Medininagar (Jharkhand): The National Commission for Scheduled Castes will summon the Jharkhand chief secretary and director general of police over the forcible eviction of 50 Dalit families in Palamu district by members of another community over a land dispute.
The commission’s deputy chairman Arun Haldar, after visiting the location at Tongri Pahadi in Murumatu village in Pandu Police Station area on Saturday, alleged that it was a planned incident and the role of the local administration appeared to be “doubtful”.
Haldar said the commission will initiate action in its own capacity irrespective of what is done by the administration.
“No concrete action has been taken against the accused so far which indicates a nexus between them and the police. The victims, including women, had approached the law enforcers pleading for protection but no action was taken by them. Had the police reached the spot on time, the houses would not have been razed,” Haldar told reporters here.
The members of the Musahar community were driven out on August 29 by members of another community, and temporarily sheltered by the administration at a building that earlier housed a police station.
Haldar said the administration was trying to rehabilitate the evicted Dalits in some other place and the commission has taken this issue seriously.
“This attempt was aimed at making the incident complicated, which the commission did not consider proper,” Haldar said.
He said the commission has directed the administration to rehabilitate the evicted people at the same place where they were residing.
“Their Aadhaar, ration cards and other documents bear the same address from where they were evicted,” he said.
Haldar said that a week has passed since the incident but the circle officer concerned has still not been able to find out to whom the disputed land belonged.
The matter could have been resolved in a civil court but the accused took the matter into their own hands and the police’s reticent approach was “surprising”, he said.
“The incident, which happened due to the irresponsible approach of the government, has sent a bad message across the country and abroad,” he added.
JMM chief spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya had said on Friday that the issue was resolved amicably as the affected families were given two decimals of land near their old residence and Rs 25,000 each for rehabilitation.
Palamu Deputy Commissioner A Dode said that the process of allotment of land to the evicted people is at an advanced stage, adding that the land is located around 1.5 km from the place of occurrence.
Police have thus far arrested five of the 12 accused names in the FIR over the incident, while a manhunt has been launched to nab the remaining people.