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In maiden order, Hemant Soren drops Pathalgadi cases

Newly sworn-in Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren with his father Sibu Soren, mother Rupi Soren, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Ashok Gehlot, MK Stalin, Sitaram Yechury, D. Raja, Sarad Yadav and other leaders during the oath taking ceremony at Morahabadi ground in Ranchi on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Hemant Soren government on Sunday announced it was dropping all cases registered against people involved in the Pathalgadi movement and protests during the tweaking of the Chhotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Acts in Jharkhand.

The first Cabinet meeting chaired by Mr. Soren also gave its nod to change the Jharkhand State logo. In the present State logo, the Ashoka Chakra is placed between four J-s.


“The State logo will be prepared afresh for which proposals will be invited. The new State emblem will reflect Jharkhand’s culture, tradition, history and future,” said Ajoy Kumar Singh, Cabinet Secretary, after the meeting.

Pro tem Speaker

Veteran JMM leader Stephen Marandi was recommended to be pro-tem Speaker of the newly constituted Assembly.

A three-day session of the Assembly has been convened from January 6 to 8 during which the MLAs-elect will be administered oath of office and the new Speaker will also be finalised.

The Pathalgadi movement was a vociferous campaign by people who had asserted that no project or programme can be implemented without the consent of the gram sabha.

Brutal police force

The Raghubar Das government had crushed the movement of self-rule using brutal police power.

The movement had then spread to four districts of Jharkhand in 2017.

Huge stone plaques, known locally as Pathalgadi, were put up at the entrance of villages. The plaques had main clauses of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA) carved on them. They also warned outsiders not to enter villages without permission.

“As per our estimate, there were about 29 FIRs registered in five different police stations in connection with the Pathalgadi movement. In those FIRs, 109 persons were named and there was mention of 15,000 anonymous villagers. Many of them were facing grievous charges including sedition,” said Prafulla Linda, General Secretary of Adivasi Adhikar Manch.

Similarly, the JMM had fought the Assembly elections protesting against controversial amendment to CNT and SPT Acts.

Widespread protests

Although the BJP government had subsequently withdrawn its move to amend the Acts under public pressure, widespread protests had taken place across Jharkhand.

Changes in section 21 of the CNT Act and section 13 of the SPT Act would have enabled the government to allow use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. Civil society groups and tribal organisations had vehemently opposed it.

The Cabinet recommended immediate payment of all outstanding dues of all frontline contractual workers including para-teachers.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2021 1:59:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/in-maiden-order-hemant-soren-drops-pathalgadi-cases/article30427378.ece

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