Over 160 people arrested during Ranchi strike (Lead)

August 9th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Aug 9 (IANS) Over 160 people were arrested during the dawn to dusk strike here Saturday called by an organisation representing indigenous people to protest the holding of teachers’ examination without formulating the state’s domicile policy, which would give them benefits in jobs. The shutdown passed off peacefully. The police arrested 130 enforcing the strike in the city while 30 people who were protesting the demand were also arrested.

The leaders who were arrested include Dev Kumar Dhan, a former Congress legislator, Ratan Tirkey leader of Adivasi Moolvasi Janadhikar Manch (AMJM) and over 130 supporters of the organisation.

“No untoward incident has been reported in the city,” said Richard Lakra, superintendent of police Ranchi.

In 2002, the Jharkhand government came out with a domicile policy. According to the policy, only those people will get domicile certificate whose father’s or grandfather’s names figure in land records of 1932. The policy was however, struck down by the high court.

Schools and shops were closed during the shutdown and intercity public vehicles were off the roads. Attendance was thin in government offices.

The AMJM gave the shutdown call Saturday to lodge their protest as they say the state government was conducting the teachers examination without formulating the domicile policy. Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) will conduct the primary school teachers examination Sunday.

“Without formulating the domicile policy, the government is conducting the teachers examination. This way the local people will suffer and outsiders will get jobs in the state,” said R.P. Sahu, president of AMJM.

The organisation demanded that the examination be cancelled and the domicile policy be formulated on the basis of the 1932 land records.

Another organisation, Chatra Yuva Morcha (CYM), protesting the AMJM’s demand took out a march near the governor’s house.

“Two other states, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand, were carved out along with Jharkhand. In both states, the cut off date of domicile policy is the year 2000 when the respective states were formed. People living here for over one and two decades should not deprived of their right,” said Uday Shankar Ojha, president of CYM.

The police arrested 30 CYM supporters here.

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