The United Milli Forum (UMF) Jharkhand has condemned the brutal murder of the social activist Niyamat Ali Ansari in strong possible words. “The murder of Mr. Ansari is yet another attempt to silence the voices against corruption and all those who are working to expose the irregularities in the implementation of government act and schemes like MGNREGA, RTI, ICDS, etc. Moreover, these killings further expose the nexus between contractors, administration and corrupt political leaders,” said Afzal Anis, State Co-convener, UMF Jharkhand on March 3.
Niyamat was a great friend of UMF Jharkhand and his martyrdom will continue to inspire the hundreds of members of UMF across the state. Niyamat Ansari, who was resident of Kope Gram Panchayat (Manika Block), has been working tirelessly for the rights of NREGA workers in this area during the last few years. Together with other local activists, he fearlessly exposed many cases of fraud in NREGA. On February 20, 2011, Niyamat and his friends exposed a case of brazen embezzlement of NREGA funds in Rankikala Gram Panchayat. In response to this report, an FIR was lodged against the main culprit, Kailash Sahu, former BDO of Manika. More than two lakh rupees were also recovered from him and his accomplice, the Panchayat Sevak of Rankikala.
These activities made him a target of the local mafia of corrupt contractors and other criminal elements. False cases were registered against him and at least one earlier attempt was made on his life, when he narrowly escaped a gang of armed goondas who had come to look for him at home.
“While the BDO and Panchayat Sevak were caught because their names are on the fudged records, it is strongly suspected that the real mastermind behind this scam is Shankar Dubey, a notoriously corrupt local contractor (himself protected by a former MLA of this area). Like local activists, we strongly believe that the goondas who had come to his house were Shankar Dubey’s men,” Mr. Anis added.
The UMF statement demanded judicial probe into the case and arrest of the culprits and others who are involved in corruption and charges of irregularities.
The statement also demanded compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to his family and government job to at least one member of the dependents, and safety and security of all those who are fighting against corruption and involved in implementation of government acts.