Ranchi: Jharkhand police which had slapped sedition cases on thousands of tribals during the Pathalgadi movement under Raghubar Das tenure, has done it again. This time the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) protesters of Dhanbad district, had to face the brunt.
Police slapped a sedition case on 3000 protesters on Tuesday. They were protesting against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act.
But, Chief Minister Hemant Soren, within 24 hours has asked for the sedition charges to be revoked. Soren, in his first cabinet meeting, had decided to take back sedition cases filed against Pathalgadi activist. However, this time, Soren, has even mentioned punishment for officers who use the draconian law in simple protest cases.
Ever since the election model code has been removed In Jharkhand, it has been witnessing a large number of protests against CAA, NRC and National Population Register (NPR). In Dhanbad only, for the past three days, a large number of people are have been staging dharna against CAA.
On Tuesday, protestors hit the street and stayed on roads for three hours. However, eye witnesses said that it was a peaceful protest and no religious sloganeering were made.
Later, Dhanbad police slapped case against the protesters under not one but 11 sections– 143, 145, 149, 186, 188, 290, 291, 336, 153 (A), 153 (B) and 124 (A) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Jharkhand High Court lawyer and a resident of Dhanbad, Shadab Ansari also informed that the 3000 people who have been slapped with sedition charges had planned to mass surrender in this case just to make police officials realize their inhuman act.
However, Soren acted swiftly and by late evening through Twitter, it was announced that sedition cases against Dhanbad CAA, NRC protestors would be taken back and action would be initiated against the officer who slapped it.
In his tweet, Jharkhand Chief Minister made it clear that the law is not to instill fear among the common man but to keep them safe. “Under my leadership, the law will work to raise voice of public,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy questioned why sections 153 (A) and (B) of IPC has been applied to this case.
Journalist and social activist, Mohammad Anas tweeted that all cases slapped on the protesters should be scrapped, and not just sedition charges.
So far besides Dhanbad, Ranchi, Giridih, Hazaribagh and Lohardagga protest against CAA and NRC has taken place.