Protests grow, CM orders cops to ensure law & order
Chief minister Hemant Soren on Monday attended the meeting of national Opposition parties in Delhi chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to draw up a strategy against the Narendra Modi government’s citizenship matrix, and at the same time ordered the Jharkhand police brass to ensure law and order in the wake of protests.
The meeting in Delhi was called to chalk out strategy to create a consensus among Opposition parties that no state ruled by any Opposition party or combine will implement the NPR — which many say is the foundation on which the NRC will be built — and the NRC. However, six major parties — the DMK, the SP, the BSP, the Trinamul, AAP and Shiv Sena — skipped the meeting.
In an interview with The Telegraph on December 28 last year, Hemant had said in response to a question: “…The decision to implement both (the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Population Register) depends upon whether we can take lives.”
The issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) has triggered protests across the country, including in Jharkhand. In Wasseypur, 5km from the Dhanbad district headquarters, a group of people have been protesting against the CAA, NRC and NPR for 12 days now. In Giridih, Section 144 of the CrPC was clamped on Monday, a day after a pro-CAA rally attended by an estimated 10,000 people sparked violence (See Metro).
Before leaving for Delhi, Hemant directed chief secretary D.K. Tiwari to ensure that law and order in Jharkhand was maintained and action was taken against people for breaking socio-religious harmony of the state.
Tiwari held a closed-door meeting with director-general of police K.N. Choubey besides other senior police and home department officials.
“Maintaining law and order and socio-religious harmony will remain top priority,” a senior Jharkhand police officer said under cover of anonymity. “There is clear-cut instruction from the CM that the administration will have to be sensitive and at the same time tough to deal with people who are involved in creating law and order problems. Police in the districts have been asked to follow the instruction.”
The Ranchi district administration also proclaimed Section 144 on Monday.
“The district administration has prohibited holding of any demonstration and procession on the Main Road right from Shahid Chowk to Ranchi Club, and also on Circular road. It has been seen that different outfits and groups of people organise protests that create traffic chaos. Only such religious processions that are annual features may be permitted to be taken out but only after prior joint approval of the deputy commissioner and the senior superintendent of police,” said a senior Ranchi district administration official.
In Delhi, Hemant is also learnt to have held a closed-door meeting with senior Congress leaders to finalise the Jharkhand cabinet expansion.