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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 this violence and killing, and the police inaction in Dumri block. The protest was attended by thousands of people from Gumla, Latehar and Ranchi districts. Several human rights activists of the state also participated in the protest.

Jan Sangharsh Samiti’s Saroj Hembrom shared that a fact finding team of human rights learnt that the four victims, along with other men and children of their village, were carving a dead ox on the bank of a river that flows near their village. Some people from Jurmu were told by the owner of the dead ox to carve it for meat and its hide. While the Adivasis were doing so, they were attacked by a mob of about 35-40 persons from Jairagi. After being beaten for around three hours, the victims were dumped by the perpetrators in front of the Dumri police thana at midnight. Instead of immediately rushing the victims to a hospital, the police made them wait outside in the cold for around four hours. By the time they were taken to the local health centre, Prakash had already succumbed to his injuries. While the victims kept saying that they were carving an ox that had died, the police filed an FIR against them and 20-25 unnamed persons of their village on charges of cow slaughter. Saroj Hembrom added that in the past four years, 11 persons have been lynched in Jharkhand, of whom nine were Muslims and the rest two Adivasis.

Jerome Kujur of Kendriya Jan Sangharsh Samiti informed the participants of the protest about police inaction in Prakash Lakra’s death. A member of the fact finding team James Herenj said that he was very saddened to learn about the false reporting on this matter by the local media. He read in the newspaper that the Adivasis began to fight among themselves while distributing cow meat, which led to Prakash Lakra’s death. Jean Dreze, who had met the SP on this matter, said that the incident in Jurmu is a plain and simple case of murder which received the blessings of the local police and the state government. He added that in the past few years, at least 40 persons have died across the country in similar acts of violence. This is a direct outcome of the growing Hindutva in India. Ashok Verma said that one organization in the country wants to make India a Hindu nation, for which it is spreading communalism.

Kendriya Jan Sangharsh Samiti unequivocally condemned Prakash Lakra’s death. The Samiti wants peace in the entire region. But the incident has created an atmosphere for fear. At the end of the protest, the representatives met the local administration and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Governor with the following demands:

  1. Withdrawal of false cases of cow slaughter filed against the Adivasis of Jurmu
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Provide interim compensation of Rs 15 lakh to the deceased’s family and Rs. 10 lakhs each to the injured victims
  5. Compliance with the recent Supreme Court judgement on lynching

For more information, please contact Jerome (9431705062), James (9470396732) or Saroj (8987447623)


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