On 10 April 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob.
On 31 may 2019, Kendriya Jan Sangharsh Samiti organised a protest against the violence and administrative inaction. Despite this protest, the police has failed to take any action against the perpetrators of the Dumri lynching. The police has in fact charged the surviving victims of the lynching with cow slaughter. To once again protest against the continued injustice, Jan Sangharsh Samiti organized a protest today in front of the office of the Gumla Deputy Commissioner. The protest was attended by hundreds of people from not only Gumla, but also from the nearby districts of Ranchi and Latehar.
Today’s protest began with Albert Tigga from the Jan Sangharsh Samiti briefly recollecting the incident of lynching and the fact finding of the incidence and protests against the violence and administrative inaction. The fact finding team clearly established that the owner of the dead ox requested the victims and others of Jurmu village to carve the dead ox. While carving the dead ox, the villagers were attacked by a mob of 35-40 persons from Jairagi village and beaten for hours.
Ashutosh Rahul Tirkey shared that instead of taking action against the perpetrators of violence, the police filed a FIR against the Adivasi victims of the lynching. Further, the Gumla district court has rejected the anticipatory bail filed for these victims. The attached court order clarifies that the police did not include the testimonies of the residents of Jurmu in the case diary. Even the testimony of the dead ox owner has not been recorded properly by the police. The facts have been recorded in a distorted manner in favor of the perpetrators of lynching.
Villagers from Jurmu said that since the lynching, residents of Jurmu are being threatened by people from Jairagi. On the advice of the local administration, residents of Jurmu stopped supplying mud to a brick kiln being operated by a resident of Jairagi. In retaliation, the brick kiln owner threatened residents of Jurmu with the comment “khoon ki nadiyan baha denge” (will flow rivers of blood). Moreover, Adivasi children from Jurmu are denied water from a public hand pump at Jairagi chowk.
Social activist Ashok Verma said that on 17 June another person was lynched, this time a Muslim in Saraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand. Like in case of Dumri, this victim was also forced to say “jai shree ram” and “jai hanuman”. This is the eighteenth lynching death in Jharkhand in the past three years. These series of lynchings clearly indicate the immunity provided to the perpetrators of violence by the state government.
Jan Sangharsh Samiti’s Saroj Hembram said that she protests against the bovine protection law that is used to kill people on the name of cow slaughter. Kendriya Jansangharsh Samiti strongly condemns these series of lynchings, the subsequent harassment of surviving victims and the administrative inaction against the perpetrators of violence. Towards the end of the protest meeting, a delegation of protestors submitted a memorandum to the Gumla Deputy Commissioner with the following demands:
- Withdrawal of false cases of cow slaughter filed against the Adivasis of Jurmu
- Arrest of all the perpetrators involved in the mob violence and file charges against them under The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
- Take action against the local police for its long delay in arranging medical treatment for the victims and filing of false case of cow slaughter
- Provide interim compensation of Rs 15 lakh to the deceased’s family and Rs. 10 lakhs each to the injured victims
- Compliance with the recent Supreme Court judgement on lynching
- Action against the continued harassment of Adivasis of Jurmu
Courtesy: Counter Current