Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) supremo and Gujarat MLA from Jhagadia Assembly Constituency in Bharuch district, Chhotu Vasava, has started a campaign to support the three alleged ‘Pathalgadi movement’ workers from Jharkhand arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad. The ATS had arrested Samu Oreya and Birsa Oreya from Khunti district of Jharkhand, from Vyara in Tapi district and Babita Kachhap of Ranchi in Jharkhand from Mahisagar district on Friday.
They were booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 121A (conspiracy to commit offence).
Late Saturday night, Vasava, on his official Twitter handle, started a campaign to support Kachhap.
Earlier on Saturday, Vasava put out a series of tweets with the hashtag “Naxali ki paribhasha batao” (Tell us the definition of naxalites), stating, “Those who have raised a finger at a daughter of a tribal and called her a naxalite, must also tell us what is the definition of Naxalites.”
When contacted, Vasava explained that the campaign was against “all those governments that have” violated the Constitution for destroying tribal communities in the name of Naxalism. But none of the governments have defined what Naxalism is. Let the Congress and BJP leaders not take this discussion on a different tangent. We want a definition of the term,” he said, adding that the governments were using the law against those who were fighting for the rights of the tribal communities and seeking the implementation of the Schedule V of the Constitution along with the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act.
Vasava, who, along with his son, abstained from voting in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls in June, seeking an undertaking from the BJP and the Congress about the implementation of the two provisions, has also announced a ‘Pathalgadi movement’ in the state earlier in June. The announcement had come after the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) began fencing lands of the tribal villages, which it had acquired in 1961 for the construction of the Narmada Dam. The fencing had resulted in much tension and violent clashes with the police providing protection to SSNNL officials.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines