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Opposition-called shutdown hits life in Jharkhand

IANS  |  Ranchi 

The dawn-to-dusk state-wide shutdown called by opposition parties on Friday to protest amendments in the CNT and SPT land acts affected normal life in Jharkhand.

More than 10,000 shutdown supporters were detained in the state. The top leaders who were detained included former Chief Ministers Babulal Marandi and Hemant Soren and former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, among others.

Police resorted to lathi charge in Ranchi to disperse shutdown supporters. Clashes between police and shutdown supporters occured in many districts, including Ranchi and Jamshedpur.

The shutdown supporters torched three vehicles in the state -- one in Jamshedpur and two in Dumka. They also blocked roads at many places across the state and burnt tyres in the middle of roads to stop vehicular movements.

Schools, colleges and shops remained shut in most parts of the state. In Ranchi, the shutdown impact was most visible, as all schools and shops were closed. Long-route buses did not ply.

The state government had made elaborate security arrangements. Heavy deployment of police was made in many districts of the state. Drones were also deployed to monitor the activities of those supporting the shutdown.

The united opposition included the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), Congress, Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Left parties.

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi assuring that the land acts were formulated to protect the rights of the tribal and indigenous people, Chief Minister Raghubar Das's government managed to push through the amendment bills in the assembly on Wednesday.

The bills amending the two land acts -- Chhotanagur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act -- were tabled amid vehement protests by the opposition. But the amendments were cleared by voice vote, without holding any discussions.

After the passage of the amendment bills, agricultural land can be used for non-agricultural purposes. The government can acquire land for infrastructure, power plants, roads, canals, Panchayat buildings and others.

"It is the first time that amendments to the acts have been made without people asking for it. The amendment is to facilitate industrialists in acquiring tribal people's land," said JVM-P President and former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi.

Echoing his view, former Union Minister and Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahay said: "Raghubar Das has become a dictator and he has adopted repressive measures against the people of the state."

"Three police firings have occured due to the land acquisition protest. The state machinery is being misused to suppress the voice of the people of the state," Sahay added.



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, November 25 2016. 20:46 IST