People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 36

September 05, 2004


BJP’s Game Must Be Exposed


EVEN as Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and former union minister Shibu Soren is languishing in jail, the lies spread by the BJP, particularly its state government in Jharkhand, regarding the case need to be exposed.


The BJP had launched a campaign against Soren saying he was facing criminal charges in the Chirudih case and needed to be removed from the union council of ministers. In fact, its state government sent a team of police officials to formally arrest the then minister Soren in New Delhi.


The truth of the matter is that Chirudih case was basically related to the issues of tribal land and moneylenders’ exploitation. That is why the CPI(M) did not consider Shibu Soren’s case as criminal in nature and is fully supporting him in his battle against the BJP.




The Chirudih case dates back to 1975. The landlord of Narayanpur in present Jamtara district, K T Singh, descended on this village along with his henchmen and 15 guns. They torched the houses of tribals and fired indiscriminately from their guns. The tribals organised themselves and resisted this attack during which 10 persons died, including one tribal. The fact that it was the landlord K T Singh who reached Chirudih to massacre the adivasis resulted in the violence has not been revealed so far in the media.


Shibu Soren was nowhere in the picture during this. The FIR filed in this case did not name Shibu Soren among the 59 persons termed as accused. During the time of the incident he was in village Gangudih, 5 kms away. Later on, on the basis of a so-called “dying declaration” by one of the accused, Lakhinder Soren, that Shibu Soren and nine others names were included in the FIR. They were charged with inciting the mob. It is surprising that Lakhinder Soren who gave a “dying declaration” in 1975 actually died in April, 2004. And no one had verified the statement of Lakhinder Soren since 1975. Only after Lakhinder Soren’s death, fresh moves were taken to resurrect the case.




The present episode began in July 2004 after Babulal Marandi returned from Mumbai after attending the BJP’s national executive committee meeting. He gave a statement that a warrant of arrest was pending against Shibu Soren and he was an absconder. One Hindi daily published this prominently. On the basis of this report on July 13 Arun Jaitly repeated Babulal Marandi’s statement in Rajya Sabha and thereafter BJP MPs stalled the proceedings of the parliament.


The CPI(M) Jharkhand state committee was the first political party to challenge the statement of Babulal Marandi and Arun Jaitly on this issue. It stated on July 15 that there was no warrant of arrest against Shibu Soren and the BJP was making false propaganda both inside and outside the parliament to gain political mileage (See People’s Democracy, July 25, 2004). Thereafter, on July 17 a warrant of arrest was issued by sub-divisional judicial magistrate of Jamtara against which  Shibu Soren filed a petition before the Ranchi High Court. The high court kept the warrant of arrest in abeyance. Therefore, Babulal Marandi’s statement and Arun Jaitly’s statement in the parliament and media reports were false and the July 17 warrant, based on which the Arjun Munda government sent police to arrest the union minister Shibu Soren, was on unjustifiable ground.


The high court also noted several judicial failures in this case. In 1986, the case against the 59 earlier accused persons case was committed to the session court at Dumka, while keeping the case against Shibu Soren and nine others (included in the FIR later) with the sub-judicial magistrate. However, the session court at Dumka issued the warrant of arrest against Shibu Soren and nine others  despite the fact that their case was not committed to that court. Admitting its mistake, the session court recalled its warrant. The issue ended there.


The next episode began with the judgement of the Ranchi High Court. It committed the Shibu Soren and nine others’ case to session court by power vested with it and asked Shibu Soren to appear before the session court on or before August 2, which he did. The session court remanded him to judicial custody.


In the murder case in which Shibu Soren is accused in a Giridih court, nine other co-accused in the same case were already acquitted in 1986. Since Shibu Soren did not appear in the court, he stands accused in the same case till date. The third case pending against him is for violation of Section 144 at Jamshedpur.


At political level, the BJP tried its best to rope in Shibu Soren into the NDA before 14th Lok Sabha elections, but failed. Shibu Soren sided with the secular opposition and played an important role in the defeat of communal BJP-led government in the centre. That is why the BJP is keen to blackmail JMM into submission or keep the JMM and other secular parties divided before the ensuing assembly elections in Jharkhand. It is this game of the BJP which needs to be exposed. (INN)