Jharkhand gram sabha leader, others booked for opening illegal bank

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Ranchi, June 5 (IANS) Two cases have been registered in Jharkhand’s Khuti district against a gram sabha leader and others on charges of opening an illegal rural bank and laying its foundation stone, police said on Tuesday.

The FIRs were lodged at Murhu police station on Monday, including the one in which Gram Sabha leader Joseph Puty alias Yusuf Purty and more than 100 persons were accused of opening the bank and laying its foundation stone.

The FIR said that Purty and his team had incited the villagers against the law of the land and indulged in anti-government work. No arrest has been made so far.

In defiance of the law, the tribals in parts of Khuti district on Sunday took steps to run a parallel administration and announced laying of the foundation stones of a rural bank, and boards for tribal education, health and defence.

People from surrounding areas gathered in Udburu village under Murhu block for Pathhalgari — an age-old tradition of the tribals wherein they erect monoliths in the name of their ancestors on the village borders.

“The Gram Sabha has done nothing wrong by opening the rural bank, which is for the development of the tribals,” Purty said while laying the bank’s foundation stone.

The bank began functioning from Sunday as Purty also issued passbooks to over 100 persons. He said the money will come from the government’s tribal sub-plan.

In the past, the state government has warned people through newspaper advertisements against use of the tradition of Pathhalgari to indulge in anti-government activities. A few persons involved in Pathhalgari have been arrested earlier.



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