State-wide bandh in Jharkhand against the Land Acquisition Bill

A state-wide bandh was organised in Jharkhand on May 4, 2015, against the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, that the Narendra Modi government is trying to push through Parliament.

The bandh was reported to have been very successful, with participation of people from all cross-sections of the state, in spite of promulgation of prohibitory orders and imposition of Section-144 of CrPC by the Jharkhand government. Defeating all prohibitory orders, huge numbers of people came out on the streets.

The Bandh was called by CPI, CPI(M), Marxist Co-ordination Committee, AIFB, RSP, SUCI(C), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha amongst others. The National Highways leading to the state were blocked at several places. Road blocks were organised in at least 25 places in rural areas of Ranchi District and urban areas of Bokaro Steel City, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and other industrial areas. Several trains were detained at Jamtara, Deoghar and Gomia railway stations. All forms of road transport in the state came to a standstill.

Militant demonstrations were held on the occasion, through the main streets of many of the cities and industrial townships. Hundreds of workers marched under the banners of their respective trade unions while women's organisations too mobilised many women. Construction workers participated in large numbers. Hundreds of activists were arrested as the demonstrators clashed with the police.

The recently formed BJP led government in Jharkhand is pulling all stops to facilitate the entry of foreign and Indian monopoly capitalist investment in that state, in the name of "development". It has signed several MoUs with foreign and Indian multinationals. Global audit and consultant major Ernst & Young has been appointed to recommend "best practices" for "ease of doing business" and making Jharkhand more "investor friendly". The rich natural resources of the state and the labour of its workers are being offered to the Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists, to exploit freely and reap maximum profits. Easy and cheap acquisition of land is crucial for this. This is what the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill is trying to achieve. It is being met with stiff resistance from the workers and peasants of Jharkhand.


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