In 1980, thirty-three people were blinded by police in the Bhagalpur district of India's eastern state of Bihar. The police claimed they were criminals and that the measures were necessary to curb the soaring crime rate in that area. In fact most of them had no criminal record, had not been convicted, or even charged with any specific crime, but were picked almost at random from the streets and villages around Bhagalpur and subjected to this quite horrendous justice. The Bihar government and its henchmen managed to cover up the whole thing so well that the only man punished was the police officer who leaked the affair. This documentary recounts the story with a simple, chilling clarity. It also makes the necessary connection between the Bhagalpur blindings and the repressive machinery inherited from the British and still maintained.
Tapan K Bose
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