The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 23 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999

Salkhan for fresh Nagri stir

Ranchi, April 22: Jharkhand Disom Party president Salkhan Murmu today vowed to revive the land agitation in Nagri — repeating a Singur-like political war — to protect the interests of the tribal people.

Addressing a news conference at a hotel on Radium Road here, Murmu claimed an intervention by President Pranab Mukherjee in the matter had rekindled Nagri people’s hopes.

Party leaders held a meeting yesterday and decided to recreate Mamata Banerjee’s Singur protests in Nagri. The party is planning to hold a public meeting in Nagri on April 27 and call a statewide bandh on May 19.

“Taking a serious note of the matter, the President had directed the state administration to send a report on the issue,” he said, expressing his gratitude to Mukherjee.

Corroborating his claim, Murmu presented a copy of the letter (dated March 13, 2013) that the deputy secretary of the state land reforms department had sent to the Ranchi deputy commissioner, seeking a detailed inquiry report on the Nagri row.

The missive also had a reference of the letter issued by the President’s Secretariat on June 13, 2012, in response to Murmu’s memo.

“The letter bears testimony to the President’s intervention in the matter. I have come to know about the same on April 18 after a copy of the deputy secretary’s letter reached my residential office in Jamshedpur,” he said.

Flashpoint Nagri, around 15km from state capital Ranchi, had erupted following the administration’s move to acquire 218 acres for three premier institutes, IIM, IIIT and NUSRL. The administration and villagers fought a pitched battle, turning it into a centre of land politics. With the administration cracking down on key Nagri leaders, the agitation gradually lost its steam.

On why the party was rejuvenating the agitation now, Murmu said, “It’s a question about underprivileged people’s land, their rights. The administration is grabbing their land without the gram sabha’s permission.”

The party, Murmu said, was also gearing up to extend a grand welcome to the President on his visit to the state on April 29.