Tribal killed in Jharkhand police firing

jharkhand-police-firingRanchi, (IANS) A tribal person was killed and three others injured in Jharkhand on Saturday as clashes took place between the police and tribals going to attend a rally here to protest amendments in two land acts.

According to the police, tribals in Khuti district made policemen hostage and reinforcements had to be sent to rescue them.

Two policemen were also injured in the clashes. All the three critically injured persons were referred to a hospital here.

The Adivasi Sangharsh Morcha (ASM) had called the Akrosh rally in Ranchi for Saturday to protest the Raghubar Das-led Bharatiya Janata Party government’s decision to amend two land acts having significance for the tribal population in the state.

The Jharkhand government promulgated an ordinance in July to amend the Chotangpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act.

Once the ordinance gets clearance from the President, the agricultural land in the state could be acquired for non-agriculture purposes such as building roads and setting up power projects.

Both laws were formed during the British era to protect land rights of the tribal people.

ASM convener Karma Oraon alleged that the state government was adopting repressive measures to prevent people from attending the rally.

“Buses booked for the rally have been cancelled. People have been prevented from reaching Ranchi. The government is playing with sentiments of the tribal people. Our democratic right to protest and hold rally is being threatened by using the state machinery,” said Oraon.

Thousands of tribal people participated in the rally despite heavy arrangements by the police here to thwart their attendance.

The tribals carried banners and posters demanding withdrawal of the proposed amendments.

The opposition parties, BJP alliance-partner All Jharkahnd Students Union (AJSU) and some BJP tribal legislators have been opposing the amendments.

This was the third police firing in the last two months during protest over land acquisition and proposed amendments in the two land acts.

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