Acting tough against the supporters of the Maoist-supported Pathalgadi movement, the police in Jharkhand registered an FIR against 20 people for allegedly spreading rumours on social media to instigate anti-India sentiments and misinformation about the government. The rumours were allegedly circulated around the abduction of three policemen from outside a BJP leader’s house in the state.

With the arrests and a statewide bandh called by Maoist groups in support of the Pathalgadi movement, it is now becoming clear that the so-called tribal movement is the brainchild of the Maoists.

Under the Pathalgadi movement, the tribals plant stone plaques outside their villages declaring themselves liberated from the authority of the Central and state governments and declare outsiders as ‘Dikus’ who are to be punished.   

In this connection, five women were raped by the Pathalgadi supporters when they were performing a street play there, for violating the code.

On 26 June, Pathalgadi supporters abducted three policemen from BJP leader Karia Munda's house. The policemen could be freed only after a lot of effort.

The FIR was registered by the in-charge of Khunti police station, from where the policemen were abducted by the tribals and were released after a lot of resistance from local armed men.

“Based on the inputs about the incident, it has been noticed that there are 20 people who were spreading rumours against the government on Facebook, spreading misinformation about the Constitution and its wrong interpretation to instigate people, trying to disturb the communal and social atmosphere of the area,” the FIR said.

The police is also investigating Maoist links of the people named in the FIR and has found some linkages between them and Maoists operating both within and outside the state. 

The 20 people have been named and booked for violations under the Information Technology Act. 

The Jharkhand government is taking several steps against the perpetrators of the violence, which has the potential to create major law and order issues in the coming months. 

The people named in the FIR include Bolesa Babita Kachhap, Sukumar Soren, Birsa Nag, Thomas Runda, Walter Kandulna,Ghanshyam Biruli, Dharam Kishore Kullu, Sam Tudu, Gulshan Tudu, Mukti Tirkey, Rakesh Kiro, Ajal Kandulna, Anupam Sumit Kakreta, Anjugya Biruva, Sten Swami, J Vikas Koda, Binod Kerketta, Aaloka Kujjur, Vindo Kumar and Theodre Kido, who have been booked under sections of the Indian Penal Code and IT Act. 

There are a few prominent names of known Maoist supporters such as Father Sten Swami, who is known as a sympathiser of the Leftist movement while the other is Thedore Kido, who is a former Congress MLA and was also named in the controversy over sale of children from the Missionaries of Charity, Jharkhand BJP leader Binay Kumar Singh told MyNation.

Singh alleged that another woman Babita Kachchap was involved in the abduction of two senior policemen by Pathalgadi supporters and has also been given the task of taking out the concept of Pathalgadi liberation zone from Jharkhand to other tribal areas of the country to create unrest against the government.