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I prevented riots in Jharkhand: Soren
July 30, 2004 19:06 IST
Last Updated: July 30, 2004 19:11 IST
Emerging after being incommunicado for 10 days, former Union coal minister Shibu Soren claimed that he was never in hiding but was 'interacting' with people in villages in the jungles of Jharkhand.
Addressing a press conference immediately after arriving at his son's residence in Ranchi, he claimed he had addressed several meetings in Jharkhand villages over the last week and prevented riots in the state.
Soren had last been seen in public on July 19 when he reportedly met Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. He was a Union minister on July 17 when a court in Jamtara district issued a non-bailable arrest warrant in connection with the 1975 Chirrudih massacre case.
He had moved the Jharkhand high court, which on Thursday directed him to surrender before the court by August 2.
On Friday, Soren appeared before mediapersons and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of hatching a conspiracy to create a Gujarat-like situation in Jharkhand before the assembly elections by digging out a 30-year-old case against him.
Emphasising that the Chirrudih incident was part of the Jharkhand movement, Soren said that the state assembly had taken a decision that no case pertaining to the statehood movement would be revived.
"The BJP thought my arrest would create unrest in the Santhal areas. But I have nipped in the bud the BJP's design of engineering a riot in Jharkhand and also saved the prestige of the nation by restraining myself.
"The fascist BJP, through the media, branded me as an absconder, missing and in hiding. But revolutionaries never seek the escape route. I was making the people aware of the BJP's conspiracy," he said.
He sought to equate the BJP's attempt to malign him with the campaign it had run against Congress leader Sonia Gandhi before the Lok Sabha elections branding her a foreigner and incapable of leading the country.
"Despite these attempts, the BJP will be wiped out in the upcoming assembly elections as the people know who is what," Soren said adding he would address a public meeting on or before August 1 to 'expose' the BJP's alleged conspiracy.Soren, who had to resign from the Manmohan Singh government following unrelenting pressure from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, said that he always respected the judiciary and would follow the high court's directions. However, the date for his 'appearance' before a Jamtara court would be decided after consulting his lawyers.
More reports from Jharkhand