Bindu Mahato and Manilal Mahato
Student, WHRD and HRD
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on November 10, 2021, regarding the intimidation, torture, and illegal arrest under fabricated charges of Ms. Bindhu Mohanto and lawyer Mr. Manilal Mahato by the Bihar Police.
Ms. Bindhu Mohanto is a Sarpanch Saguni Panchayat in Parsa block of Bihar. Mr. Manilal Mahato is a lawyer regularly taking up pro-bono cases. They are married to each other.
Mr. Manilal Mahato’s relatives in the village were embroiled in a dispute over paternal property. Although Mr. Mahato was one of the owners of the property, Ms. Bindu Mahato did not take up the case owing to a conflict of interest. On October 24, 2021, Mr. Dharmendra Mahato and Mr. Pankaj Kumar Mahato led a fight, related to this family property dispute, many of them severely injured.
After relatives and villagers informed Mr. Manilal Mahato and Ms. Bindu Mahato, Mr. Manilal Mahato called the Parsa Police Station Thana Prabhari Mr. Amarendra Kumar to intimate him about the incident and Mr. Mahato stated that falsely implicated in this case as the Panchayat polls were due on in the area on December 12, 2021, along with Ms. Bindu also send by briefing the same issue to the Thana Prabhari via WhatsApp and then submitted the hardcopy to the police in-charge. Again Mr. Pankaj also visited the same police station to register an FIR against nine persons under Sections 147, 148, 341, 323, 324, 307, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code who were being involved in the accident. On the same day, SI Ms. Rupam Kumari arrived at the residence of Mr. Manilal Mahato and Ms. Bindu Mahato in a police vehicle but without any name tags and asked to accompany them to the police station based on Mr. Pankaj's complaint. They told her to not contest the Panchayat Election and threatened to implicate her in a false case under the SC/ST Atrocities Act. Mr. Mahato called Saran SP and Sonpur SD Police Officer on their mobile phones. He explained the issue along with the application given to them via WhatsApp. On the other hand, Mr. Dharmendra Mahato registered a counter-FIR against 16 persons including Ms. Bindu Mahato and Mr. Manilal Mahato regarding the property dispute under Sections 147, 148, 341, 323, 325, 307, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. Ms. Mahato was formally arrested and neither provided access to a lawyer nor was allowed to contact her family.
We believe that these kinds of police harassment, torture, and illegal arrest of an elected representative for their human rights work violate the fundamental right to life and personal liberty granted by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution as well as a complete violation of their human rights as guaranteed by national and international laws.