Non-tribal group calls for shutdown in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Oct 21 (ANI): A non-tribal backward community group called a strike here today to protest the November 17 panchayat polls being held under a legislation that reserves posts for tribals.

'The polls will take away rights of the non-tribals, who constitute 74 percent of the total population of the state. We will continue our protests till amendments are not made to the PESA (Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act,' said Lalchand Mahto of the Sanyukt Sadan Morcha that called for the shutdown.

The Morcha is demanding de-reservation of panchayat head posts in areas where tribals make for less than 50 percent of the population.

"The reason for this protest is the injustice being done to the non-tribal 'Sadans' under the Peshwa law. Their right to become local body heads is being hampered. We want elections with amendment in this law," Mahto added.

According to government's estimates, non-tribals constitute 70 percent of the state population.

The five-phase polls will take place on November 27, December 6, December 13, December 20 and December 24. (ANI)

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