Alok K N Mishra, TNN | Aug 8, 2012,
“We are not taking the posters seriously as we feel some miscreants are behind them. But we will investigate,” said DGP G S Rath, adding to the insecurity created among the city’s women.
“The police should immediately look into the matter and take action. If they are not booked, it will be very difficult for us to move around freely,” said a girl student of St Xavier’s College. She was furious with the group. “They are behaving like the Taliban. Recently a khap panchayat also decreed that girls would be punished for wearing jeans. I don’t know why they have started this moral policing,” she said on condition her identity be kept secret for fear of reprisal.
The chairperson of the State Women’s Commission, Hemlata S Mohan, was shocked. “There is no justification for such posters. We cannot allow the girls to be targeted in this fashion,” said Mohan.
The posters also warned of violence against job seekers in Jharkhand who are not domiciles of the state. “Outsiders” planning to buy land in the state have also not been spared, just as companies have been warned about the backlash if they displace people.
The police said “attacks” and warnings to “outsiders” is nothing new. Sometime back, activists of the Adivashi Mulvasi Chhatra Morcha (AMCM), roughed up a high school teacher, Avadh Bihari, who hailed from Samastipur, Bihar.
“I was called by the District Education Officer to join as a 10+2 teacher. AMCM members asked me to leave the state or face violence,” said Bihari over phone.
AMCM president, Kamlesh Ram, said no leniency would be shown while dealing with outsiders. “Outsiders cannot enjoy the fruits of the state at the cost of the tribals.” He added that the tribals had fought for their rights and a separate state. Now that they have it, they should be the first claimants over its resources.
Senior BJP leader, Raghubar Das, said the Constitution grants Indians the right to live anywhere they want. “Any attempt to challenge this right is condemnable. The police should immediately launch a probe. It might be the handiwork of some antisocial elements,” said Das.
Rashtriya Janata Dal state president, Girinath Singh, did not turn down the possibility of the involvement of some splinter group. “I want immediate action. The government’s failure has caused the people to stand up in protest. It is in fact a fallout of the domicile policy,” remarked Singh.
The efficacy of the intelligence system was also questioned. “It shows that the intelligence system has failed,” said Singh.
Threats of this kind are an unpleasant surprise anywhere, but even more so in a city like Ranchi which has long had a cosmopolitan culture. The government should not take such threats lightly, because they do tend to intimidate people even if those issuing the threat are only a fringe group. Outfits that take it upon themselves to do ‘moral policing’ must be dealt with firmly by the state. Firm action by the government at this stage can nip the menace in the bud. Any laxity shown in this respect is likely to encourage not just this group but other potential vigilantes
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August 9, 2012 at 12:41 am
Maybe we should counter this with posters for punishing / boycotting boys and men including relatives and friends, who wear jeans and T-shirts !