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Gathering protests over tribals' eviction in Jharkhand

Published by MAC on 2005-11-08

Gathering protests over tribals' eviction in Jharkhand


8th November 2005

RANCHI: Opposing displacement of tribals without a rehabilitation package to make way for the billions of rupees worth of new industries in Jharkhand, political parties and organisations have threatened to intensify their agitation from Nov 10.

Jamin Bachao Andolan (JBA), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha of Shibu Soren, Jharkhand Janadhikar Party (JPP) and others opposing the eviction, have said "peoples curfew" would be imposed in the areas likely to be affected.

They have coined a slogan 'Jan Denge Par Jamin Nahi Denge (we will lay down our lives, but will not give up our land)'.

"We will impose janta (people's) curfew and hold rallies in different parts of the state," Deo Kumar Dhan, a former Congress legislator and convener of JBA, said.

Soren has been demanding 33 percent share for tribals in the industries in lieu of land. "Over the years more than two million tribals have been displaced. The state government should have come out with a rehabilitation policy to safeguard their interest".

Other parties opposing the displacement are also demanding a share for the tribals in the new industries.

Jharkhand has signed 42 MoUs and needs 60,000 acres for the new projects in steel, mining and power sectors. Though the state government has already drafted a rehabilitation policy, it is likely to come out with it only by the month end.

Even the state land and revenue minister, Chandra Prakash Chaudhary, has embarrassed the government on the issue by saying that "the move to acquire land is inappropriate at this juncture. The government should first announce the rehabilitation policy then acquire land".

Reacting to the opposition criticism, Chief Minister Arjun Munda has asked the parties to spell out their stand on industrialisation. "People should know whether the state needs investors or not to remove unemployment".

The intensity of opposition to the land acquisition move can be gauged by the resistance the representatives of various companies have been facing while surveying land for the proposed projects.

Over the years, 20 percent population of the state has been displaced for setting up industries like Tata Steel, Bokaro Steel plant and Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC).

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