The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested three alleged ‘Pathalgadi movement’ workers from Jharkhand living in Tapi and Mahisagar districts of Gujarat for allegedly trying to instigate the local adivasi community towards “violent uprising” against the state government on Friday.
As per the ATS officials, the three accused have been booked under Indian penal code sections 124A for sedition, 153A for promoting enmity between groups, 120B for criminal conspiracy, and 121A for conspiracy to commit offence.
The accused have been identified as Samu Oraiyya and Birsa Oraiyya, natives of Khunti district in Jharkhand who were living in Vyara area of Tapi, and Babita Kachap, a native of Ranchi in Jharkhand who was living in Jaldada village in Santrampur of Mahisagar.
“ATS received input that three persons living in Tapi and Mahisagar are Pathalgadi movement workers and are involved with other workers in a conspiracy to instigate the followers of Satipati community in Tapi and Mahisagar district for a violent uprising against the elected government. Among the three accused, Birsa and Babita are absconding in different offences lodged against them in Jharkhand concerning to violent activities related to the Pathalgadi movement. They have been arrested and a case has been booked against them and unknown persons,” read the statement released by the Gujarat ATS on Friday night.
Pathalgadi movement refers to the 2016 movement which started primarily in Maoist belt of Khunti and its surrounding districts in Jharkhand, where the tribal population had erected huge stone plaques outside their respective villages which announced restriction on entry of any ‘outsiders’ in their villages and also mentioned excerpts from the Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Area) Act. The word Pathalgadi literally translates to carving a stone in the tribal culture of Jharkhand. The Pathalgadi movement, which advocates self rule, has resulted in violence in Jharkhand between the state government and tribal people back in 2016 and 2017.
ATS officials said that the accused Birsa and Samu were allegedly trying to collect funds to spread the Pathalgadi movement ideology among the Satipati community followers.
“We have received input that Babita Kachap was instigating the Satipati community followers towards using violent means in Mahisagar. Similarly, Samu and Birsa were involved in instigating people in Tapi. Using technical surveillance it was found that the accused were doing propaganda of violence and a raid was conducted at the houses where they were living today. We have also collected literature related to banned organisation Communist party of India (Maoist). The mobile phones and laptop of the accused have also been seized for further probe. The accused Birsa and Samu were involved in collecting money to spread the ideology of Pathalgadi movement in Tapi. The accused were using the method of Pathalgadi movement to create violence against the elected government among the tribal people.”
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