Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren writes to PM Modi, seeks all-party meet on caste census

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Wednesday told the Assembly that he has sent a letter to the Prime Minister for an all-party meeting to demand caste enumeration of the country’s population in the upcoming Census.

Leaders of political parties in Bihar, too, have raised similar demands.

Soren also announced the formation of an Assembly committee to investigate the implementation of Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act and Chotanagpur Tenancy Act which don’t allow transfer of tribal land to non-tribals. Former chief minister Raghubar Das, too, had attempted to tweak both the laws which resulted in protests across the state in 2016-17.

He added that though there are many provisions for the transfer of tribal land, several instances of “grabbing” of such properties and illegal construction on those have come to the fore.

“People staying in such houses don’t have any papers. The state government is serious on the issue and a Vidhan Sabha committee will be formed to investigate these,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. The committee will investigate how much land has been transferred in each district in violation of several legislations, including the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, Soren said, while responding to a question raised by MLA Lobin Hembram.

The announcements come amid continued protests in the House for the fourth day over allotment of a room for offering Namaaz. The Chief Minister also said that his government supports the demand of 27% reservation in the state for the OBCs and that he will discuss the issue with the Prime Minister.

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