In what can be termed as increasing anarchism in the tribal state of Jharkhand under Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and state CM Hemant Soren, a local BJP leader and representative of Chatra MP in Latehar district, Jaivardhan Singh, was murdered in plain sight on Sunday evening.
Singh, said to be a contender for the parliamentary elections, was shot dead at a point-blank range which triggered a massive outrage from the opposition parties including BJP.
It is being reported that Jaivardhan Singh was sitting outside the customer service centre located in front of the Rajendra Complex near Barwadih police station. As Singh used to often sit there in the evening, it is being touted that the killers had planned the murder well in advance.
The two criminals came and shot him in the neck and left the crime scene flashing their arms. Local residents chased the culprits, but they escaped from the main road to the market.
“He was shot in the neck and died on the spot,” Latehar superintendent of police Prashant Anand told The Telegraph Online.
Former CM Raghuvar Das and several BJP leaders have called the killing of Jaivardhan Singh as the return of Jungleraj in the state.
Pathalgadi supporters and the increasing menace of red extremism
It is not a one-off incident that depicts the broken state machinery of Jharkhand under Hemant Soren. The Naxalite movement in the state has been increasing steadily, and the JMM alliance is sitting quietly while the red extremism continues to fester in the state.
Jharkhand was in the news for all the wrong reasons earlier in January too when the Pathalgadi supporters had beheaded seven tribals, who were allegedly against the Pathalgadi movement in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.
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 from Burugulikera village, where they were dumped in a forest.
The killings were said to be a fallout of an old rivalry between supporters of the Pathalgadi movement and those against it.
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 radicalized and violent day by day alluding towards a possible Maoist influence. Some reports have even connected the tribals associated with this movement to the illegal opium trade.
Hemant Soren’s ingenuity regarding restoring the law and order can be gauged from the fact that in December last year, he had decided to withdraw sedition cases registered against the supporters of Pathalgadi movement—presumably to not anger his vote bank.
After the BJP-led government came to power in Jharkhand in 2014, Chief Minister Raghubar Das had tried to amend the land tenancy laws. Tribal groups and opposition parties opposed the move. In May 2017, Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu returned the bills for reconsideration and a few months later in August, they were withdrawn.
In June, suspected members of the outlawed terrorist outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist) had torched 11 vehicles engaged in bauxite mining under Kisko police station in Jharkhand’s Lohardaga district, located around 90-km from the state capital Ranchi
On June 8, several Naxals had torched three JCB machines involved in a road construction project under the Bhelwaghati Police station area too.
As if the swelling Naxalite movement wasn’t a menace enough, the Hindus of the state are being ostracized by the State Police. Reported by TFI, in April, a group of Hindu fruit sellers in Jamshedpur were threatened by the state police for daring to have the word ‘Hindu’ written on their flex banners.
It's a matter of great shame to our state that we are going up in such Hindu Muslim hatred.
Now instead of Jharkhand Govt. or state authorities these people will give permission to businesses. pic.twitter.com/0QMlOWbnUj
— احسن (@rilaimkf) April 24, 2020
The strong-arming of innocent Hindus in Jharkhand caught everyone’s attention online, and the matter soon erupted on Twitter. Calling out the Jharkhand Police and government for their overtly visible Hinduphobia, users pointed out the hypocrisy in hounding innocent fruit sellers only because they wrote on their banners the word ‘Hindu’, while completely ignoring Muslims, who since times immemorial, have been writing words like “Halal/Islam/Muslim/Mughlai” on their banners and hoardings.