A protest by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers outside the secretariat in Ranchi, against the Hemant Soren government’s “failure to tackle unemployment, corruption, and deteriorating law and order”, ended in a ruckus as the police resorted to lathi-charge, used water cannons and tear gas. At least 30 workers suffered injuries, while 24 were detained.
The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha termed it a “political gimmick”. In another controversy, Congress MLA Irfan Ansari demanded the Jharkhand government “beat up the BJP leaders who were going to lay siege to the secretariat, and break their bones” as they are misleading people. Ansari also alleged that Rs 2,000 per person is being given by the BJP to take them to the gherao programme.
Thousands of BJP workers and general public from villages of the state protested at Prabhat Tara Maidan in Dhurwa against the state. Additional security forces were deployed ahead of the protest and barricades were put up at strategic locations to maintain law and order and smooth movement of vehicles.
As a precautionary measure, the district administration clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 from 8am to 11.30pm around 200 metres of the building. The protesters broke the barricades and stood on them. The police lathi-charged, used water cannons, and dozens of tear gas shells. The workers were chased and beaten up. Over two dozen leaders and supporters of BJP were detained for violating section 144 and breaking the barricades. Over 30 who suffered injuries were shifted to private hospitals. During the lathi charge, there were blood stains on the clothes of former Chief Minister Raghubar Das. In a conversation with News 18, Das said, “This blood stain will prove to be the last nail in the coffin.”
MP Sameer Oraon, Sunil Singh and MLA Biranchi Narayan were among those detained. BJP’s state president and MP Deepak Prakash said the police personnel were working at the behest of JMM workers. He also said that the government has lost the trust of the public, and so is resorting to violence. “This is a struggle against dictatorship, corruption-ridden, development-free, government of middlemen, loot of mineral wealth, government of appeasement and the atrocities by police will be remembered. The struggle against the government will continue and this government has to be uprooted in the 2024 elections.”
The BJP president has announced a ‘Black Day’ in all the mandals of the state on Wednesday.
Can’ stop voices with lathis and bullets: Babulal Marandi
Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi said the government tried to crush the movement. “The government wants to stop public’s questions in a democracy with sticks and bullets. But the BJP’s struggle will continue and the Hemant Soren government has to be uprooted,” he said.
Development work just on paper: Raghubar Das
Raghubar Das, while addressing the meeting, took a dig at the government and said that people are troubled by unemployment, appeasement, casteism, abuse, extremism, infiltration, commission and failing law and order. “The state government is completing development works on paper, but the development is nowhere to be seen,” he said.
Tribal society is being attacked: Arjun Munda
Union Minister and former Chief Minister Arjun Munda said that mineral wealth is being looted under the patronage of the government. “The land of the tribals is being looted, the mafia-police system is getting the tribals murdered. Women, sisters, youth, unemployed, backward farmers, Dalits, tribals have become helpless due to the misrule of the government. On the one hand, the Modi government at the centre is increasing the respect for all, while attacks are taking place in Jharkhand,” he said.
BJP will also work to beautify Jharkhand: Annapurna Devi
Addressing the gathering, Union Minister of State and Koderma MP Annapurna Devi said that the state government’s attempt to stop the workers from attending the protest shows Soren’s defeat. “The land of Lord Birsa Munda never tolerates injustice. Hemant Sarkar cannot be allowed to loot. Jharkhand was built by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the BJP will protect the state.”
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