Protests in Jharkhand against the Raghuvar Government

The entire Opposition organized protest marches and effigy burnings in all Districts of Jharkhand on 19 January 2018 against the Raghuvar government. The mobilization of the Left was remarkable in this impressive performance by the Opposition. The protest campaign of the Opposition was centred mainly on three points on which the government has failed to act.

The Chief Minister had refused to take action against Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma, DGP DK Pandey, and ADG Anurag Gupta despite all efforts by the Opposition which included adjournment motion, dharna in the Well of the House, and walk-out by the entire Opposition from the Assembly on 17 and 18 January. The entire Opposition then held a meeting and decided to stage protests across the State on 19 January.

The charge against Jharkhand Government Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma is that while Lalu Yadav has been sentenced by the Court to 5 years jail in the fodder scam, Rajbala Verma was the Deputy Commissioner of Chaibasa District at that time and the CBI had sent her letters more than 15 times with regard to the fodder scam because the first accountability in matters pertaining to the Deputy Commissioner Treasury rests with the administrative officers. However, Rajbala Verma neither replied to the CBI nor appeared before the CBI. In spite of protests in newspapers and magazines, Rajbala Verma remains unresponsive and has been made Chief Secretary with protection from the government. Why is the government not taking action against this person?

The second issue concerns the present DGP DK Pandey. During his term 12 people were killed in a clash at Bakoriya in Palamu District. It is public knowledge that 11 out of those 12 were innocent people, and one man who was earlier with the Maoist group MCC had already surrendered himself in front of the Police. This killing spree was perpetrated in a fake encounter by an extremist group JJMP which had broken away from the Maoist group and formed itself with protection from the police. In order to prevent a proper enquiry and the truth of the encounter coming out, DGP Pandey had two senior police officers (MV Rao and Reji Dungdung) and one DIG transferred. In another incident, Pandey is also protecting the DSP responsible for the killing of Rupesh Tanti in police lock-up at Bundu Thana. In spite of so many complaints and protests, why has not DGP Pandey been removed?

The third matter concerns a police officer Anurag Gupta who had worked during the last Rajya Sabha election to convert one vote for the Congress into a vote for the BJP through pressure and intimidation. Why is the government protecting him?

To protest against the above issues, CPI(ML), CPI-M and CPI activists led by State Secretary Com. Janardan Prasad and comrades Prakash Biplab, and Bhuvaneshwar Mehta marched in large numbers in Ranchi from Firayalal Chowk to Vishvavidyalaya Gate, where they were joined by Congress, JBM, JMM and other Opposition parties and a protest march by the entire Opposition was taken out after which the Chief Minister’s effigy was burnt. Party activists led by comrades Krishna Singh and Subal Das in Dhanbad and Dev Deep Singh Diwakar in Bokaro District, joined by CPI-M and CPI activists in large numbers protest marches and CM’s effigy burnings at Dhanbad and Bokaro. Similar protests were also held in other districts.