Jharkhand bandh: Students' bodies hit streets demanding 100 per cent reservation in jobs for locals
On Wednesday morning, members of various student organizations in Jharkhand took to the streets to demand 100% reservation for locals in government jobs. The issue of reservation led to a state-wide shutdown enforced by student bodies across the state. In Ranchi's Morabadi area, members of the Jharkhand State Students' Union (JSSU) protested by burning tyres on the road and asking nearby vendors to shut their shops. Similar scenes were observed in other districts as well, although normal life was largely unaffected during the morning hours. Many schools were closed throughout the state, and the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) cancelled scheduled exams. Officials reported that around 2,500 security personnel were deployed in the state capital in anticipation of the shutdown call.
The student organizations have been staging protests since Monday, as part of their 72-hour agitation programme, demanding 100% reservation for locals in government jobs. On Tuesday evening, the protestors took out a torchlight march in Ranchi. The previous day, they had attempted to surround Chief Minister Hemant Soren's residence but were prevented by the police. Devendra Mahto, the JSSU leader, stated that "This government had promised 100% reservation in government jobs for locals but has opened the door for students from outside the state, forcing us to call the bandh." He further added that instead of implementing the 1932 'khatiyan' (land settlement) based recruitment scheme, the government brought back an old employment policy, under which 60% of the seats will be reserved for underprivileged students, while 40% will be open to all.