Ranchi: Fifteen people have been arrested for the killing of seven members of tribal community in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district, police said on Monday.
According to the police, the arrested people include Ransi Budh, husband of former village head (Mukhiya) and Sukhram Budh, the village head. Initially, three people were detained and based on information from their interrogation, 15 people were arrested.
The arrested accused were produced before the court and sent to jail.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had expressed unhappiness over the incident. He had termed the incident “unfortunate”.
“I am pained over West Singhbhum district incident and no one will be allowed to take law in their hand,” said Soren while addressing on Republic Day at Dumka.
Last week the police had formed a seven-member SIT team to investigate the case.
On January 19, a meeting was convened by Pathhalgari supporters at Burugulikela village. James Bud, Deputy Pramukh of Gulikela Panchayat opposed the Patthalgari supporters. He was allegedly abducted along with six people. When they did not return the family members lodged a complaint with the police suspecting their mass killing. News spread in the area that they have been killed. The dead bodies were later recovered.
Patthalgari is a tribal custom in which stone is fixed at certain places to demarcate the boundary of the village. The Patthalgari was used to protest the amendment brought by the BJP government of Raghubar Das in 2016. The stones were used to write slogans against the government. Hundreds of people were booked for supporting Patthalgari against the government. Sedition charges were also slapped and many were arrested.
Hemant Soren in its first cabinet meeting withdrew all the Patthalgari cases.