Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) president Sukhdeo Bhagat on Saturday alleged that 514 innocent villagers in Jharkhand had been convinced to get branded as Naxalites and made to surrender with false promise of providing them jobs under the state government’s Surrender and Rehabilitation policy by the BJP-led government in 2011.
Addressing a press conference here, Bhagat said the previous Hemant Soren-headed JMM/Congress/RJD dispensation had recommended a CBI probe in this regard but nothing was done yet by the present regime to follow up the case.
“Innocent educated youths were convinced and had to bribe the officials… Some of them mortgaged their land to arrange the money to grease the palms of the officials, to get themselves branded as Naxalites only to get the benefit of the Surrender policy and the job,” the Congress leader said, regretting that the youths had the tag of Naxalites now, but did not get the benefit nor the job.
All the 514 villagers were illegally kept in a Cobra battalion camp in Ranchi, which needed to be investigated as no one was allowed to stay in the camp barring the personnel concerned, Bhagat claimed.
It was a sensitive issue, which needed to be investigated seriously, he said accusing the BJP-led government in 2011 of misleading the youths only to get applause.
JPCC president also expressed apprehension that the Surrender policy constituted by the state government was misused.
The present Director General of Police of the state was the Inspector General of CRPF when the incident took place, Bhagat said.
Congress will soon meet the Governor and mount pressure for a CBI enquiry in this regard, he added.
Lambasting the Raghuvar Das-led BJP dispensation in
Jharkhand for failing to deliver on all fronts, Bhagat described it as a “government of announcements only”.
Even after completion of over 100 days in power, the state government was directionless but continued to make announcements without implementing any of it, Bhagat said, adding that the government did not have any roadmap for development.
The Congress leader strongly advocated a “white paper” about the status of over a hundred Memorandum of Understanding worth over Rs 1,800 crores signed during BJP regime.
“What was the deal behind signing of these MOUs?” he asked adding, “Why Reliance Power had winded up its proposed Tilaiya Power Project even after the company was allotted the coal block as well as land for the purpose?”
Reacting sharply to the allegation, BJP Jharkhand unit spokesman Pradeep Sinha said it was “politically motivated” and demanded an enquiry by the government.
The government should take initiative to wipe out the blot, if the incident was proved true, Sinha added.