Daggers are drawn.As the agitation launched against private mining company-Panem-at Pakur by the opposition Jharkhand Vikas Morcha led by former CM Babulal Marandi entered 19th day on Wednesday,the ruling Jharkhand geared up to hold a massive rally there on December 14.The rally is planned to be held at Amrapara,near Pachuara where Panem mines and supplies coal to Punjab State Electricity Board and where Marandi together with his supporters were sitting on dharna for the past 19 days since November 16.“We will tell the people to rush to Amrapara.The outsiders were causing havoc for the indigenous population”was the resolve of the JMM,approved in its core committee meeting held on Tuesday night.
At Pachuwara,the dharna led by Marandi had paralysed mining and dispatch of coal to PSEB,threatening power cuts in Punjab and Harayana-two states which get electricity generated with Panem’s coal by PSEB plants in Punjab.Though there were a series of negotiations between the agitationists,Panem management and the state government officials,but Marandi had refused to call off the stir.
‘We will not withdraw agitation till our demands were met”,said Marandi who faced the charge that he had launched dharna to pressurize Panem to cough up Rs 50 crore to JVM for the elections in 2014.This charge was slapped on him by the rival BJP leader and former CM Raghuvar Das.
The Panem has its own background.After a series of agitations,the private company managed to gain possession of the land to mine and supply coal to PSEB after its management,the state government and the anti displacement body-Pahar Bachao Andolan-had signed an agreement envisaging interalia to set up four schools,50 bedded hospital,Polytechnic and water and electric supply to the colony of the displaced in 2006.
Since these promises were not met by the company till date,there was a sense of dejection and anger among the tribals around Pachuara and Amrapara in Pakur.While Marandi in his bid to tap them had asserted that he will not withdraw the agitation until the company’s top brass and the state government’s Secretary intervened and promised to implement the agreement in letter and spirit and in a time frame.”Otherwise the people will not call off their stir”,said Marandi.
Faced with Marandi’s game plan,his arch rival Shibu Soren was out to use ‘insider-outsider’ feelings among the people to consolidate his party JMM’s support base in Santhal Pargana.”The outsiders were creating a huge problem.We must remain vigilant”,was Soren’s tip off to partymen in Santhal Pargana.