Just hours after Hemant Soren took oath as the 11th Chief Minister of Jharkhand, he withdrew Pathalgadi sedition cases, cleared long time arrears of Anganwadi workers and para teachers.
Hours after taking oath as the Jharkhand chief minister, Hemant Soren announced his decision to withdraw all sedition cases registered during the Pathalgadi movement and protests against the amendments to Chotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT Act) and Santhal Paragana Tenancy Act (SPT Act).
According to a press release from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), the Cabinet, which met within hours of being sworn in on Sunday, also decided to recommend the name of JMM MLA Stephen Marandi for the post of pro-tem Speaker of the Jharkhand Assembly.
The Pathalgadi movement began in 2017 when stone plaques and signboards were placed in over 200 villages of Jharkhand. The stone orders dismissed the authority of the Central or the state governments in their villages.
The stone plagues, also contain “orders” prohibiting outsiders from entering the villages, proclaim allegiance to the Constitution but reject any authority except their gram sabhas (village assemblies). The plagues also had inscriptions from the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled areas) Act or PESA which the villagers used to claim their independence from the state and the Central governments.
In November 2016, BJP government passed two amendments allowing the acquisition of tribal land for developmental projects. Jharkhand had then witnessed a number of protests.
The Pathalgadis accused the Raghubar Das government of snatching away the rights of the tribal people after some amendments were made to the CNT and SPT laws. Many had also claimed they were subjected to police brutality. It was then a total of 19 cases of sedition were registered against over 150 people.
The cases have now been withdrawn.
In another decision, the Hemant Soren government has decided to clear the arrears of Anganwadi workers and para-teachers. The Jharkhand Cabinet also held talks over the logo of the Jharkhand along with quickly filling up of all posts lying vacant in the government offices.