Bandh over ''local citizenship'' issue affects life in Ranchi

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Ranchi, Aug 9 (UNI) Life in the state capital came to a grinding halt today, following a day-long bandh called by the 'Adivasi Moolavasi Janadhikar Manch', demanding cancellation of tomorrow's exams by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission to recruit 8,836 primary teachers.

The bandh has been called by the Manch -- an umbrella platform of various pro-tribal organisations, in support of a long-standing controversial demand, which is likely to trigger fresh trouble between pro-tribal and anti-domicile groups in Jharkhand.

The Manch urged the government to come out with a policy defining ''local citizenship'' on the basis of 1932 land records prior to the JPSC exams.

All schools remained closed and examinations (BEd and Law), scheduled to be held today, were also postponed.

Buses stayed off the roads.

Reacting to the Manch's stand, Chatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti also threatened to take ''retaliatory action'' if protesters indulged in violence.

Samiti president Uday Sankar Ojha warned the Manch supporters not to disturb examinees tomorrow.

Mr Ojha said the issue, again raised by the Manch, had no ''relevance'' as citizens could go anywhere to eke out their living.

Meanwhile, security was tightened in the city to thwart any untoward incident during the bandh.

Chief Minister Madhu Koda last month had ordered personnel department to make a comparative study of domicile policies of different states before taking a final decision on the controversial issue.

The Manch comprises mainly Kendriya Sarna Samiti, Parha Maha Samiti, Adivasi Jan Parishad, Kushwaha Manch, Muslim Mahasabha, Visthapan Birodhi Manch, Heerabarbey Chatra Sangh, Munda Chatra Sangh, Karia Chatra Sangh, Ho Chatra Sangh and several other small groups.

UNI PRS KK GL UCS1524

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