'If minorities are disturbed, majority will have to face heat': Jharkhand minister sparks row

By Express News Service

RANCHI: In a scathing attack on the State Government, BJP Legislature Party Leader and former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi said the evasive answers given by the Hemant Soren government in the Supreme Court make it clear that it is in favour of Bangladeshi and Rohingya infiltrators.

Marandi was speaking on the affidavit filed by the State Government in the Supreme Court on the petition filed against the infiltrators. Notably, the reply of the JMM-Congress-RJD coalition government in Jharkhand has been filed in response to a PIL by lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, who has sought a direction from the Centre and the States to identify, detain and deport all the illegal immigrants and infiltrators, including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas.

In the 15-page affidavit, filed through Prashant Kumar, Inspector General, Special Branch, Jharkhand Police, the State Government has said that there is already a mechanism in place for setting up detention centres, holding centres and camps in various states to restrict the movement of illegal immigrants or foreign nationals. It also pointed out that the Jharkhand government has also set up a model detention centre in Hazaribagh.

Explaining how, the Santhal leader cited an affidavit that the state government today filed in the Supreme Court expressing its objection regarding the deportation of illegal immigrants. Marandi said the situation is so alarming due to the pro-intruder attitude of the State Government that communal riots are taking place in various places and slogans like ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ are being raised during the Panchayat polls.

He also said during the corona pandemic it was observed that a senior minister of the State Government had played a proactive role in safe passages of Tablighi Jamaat members from other countries after it came to the fore that their stay in the state was illegal. He further added that due to intrusion, the demography of the state is changing and in the Santhal Pargana region, Pahariya and Santhals are fast getting reduced to a minority. Marandi also pointed out that reports on incidents of violence against tribal people often come from that area.

He also expressed his concern over the pro intruder attitude of the State Government and stressed the urgent need for identification and deportation of immigrants after proper survey and identification. The BJP leader said Bangladeshi and Rohingya are posing threat to law and order in the state and a government agency has earlier already reported this effect. He said that it needs to be verified how intruders are enjoying all facilities at par with the common citizen of this country.

According to Marandi, public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court in the year 2017 on the question of how to act on these infiltrators, identify them and drive them out of the country. In this, the State governments, and union territories were asked to present their side. “Unfortunate the State Government opposed the petition and gave a roundabout reply in the court. Today, the result of this mentality of the State government is that religious processions are being attacked in the state and violent incidents in Lohardaga, Hazaribagh and many other places in the past are a clear example,” said Marandi.

Now the Sarhul procession of tribal society is also being targeted, he added. Marandi said the intention of the government is not clear and hence, BJP demands that a survey should be done in Santhal Pargana in the first phase and identify the intruders.