Jharkhand opposition holds dharna, seeks judicial probe into police firings

Ranchi, Nov 13 (IANS) The opposition parties in Jharkhand held a dharna at the Raj Bhavan here on Sunday seeking judicial probes into three police firings and to protest proposed amendments in two land acts by the BJP government.

Leaders and workers of the Congress, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Left parties, including former Chief Minister and JVM-P President Babulal Marandi and former Union Minister and Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay, staged the sit-in carrying placards.

In September, police had fired at villagers demanding compensation for land acquired for an inland power site in Ramgarh district.

On October 1, four people were killed in police firing at Barkagao in Hazaribagh while protesting against land acquisition for coal mining. The third firing took place at Khuti district on October 22, in which one person was killed.

The protestors also voiced their opposition to the Raghubar Das-led BJP goverment’s move to amend the Chotanagur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act.

Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu had sent the two ordinance on the issue to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval, who in turn sought Centre’s suggestion. After the matter was referred to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, it advised against the proposal.

Sahay said the 2013 law pertaining to land acquisition should be implemented strictly in the state. “The Raghubar Das government is trying to grab the land for industrial houses at the cost of the tribals and ‘moolvasis’ of Jharkhand,” the Congress leader said.