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December 5, 1998

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Pro-Jharkhand parties to intensify stir

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The pro-Jharkhand forces today threatened to intensify their movement for a separate state following the Centre's alleged failure to table the Bihar State Reorganisation Bill by December 4.

The Left democratic parties in Jharkhand under the banner of the Vam Janwadi Jharkhand Rajya Sangharsh Samiti (Left Democratic Action Committee for Jharkhand State) have threatened to launch a 'do-or-die' agitation along with the Jharkhand Ekta Manch (Jharkhand Unity Forum), which comprises the pro-Jharkhand parties and the Janata Dal.

With the Centre failing to oblige them, the pro-Jharkhand forces have directed their supporters to go ahead with the proposed non-co-operation movement against the Centre and the Bihar government whom they hold "equally responsible" for the delay in the creation of the new state.

The two fronts were meeting in Ranchi on Saturday afternoon to finalise the steps to be adopted for this purpose.

The VJRSS and the JEM, along with the Sarvadaliya Alag Rajya Nirman Samiti (All-Party Committee for the Creation of a Separate State) have conducted a series of agitational programmes in the region in the past month to press the Centre to introduce the BSR Bill, 1998, by December 4.

They had disrupted the movement of coal and commercial activities during their 24-hour "thapp" (shutdown) and 100-hour economic blockade from November 30.

The three fora have the active support of the Jharkhand Vananchal Rajya Budhijivi Sangharsh Manch and ultra-Left outfits like the Hul Jharkhand Kranti Dal, the Jharkhand Mazdoor Kisan Sangrami Parishad, the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist, Nai Pahel, and the All-India People's Resistance Forum, which is affiliated to the banned People's War.

Prominent political parties associated with the three fora include the Communist Party of India, the Janata Dal, the Congress, the Jharkhand Party-Horo, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Mardi, the Jharkhand People's Party, and the All-Jharkhand Students' Union.

The Jharkhand Chhatra Morcha, student wing of the JMM, today burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Lal Khurana for not putting the Jharkhand issue on the government's priority list for the winter session of Parliament.

JMM leader Ajay Rai said they would be forced to ban the entry of the 14 BJP and Congress members of Parliament from the region for having failed to apprise the Centre of the people's aspirations.

Earlier, the JMM had given a similar call banning the entry of Bihar ministers into Jharkhand, but the ministers not only visited the 18 districts in south Bihar on several occasions but also held an Adivasi sammelan (gathering) lodging the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal's protest against the creation of Jharkhand.

UNI

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