Protests as Orissa text brackets JMM with Maoists (Lead)

July 28th, 2010 - 7:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, July 28 (IANS) The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has asked the Orissa government to immediately remove references in a Class 12 textbook that brackets the party with Maoists, Bodo militants and others who create “disturbance” in the country.
“Our party fought for the rights of tribal and poor people and such remarks are against the truth. We demand removal of objectionable remarks from the textbook,” JMM chief Shibu Soren said at a press conference.

Soren also wrote to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the issue. In Jamshedpur, JMM workers burnt an effigy of the Orissa government and demanded an apology from Patnaik.

“We demand an unconditional apology from the Orissa chief minister,” said Ramesh Hansda, general secretary of the JMM who was heading the protests.

“The book should be banned immediately,” JMM central committee member Supriyo Bhattacharya told IANS.

The 127-page textbook “Prayogika Oriya Bhasa” has termed JMM “a disturbance creator organisation of the country”, the JMM source said.

According to a party leader, the book states that “Pakistan, Bodo militants, ULFA, Maoists, JMM and others” are creating disturbances in the country.

Though the textbook was introduced in 2006, the issue came to light only recently when a party leader’s son, who is studying in Orissa, read the book.

“The BJD (Biju Janata Dal) of Naveen Patnaik should not forget that JMM’s four legislators supported it in 2008 when the BJP withdrew its support from the party. The BJD had fought municipal elections in alliance with the JMM in many places in 2007,” said Mahabir Murmu, president of the East Singhbhum unit of the Jharkhand Yuva Morcha (JYM).

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