JMM calls for Jharkhand shutdown to protest domicile policy

Main opposition JMM on Tuesday called for a shutdown in Jharkhand state on May 14 to protest against the domicile policy.

Ranchi: Main opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Tuesday called for a shutdown in Jharkhand state on May 14 to protest against the domicile policy.

The decision to call for a shutdown was taken at a JMM meeting on Monday evening. 

"The rights of the Moolvasi (indigenous residents) have been snatched in the domicile policy. The BJP government, led by Raghubar Das, has shown a dictatorial attitude. They want to divide people in the name of the domicile policy," Hemant Soren, former chief minister and JMM leader, told reporters here on Tuesday. 

According to the policy, which the state government announced on April 7 and notified on Monday, any person living in the state for 30 years will be deemed a 'Jharkhandi,' a permanent resident, and receive full benefits of such a status.

Also to be deemed a 'Jharkhandi' would be a person born in the state who has passed his class 10 schooling in Jharkhand and a person or their ancestor having figured in the land records. 

The BJP-led coalition government also announced a recruitment policy according to which local people and local languages will be given preference over others in hiring people for the third and fourth-grade jobs. 

The domicile policy has been opposed by JMM and other opposition parties. The BJP's alliance partner All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) has also found fault with the policy.

The JMM said only the last land records should be the criterion for the domicile. The AJSU has objected to equating the criterion of last land record with that of class 10 qualification.

JMM sources said the party is also considering calling for a protest action on April 24 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Jharkhand and will address the Gram Panchayats (village councils) across the country.