Doctors’ strike 2.0: Jharkhand doctors threaten to strike, demand protection laws


Earlier this month, Bengal witnessed a deadlock between the medical fraternity and the state government over violence against doctors. What started as clashes between doctors and a patient’s family, became a nationwide protest which also spread to other parts of the country. The medical fraternity across India expressed absolute solidarity on the demands of their safety.

Now, Jharkhand is headed in the same direction. A delegation of doctors met Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi on Sunday and handed over a charter of demands to him. One of the demands included the introduction of the Medical Protection Act after reports of violence and assault on doctors at Rinchi Trust Hospital where a patient was allegedly brought dead but the family of the deceased accused the medical staff of negligence.

On Friday, a 21-year-old man, Ashutosh Pandey was brought to Rinchi Hospital near Kathal More in Ranchi after he reportedly drowned in Patratu Dam. Doctors claim that Pandey had died of asphyxiation before being brought to the hospital. However, his attendants and about 100 locals vandalised hospital property and allegedly thrashed three doctors, who sustained severe injuries.

Doctors across the State on Sunday worked wearing black badges as a mark of protest against the attack on doctors at Rinchi Hospital on Friday.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) Jharkhand chapter has threatened to protest if the state government does not act on their demands for doctors’ safety.

A special meeting of the IMA, Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA), Jharkhand State Health Services Association (JSHSA), the hospital board, and the women wing of the IMA was held on Sunday at 4:45 pm at IMA Ranchi.

The motive of the meeting was to plan a future course of action regarding the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PNDT) (Dr Seema’s case in Koderma) and the agitation regarding Medical Protection Act (MPA). Around 143 doctors were present at the meeting.

Decision summary of meeting:

1)To stop wearing the black Ribbon from now onwards as police administration did a commendable job by arresting the main culprit within 24 hours on order of chief secretary of Jharkhand, much before our ultimatum of 48 hours. “We are thankful to the police administration,” the doctors said.

2) A high level delegation will meet the chief Secretary of state and submit a memorandum by 6 pm on June 24 at Project building.

The doctors listed out their demands for the state government:

A) We are hurt by the brutal attack on doctors in Rinchi hospital, when the patient attendant came for treatment of a dead body (already declared dead at CHC Patratu) and damaged the hospital. We request that the remaining assaulters be arrested at the earliest. We also request that the case of Rinchi be dealt with speedy trial in a fast track court.

B) Free treatment of griviously injured medical superintendent of Rinchi hospital.

As the superintendent will not be able to work for the rest of his life, so monetary compensation be given to him. The damage to the hospital should be compensated either by the assaulters or the government itself.

C) To prevent any future attacks on doctors and provide a safe environment for doctors to work, the Medical Protection Act should be made applicable in Jharkhand so that we can give our 100 per cent to the society.

D)In Koderma, false allegations has been levelled against Dr Seema Modi with regard to PNDT as the pregnancy was of eight months and the PNDT Act is applicable only to 3-5 months pregnancy. She has been arrested in an unlawful manner. A fact finding commitee report should be sent to court so that Dr Seema Modi of Dhanbad gets justice.

E) The Clinical Establishment Act should be implemented in practical ways. For example, a skin specialist cannot handle an emergency like a gunshot injury or a patient of heart attack.

F) Clinical Establishment Act should be applicable only to hospitals having more than 5O beds.

G) Single window certification for all clinical establishments.

J) Setting up of a police official cell number and a Nodal officer in each hospital

I) We would follow up the situation every 15 days if there are no further arrests or any action on our demands. We will plan a graded action like a protest march. Strike will be our last resort.

K) Our legal advisor will be affixed.

-IMA state and District officials

The arrest of Koderma-based doctor Seema Modi, on charges of sex determination test last month, is also believed to have irked the doctors’ fraternity. They are backing up the incarcerated lady gynaecologist and claim that she is not guilty.

Violence, altercation, and brawls between the attendants and the patients’ kin puts other patients at risk and affects the morale of the medicos, says Dr Pradip the secretary general of IMA Jharkhand chapter.

The Cabinet had approved the Medical Protection Act in Jharkhand in 2017. Later, a select committee too gave a report on it. But it is yet to be passed by the assembly.

The Act mandates imprisonment of up to three years and a fine of Rs 50,000 for attacks on doctors, nurses and hospital establishments.

Earlier, when the bill was tabled in the House, it was referred to a select committee. Further, when it was initiated again, the government itself withdrew it.

However, the meeting between the health minister and the delegation of doctors seems to have been successful this time. While it is not clear when the government will table the Medical Protection Bill or when the session will be convened, the chief secretary has directed DGP KN Chaubey to ensure the safety of the medical practitioners.

An order has also been issued to the SPs of all the 24 districts to be more vigilant and keep an eye on the security and protection of the doctors.

The intervention of the government has been seen as a major step to pre-empt a Bengal-like situation in Jharkhand. At the same time, the decision and the move of the government will raise the morale of medicos. The order to make doctors safety a priority is also set to mollify the agitating doctors for the Medical Protection Act already exists in 17 states.

Jharkhand wins Sub-Junior Girls National Football C’ship final


Jharkhand defeated Arunachal Pradesh by 4-0 to clinch the Sub-Junior Girls’ National Football Championship (NFC) at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Thursday

Soni Munda and Basanti Lakra scored a brace each to help Jharkhand to their first national championship victory this season. Earlier this year, the state had also made it to the finals of the Junior Girls’ NFC in Kolhapur where they lost to Himachal Pradesh.

Jharkhand got off to a quick start in the first half itself as they looked to use the width of the pitch to stretch the Arunachal defence. It took them only 15 minutes to break the deadlock. Forward Soni Munda made the perfect run in between the two Arunachal centrebacks, as she was played into the box before she placed it past the keeper and into the net.

Arunachal tried to get their game going but the Jharkhand defence kept cutting them off in the final third. Soon, Jharkhand doubled their lead through Basanti Lakra, who only had to tap it into the empty net after Arunachal keeper Bumpasai Manyu collided with one of the attackers.

The Jharkhand defence was at the top of its game on the day as they neutralised the threat posed by the Arunachal duo of Simran Zeeba and Tallo Ana. The former, who is the captain of the North-eastern side, had even released the latter, who is the top scorer of the tournament, with an aerial through ball towards the end of the first half, but it was expertly cut out by the defence.

Jharkhand captain Salina Kumari came into her own in the second half, chasing down lost causes which led to the third goal of the evening. The left winger hounded after a stray ball that was somewhat equidistant between the two Arunachal centre backs and the goalkeeper. She managed to get to the ball before the onrushing keeper and cut past her to expose an empty goal.

While the angle was too tight for Salina, she simply squared it across the face of the goal for Lakra to tap it into an empty net and score her second of the game. Arunachal did try to get some of their counter-attacks going through captain Simran Zeeba but the North-eastern side’s wingers Zila Kamchi and Bamang Yaro were played too narrow and were often crowded out by the Jharkhand midfield and defence.

The highest scorer of the tournament, Tallo Ana, was heavily marked and often had to drop deep into the midfield, in order to find space, which meant that Arunachal missed her goalscoring instinct up front.

Arunachal head coach Kipa Bharat brought in Gumku Rani, while Ana operated in the hole. This freed up some space for the latter, who had the perfect opportunity to pull one back. With a little over 10 minutes of regulation time left on the clock, Rani played Ana through on goal, but the latter’s out-step shot lacked any venom, as Jharkhand keeper Jyotsna Bara slid in to claim the ball.

This push from Arunachal Pradesh came too late as they ran out of time. With just a few minutes of regulation time left, Soni Munda scored her brace, as she slipped the ball past the Arunachal keeper to make it four. There was no coming back from that, and Jharkhand ran away with their first National Football Championship title of the season.

Jharkhand’s Land Bank: Injustice to Adivasis Continues


New Delhi: It was a sunny afternoon, with severe heatwave prevailing in the country. Perka village at Murhu development block in Khunti district of Jharkhand was deserted. The residents – who are mostly Munda Adivasis (tribes) with a population of 550 – were staying indoors to protect themselves from the heatwave. Few of them were seen resting on bare cots in a shaded place.

Majority of them did not know that the State Government has registered three plots of the village’s forest which cover approximately 1,214 acres, with the Land Bank (prepared by the state’s Department of Revenue and Land Reform). It is a part of the 21 lakh acres of ‘ghair mazurwa’ (uncultivated and common) land being acquired for a Land Bank across the state to woo industries. Ownership of the community on such lands (Jamabandi title) have been cancelled. The government claims that it is a big leap forward in development as it would help in facilitating land allocation to industrial units.

Interestingly, in 1932, the villagers were given the forest land for their use. This has been officially recorded in the land records in the Khatiyan Part – II. As per the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, the government authorities should have recognised the rights of the villagers on the village’s forest.

“I have land record papers of 1932, where we have been given the right to use the forest land. How can the government take away our forest land and enlist it in the Land Bank without the consent of our Gram Sabha (village council)?” asked Petrus Tiru, 55, expressing his shock over the development.

He was interrupted by a 50-year-old Santosh Soy who said, “It has been 20 years since we have been protecting our forests. We keep a watch round the clock to ensure that no one cuts trees. We also discuss how to protect and minimise the use of forests in our weekly Gram Sabha meetings.”

The Land Bank has been created with an aim to attract investments in the state by allocating land to corporates for establishing their industries. While launching ‘Momentum Jharkhand’ — an investment promotion campaign of his state — in Bengaluru on July 27, 2016, Chief Minister Raghubar Das had said, “Land acquisition has never been a challenge for us because we have a Land bank of 1,75,000 acres readily available for different industries to set up their businesses. Farmers are ready to give us land as we are paying a handsome price. We currently hold 40% of India’s natural mineral wealth and we are on the way to becoming the power hub of the country by 2019.”

However, the tribals allege foul play. They believe that the government is using a trick to grab their forest, community and religious land to hand over to corporations who exploit these resources in the name of development projects to make a profit.

Citing an example to strengthen this allegation, Gladson Dungdung – a Ranchi-based tribal rights activist and author – told NewsClick, “The state government acquired 42 acres of uncultivated land at Dambuli village in West Singhbhum district’s Manoharpur block and gave it to Vedanta. Now, the company is attempting to acquire the private land of Adivasis against their consent. They don’t have a way to reach the land they cultivate on.”

Why does the state government need a Land Bank after all?

Jharkhand has a long history of Adivasis’ struggle. The traditional dwellers have been fighting to protect their identity, autonomy, culture, languages, land, territory and natural resources for more than 300 years. The creation of Jharkhand – which was carved out of the southern part of Bihar on November 15, 2000 – as a new state in the political map of India, was one of the results of the struggle.

“After the formation of the state, the Adivasi struggle has been concentrated on anti-displacement movement. As many as 74 MoUs (memorandum of understanding) were signed by the successive governments one after another within a decade. Fortunately, none of the mega project was materialised. The Adivasis forced the Arcelor Mittal, Jindal Group and Tata Steel Ltd. to desert the proposed land for their dream steel projects,” said Dungdung.

Learning from the past, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government – which took over in 2014 – changed the land acquisition strategy. On December 31, 2014, the government through its Department of Revenue and Land Reform issued a circular to deputy commissioners of all the 24 districts, asking them to conduct a survey and prepare data of all kinds of land, except for private land, for the Land Bank. After the data was prepared, the department created a new website, where 2,097,003.81 acres of land was shown as government land in the Land Bank.

The website was launched on January, 5, 2016, by the Chief Minister. It was followed by the signing of 210 new MoUs with the corporate houses during the ‘Global Investors Summit’ held at Khelgaon, Ranchi on February 16, 2017.

“Now, the government has been attempting to acquire the common land, sacred groves and forest land without (free, prior and informed) consent of the communities. What is disturbing us is the fact that several plots of land that have been enlisted in the Land Bank, declaring them uncultivated or owned by the government, actually belonged to Gram Sabhas. Under the tag of the government land, three categories of land were acquired for the Land Bank – (a) common lands such playgrounds, village paths, land meant for grazing of animals; (b) sacred groves (Sarna, Deshavali and Jaherthan); (c) forest land, whose entitlements were supposed to be given to the Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers. In a nutshell, the government is ensuring corporates’ entry into tribals’ villages through the Land Bank,” he alleged.

The most surprising aspect of the Land Bank – he said – is that out of 2,097,003.81 acres of land registered in the Land Bank, 1,016,680.48 acres (which is 48.4% of the total land registered in the Land Bank) is forest land. “If we analyse the data of Land Bank at the district level, Chatra district tops the list with 92.3% of the forest land enlisted in the Land Bank. With 90.8%, Bokaro secures second place. Giridih stands third, with 72.8% of forest land listed in the Land Bank. However, in terms of area of the forest land, Giridih gets the first place with 329,539.12 acres of forest land out of the total 452,074.26 acres of land of the Land Bank. Simdega is at second position with 244,434.50 acres out of 358,450.52 acres and Gumla is at third place with 87,082.74 acres of forest land of 181,222.78 acres of land of the Land Bank,” Dungdung claimed.

Declaring it a “gross violation” of sections 4(1) of the Forest Rights Act 2006, which recognises and vests forest rights on Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers on forest land, Dungdung concluded, “The Act categorically mentions in the section 4(1) that no member of a forest dwelling Scheduled Tribe or other traditional forest dwellers shall be evicted or removed from forest land under his occupation till the recognition and verification procedure is complete. In fact, the forest rights are denied to the community by enlisting the forest land and community forests in the Land Bank, which also violates the Provisions of Panchayat (Extension) in Scheduled Area Act (PESA) 1996 that recognises the self-determination of the Adivasis and empowers the Gram Sabha to manage the natural resources. This is also a violation of the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Odisha Mining Corporation Vs Ministry of Forest and Environment and others (c) No. 180 of 2011, which clearly states that the Gram Sabha is the owner of the natural resources; therefore, the common land, sacred groves and forest and forest land of the villages cannot be acquired without the consent of the Gram Sabhas.”

I saw my colleagues being stabbed… all over in 5 min: Jharkhand Maoist attack survivor


Constable-driver Sukhlal Kudada, the sole survivor in the attack on Friday in which five policemen were killed by suspected Maoists in Jharkhand, believes he survived only because he was not in uniform. Advertising

“I was in civil dress and sitting inside the vehicle and I think that is why I survived. I saw my colleagues being stabbed and their throats slit, one by one. In less than five minutes, the ambush was over,” says Kudada.

Five policemen of the Tiruldih police station — two Assistant Sub-Inspectors and three constables — were killed in the ambush at 4.45 pm on Friday at Kurku market in Saraikela district.

Chaibasa DIG Kuldeep Dwivedi said police have launched a “sustained operation” to arrest the Maoists involved in the attack.

Kudada, who has been posted as driver at the Tiruldih police station for the last nine months, says that an hour before the incident, he had driven the team of policemen to Ichakdih village to attend to a call regarding a dispute. While returning, he says, they stopped at the Kurku market and all the five policemen stepped into different shops to buy water, cold drinks.

Kudada, who claims he was seated in the car when the ambush began, says, “Suddenly, some people emerged from the crowd and started stabbing (the policemen). They all had bhujali (daggers). I rushed out and tried to save one of them, but one of the attackers swung his bhujali at me and I ran.” He says there were at least four attackers for every policeman who was targetted.

While Kudada says the attackers were armed with bhujaali, Saraikela SP Chandan Kumar Sinha said the policemen had sustained both bullet and stab injuries, and that the Maoists fled with the weapons of the dead policemen. Asked if the Maoists had come without any firearms, he said, “We cannot say so for sure as cartridges, apart from those from police guns, were recovered from the spot.”

It was outside a utensils shop in Kurku market that one of the policemen was killed. Bhagwat Mahto, whose relative owns the shop, says he had come to the market on Friday to buy a goat when the attack happened. On Saturday morning, he has returned to take home the goat which he kept locked in the shop all night. “I first saw blood… people were screaming. I could not understand anything and I ran for my life. Soon, the attackers were screaming ‘Maowadi Zindabad’ and waving guns. A few had towels wrapped around their faces.”

Kudada, however, says he never heard any slogans. He claims that minutes after the attack, he heard gunshots. “The Maoists took three INSAS rifles and two pistols from the policemen and they appeared to be firing from it. They also seemed to video record the incident. This time, I ran for my life,” he says.

Kudada claims that he ran for 10 km, called Bobby Jha, munshi at the Tiruldih police station, and informed him about the attack, after which he took a lift and reached the police station in Tiruldih.

At the station, the munshi, who received a call from Kudada at 5.49 pm, informed his superior, Sub Inspector Dayanand Ram. “I called up senior police officers and a team was sent to the spot. When we reached there, there was complete silence and blood everywhere,” says Ram.

The police station runs with 40 per cent of its sanctioned strength. “Of the sanctioned police strength of 35, we had 15. Now, we have lost five of our colleagues. Our station house in-charge is under suspension and a few others are on leave,” says Ram, now the most senior officer at the police station.

“It could have been any of us… Our jurisdiction was never thought to be unsafe,” he says, worrying that since driver Kudada was the lone survivor, he will now face a lot of scrutiny. “Who knows if he ends up as the suspect…”

DIG Dwivedi, however, said, “The driver is not a suspect as of now. But as I said, we are investigating all possible angles.”

Doctors on strike in Jharkhand, OPDs across the state to remain shut on Monday


The out-patient department (OPD) services at government hospitals across Jharkhand are off on Monday after doctors decided to skip duty following Indian Medical Association (IMA) call to boycott health service in protest against the assault on doctors in West Bengal.

IMA-Jamshedpur general secretary Dr Mrittunjay Singh on Saturday appealed to the doctors of government and private hospitals to boycott work from Monday 6am to Tuesday 6am in solidarity with the assault on junior doctors at Neel Ratan Sarakar Medical College Hospital (NRS) in Kolkata on June 10 after the death of an 85-year-old patient during treatment there.

However, emergency services in all the hospitals and nursing homes will be operation. “Emergency service will be operational but OPDs will be closed as our members will be on strike following call by national chapter of IMA across the country. We have also appealed to the doctors in all private hospitals and nursing homes like Tata Main Hospital (TMH) to support the cause of doctors demanding security and healthy working atmosphere in hospitals,” Singh told media.

IMA-Jamshedpur president, Dr Umesh Khan, said all the doctors would congregate at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital (MGMMCH) at 10 am tomorrow and march to the deputy commissioner’s (DC) office.

Dr Amal Patro, a member of IMA, said doctors were all set for a decisive fight this time. “If government doesn’t provide us security, we will close down OPDs. We won’t tolerate attacks on us anymore,” said Dr Patro.

Meanwhile, city-based Dr SP Foundation, a doctors body in Jamshedpur, also condemned the attack on doctors in West Bengal and demanded strong action against the culprits. The foundation director, Dr TK Chatterjee, said murderous attacks on doctors were an alarm bell for the society. “We ask union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to ensure adequate security for doctors on duty and healthy workplace atmosphere,” demanded Dr Chatterjee.

Jamshedpur has several leading hospitals like Tata Motors Hospital, Tinplate Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Bramhanada Hrudalayala Hospital, Medica Hospital and a host of private hospitals and nursing homes.

Junior doctors in Jharkhand protest against Bengal impasse, OPD boycott hits patients


Patients in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad had a harrowing time on Friday after junior doctors in the three government-run medical colleges and hospitals boycotted OPD services in a show of solidarity with the protesting doctors in West Bengal. Junior doctors across West Bengal are on strike since June 10, protesting against an alleged assault on a medical intern by relatives of an 87-year-old patient who died in Kolkata’s NRS hospital premises.

Junior doctors boycotted OPD duties at Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital (MGMMCH) and Patliputra Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and demanded that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee take action against the culprits immediately. However, senior doctors across the state attended to patients, wearing black badges.

The massive impact of junior doctors’ boycotting their duties was felt at RIMS Ranchi where long queues of patients were seen at all OPDs. Patients particularly had a difficult time at medicine, surgery, skin, eye and orthopaedic OPDs. Some of the patients were seen returning from OPDs due to the seemingly unending queues.

Govind Mahato, a patient from Powarganj in Lohardaga town, about 70 kms from Ranchi, visited RIMS but returned due to the commotion in the hospital. “I had no information about the sudden strike of doctors. I came here for the medical examination of my ailing grandson but had to return without treatment,” said Mahato.

Malti Murmu (45), a resident of Namkum in Ranchi, failed to consult a doctor despite waiting till noon at the gynaecology OPD. “The hospital should not have registered my name in the morning if the doctors were on strike. After being registered, I thought the doctor would check patients in the OPD, but they wasted my time and money,” she said.

Before beginning their boycott, junior doctors at RIMS staged a street play on the role of doctors in providing health services in the campus and sought cooperation from all teachers for their OPD boycott. Junior doctors also wore helmets and staged a sit-in protest in front of RIMS director Dr DK Singh’s chamber.

“We strongly condemn the attitude of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. We would be compelled to intensify our agitation if all the culprits are not arrested soon,” said Dr Ajit Prasad, JDA president.

Junior doctors at the Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Science (RINPAS) in Kanke also boycotted OPD services in solidarity with the JDA.

OPD did not function after 10.30 am at PMCH Dhanbad due to the boycott call by junior doctors. At MGMMCH, OPD did not function after 11 am. IMA Jamshedpur secretary Dr Mritunjay Kumar Singh said many doctors in private nursing homes also skipped their OPD duties in solidarity with protesting junior doctors.

Patients at Bokaro General Hospital (BGH) had also returned unattended from OPD as junior doctors boycotted services.

In the evening, the Jharkhand chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Jharkhand Health Service Association (JHSA) and JDA took out a protest march from RIMS.

“It is unfortunate that doctors who serve patients day and night were thrashed and the government did not act properly against culprits”, said Dr Pradeep Kumar Singh, IMA secretary.

West Singhbhum farmers wary of Jharkhand government’s agriculture incentive scheme


Tribal farmers of Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district want to stay out of the state government’s flagship scheme Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirvad Yojana (MMKAY), fearing that their land would be acquired if they share land details to avail the monetary support under the state government scheme.

Confusion reigned all around the poor tribal population in the hinterlands after 2017, when the state’s BJP-led Raghubar Das government attempted to amend the British-era tenancy laws – Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (SPT), as well as the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. Though the government could not amend the CNT and SPT Acts, it successfully brought changes in the Land Acquisition Act to waive off the social impact assessment (SIA) clause for land acquisition, which enables the government to acquire land for specific purposes such as building of schools, colleges or hospitals.

The opposition parties, however, had fought tooth and nail to prevent the government from amending the laws in 2017. It charged the government of acting on behalf of corporate interests to acquire tribal land. A message, thus, was spread among tribal population that the government wanted to alienate them from their land.

The misinformation became so deep-rooted that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to assure tribal voters in West Singhbhum during the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaigns that no one would acquire their land.

Eyeing the assembly elections scheduled to be held in November-December this year, the BJP dispensation in the state has fixed a deadline for the state bureaucracy to disburse agriculture incentives announced by the government for fiscal 2019-20.

The state government, in line with the centre’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PMKSNY), had also announced that small and marginal landholders having landholdings up to five acres, will get an annual incentive of Rs 5,000 per acre for Kharif crop production.

But residents of many tribal villages under Manjhari, Gudri, Sonua, Bandhgaon, Manoharpur, Noamundi, Hatgamharia, Jhinkpani and other blocks in West Singhbhum district expressed their concern and reluctance to avail the monetary benefits under the scheme. They believe that government would take over their land if they share land details to avail the financial benefits under MMKAY.

Some residents of Jhangiburu villager in Manjhari block had even sent a letter to the deputy commissioner (DC) last week to raise their concerns.

Ram Soren, a Kisan Mitra who is supposed to collect villagers’ application in Noamundi Basti under Noamundi block said, “Out of around 50 farmers in his village, only 25 have applied for the monetary benefits.”

“Villagers are saying that the government did not give them benefits under the Indira Aawas Yojana and other schemes as promised earlier. Now it is luring the tribal people with MMKAY to acquire their plots in the name of financial support,” Soren said.

West Singhbhum deputy commissioner (DC) Arava Rajkamal, however, on June 10 had issued letters to 217 mukhiyas (village head), asking them to convince people not to get swayed by rumours. He had also sent a team of district administration to Jhangiburu village to sensitise the villagers.

On Thursday, the DC along with other officials, visited Asura village in Jhinkpani block to convince people to apply and avail the financial assistance that would help them in purchasing seeds, pesticides and other goods for better agricultural production.

“Farmers are free to use the said money for agricultural purposes and the administration is not going to ask for fund utility proof,” DC Rajkamal said.

He informed that out of 1.5 lakh beneficiary farmers in the district, only 38,819 farmers have so far applied for the scheme. As many as 12,800 farmers had received the first instalment of Rs 2000 out of Rs 6,000 annual benefit under PMKSNY. 35,000 more farmers have now applied.

“It is a rumour that farmers’ lands would be acquired or transferred if they furnish land details in Form C. Through the forms, we are just taking their approval for depositing respective amount directly to their bank accounts,” Rajkamal said.

“A group of people with antidevelopment mindset have been spreading rumors. Strict legal action would be taken against those involved.”

Jharkhand HC’s Intervention Saves An Old Man From Starvation


Jharkhand High Court has brought the much-need relief to octogenarian Munilal Yadav, a resident of Baghmara area in Dhanbad district, who was facing starvation for the past several days.

A division bench comprising Justices HC Mishra and Deepak Roshan on Wednesday took cognizance of the plight of old man and ordered the deputy commissioner of Dhanbad to submit a report on the issue.

Following the court’s order, the district administration swung into action and provided food grains to Munilal within hours.

Lawyer Harshvradhan Sahay, who had brought the matter before the court, said on Thursday that now the division bench has ordered for registration of a PIL in the case.

“I had seen the plight of Munilal in a television report and thought it proper to bring it to the notice of the court. Once court issued the directive, the administration initiated several measures for bringing relief to the man. Steps for his pension has also been initiated” Sahay said. He added that entire process was streamlined and benefits were delivered within hours of the order.

It may be stated here that Munilal is weak and frail due to old age and was surviving on the alms from his neighbors for a long time.

Coal town hope for power relief soon


The coal capital’s power woes, centred around a shortfall of 60MW, could be resolve within the next three months as efforts are on to fix a 250MW power grid sub-station that could not be commissioned due to pending forest clearances.

According to highly placed sources in Jharkhand Urja Sancharan Limited, the distribution arm of the state power conglomerate, an NOC has been received for laying cables from the sub-station at Kandra in Govindpur, and hook it up with the Dumka power grid.

Work on laying cables and erecting towers, the sources said, would begin on June 17 and be completed by July 17. Similarly, work to lay cables and erect towers to connect the Kandra sub-station with the Lalpania power grid of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam (TVNL) in Bokaro is likely to the completed within tree months.

A senior official at Jharkhand Urja Sancharan said once the work was over, the Kandra sub-station would be able to draw around 50MW from the Dumka grid. The remaining 10 MW could be sourced from TVNL’s Lalpania grid.

Currently, Dhanbad gets around 212MW from Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) instead of the required 272MW, leading to a shortfall of around 60MW.

“In fact, we can draw any amount of power from the Lalpania power grid of TVNL, ranging from the required 10MW to a maximum of 200 MW, during complete disruption of power supply from DVC,” said Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam (JBVNL) superintending engineer Vinay Kumar.

Dhanbad in-charge GM of JBVNL Amarnath Jha said they would be able to provide 24-hour power supply to Dhanbad once the Kandra power grid sub-station was operational, thereby reducing dependence on DVC.

“A shortfall of around 50MW will be met. Other issues affecting power supply due to dependence on DVC, like frequent load-shedding and delayed fault repair, would also be taken care of once the power grid sub-station is ready,” he told the media on Monday after a meeting with Congress leaders led by district president Brajendra Prasad Singh, who lodged a complaint with him about the dismal power situation.

Then energy minister Rajendra Singh had laid the foundation of the sub-station at Kandra Industrial Area in Govindpur in December 2013 in the presence of then animal husbandry minister Mannan Mallick and former Tundi MLA Mathura Prasad Mahto.

But mandatory forest clearances, required for felling trees to pave the way for laying cables and erecting towers to connect the Kandra sub-station with Dumka and Lalapnia power grids did not come, thereby delaying the project.

Currently, JBVNL draws around 212 MW from six feeders of DVC: Putki for Dhanbad and Katras, Patherdih for Jharia and its surrounding areas, Bhetia for suburban areas of Dhanbad town, Kumardubi for Kumbardhubi and its surrounding areas like Chirkunda, and Maithon for Nirsa, Mugma and its surrounding areas.

But recurring faults in the feeder sub-stations have led to a perennial power crisis for which JBVNL has been receiving flak from residents of the region.

“While the connection with the Dumka power grid will help to immediately draw around 50 MW, the connection with the Lalpania power grid of TVNL, which is also connected to the national power grid in Bihar, will help to draw more power to meet the requirement,” explained the official.

509% rise in cases under child labour law: Study by Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation


There has been a 509% increase in the number of cases registered under the child labour law since 2017, according to a research study on child labour by Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF).

KSCF has carried out the study ‘Child labour know more’ with the objective of identifying gaps in the implementation of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 and strengthening national efforts towards elimination of all forms of child labour by the year 2025 as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a press release said.

“Since 2017, an increase of 509% in the number of cases registered under the child labour law has been recorded as per a study based on information sought under the RTI Act,” the release said.

However, it said, a comparison between this data, the figures provided by the National Crime Records Bureau across three years and the Census of India 2011 brings out the “massive disparity” between the number of working children in India and the number of cases, registered and prosecuted.

RTI replies from across the country revealed that no case of child labour was registered in Haryana, Kerala, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh in 2017. Rajasthan and Bihar contributed 84% of the total cases registered, it said.

“Another glaring deficiency in the policy regime for abolition of child labour is non-disbursal or disbursal with huge delays of monetary compensation and the yawning gaps in efficient delivery of rehabilitation measures,” the release said.

The report also provides a range of recommendations to address the gaps in protection, prosecution, rehabilitation and prevention of child labour in the country.