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  India   All India  03 Jan 2017  36 years on, blindings still a dark reality in Bihar

36 years on, blindings still a dark reality in Bihar

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 3, 2017, 6:27 am IST
Updated : Jan 3, 2017, 7:31 am IST

9-10 Bhagalpur-like incidents recorded every year since 2012, says documentary maker.

The film aims to depict the fact that such blinding of petty criminals and accused did not ever stop. (Representational image)
 The film aims to depict the fact that such blinding of petty criminals and accused did not ever stop. (Representational image)

New Delhi: Mob justice, in the form of blindings, depicted in the much acclaimed film Gangaajal, has not stopped in Bihar. A short film, depicting the rise of such incidents after the infamous Bhagalpur blinding case of 1980-81, has been issued a U/A certificate by the censor board last month.

The film titled, The Eyes Of Darkness, is based on stories of many such victims of forcible blindings who are struggling to get justice but with no success so far.   

The film aims to depict the fact that such blinding of petty criminals and accused did not ever stop. In fact, the documentary claims that ever since the Bhagalpur incidents, enacted under the supervision of Bihar policemen, there has been a spurt in these. “Despite the Central and state governments acting against the policemen, who were accused in these cases, it seems that the local population has taken upon itself to give summary mob justice to accused,” said director and producer of the film Amitabh Parashar.

The Bhagalpur incident shook the nation’s conscience in 1980s with barbaric tales of blinding by injecting acid, infamously called Gangajal, in the eyes of the undertrials. Some policemen allegedly took the law into their hands by pouring acid in the eyes of 33 undertrials. However, 36 years and an Ajay Devgn-starred blockbuster, named Gangaajal, later, “street justice” remains a reality in the state.

The documentary shows many cases of blinding, including a bizarre case of Shahid Khan who was blinded about 22 years ago in left eye after being accused of cow theft, and was made to undergo similar punishment and blinded in the right eye after he was accused of the same charge. The film also shows a case of dalit labourer Ranjeet Sada, who was blinded because he demanded his wages from his employer.  

This character-driven film has Munna Thakur, a former criminal as its main protagonist who was blinded in November 2012 when he returned to his village after serving three years in Araria prison.

The filmmaker claims he recorded an average 9-10 blinding cases every year in the interiors of the state since 2012.

Though the 53-minute film, Parashar also aims to depict that several victims of these blindings were innocent and they had to undergo such torture due to their low social status or attempts by some people to settle personal scores.

The filmmaker claimed that during his two years of research for the film, he has discovered that “most of the victims of such blindings were still awaiting justice and compensation from the government while the perpetrators of such crimes were roaming free.”

Tags: gangaajal, the eyes of darkness, bihar police, censor board
Location: India, Bihar, Patna