Ranchi: Jharkhand witnessed a shutdown Saturday as more than 20 organisations called for policy-making that was both by and for the local people, who are predominantly tribal.
Ranchi was among the worst-affected districts in the state in the 12-hour shutdown. Supporters of the shutdown call attacked about 20 vehicles, and commuters had a hard time. The roads wore a deserted look, and shops remained closed.
Protestors were demanding that the state frame policy that would benefit the people of the state, offering them jobs and other services. The protestors seek that the government form a committee that would apply local policy.
"We demand that policies be made locally, so youth get government jobs. Local policy is needed for the development of tribal and local people. Even Jharkhand High Court had directed the state government in 2002 to frame policy locally, and that has not been done till today," said Arun Pradhan, president of Yuva Jharkhand, one of the organisations supporting the shutdown.
In Ranchi, independent legislator Bandhu Tirkey, who supports the Hemant Soren government in the state, also took to the streets in support of the shutdown. Tirkey was among the 500 people arrested by police Saturday as a preventive measure.
Jharkhand was formed 13 years ago by carving out 18 districts from what was earlier southern Bihar, with a heavily tribal population. Protestors said Saturday that in the 13 years since the state was formed, little had been achieved by way of policy implementation in favour of tribal and local people.