Ramo Birua, in his 80s, who had sent the West Singhbhum (Chaibasa) Police into a tizzy by planning to announce a “separate Kolhan estate” on the basis of “British-era documents”, died on Thursday.
Confirming the death of the man charged with sedition, Chaibasa SP Mayur Patel said: “Birua fell ill this morning at Chaibasa district jail, where he was lodged since his arrest. He was taken to hospital, but died on the way.”
On December 18, 2017, Birua, a resident of Manjhari-Bhagavilla village, had planned to announce himself as “Khewatdar-in-Council of Kolhan” in Bindibasa village of Khuntpani Block in Chaibasa. Under this scheme, he was supposed to be the supreme commander and ruler of Kolhan region – Chaibasa, Jamshedpur and Seraikela-Kharsawan. He had also got letters, certificates and banners printed in the name of “Kolhan Estate Council” and had begun issuing “caste and other birth certificates” to people. He had also claimed that the power was given to him by the President of India and the British Queen.
The police had got the wind of Birua’s programme and arrived at the spot before the “flag-hoisting ceremony”. Birua, who had at one point retired as ADM in the then undivided Bihar, remained underground for a long time. Finally, he was arrested on June 1 this year from a rented accommodation in Chaibasa, where he had come to stay with his son. Many of his associates have also been arrested. A total of 55 people were named in the FIR.
The movement for a “separate Kolhan” had gained momentum in the mid-1980s, when some leaders had even written to the United Nations. However, those leaders were arrested and the movement had died down before Birua tried to revive it in the last few years.