Opposition calls Jharkhand shutdown on Monday

Ranchi, Oct 23 (IANS) A united opposition has called for a statewide shutdown on Monday to protest the changes the state government has proposed to two land legislations and the police firings that have taken place over the last two months.

The shutdown has been jointly called by the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and is being supported by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

The parties are opposing the amendments Chief Minister Raghubar Das’s government has initiated through ordinance to the Chhottanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (SPT). They are also voicing anger over the three police firing incidents, including at Barkagaon of Hazaribagh district.

The parties have asked the chambers of commerce, and business and social organisations to extend their full support to the shutdown on Monday and keep their business establishments closed.

The shutdown is taking place only two days after the latest round of police firing took place in Khunti district on Saturday, in which one tribal was killed. The strike has also been called to protest police firing at Barkagaon of Hazaribagh district on October 1, in which four villagers were killed.

The villagers in Barkagaon have been protesting the NTPC coal block mining in their area. They allege that the land is being acquired forcibly and proper compensation is not being given to them.

The state government has made elaborate security arrangements to ward off any unpleasant incident during Monday’s shutdown.