February 23, 2021 1:16:41 am
A day after Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said there had been “a few miscreants” in the Pathalgadi movement of 2017-18, around 50 tribal protesters tried to install a stone plaque near the High Court in Ranchi Monday.
The plaque carried a message claiming that the Executive did not hold powers in various districts of the state, including Ranchi, which is a Scheduled Area. The erecting of plaques is a tribal custom known as Pathalgadi.
Police said the protesters were stopped midway and the plaque was not allowed to be installed.
The previous BJP government had registered several FIRs against supporters of the Pathalgadi movement in 2017-18. When the Hemant Soren-led government came to power, it announced the withdrawal of all these cases in its first cabinet decision. However, more than a year later, the government is yet to submit a request for withdrawal of the cases in court.
On Saturday, at the Harvard India Conference, Soren had said that there were some miscreants involved in the Pathalgadi movement, who were trained from Gujarat and sent to the state to gain political mileage.
During the Pathalgadi movement in 2017-18, giant stone plaques came up outside villages, declaring the gram sabha as the only sovereign authority. The plaques had inscriptions from the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled areas) Act or PESA, which the tribals quoted to claim their independence from the state and to assert their rights and culture.
While the movement petered out, many villagers alleged they were subjected to “police brutality”, or what they called “state’s repression” while it was on.
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