Ranchi: Days after the killing of seven people for opposing the movement in West Singhbhum, the tribal community in Ranchi on Sunday installed a stone plaque on a plot of land near the Birsa Munda Airport giving the Pathalgadi movement a new definition, asserting that the land Ptbelongs to Gram Sabha. The Pathalgadi Movement was started to save land and forest areas in Jharkhand and reclaim their rights to ‘jal, jangal and zameen‘. Also Read - Congress MLA Gifted a Horse on International Women's Day, Rides it to Jharkhand Assembly
However, in recent months, the movement has taken a violent turn and spread to other areas – Gumla, Simdega, West Singhbhum in the course of time. Pathalgadi hit the headlines when seven Pathalgadi opponents were killed in Burugulikela village in West Singhbhum district on January 19. Also Read - Lalu Prasad Yadav Health Update: RJD Chief Stable, Tests COVID Negative, Airlifted to AIIMS in Delhi
According to reports, the land that the Pathalgadi community is fighting for was handed over to popular spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s organisation, The Art of Living, by the former BJP government headed by ex-Chief Minister Raghubar Das. Also Read - Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Health Deteriorates, Daughter Misa Bharti Reaches Ranchi Hospital
The police are still investigating the killing of seven villagers in Burugulikela village, about 80 km from the district headquarters, but they have so far investigated it from the angle of personal enmity.
Sources told IANS that the Pathalgadi movement may be the main reason behind the killings. The clash took place between the supporters and the opponents of the movement over the development work to be carried out without any interference from the tribal community. Police sources said that a section of villagers, reposing complete faith in the Gram Sabha, may be behind the killings.
“This peaceful majority tribal area is once again becoming turbulent. The government needs to convince all, including the opposition,” said James Herange, a Jharkhand social activist and convener of the Jharkhand NREGA Watch.
He said that Pathalgadi is not a new practice. It is actually said to be the monuments of those stones, which have a very ancient history. Even today it is practised in tribal societies across many states.