav reached the house of Hardayal Manjhi, 40, and asked him to harvest his standing crops but he refused due to the lockdown. An angry Yadav picked up a bamboo stick in hand and began assaulting him badly, leaving his hand fractured.

Another such incident was reported from Bedua Tola under Kuchaikot Police Station of Gopalganj district last week when Dalit villagers were severely beaten up for refusing to harvest standing mustard crops in the field. Reports said a local influential villager Satyendra Singh, accompanied with his henchmen, reached the Dalit hamlet on 31 March and asked the villagers to cut his mustard crops but the labourers expressed their unwillingness citing the lockdown.

The reply angered the influential farmer who assaulted them badly, leaving six of them severely wounded, including four women. What is even more shocking is that when the local villagers took the wounded to the local primary health centre, the health officials refused to entertain them citing police involvement.

Eventually, they were admitted to the Sadar Hospital but the police didn’t register any case. The matter came to light after a video of the incident went viral on social media after which local MP Alok Suman brought it to the notice of the local district superintendent of police. The SP promised action against the culprits after an inquiry.

In another incident reported from Bhojpur district, influential upper-caste villagers wounded five members of a Dalit family when they resisted their bid to forcibly take away their desi chickens from their house.

Reports said four persons entered the house of Ramnath Mushar at Sara Village under Tarari Police Station last evening and tried to forcibly carry chickens from his home. On being resisted, the miscreants misbehaved with the female members, assaulted the male family members and also opened fire on them, leaving five of them injured. The injured have been admitted to the Sadar Hospital.

“We are conducting raids to nab all the accused persons. They will be arrested very soon,” Bhojpur district superintendent of police Sushil Kumar said.