Horo condolence to cover up funeral gaffe

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  • Published 15.12.08

Ranchi, Dec. 15: A couple of days after the fiasco over proposed state funeral to the doyen of Jharkhand movement, NE Horo, the government tried some damage control exercises today.

Chief minister Shibu Soren declared that the state would observe December 11 as the anniversary of the late Jharkhand Party leader and keep the offices closed in his honour every year.

The Jharkhand Party chief and pioneer of separate statehood movement passed away on December 11 at his residence on GEL Church premises in Ranchi. After paying a visit to the bereaved family members of Horo, the chief minister had announced on Thursday that the government would perform the last rites of the leader with state honour. But the plan saw a miserable failure because of bureaucratic mismanagement.

Taking punitive action on cabinet and co-ordination secretary P.K. Jajoria, Soren had stripped him of his designation. However, the same treatment was not meted out to Ranchi and Khunti deputy commissioners though they were equally responsible for the goof-up.

Jajoria maintained he had communicated the decision of the government to hold the funeral ceremony with state honour to the deputy commissioners of Ranchi, Khunti and Simdega. Though Ranchi deputy commissioner Rajiv Arun Ekka has been denying that he had received the fax message from cabinet and co-ordination department, the copy of the received fax message was found in the file of Ranchi district office. The copy has even the seal of Ranchi deputy commissioners’s office, corroborating that it had been formally received.

Today, the government organised a condolence meeting at the secretariat where only three ministers, former chief minister Madhu Koda and senior bureaucrats paid tribute to the leader, though several of them, including the chief minister, forgot to take their shoes off while offering floral tributes to Horo. After the condolence meeting, the government offices were declared closed to honour Horo.

“After the demise of Horo saheb, one of the pillars that held the vision of Jharkhand, has disappeared. I personally feel that I have lost a faithful friend,” said Soren, chairing the condolence meeting attended by his three cabinet colleagues, Koda and senior officers including chief secretary A.K. Basu and director-general of police V.D. Ram. Making efforts to create a prosperous Jharkhand would be the best way to pay tribute to the late leader, the chief minister said.