Ranchi, July 20: The BJP Scheduled Tribes Front today expressed its concern over exploitation of women and children by various rebel outfits in Jharkhand, while emphasising on the need for an integrated action plan to check large-scale migration of the local workforce to other states.
Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram promised to raise the issue with his home ministry counterpart Rajnath Singh. “It is a matter of grave concern for us. I will talk to the home minister on the issue. We need to work out concrete plans to save women and children from the clutches of Naxalites. The action plan may involve consolidation of various welfare and development schemes being run by different departments, along with intensified anti-Naxalite operations,” Oram told The Telegraph on the sidelines of the front’s national executive body meeting in Ranchi.
The two-day conference concluded today.
According to Rajya Sabha member from Chhattisgarh Nand Kumar Sai, numerous reports have highlighted the plight of women and children in Naxalite-affected states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar. “While women are sexually abused at rebel camps, minors are being forced to do inhuman and destructive work. Poor villagers often send their children outside the state to save them from the clutches of rebels,” he said.
Sai also stressed on the need to amend the tribal sub-plan rules. “There have been several laws to protect the tribals’ interests since the colonial days, but poor indigenous people have always been meted out raw deals. Also, it is our fault that we have not been able to ensure strict execution of the Fifth Schedule in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh,” he rued.
President of the BJP ST wing Faggan Singh Kulaste said a committee had been formed that would soon submit reports on violation of forest rights and tribal laws, apart from the issues of displacement and migration.
Former chief minister Arjun Munda said the tribal people did not expect much from the Hemant Soren government, which, even after a year, failed to appoint members to the Tribal Advisory Council.
Ajsu chief Sudesh Mahto today held party workers’ meetings in Barhi and Barkagaon Assembly constituencies and asked them to gear up for the coming polls.
Addressing the partymen, Mahto said the commoner people were disappointed with the present state of affairs and wanted a positive change.
“We have to fight for our rights,” he added.