Tribal students confined to hostels during Jharkhand shutdown

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Tribal students were on Friday confined to their hostels in Jharkhand to prevent them from taking part in the shutdown called by tribal organisations to protest the amendments to the two state land acts.

Security forces have been deployed outside the tribal students’ hostels in Ranchi, Dumka as well as other parts of the state.

The security personnel have been asked to keep the students inside the hostels.

“We have been directed not to allow the tribal students to come out of the hostels in groups. Forces will be used if they try to come outside. We are prepared for any eventualities,” a police official at Ranchi College hostel told IANS.

“Heavy security was deployed outside our hostel before we woke up. We are not allowed to take part in the shutdown. What kind of democratic system are we living in,” asked Prem Munda, a tribal student.

The Jharkhand Adivasi Morcha and other tribal organisations called for the shutdown to protest the move.

The Congress, Left parties as well as the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) have extended their support to the shutdown.

The united opposition had earlier called for a shutdown in the state on November 25.

The shutdown has affected normal life in the state. The shutdown supporters burnt tyres on main roads in Lohardagga, Khuti and other districts to disrupt traffic. Tree were cut and used as road barricades at some places.

The schools and shops have been closed, and long-route buses are not plying.

The Raghubar Das government succeeded in passing the bills amending the two state land acts — Chhotanagur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act — in the assembly on November 23.

The amendments were carried by voice votes, without holding any discussion.

After the passage of the bills, agricultural land can be used for non-agricultural purposes.

The government can acquire land for infrastructure, power plants, roads, canals, panchayat buildings and others.

The Jharkhand government has made elaborate security arrangements to counter the shutdown. Drone and other equipments have been used to keep watch on the protesters.

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