Exposing the real tenets of the Pathalgadi movement and the violent ideology of the people behind it, the Pathalgadi supporters have beheaded seven tribals, who were allegedly against the Pathalgadi movement in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. The Jharkhand Police on Thursday morning arrested three people in connection with the killing of seven people in West Singhbhum district over the Pathalgadi self-rule movement.
The incident took place on Sunday in which seven people were taken hostage and later killed, allegedly by armed supporters of the Pathalgadi movement. The bodies were retrieved only three days after the incident. The killings were said to be a fallout of an old rivalry between supporters of the Pathalgadi movement and those against it.
Newly elected Chief Minister Hemant Soren ordered a SIT investigation into the murders and said, “Law is above all and the guilty will not be spared. The police are investigating the matter.”
पश्चिमी सिंहभूम के बुरगुलीकेरा में हुई घटना में हताहत हुए परिवारों से मिला तथा अधिकारियों से मिलकर स्थिति की जानकारी ली।
मेरा संदेश एकदम साफ है दोषियों को किसी भी कीमत पर बख्शा नहीं जायेगा। कानून को हाथ में लेने वालों को कड़ी से कड़ी सजा दी जाएगी। pic.twitter.com/tJRwdCEVS3
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) January 23, 2020
Notably, this is not the first time when we have witnessed such heinous incidents. In June 2018 too, five NGO workers were allegedly abducted and gang-raped by armed men associated with Pathalgadi movement. They were performing a street play at a school in Khunti district of Jharkhand. The Pathalgadi supporters branded the NGO workers as “dikus” (outsiders).
Around 200 villages in Jharkhand have pitched these Pathalgadi or Pathalgarhi in order to caution the outsiders from entering the village by terming them ‘Dikus’ (outsider). Outsider also includes district administration and police, though the followers of this movement claim that they believe in the Constitution of India. They want villages to be considered as an autonomous body under Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA, with Gram Sabha as the sole executive and legislative body. Usually placed at the entry points of tribal villages, these stone orders have provisions of the PESA written on them. The movement is dominant around the Khunti village, the birth place of Birsa Munda.
As several experts have raised their concerns regarding the Pathalgadi movement and the way the tribal people are now donning the AK- 47s is concerning. The movement is getting radicalised and violent day by day alluding towards a possible Maoist influence. Some reports have even connected the tribals associated to this movement to the illegal opium trade. CM Hemant Soren must ensure the autonomy of the tribal lands while taking stern action against those who are inflicting violence on the tribal population of the state in the garb of Pathalgadi movement.