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Rally in Jharkhand over move to change land acts

By Ians English

Ranchi, Sep 16: Thousands of tribals participated in a rally here on Thursday to protest the Raghubar Das government's move to make changes in two land acts to acquire land.

The tribal people participated in the rally at Morabadi ground of Ranchi under the banner of Adivasi Buddijivi Manch.

Raghubar Das

They are protesting the Jharkhand government's move to make changes in the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Pargana Act.

After the changes come into effect, tribal land could be acquired for various purposes like roads, power plants, malls and others.

Agricultural land could be used for non-agricultural purposes.

The protesters waved banners and placards against the changes in the land acts. The Jharkhand government in June brought an ordinance to make the changes.

The ordinance has been sent to President Pranab Mukherjee by Governor Draupadi Murmu. The president has referred the ordinance to the government.

The Tribal Affairs Ministry of the central government sought the view of the National Schedule Tribe Commission. The National ST commission has also rejected the Jharkhand government's move to make changes in the two land acts.

"The Raghubar Das government is trying to snatch our land. We will protest and we cannot allow our land to be acquired. The past history indicates that the tribal people were made fools of and their lands were acquired. We have become second grade citizens in our own state," Veena Oraon, who participated in the rally, told IANS.

Echoing her view, Shiv Munda said: "There is a move to acquire land for the industrialists. Thousands of tribal people were displaced in the past and they are leading a miserable life. We were landlords in our state and see today's situation."

"There is a move by the BJP government to make us beggars in our own state. The changes will take away our land and culture," Munda said.


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