Jharkhand shutdown evokes mixed response

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Ranchi, July 5 (IANS) A state-wide shutdown called by the opposition in Jharkhand to protest against an amendment to the Land Acquisition Act authorising direct parchases witnessed mixed response on Thursday.

More than 1,000 people were arrested in different parts of the state after opposition parties’ supporters tried to enforce the shutdown against the legal provision allowing the government to acquire land directly from owners.

Most shops and schools remained closed, while buses on long-distance routes were not plying. Train services were affected in Sahebganj district.

The Jharkhand government has warned of strict action against those involved in the violence.

“Anyone found damaging public or private property will be dealt with as per law. They will have to pay for the losses incurred,” Home Secretary S.K. Rahate had said on Wednesday.

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The Jharkhand Assembly passed the amendment bill by a voice vote in August 2017, while the President cleared it in June.

The state government has maintained that the amendment was necessary as people-oriented projects were getting delayed by the earlier provisions that had capped the direct purchase of land.

Around 5,000 personnel of the state police have been deployed along with two companies of the Rapid Action Force, six companies of the Reserve Armed Police and 3,100 home guards to tackle the situation arising from the protests against the changes made in the Land Acquisition Amendment Act 2013.

–IANS

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