Skip to main content

Immediately withdraw pending pathalgadi cases, including on late Stan Swamy: JJM

By Our Representative 

According to a recent RTI reply by the Superintendent of Police of Khunti, five pathalgadi cases of Khunti are yet to be withdrawn. It also includes the case registered against 20 activists and intellectuals, including Stan Swamy. Also, according to the RTI reply, another pathalgadi related case was registered in Khunti in March 2020 under the current Hemant Soren government. Of the total 21 cases registered by the Raghubar Das government in Khunti, 16 have been withdrawn.
The pathalgadi movement was istarted by tribals of the Khunti district of Jharkhand as a resistance movement to assert their rights over water, forest and land following the Central government’s two ordinances, promulgated in 2016, which enabled transfer of tribal land to the government as well as for commercial purposes.
As a symbol of their resistance, the tribals erected stones erected, starting with the tribal villages of Khunti district, the birthplace of legendary tribal leader Birsa Munda. The ordinances were withdrawn. Pathalgadi literally translates to 'carving a stone', telling “outsiders” that the they owned jal-jangal-jameen as their constitutional right and not any outsiders.
On 29 December 2019, Chief Minister Hemant Soren, right after taking oath, announced withdrawal of all pathalgadi cases. The announcement was met with widespread appreciation and support.
The earlier Jharkhand government, headed by Chief Minister Raghubar Das, had come down heavily on the pathalgadi movement and responded with severe violence and repression. It had filed several cases against the people associated with the movement and also several Adivasi traditional heads of the villages.
The police filed several cases against about 200 named accused and more than 10,000 unnamed people under wrong charges that include abetment, obstruction to public servants discharging their duty, creation of public nuisance, criminal intimidation and even sedition. 28 FIRs related to pathalgadi spread across Khunti (21), Saraikela-Kharsawan (5) and West Singhbhum (2) districts were registered by the Raghubar Das government.
Even though it took many years for the cases to be withdrawn, it was considered a positive action taken by the Hemant Soren government. “But it is worrying that five cases are still pending. Chief Minister Soren had strongly protested against the incarceration of Stan Swamy by the Modi government, but the fake case registered against him by the Raghuvar Das government is yet to be withdrawn”, says a civil society network Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM) note.
According to JJM, “Victims of repression unleashed in the pathalgadi villages by the earlier government are yet to get justice. Ghaghra’s Asrita Mundu who gave birth to a physically disabled daughter after being beaten by the security forces, during her pregnancy, is yet to receive any compensation.”
“Similarly, action against personnel responsible for the violence (including killing of Adivasis such as Birsa Munda and Abraham Soy) are yet to be held accountable. The police is yet to find the perpetrators of murder of activists and traditional heads associated with the pathalgadi movement such as Ramji Munda, Sukhram Munda and Amit Topno”, it adds.
Believes JJM, “Also, the state government, as per public expectation, is yet to address the issues raised during the pathalgadi movement such as widespread violation of special laws and provisions for Adivasis (PESA, Fifth Schedule, Land Acquisition Act, CNT Act etc.), marginalization of Adivasi world view, exploitation of Adivasis by the police, administration and non-Adivasis and so on.”
Meanwhile, the JJM has demanded the following from the Hemant Soren government:
  • Immediate withdrawal of all five pending pathalgadi cases, action against human rights violations in Khunti and compensation to victims.
  • Strict implementation of special laws and provisions for Adivasis such as PESA, Fifth Schedule, Land Acquisition Act, CNT Act and so on in letter and spirit.



'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site The article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.