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Death of Dalit election candidate warrants CBI enquiry

By Bobby Ramakant

April 14, 2009
The author is a World Health Organization (WHO) Director General’s WNTD Awardee 2008 and writes extensively on health and development. Email:

Bahadur Lal Sonkar (48 years) who was contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from Jaunpur parliamentary constituency of India , was found dead hanging from a tree on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti. He was contesting elections from Indian Justice Party (IJP).

"It is very unfortunate that on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti such gory incident has taken place" said SR Darapuri, who is a Lok Rajniti Manch (People's Politics Front) candidate from prestigious constituency of Lucknow . He expressed concern over the mysterious death of Bahadur Lal Sonkar.

Criminalization of politics is reaching at alarming levels. As per media reports, the IJP said that "Bahadur Lal was receiving life threats from BSP candidate Dhananjay Singh and some top police officials. The latter were asking him to withdraw his nomination or be ready to face the music." (The Pioneer, 14 April 2009).

"We demand CBI enquiry into the incident and appropriate legal action should be taken without delay against those who are responsible for the death of Bahadur Lal Sonkar" asserted Darapuri.

"Bahadur Lal was a dalit leader in Jaunpur. We are concerned that despite of the fact that Bahadur Lal had reportedly informed the authorities about the life-threats and demanded security, he neither got the security nor any action was taken to preempt such killing" said Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee (2002) and member, National Presidium, Lok Rajniti Manch.

"The dominant model of mainstream political parties which rely on muscle power, money power and unscrupulous ways for winning elections needs to be rejected" further added Dr Sandeep Pandey.

The criminalization of politics is of extreme concern and pressure is building to bar those with criminal backgrounds from politics.

(Citizen News Service – CNS)


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