After the passing of the Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Bill, given a free license by the Raghuvar government, Sanghi forces have started attacking the religious freedom of adivasis. They have started targeting Christian adivasis and sowing divisive seeds among them. On 19 August 2017 a frenzied Gaurakshak gang attacked 10 adivasis in the name of beef-eating in Tengari Tola, Village Barkol, Block Bargarh, District Garhwa. The adivasis were beaten all night and one of them, Ramesh Minj, died the next day on 23 August. Despite there being a police picket in the village, no effort was made to save the injured Ramesh Minj.
A protest march was held immediately after the incident on 20 August and sent a team was sent by CPI(ML) on 23 August after Ramesh Minj’s death to find out the facts. The facts revealed the suspicious role of the Police Picket in-charge Arvind Prasad Yadav. The police gave all the injured fitness certificates after the beatings, whereas Ramesh died within 24 hours; this proves that the injured were definitely not given proper medical treatment.
Apart from the above incident there have been two more such incidents in Jharkhand—the attack on CPI(ML) and women workers’ leader Alma Khalkho on 22 August in Mandar (Ranchi district) and the brutal beating of an adivasi family in village Meral on 24 August. Both attacks were on the false pretext of beef-eating.
The CPI(ML) Garhwa district committee led a huge protest march against the above incidents which culminated in a meeting at the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Pressure was put on the Deputy Commissioner to agree to the demands submitted to him in a memorandum: arrest the culprits; compensation and employment for the victims; end the current atmosphere of hatred and communal violence. The warning was given through the protest meeting that if the demands are not fulfilled the administration would have to face even bigger people’s protests.
Protest marches, meetings and effigy burnings against the above incidents were also organized at Dhanbad, Ranchi, Ramgarh, Ara-Sadubera Collieries area, Gumla, Lohardagga on 24 and 25 August. In Mohanpur Thana protests were held on the above issues and also for the arrest of the killers of 10th Std student Rohit Kumar three months ago.
The protests across Jharkhand raised voices for the immediate arrest of the attackers and killers, an end to the communal violence and hate-mongering and guarantee of social safety and security in the State.