The 48-hour Jharkhand bandh called by Jharkhand State Students' Union (JSSU), an umbrella body of different students' associations, in support of its demand for 100 per cent reservation for local people in state government jobs started on Saturday but shops and markets were open and vehicles plied normally in the streets.
The agitators belonging to different student associations took to the streets early in the morning in the capital Ranchi to enforce the bandh.
They assembled at Ranchi’s Khadgara bus stand where they requested bus and auto-rickshaw operators not to ply their vehicles. However, local transport was plying normally in the city.
Morning vegetable markets on Kokar-Lalpur Road, Naga Baba Khatal and other places were normal.
Ranchi City SP Shubhanshu Jain said that there is no impact of the bandh so far in Ranchi City. "Some 10 agitators were seen on bikes at the bus stand but everything is normal there. Transport and other activities are normal as usual in the city," the SP said.
"This is morning time and we are visiting different places to request people’s support for the bandh... We hope the impact will be seen as the day progresses," JSSU leader Devendra Mahto said.
Similar was the situation in other parts of the state. The impact of the bandh was negligible in the morning hours.
On Friday evening, the union had taken out torchlight processions in different districts on the occasion of the death anniversary of Jharkhand's tribal icon Birsa Munda.
Mahto alleged, "The government has opened the door for outsiders in Jharkhand government jobs, which we cannot allow. So, we have called for a 48-hour Jharkhand bandh, beginning from June 10." Earlier, the JSSU had launched a 72-hour agitation over the issue in April and observed Jharkhand bandh on April 19.
He further alleged that job advertisements are being issued on the basis of a 60-40 ratio.
Mahto claimed the government had promised an employment policy based on the 1932 'khatiyan' (land settlement) but instead, it introduced a pre-2016 employment policy, under which 60 per cent of the seats will be reserved for underprivileged students while 40 per cent will remain open for all.
Making 1932 the cut-off year for the domicile policy will help descendants of people living in Jharkhand prior to that year to get jobs.
The state cabinet on March 3 approved amendments to various rules related to Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (JSSC) examinations.
He said that the Jharkhand bandh is part of their 31-day Maha Jan Andolan which started on May 10.
"We met 72 MLAs including 42 from ruling parties and 13 MPs to seek their support in our agitation against the 60-40 job policy. They also spoke against it. But still, advertisements for jobs are being issued on the basis of 60-40 ratio," Mahto claimed.
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