Supporters of JVM, led by party president Babulal Marandi, chose a different way to observe Gandhi Jayanti — a silent hunger strike in protest against deteriorating law and order in the capital and the state.
The daylong agitation was held at Morabadi grounds after Marandi garlanded Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the premises. A makeshift structure was erected at the grounds.
While the JVM leaders communicated with each other via brief notes, audio CDs of Gandhi’s prayers were played in the background. Party supporters also put up billboards, mentioning the recent crime statistics in Jharkhand.
Before joining the agitation, JVM principal general secretary Pradip Yadav told mediapersons that between January and July, there had been a sharp increase in incidents of robbery, murder, loot, rape and kidnapping.
“A total of 1,083 murders, 822 rapes, 862 kidnappings, 343 loots and 285 robberies took place in different parts of the state from January 1 to July 31. Ranchi has virtually become a crime capital, witnessing 106 murders and 78 rapes in this period. In short, one person was murdered in Ranchi and its adjoining areas every alternate day and a woman was raped every third day,” he said.
Questioning the role of police, Yadav said they had failed to net the culprits of the Deoghar and Doranda rapes and numerous other crimes. “Police have failed to inculcate fear among criminals. Today, as the entire world observes non-violence day, our silent hunger strike before Bapu’s statue will serve as a wake-up call for the Hemant Soren government,” he said.