Pathalgadi movement, a tribal movement which is against the Government of India, is once again regrouping in Jharkhand, reported the Hindustan Times.
Around 13 villages of three panchayats under Bandgaon Block in West Singhbhum district of the state have seen the movement getting active again, being led by Yusuf Purty alias Joseph Purty and Mudhu Soy.
Activists of the movement are seizing ration, voter and Aadhaar cards from the villagers and allegedly forcing them to not to take benefits of any government schemes, officials confirmed on Wednesday.
The movement opposing the Indian government and calling for self-rule by tribals in 5th schedule areas by misinterpreting the Constitution, originated in Khunti district. But it went silent after infamous gang-rape of five tribal girls – anti-trafficking activists – in Kochang village on June 19 last year.
“After getting the inputs about some criminal elements asking villagers not to take benefits of Krishi Ashirvad, Krishak Samman and other government schemes and taking away their voter, Aadhaar, and rations cards, for past 15 to 20 days, we immediately started profiling every single village in the affected area and asked the Block Development Officers (BDOs) to meet local village heads and the people to discuss the matter,” Arava Rajkamal, West Singhbhum deputy commissioner (DC) said Wednesday.
“On Monday, one such meeting was held at Bandgaon haat (weekly village market) where Manki-Mundas and mukhiyas told the Bandgoan BDO to take immediate action against such criminal elements,” he added.
“The Pathalgadi cadre have also divided the villagers in two groups, the ones who voted in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections and the ones who didn’t, saying that they were not part of India. But there was no poll boycott except in two villages where people didn’t vote on issues related to road and power but those two villages are in other part of the district. In fact, there was a high voter turnout in Bandgoan Block and booths with lowest participation registered 20-25% polling,” added Rajkamal.