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Ranvir Sena


Among all the private armies that came into being in Bihar, the Ranvir Sena is the most powerful and most organised. It is a private army of upper-caste landowners and is known to be operating in central Bihar.

The nomenclature ‘Ranvir’ has been adapted from the mythical figure Ranvir Baba. As the legend goes, during the late 19th century, Ranvir Baba, a retired military man and a resident of Belaur village in Bhojpur district, protected the rights of the Bhumihars, a land-owing upper caste of the State, against the Rajputs. It is said that, due to the activities of Ranvir Baba, the Bhumihars asserted their power in Bhojpur district. And ‘sena’ means army.

The Ranvir Sena came into existence primarily to counter the influence of various left-wing extremist, Naxalite, groups and the Communist Party of India, Marxist-Leninist [CPI-ML] (Liberation) in central Bihar. It was founded in September 1994 in Belaur village of Udwantnagar block, Bhojpur district following the merger of private caste armies like Savarna Liberation Army and the Sunlight Sena. The forerunners to the Ranvir Sena in Bhojpur district were the Brahmarshi Sena and Kuer Sena, Kisan Morcha and Ganga Sena. These senas were smaller in size and operated with a limited area. They could not sustain for long and had withered away owing to repeated Naxalite onslaughts.

Dharichan Chaudhary of Belaur had founded the Ranvir Sena. Its founding and continuing commander is Brahmeshwar Singh of Khopira village.


The primary objective of the Ranvir Sena is to wipe out left-wing extremist groups from Bihar.

Area of Operation

From Bhojpur district where it was formed, over a period of time, the Ranvir Sena spread to Jehanabad, Patna, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Bhabhua and Buxur districts. It mobilises the landed gentry in these districts against the People’s War Group (PWG), the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and the CPI-ML (Liberation)

Leadership and Organisation

The Ranvir Sena is highly organised, has extensive influence among landowners in its areas of operation, and is well endowed with financial resources.

Sena cadres are militarily better organised and are better paid than any of the private armies of the past. The cadres operate mostly underground while their leaders live in towns and come to a village only when a massacre has to be planned and executed.

Brahmeshwar Singh, on whose head the authorities have placed a reward of half a million Indian rupees, is the supreme commander of the Ranvir Sena. He was arrested in Patna on August 29, 2002. Initial reports said Shamsher Bahadur Singh was, on September 7, 2002, appointed new chief of the Ranvir Sena. However, according to a report of Dcember 25, 2002, the chief of the Ranvir Sena is Bhuar Thakur. He, too, was arrested on December 24.

The outfit has an estimated strength of 400 underground cadres. Landowners in central Bihar finance the Sena through “generous” subscriptions. Official sources, in the year 2000, said each member of the Sena is paid between Rs. 1,100 and Rs. 1,200 per month for work that essentially involves committing murders. Besides, the life of each cadre participating in a massacre is insured for a hundred thousand Indian rupees.

The Ranvir Sena has also founded a front organisation named Ranvir Kisan Maha Sangh, which looks after socio-economic and political activities of the upper castes. The Ranvir Mahila Sangh, a women’s wing has also been floated to organise upper caste women. They have been trained, too, in the use of arms.

Naxalite organisations cite the patronage extended by the various political parties as one of the reasons for the survival of the Ranvir Sena. They also allege that the State administration is partial towards the Sena. However, it is a fact that the Bihar State government has banned the Ranvir Sena in July 1995 and since then the Sena remains proscribed.

Major Incidents


  • July 23: A self-styled commander of the Ranvir Sena was arrested from Bihar's Gaya district. Mahesh Sharma, wanted in connection with several cases, including the massacre of 15 people belonging to a backward caste at Miapur village in Gaya district in year 2000, was arrested from his native Turki village in Gaya. Superintendent of Police Amit Jain informed that a .315 bore rifle and 59 rounds of ammunition were seized from Sharma, who was wanted in several criminal cases in the Gaya, Jehanabad and Aurangabad districts.

  • February 21: The Patna High Court granted bail to Brahmeshwar Mukhiya, the commander-in-chief of Ranvir Sena, who had been behind bars in Patna's Beur Jail since his arrest in August of 2002. He had allegedly confessed of masterminding several massacres in Bihar, including his involvement in the Lakhshmanpur-Bathe killing in 1997. Officials, however, said that Mukhiya would remain in Beur Jail for his involvement in many other cases.


  • November 14: The Ranvir Sena declared that it would expand its network and that it would be using trained former army personnel to counter the Maoists. In a strategy meeting held in an unspecified village in the Patna district, the Ranvir Sena chose leader Trayambakeshwar as the new chief and declared, "Now Sena strategy, activities and plans would be guided by the new chief."

  • July 15: Awadesh Sharma, a member of the banned outfit Ranvir Sena who is charged with killing 12 people in Bihar in 1999, was arrested. Sharma, an ‘area commander’ who had been absconding, was arrested in Gaya district. Sharma is accused of killing 12 people - seven from backward castes and five Dalits - in an armed attack on the Zahirbigha and Khagribigha hamlets of Sandani village in the Gaya district in April 1999.

  • February 15: The prime accused in the Miyanpur caste massacre in 2000, Ambuj Sharma, belonging to the outlawed Ranvir Sena outfit, is arrested. In Miyanpur village of Aurangabad district, at least 34 backward caste Dalits and Yadavs were killed by the Ranvir Sena on June 16, 2000.


  • November 25: Police raids Sendwa village under Parasbigha police station limits in Bihar's Jehanabad district on receiving information that some activists of the banned Ranvir Sena, which has threatened to avenge the killing and abduction of its cadre during the November 13-attack by the CPI-Maoist in Jehanabad, had assembled at the village and opened fire to terrorise the people. During the raid, eight Ranvir Sena activists are arrested and a cache of arms and ammunition is seized from them.

  • November 17: Cadres of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and Ranvir Sena exchanged fire at Benibigha village in the Arwal district. However, no casualties were reported in the incident.

  • November 14: The CPI-Maoist kills nine Ranvir Sena hostages they had abducted from the Jehanabad district jail a day earlier. Three bodies, believed to be of the abducted Ranvir Sena cadres, are recovered from the rail tracks near the jail. Five others are killed in the adjoining Gaya district. The body of Visweshwar Rai, a prominent Sena member, is found in a Jehanabad village.

  • November 13: Approximately thousand cadres of the CPI-Maoist launches near simultaneous attacks on the jail, police lines and a paramilitary camp at Jehanabad in the State of Bihar, killing two persons and injuring five others. Approximately 12 activists of the Ranvir Sena are abducted. Pamphlets left by the Maoists at the jail said 'Operation Jailbreak' was deliberately made to coincide with the ‘great November 13 Russian revolution’ and its aim was to "rescue our comrades and to award death penalty to select Ranvir Sena activists" lodged in the jail.

  • March 9: Two activists of the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (Liberation) are killed and four others, including three women, are wounded by suspected Ranvir Sena cadres in the Bhojpur district of Bihar.


  • December 7: Security in Patna around the Chief Minister Rabri Devi’s residence is raised following the discovery of a banner allegedly created and discarded by Ranvir Sena issuing threats to the Chief Minister to be prepared to face dire consequences if she chose to context the Legislative Assembly elections in 2005.

  • July 29: The Ranvir Sena threatens to kill the Jehanabad Jail Superintendent and his family members for continuing to discriminate against the upper caste prisoners who, they said, were being singled out by the jail officials for mistreatment and humiliation.

  • April 26: Armed activists of the Ranvir Sena kill three cadres of the banned People’s War Group (PWG) near the Karpi police station area of Arwal district in Bihar.

  • March 28: The outlawed Ranvir Sena kills three villagers at Bishunbigha and its adjacent villages in the Jehanabad district of Bihar.

  • January 3: Members of the Ranvir Sena shot dead five people and injure two others at Bariari village in the Arwal district of Bihar.


  • November 17: Ranvir Sena threatens United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) with dire consequences if it instigates violence against Biharis residing in Assam.

  • November 15: An All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) activist is shot dead by suspected Ranvir Sena cadres in the Patna district of Bihar.

  • February 11: Ranvir Sena cadres kill one person and injure two others at Newdhi village in the Gaya district of Bihar.


  • November 3: Two persons are killed by suspected activists of the Ranvir Sena in Dighi, Gaya district.
    Ranvir Sena ‘area commander’, a key accused in the Bathanitola massacre, is arrested in Dulamchak village, Bhojpur district.

  • October 2: Ranvir Sena kills an activist of the CPI-ML (Liberation) in Noama village, Jehanabad district.

  • October 24-25: An estimated six persons, including a woman, are killed in a clash between activists of the Ranvir Sena and Communist Party of India––Marxist-Leninist [CPI-ML] (Liberation) in Kurmuri village, under Sikarhata police station-limits, Bhojpur district.

  • October 8: Activists of the Ranvir Sena kill a woman supporter of the CPI-ML (Liberation) and her three-year old daughter in Nuan village, under Shakurabad police station-limits, Jehanabad district.

  • September 23: Five left-wing extremists—Naxalites—of the People’s War Group (PWG) are killed allegedly by activists of the Ranvir Sena, in Majidpur village, Jehanabad district.

  • September 19: Police arrest 18 activists of the Ranvir Sena in Kurmuri village, Bhojpur district.

  • September 7: Shamsher Bahadur Singh is appointed new chief of the Ranvir Sena.

  • August 29: The Special Task Force (STF) of Bihar police arrest Brahmeshwar Singh, head of the Ranvir Sena, and four of his associates from a hotel in Patna. Official sources maintain that Singh is the main accused in several criminal cases, including in approximately 20 cases of massacre perpetrated by the Ranvir Sena in central Bihar.

  • August 24: Three Ranvir Sena activists are overpowered and lynched by local residents at a place under Nawada police station limits, Bhojpur district, while they were attempting to escape after killing a person.

  • July 7: Six activists of the Ranvir Sena are arrested from Khairja village, under Kinjer police station limits, Arwal district. Police sources say the arrested activists include Satish Sharma, wanted for the June 16, 2000-massacre in Miapur, Aurangabad district, in which 35 persons were killed.

  • June 11: Suspected activists of the Ranvir Sena kill two persons and injure an old woman in Sarta village, under Kinjer police station limits, Arwal district.

  • May 5: Ranvir Sena kills six Rajasthani dalit labourers in Bhojpur district.

  • April 27: Ranvir Sena kills two children at Ara, Bhojpur district.

  • March 16: Three persons are killed by the Ranvir Sena in Buddhubigha village, Arwal district.


  • November 28, 2001: Two persons, believed to be left-wing extremists-Naxalites-of the People's War Group (PWG), are killed and two others injured by activists of the Ranvir Sena in Jhunathi More village, Jehanabad district.

  • September 13, 2001 Seven persons seriously injured in an attack by the Ranvir Sena at a village near the Paraiya railway station, Gaya district.

  • July 9, 2001 Police arrest four activists of the Ranvir Sena from Shahpur village, Rohtas district, and recover some arms and ammunition from their possession.


  • September 10: Ranvir Sena kills six persons at Dumariyan, Bhojpur district.

  • June 16: Ranvir Sena massacres 35 persons at Miapur village, Aurangabad district.


  • April 21: Ranvir Sena massacres 12 persons at Sendani village, Gaya district.

  • February 10: 11 persons are massacred by the Ranvir Sena in Narayanpur village, Jehanabad district.

  • January 25: 23 persons belonging to dalit and backward caste communities are massacred by the Ranvir Sena in Shankarbigha village, Jehanabad district, central Bihar.


  • December 1: Ranvir Sena massacres 58 persons at Lakshsmanpur-Bathe village, Jehanabad district.

  • November 22: Ranvir Sena kills six persons at Katesar Nala, Jehanabad district.

  • November 3: Ranvir Sena cadres kill eight persons at Khadasin, Jehanabad district.

  • April 10: 10 persons massacred at Ekwari village, Bhojpur district, by the Ranvir Sena.

  • March 23: Ranvir Sena massacres 10 persons at Habispur village, Patna district.


  • December 22: Six persons are killed by the Ranvir Sena at Ekbari, Bhojpur district.

  • December 12: The Ranvir Sena kills five persons at Khanet, Bhojpur district.

  • November 26: Ranvir Sena kills four persons at Purhara, Bhojpur district.

  • July 11: Ranvir Sena massacres 22 persons at Bathani-tola, Bhojpur district.

  • May 19: Three persons killed by Ranvir Sena at Nadhi, Bhojpur district.

  • May 5: Ranvir Sena kills five persons at Nadhi, Bhojpur district.

  • April 22: Ranvir Sena killed three persons at Nanpur, Bhojpur district.

  • February 7: Ranvir Sena cadres kill four persons at Pathalpura Bhojpur district.


  • July 25: Ranvir Sena kills six persons at Sarthua, Bhojpur district.

  • April 4: Ranvir Sena kills three persons at Khoparia, Bhojpur district.





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