As a week long Assembly session entered its second day today,protest spilled on to the street of the state capital.Toll:one dead and a dozen injured as a result of melee caused by the lathi charge resorted to by the police to maintain law and order.
The protest in the form of a rally was led by the opposition party-Jharkhand Vikas Morcha president Babulal Marandi who observed a day long fast demanding rehabilitation of the people displaced to set up SAIL’s subsidiary Bokaro Steel Plant(BSL) more than six decades ago in 1950’s.
Though the BSL claimed that the demand was erroneous since all the displaced families were rehabilitated long ago,Marandi counter claimed that there were many families who were not yet compensated for their land acquired by the government to set up the plant and its township in Bokaro.
In any case,the police was prompted to disperse the protesters.This was used by the opposition parties including left parties,Congress and the JVM to call for a dawn -to-dusk Jharkhand shutdown on May 2.
These parties- the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc, Marxist Coordination Committee and CPI (ML-Liberation)-backed the protest against displacement and demanded resignation of Chief Minister Arjun Munda.They also extended support to Marandi’s hunger strike and the bandh tomorrow.
Though Munda maintained a studied slence,the opposition leaders said:”Chief Minister Arjun Munda has failed on all fronts. He has no right to stay in power as the anti-encroachment drive has left Jharkhand in a state of anarchy.”
While the protests are likely to continue till the Assembly session ends on Thursday,the plight of the common man in Ranchi who had suffered untold miseries due to bandhs and demonstrations that were a routine,especially during the Assembly session,was unfathomable.”These politicians were heartless.Instead of being sensitive to the people,they were out to play to the gallery to gain the spot light.The biggest problem is there is no end in sight of this political chaos.”