Act changes spur bike stir

Ranchi, Dec. 4: Tribals will take out a motorcycle rally from Ulihatu in Khunti to Bhognadih in Sahebganj between December 12 and 22 to protest the recent amendments in Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Acts.

Ulihatu and Bhognadih are revered as birthplaces of tribal icons Birsa Munda and Sido and Kanhu Murmu.

Organised by Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan, a Jamshedpur-based tribal outfit, Jharkhandi Satyagrah Motorcycle Rallywill cover over 400km. While Abhiyan members along with Jharkhand Disom Party (JDP) supporters will start from Chaibasa (West Singhbhum) on December 11, they will officially kick off the drive from Ulihatu in Khunti on December 12. The rally will cover Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Giridih, Godda and finally reach Sahebganj’s Bhognadih.

Opposition and tribal groups are up in arms against changes in tenancy Acts, fearing they would dilute tribal rights to land. The changes prescribe use of farmland for non-agriculture activities.

“Around 100 tribals will take part in the rally. We will raise awareness among people on how changes in CNT and SPT Acts, passed during the winter session of the Assembly, will be detrimental to them. Bandhs and other forms of protests have not yielded much result,” JDP’s central vice-president Sonaram Soren said over phone from Jamshedpur.

JDP supremo Salkhan Murmu, a former MP from Mayurbhanj (Odisha), said drastic steps were needed. “We appeal to all tribal MLAs to rise above their respective party lines and together protest the move of the Raghubar Das government. MLAs can tender mass resignation and create a constitutional crisis-like situation. All JMM MLAs may resign from Vidhan Sabha membership,” Murmu said.

Alleging that the Opposition was now “fighting only for the sake of it”, he stressed on a concerted protest to force the government to roll back amendments. “The shadow fight between the government and Opposition won’t yield anything. It will be mere politics and tribals will be cheated again,” he said.

The Abhiyan and JDP also have reservations against the domicile policy drafted by the Raghubar government in April. District-level posts would be reserved for local natives (adivasis and moolvasis) of districts only for the next 10 years, they have pointed out.

The JMM, meanwhile, has called its central executive meeting on December 7 at party president Shibu Soren’s Morabadi residence to work out a protest roadmap on the issue.Courtesy:TheTelegraph.

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Author: madhubaganiar

Madhubaganiar loves to write on social issues especially for downtrodden segment of Indian society.

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