Jharkhand warns against violence during Thursday’s shutdown

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Ranchi, July 4 (IANS) The Jharkhand government on Wednesday warned of strict action against anyone found indulging in violence during a united opposition shutdown called on Thursday to protest an amendment in the Land Acquisition Act 2013.

“A total of 5,000 jawans of the state police will be deployed along with two companies of Rapid Action Force, six companies of Reserve Armed Police and 3,100 home guard jawans.

“Tear gas units and riot control units will also be there,” said state Home Secretary S.K. Rahate in a joint press conference with state Director General of Police (DGP) D.K. Pandey.

“Anyone found damaging public or private property will be dealt with as per law. They will have to pay for the losses incurred.

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“The Supreme Court has passed an order as per which a forceful bandh called by any party is unconstitutional and in case of violence, a contempt of court case will also be filed,” said the Home secretary.

He said CCTV cameras have been installed at all the sensitive places and drones will also be flown to keep a tab on the protesters opposing the amendment under which a social impact study is no longer required for land acquisition for certain projects like railway, colleges, irrigation and road.

The DGP said the police are prepared. “In a democracy, one has the right for peaceful protest but forceful closure and damage to life and property will not be tolerated at any cost.”

Pandey said the police will not be making deliberate use of force but were prepared to tackle all contingencies including use of plastic bullets.

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The state Assembly in August 2017 passed the amendment bill by voice vote and the President cleared it last month.

The state government says people-oriented projects are delayed due to social impact studies. After the amendment, the government will be able to acquire land directly from the owners.

–IANS

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