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FIR lodged in Khunti case

Police have lodged an FIR against six persons who were allegedly on the forefront of a crowd of tribal villagers who held as many as 80 officials of Khunti administration, including SP Ashwini Kumar Sinha, hostage for over 12 hours at Kanki village on Thursday night.

By Sudhir Kumar Mishra in Ranchi
  • Published 27.08.17
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The plaque at Kanki village in Khunti. Telegraph picture

Ranchi, Aug. 26: Police have lodged an FIR against six persons who were allegedly on the forefront of a crowd of tribal villagers who held as many as 80 officials of Khunti administration, including SP Ashwini Kumar Sinha, hostage for over 12 hours at Kanki village on Thursday night.

Search operations have also been intensified in the area.

"We have taken suo motu cognisance of the incident and registered an FIR. Those who could be identified during our stay in the village figure as named accused. More names will be added to the list when their identities are ascertained," the Khunti SP said.

Upping the ante against the administration, the villagers have decided to stage protests during chief minister Raghubar Das's visit to Khunti on August 29.

The residents of Kanki and several other villages in Bhandra panchayat, who had yesterday voiced a host of land right concerns and insisted that no one could enter their villages without permission from gram sabhas, remained tight-lipped today. However, a plaque at Kanki village bore testimony to special powers conferred on the gram sabhas by the Constitution.

Roughly translated, the plaque reads: Article 13 (3) of the Constitution states tradition is the strength of law and the Constitution; Article 19 (5) of the Constitution states in Fifth Schedule areas anyone who is not a follower of the particular tradition cannot move around freely, reside or settle permanently; Article 19 (6) of the Constitution prohibits an outsider from doing any type of business and job in Fifth Schedule areas; and under Section 5 (1) of Part B of Article 244 (1), laws enacted by the state legislature and Parliament are not uniformly applicable in Fifth Schedule Areas.

Sources said almost all the gram sabhas had put up such plaques in the past 2-3 months.

A senior officer in Ranchi said the absconding gunlords and people engaged in poppy cultivations were using the gram sabhas as a shield to protect their business.