Hours after becoming CM, Hemant Soren orders to withdraw cases against tribals in ‘Patalgarhi Movement’

The Hemant Soren government’s first cabinet meeting has decided to convene a three-day session of the state assembly from January 6

Ranchi: On Sunday Chief Minister of Jharkhand Hemant Soren in its first cabinet decision, the state government initiated action to withdraw all cases registered against tribals involved in the Pathalgarhi movement and those who were part of the protests after the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act were amended.

The decision has come soon after JMM leader Hemant Soren took oath as Jharkhand chief minister for a second time at a grand ceremony attended by a galaxy of opposition leaders and regional representative, in a show of unity that could be an indication of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance in middle of the uproar over the new citizenship law.

Earlier government had struck on the feelings of the tribals when it amended two land acts — Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) and Chotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) — in 2016.

Apparently the amendments were passed in the Assembly without discussion amid uproar by the opposition parties, following various memorandums were submitted to the governor to not sign the amendments.

The state has observed a large scale agitation over the issue as the amendments proposed to acquire land for development projects, which claimed to “protect the land of the tribal people of Jharkhand”.

The protesters were denied buses to reach the protest venues and the police were instructed to stop the protesters from entering Ranchi. The entire opposition, particularly the JMM, protested inside and outside the Assembly against the amendments.

The state also saw an armed exclusive movement taking shape last year in the form of the Pathalgarhi movement, where thousands of villages were turned into an autonomous region. Some called it ‘Adivasi corridor’, others called it ‘Adivasistan’.

The region was declared autonomy from the nation by placing a special stone outside villages. These villages ran their own schools where children, forced out of government schools, were being fed information.

Earlier Hemant Soren was sworn in and later he chaired meeting which was attended by three of his ministers, the cabinet also decided to clear money that is owned of para-teachers, contractual employees, Anganwadi workers, and student scholarships.

Directions have been issued to fill-up vacancies in the state government departments, the release said, adding, fast track courts would be set up in every district to speed up trials of cases relating to sexual offenses.

The Hemant Soren government’s first cabinet meeting has decided to convene a three-day session of the state assembly from January 6. Senior JMM MLA Stephen Marandi, who was named as pro-tem speaker, will conduct the first House till a permanent speaker is elected.

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