People's Democracy

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


No. 25

June 24, 2012


Strike against Forcible Land Acquisition


Prakash Viplav


CALLED for by the Left parties, the general strike evoked good response from the people of Jharkhand on June 16. At Ranchi, the state capital, leaders and activists of the CPI(M), CPI and Forward Bloc  blocked the Albert Ekka Chowk, the main thoroughfare, in the morning and were arrested. CPI(M) state secretary G K Baksi, Prakash Viplav, Prafull Linda, Sukhnath Lohra, Amit Ray and Bina Linda of the CPI(M), K D Singh of the CPI and Jayant Pandey of the AIFB were amongst those arrested here.


Rail tracks were blocked for some time at different places in Koderma, Gomia, East Singhbhum, Saraikela-Kharsawan, Tori, Nimdih, Bokaro Thermal and Loha Pahad. Transportation of coal from Chitra colliery of the Eastern Coalfield Ltd came to a halt. Coal transport was also disrupted for three to four hours in some collieries of the Central Coalfield Ltd in Ramgarh and Hazaribagh districts. The metre gauge rail track in Sahebganj district was also blocked.


In Sonahatu block of Ranchi district, where Hindalco (Birla group) and Jindal are in illegal and forced possession of around 12,000 acres of land, affected villagers led by the CPI(M) and Kisan Sabha blocked the Silli-Tata state highway for more than 10 hours since early morning. They were armed with traditional weapons. The Ranchi-Jamshedpur National Highway was blocked for two hours at Bundu in Ranchi district; here 60 comrades of the CPI(M) were arrested. The markets of Sonahatu, Rahe, Tamad and Bundu remained completely closed.


The National Highway was blocked at Barhi in Hazaribagh district. An unprecedented bandh was observed at Keredari in this where a few days ago the police had mercilessly lathicharged the villagers who were protesting against forcible allotment of coal blocks to the Reliance group.


The impact of the general strike were remarkable in Chatra district, Ghagra block of Gumla district, Ramuna and Nagar Untari in Garwha district, Balumath and Chandwa in Latehar district, Nirsa and Jharia in Dhanbad district, Jainamore and Nayamore in Bokaro district and Chaibasa in West Singhbhum district.


The strike call had a wide impact in North and South Chhota Nagpur, and in Kolhan and Palamu commissionaires, whereas it was partial in Santhal Parganas.


Around 1500 leaders and activists were arrested in different parts of the state.


The CPI(M) state committee has greeted the people for their active response, making the strike call remarkably successful.