Jharkhand High Court’s strict remark: Government’s plans are only on paper

The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday made a strong remark during the hearing of the case of alleged starvation death in the state. The court said that even today people in the remote areas of the state are living in the primitive age. They have to travel eight kilometers to get ration. Health facilities are also not available to these people. Even pure drinking water is not good. Government schemes are limited in paper only. The government is extracting minerals from the land of these people living in the forests and even today these people are living by eating leaves and tuber roots of the forest.

The court remarked that people do not get the benefits of government schemes, hence Naxalism grows. The court of Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad made the remarks after perusing Jhalsa’s report. The court directed the government to file a detailed reply on the matter. Along with this, the Social Welfare Secretary was directed to appear in the court on 16 September. 

After seeing the report of Jhalsa, the court said that a woman is spending the day on a tree, what a shame it is. We are treating them as wild, not human. While they have their own forest, from where the mineral is being extracted. We are not giving them anything after extracting the mineral. Leaving them on their own terms. The PDS shop is so far away. There is no pure drinking water in the school. There is no medical facility in the village. The school is eight kilometers away. There are no clothes on the body of the children. It looks like we are living in a primitive age.

It was told by the government that no one has died of hunger. The cause of death is disease. After the news of the death came, the administration team went to the house of the deceased. Grain was found in the house of the deceased. There has not been a single death due to hunger in the state. 

Bhukhal Ghasi, a resident of Shankardih village of Kasmar block of Bokaro district, reportedly died on 6 March 2020. According to the villagers, he died of hunger. Six months later, his daughter and son died. The High Court took suo motu cognizance after the news of the death of three people of the same family came to the media. The court had asked the government to respond and Jhalsa to submit a report on the ground reality of government schemes.

(EW correspondent)