Around three dozen people were injured in a clash over a land dispute in Indrapuri locality under Sukhdeo Nagar police station in Ranchi on Tuesday. Police had to impose Section 144 to bring the situation under control.
The incident took place when members of Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha (GNSS) marched towards a ground, locally known as Birla Maidan, to lay the foundation of a boundary wall. More than 100 locals under the banner of the Sarna Birla Maidan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (SBMBSS), who gathered at the ground, protested the move terming the ground as a public property where no construction could be allowed.
Tension started with a heated argument followed by stone pelting from both the sides, which left around 35 people injured. Several people received serious head injuries and had to be admitted to local hospitals.
“We had deployed adequate forces to maintain law and order. However, a sudden rush of people followed by stone pelting from both the sides left some people injured, including an assistant subinspector. Section 144 was imposed immediately to bring the situation under control,” city SP Kishore Kaushal said.
GNSS secretary Ram Krishna Middha said the ground, approximately 273 katthas, was registered in the name of GNSS in 1995 and mutation of the same was done in 2014.
“Guru Harkishan Public School is proposed to be built on the said ground. Therefore, we gathered at the ground to lay the foundation of a boundary wall. However, over a hundred people descended there and started pelting stones on us,” Middha said, adding, several people, including children, were injured in the incident and they had been admitted to different hospitals.
Sandeep Vishwakarma of SBMBSS said there were four government schools in the area and it was the only playground for children. “The land is being occupied illegally. This is a public property where different religious programmes are held round the year,” he said.
Echoing Vishwakarma’s voice, 72-year-old Daroga Singh said, “This has been a disputed land for the last 44 years. The Bihar government had imposed a sealing on the land in 1976, which was lifted in 1995. Then, GNSS somehow got the land registered in its name, which we have been protesting.”
He emphasised that they would not allow any construction on the land.