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Warrant against activists

Ranchi, Dec. 12: Jharkhand High Court today issued bailable arrest warrants against two tribal activists for ignoring summons in a contempt case registered against them for burning posters of the court during a demonstration on October 4.

A division bench of Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prashant Kumar were hearing a criminal contempt petition initiated by the court suo motu against Jharkhand Dishom Party chief Salkhan Murmu and activists Sonaram Soren, Sumitra Murmu, Dayamani Barla, Rajendra Kant Mahto and Akash Tudu.

Today’s warrants were issued against Rajendra Kant Mahto and Akash Tudu for not appearing before the court as directed even though the others did. Dayamani Barla, who was in custody, was represented by her lawyer.

The court ordered police to produce relevant documents of Tudu and Mahto’s surrender and ensure their presence on January 10, the next date of the hearing.

On November 6, the court initiated contempt proceedings against Salkhan Murmu — and his associates — at the instance of Jharkhand High Court Advocates’ Association after his supporters allegedly burnt a poster of the high court during a demonstration against land acquisition in Nagri where campuses of three national educational institutes are coming up.

Pictures of Murmu and his supporters burning an effigy and a poster of the court were published in local dailies in the capital on the next day.