Jharkhand: Fifty Dalit families driven out by Muslim strongmen; governor seeks report

Medininagar : About 50 Dalit families were allegedly driven out of a village, where they were living in for the last four decades, by members of a group of Muslim strongmen in Jharkhand’s Palamu district, police said on Tuesday.

On receiving the information, Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO), Medininagar, Rajesh Kumar Sah, and Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Bishrampur, Surjit Kumar rushed to Tongri Pahadi area, 1 km from Murumatu village, and were camping there to maintain law and order, the police said.

A criminal case was lodged against 12 named people and 150 others in this regard, they said.

Meanwhile, taking cognisance of the incident, Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais has expressed concern over the incident.

The governor has sought a detailed report from the Deputy Commissioner, Palamu, A Dodde, within two days, a statement from the Raj Bhavan said.

Dodde told PTI that the police have been asked to apprehend the culprits immediately.

The DC assured all 50 families of rehabilitation in the same village on a priority basis.

The relief agencies have been activated for the purpose, Dode added.

The victims all belonged to the “Mushar” caste and were living in the village for the last four decades.

One of the victims, Jitendra Mushar, said “We were living in the village for years together but several people, all residents of Marumatu village, forcibly drove us out of the village on Monday. They loaded our belongings in vehicles and dropped us in a nearby jungle.”

He alleged that they were also assaulted and prevented from approaching the police in this regard.

The SDPO said the accused persons have been asked to produce documents to prove that the land, where the Dalits were residing, belonged to an educational institute.

Kumar said arrangements were being made to rehabilitate them in the same place.

The SDPO also said an FIR has been registered against the accused and a massive hunt was on to apprehend them.

The SDO said the houses of the victims were demolished but they will be rehabilitated in the same place with adequate security.

He assured the affected families that the culprits will not be spared and legal action will be initiated against the accused. (With PTI inputs)

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