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HomeOPEDJustice Shahdeo was a person imbued with a Jharkhandi mentality

Justice Shahdeo was a person imbued with a Jharkhandi mentality

Tributes to Justice LPN Shahdeo on his 12th death anniversary.

Lal Suraj Nath Shahdeo


If your soil calls you out you can never stop yourself. Whenever the soil of Jharkhand called out the Nagvanshis. The warriors of Nagvanshi community have given up everything and listened to the call of the soil. Whether it was Amar Shaheed Vishwanath Shahdeo, the Nagvanshi king of Jharkhand who led the the 1857 rebellion against the British without worrying about his kingdom or the role of Justice LPN Shahdeo in the movement of a separate state of Jharkhand demand. The members of the Nagvanshi family have always played an important role in protecting the honor and dignity of Jharkhand.
It might have been the first incident in the history of the country when a retired judge would have been arrested and detained at the police station during the jharkhand band called by him. Yes, I am talking about Justice LPN Shahdeo. He is the first retired judge in the country to be arrested by the police. Today is the 12th death anniversary of Late Justice Shahdeo.

Who was Justice LPN Shahdeo


Late Justice Shahdeo was a brilliant student, skilled advocate, fair judge, social worker, sharp minded, soft-spoken and gregarious. He was born on 3 January 1930 in Nagvanshi royal family in Kamta village of Latehar district. His father’s name was Late Nawalal Chandi Prasad Nath Shahdeo. Justice Shahdeo got his primary education in Mahuamilan School. He did his high schooling from Balkrishna High School. Justice Shahdeo then came to Ranchi for further studies and did his graduation from Ranchi College. After that, due to his interest in law, he did LLB from LLB College, Patna in 1954. He started practicing law after that. In 1958, he joined the judicial service. His first posting was as Munshif in Hazaribagh. In 1980, he became the District and Sessions Judge of Dhanbad district. He served in many districts like Gaya, Munger, Jamui. Justice Shahdeo was appointed as the judge of Patna High Court Ranchi bench from 1986 to 1992 and served here. Justice Shahdeo was the first son of Jharkhand who had the honor to become a judge. He retired from judicial service in 1992.
Justice Shahdeo was truly a person imbued with a Jharkhandi mentality. When he was in the judicial service and used to see, hear and read about the condition of Jharkhandis, the Jharkhandi mind within him was disturbed from within. He was in favour of a separate Jharkhand from the very beginning. Since He was holding a constitutional post he was not able to do anything openly, but there was a spark in rehis heart for the respect, honor and rights of Jharkhandis.

His role in the movement for separate state of Jharkhand


When he retired, he started giving his a voice to the demand for a separate Jharkhand state, justifying it through his articles in various newspapers. Due to his efforts, many intellectuals of Jharkhand and people of all castes and religions of the society started joining him and started making strategies to intensify the movement. Workers and agitators of many political parties fighting for a separate state of Jharkhand used to take legal advice from him. when the movement of demanding a separate state of Jharkhand came to a standstill and disintegrated. Then in 1998, Justice Shahdeo came forward and provided a leadership to the movement. At that time it was a difficult task to intensify this movement. Because the head of the then Bihar state was not in favor of a separate state. He did not want to bifurcate Jharkhand from Bihar under any circumstances. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had even said that Jharkhand will be built on my dead body. It was clear that there were many obstacles in the way of carving out a separate state. Then a committee was formed under the leadership of Justice Shahdeo. There were 16 parties including JMM, JPP, Jharkhand Party, AJSU, local unit of RJD and other parties in the committee. Justice Shahdeo along with the agitators, was successful in getting the then central government to agree that despite the opposition of the Bihar government, if the central government wanted, it could create a separate state. The BJP government at the center understood this. Therefore, the then Prime Minister of the country, late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani had decided to make Jharkhand a separate state along with Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. When a bill for the separate state of Jharkhand was brought in the Bihar Assembly on 21 September 1998 and voting was to be held on it. It was certain that the Bihar government would be successful in defeating the bill. Then Justice Shahdeo along with his colleagues called for Jharkhand bandh. They knew that the Bihar government would be successful in defeating the bill, but when the Jharkhand bandh would be successful, the message would be sent to the central government that the people of Jharkhand are united in their demand for a separate state. All the 16 parties included in the separate State Construction Committee, under the leadership of Justice Shahdeo made the bandh unprecedented and successful. The entire Jharkhand remained closed that day. Only the agitators were seen in the streets. In Ranchi, the agitators took to the streets under the leadership of Justice Shahdeo. Thousands of agitators including Justice Shahdeo were arrested. This may have been the first incident in the history of the country when a retired judge was arrested by the police and detained in the Kotwali police station from 11 am to 5 pm. The message that the committee wanted to send to the Center was successful. The central government of Vajpayee passed the Bihar State Reorganization Bill in the Lok Sabha on 2 August 2000. It received approval from the Rajya Sabha on 11 August and the President’s approval on 25 August 2000 and Jharkhand became the 28th state in the map of the country.


General Secretary
Barkagarh Raiyat Jan Manch

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