Pathalgadi activists kill 7 opponents, dump bodies in forest

Pathalgadi supporters asked villagers in Burugulikera to submit their identity proofs, then abducted James Budh and six others who protested

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The bodies of all the seven people abducted after they protested what was going on in the name of Pathalgadi movement in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand were recovered on Wednesday morning. The police recovered the bodies from the forest near Burugulikera village. Police have sent the bodies of all the dead for postmortem.

Pathalgadi supporters had a meeting with villagers in Burugulikera on Sunday. They were asking villagers to submit voter cards, Aadhaar cards etc. Deputy village chief James Budh and others protested, saying that if voters submitted their Aadhaar cards, the children would have difficulty in studying. This led to angry Panthalgadi supporters subjugating James Budh, Lupa Budha and five others.

Subsequently, the pro-Pathalgadi supporters abducted James Budh and six other people and led them to the forest. On Monday, when they did not return to their home till late Sunday, the family members of upmukhiya James Budh and six others reached the Gudri police station. They informed the police about the suspected abduction.

On Tuesday afternoon, police got the information that James Budh and the other six who had been kidnapped were killed and that their bodies had been dumped in the forest. Since the area is Maoist-infested, the police did not reach the spot until Tuesday night. They recovered the bodies of the seven abducted people this morning.

Pathalgadi made news during Jharkhand election

Pathalgadi was in the news during the campaign for the Jharkhand election when it was reported that 10,000 people of the area had been booked under charges of sedition. Social media influencer Satish Verma, who hails from the area, wrote on Facebook, “Tribal leaders who are mostly converted Christians started earmarking separate enclaves for themselves in which they didn’t allow letting anyone in. Not even the non-tribal villagers of the neighbouring village. The villages in which tribals were doing so, as in the villages in Khunti district, are not nested in forests but just like any other mainstream Indian village.”

“The absurdity reached on its zenith when they took DSP of Khunti as a hostage when he was there to crack down this insidious movement of land grabbing and carving separate enclaves for a separate group of the people. Its leaders should never be let go free even if the government decides to drop the charges of treason against the brainwashed tribals,” Verma wrote.

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