Blood of Martyrs will not go in Vain: Koel Karo Jan Sanghatan, Jharkand

Written by Stan Swamy | Published on: February 3, 2018
The Adivasi people of Koel-Karo Jan Sanghatan paid their homage yesterday [February 3] to the eight martyrs of the uprising of February 2, 2001 and renewed their resolve to assert their rights over their ancestral land. More than a thousand people from surrounding villages first took out a silent procession around Tapkara village, then assembled at the site of the police firing and held a public meet wherein they resolved to continue their struggle against the present Jharkand government’s back-door move to ear-mark and acquire their non-agricultural lands such as village roads, rivers and rivulets, water bodies, places of worship, burial grounds, village forests, hills & hillocks etc.  

Jharkhand Tribals
Representation Image                                   Courtesy: Indian Express     

The name of the game is Land Bank!  About a year ago, during the much publicised ‘Momentum Jharkhand’ held in Ranchi, where about 4000 industrialists from within and without the country had been invited and treated as state-guests at enormous public expense a formal announcement was made: the state government had then proclaimed that getting land to set up industries and mines would not be a problem because the Jharkhand government had set up a Land Bank in which about 20 lakh acres have been ear-marked for seizure. Of this about 10 lakh acres, the government assured, was ‘ready for acquisition’ by corporate houses.

People across the State are now becoming aware of the implications of this disturbing move of the government. They have started protesting this policy move through their Gram Sabhas. They are even appealing to the Governor of Jharkand to stop this reprehensible move of the government. In case the ‘constitutional custodian’ of Adivasi people of the state does not act decisively to stand by the people on their rights over their natural resources, the Adivasi people of Koel-Karo Jan Sangatan will fight this out, even as they successfully fought against the proposed Koel-Karo dam. If constructed, this dam would have submerged 132 villages and inundated about 50,000 acres of their cultivable & forest land. The sacrifices this struggle paid were high. The success of stopping a disastrous dam from taking shape, was at the cost of the people of  Koel-Karo Jan Sangatan making a heart-breaking sacrifice: eight of their colleagues being killed in police firing, 35 of them being seriously wounded, five of whom have become handicapped for life. Their present struggle is being inspired by this truth” the blood of our martyrs will not go in vain.