CM's love for flying

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was given the nick name 'Paon Paon wale bhaiya', for going to far-flung areas on foot, and touring the distant villages of his constituency, has now begun to enjoy flying.

Not even car or rail, the Chief Minister now prefers to fly. His love for helicopter has grown. Recently he had to go t Mangalore and was invited for a Cow Convention, which was to be held 150 km near Mangalore.

So the helicopter was sent from Bhopal to Mangalore, an eight-hours journey for which fuel was burnt, so that the CM could fly from Mangalore to the venue of convention, which was barely a 2 hr drive by road, reports Dainik Bhaskar. "Just for a function of 1-2 hrs, helicopter had to fly for 16 hrs (to and fro)', writes the paper on Monday.

IAS officer Vijay Patidar's demise stuns

Vijay Patidar, who had the image of an upright officer, recently passed away in America. What he did to deserve such an untimely death, remark many citizens. 'Why is that the corrupt don't even catch fever but the honest either die or suffer in other ways'.


Girl charges state minister of making threatening call

A girl couldn't get married as the bridegroom didn't turn up on the day of marriage over the dowry demand of Rs 15 lakh. The girl, Divya, a software engineer, has now charged the State minister for higher education Tukoji Rao Pawar amongst others of making a threatening call to her.

Divya was supposed to get married to Siddharth Shinde, also a software engineer posted in Hyderabad. He hails from Indore and the 'baraat' was to reach Bhopal on Thursday but the girl's family waited endlessly only to find that the baraat hadn't taken off. On her complaint the police have registered a case against Siddharth and his parents under dowry act.

But the girl, Divya, has also named Tukoji Panwar, who is Siddharth's cousin, in her complaint. She has alleged that he also made a phone call to her and claims that he had threatened her. She made the claims on Star News (TV Channel). The minister agreed that he spoke to her but denied that he threatened her at all. The opposition Congress may try to corner the BJP government over the issue in coming days.


Economic boycott of Muslims is the solution: Togadia

Economic boycott of Muslims is the only way to tackle the growing 'jehadi' mentality amongst the Indian Muslims, said Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia in Bhopal.

In a meeting of VHP office-bearers, Togadia expressed concern over Hindu girls eloping with Muslim boys in Bhopal. 'If there are 25,000 Muslim families doing business in Bhopal and the Hindus boycott them, that will teach them a lesson", said Togadia.

Togadia told the local VHP leaders that stopping goods from Muslims' shops and establishments would hit them hard. The recent marriages of Umar-Priyanka, Rehan-Neetu and other inter-religious couples were discussed at the in-house meet.

Pravin Togadia is the international general secretary of VHP. He said that in the next five years the VHP aims at constructing one temple each in 7 lakh villages in this country to bring a revolution and take the message of Hindutva far and wide, reports an RSS mouthpiece, Swadesh.


Indore Jains divided: Statues broken, faces blackened at Gommatgiri

Jains in Indore are divided over whether statues of living persons could be installed in a temple or pilgrimage.

A clash of ego between two prominent Jain businessmen, Bharat Modi and Pradip Kasliwal has led to a situation where a group of Jain youths stormed into Gomatgiri pilgrimage where they broke down the statues.

Dozens of youths stormed into Gomatgiri pilgrimage of Jains and broke the statues of Bharat
Modi and Kusum Modi, and blackened the faces of statues. The Digambar Jains are divided in two groups in Indore over the controversy whether living people's statues should be installed in temple.

Digambar Jain Yuva Sangathan activists armed with rods and other equipments reached the spot and brought the statues down. The statues of Chandraprabha Modi and Babulal Patodi were not touched but youths warned that they would have to be removed as well soon.

The Samaj is divided between Bharat Modi and Pradeep Kasliwal. The latter alleges that Modi has got mad due to his wealth and got his statues installed in the temple premises. The visitors have to see these statues of living persons before seeing the statues of Mahavir and other tirthankars.

Digambar leader Babulal Patodi said that even another prominent Jain Sir Seth Hukum Chand was also installed in his life time and it is not wrong. The activists who demolished the statues were led by Rohit Dhanote and Akshay Kala.


Dalit bridegroom can't ride horse in his marriage

A Dalit bridegroom has been warned not to dare enter the village, riding a horse. The musclemen of the village in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, have issued the diktat to the youth just before his marriage.

The marriage procession (barat) will leave Sagar for Bamuri village but the bridegroom is scared as the upper castes in the village have threatened that he would not be allowed to enter the village riding a horse. In rural Madhya Pradesh, especially the backward Bundelkhand region, lower castes are traditionally not allowed to ride horse in their marriage.

The groom, Surendra, has threatened to commit suicide if he is not allowed to ride a horse. His uncle Vrindavan Ahirwar says that the entire family is in the state of fear because of repeated threats. Meanwhile, the police officials are keeping an eye on the development.

Surprisingly, the Village sarpanch Azad Yadav has said that the diktat was not issued due to the caste but because the by-lanes in the village were 'narrow and the horse couldn't enter them'. With the issue reaching top officials and Dalits angry over the firman, the senior officials are making an effort to put an end to the conflict and ensure that the marriage is solemnised without any dispute.

Niranjan Sharma, the In-charge of Bandri police station under whose jurisdiction falls the village, says that he has spoken to the Sarpanch in this regard. In the past Upper Castes especially Thakurs and to an extent Brahmins disallowed Dalits (Scheduled Castes) from riding horse or fetching water from their wells but lately OBCs (Other Backward Castes) like Yadavs are seen getting into such conflicts with Dalits more often than the Upper Castes.


Dacoit Rambabu Gadaria's death

Dreaded dacoit Rambabu Gadaria who perpetrated a reign of terror in Chambal ravines for a decade was killed in an encounter in Shivpuri on Tuesday. Contractors, traders, village money-lenders and police feared this ruthless dacoit, who had committed massacres like Bhanwarpura and Karsena in the last decade.

His animosity with Rawats and Gujjars was well-known. But for Saharia tribals and his own Gadaria caste, Rambabu was a Robinhood. His escape from police custody when is gang had thrown chilly powder in the eyes of policemen, had earned him the sobbriquet of Chambal's Veerappan.

He was wanted in connection with over 125 cases including murders, abductions and loots. He killed policemen and informers and extorted the businessmen and contractors. After his elder brother was gunned down in an encounter last year and many other members arrested or killed, Rambabu's gang had weakened. The police are now looking for the tens of crores which he had looted and extorted, and kept with his confidantes including some money-lenders.


RSS' grip on administration in Madhya Pradesh

The police officer who tried to stop the communal violence from escalating in riot-hit Talen town in Rajgarh, by taking on an RSS office-bearer had to pay the price with his suspension.

Naturally, no police officer was willing to uphold law and take action in the recent incident of elopment of Umar and Priyanka when former's brother was illegally detained for five days. The bureaucracy succumbed to the diktats of Saffron organisations.

Narsinghgarh SDOP (Sub-divisional Officer of Police) Suryakanat Sharma was suspended even before the inquiry of DIG was completed. One Ajab Singh Yadav was killed and local Hindu outfits wanted to avenge the killing. RSS leader Pramod Pawar had openly boasted that he could engineer a riot any day, reports Hindustan Times' correspondent Ashutosh Shukla, in a report published on April 14.

It was Friday, Muslims were assembling for prayer when Hanuman Jayanti procession was taken out in front of the mosque without permission. SDOP Sharma objected and there was an altercation.

The local RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and BJP leaders dared police to arrest a single person. The riot led to several deaths and injuries to scores of persons apart from large-scale arson. However, it was later when the police reached Pawar's house to arrest him that he jumped off the roof to evade arrest. In process he received injuries.

Pawar later claimed that he was beaten by police. Without waiting for report of the inquiry, the BJP government axed the officer. The local MLA Mohan Sharma is a former Bajrang Dal leader and a known criminal Nitesh Agarwal was leading the procession, reports the newspaper. The three towns, Narsinghgarh, Biaora and Talen in Rajgarh district had recently witnessed communal clashes.


Against love marriage at Indira Gandhi's statue!

The group of Sindhi women who staged a demonstration in Bhopal against the marriage of Priyanka Wadhwani and Umar (now Umesh after conversion) made a wrong choice of place for their 'dharna'--the statue of former PM Indira Gandhi.

When they were asked why they were sitting under former PM Indira Gandhi's statue, one of them said that she was an avatar of Durga. This prompted some photographers to ask, 'But she also married a person outside her religion'. 'Didn't she marry Feroz, who was a Parsi, against her father's wishes?'

They fumbled for reply. The women protesting against inter-caste and inter-religious love marriages definitely had an unwise choice of location. And when the TV Channels' cameras are around, the mistake is more glaring. It was then that the women realised their mistake and hurriedly left the place. The women were earlier raising slogans against Priyanka for bringing bad name to her family and also the entire Sindhi community in Bhopal.


IAS officer sentenced to two years imprisonment

A Madhya Pradesh bureaucrat was on Thursday sentenced to two years of imprisonment by a local court in Bhopal in a five year old corruption case. This is the probably the first incident of an IAS convicted in a corruption case in Madhya Pradesh.

Ramesh Thete, an officer of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) was caught while taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh way back in February 2002. Thete was then posted as Director (Employment and Training) and was caught red-handed while accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe from NR Borle, the principal of an industrial training school.

The anti-corruption agency, Lokayukta, had caught him and registered case under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Special police establishment Lokayukta prepared a charge sheet against him. Congress government had revoked his suspension.

But subsequently the charge sheet was present in the court. Judge SK Raghuvanshi held him guilty of corruption and sentenced him to 2 years of imprisonment apart from fine. Thete said that he will appeal against the decision in the High Court.

Inter-religion marriages: Sindhi panchayat's diktat, police officials exposed

The reprieve to love couple Umar-Priyanka has brought the polie and administration on the backfoot. The Mumbai High Court held the marriage as legal and refrained the police from arresting the couple.

The Bhopal police officials who had illegally kept Umar's brother in illegal detention for five days, are now running for cover. The court decision has come as a savior for the other couple Rehan and Neetu, again a Muslim boy and Sindhi girl, who ran away after the first couple.

(Bajrang Dal and Hindu Kanya Bachao Samiti activists protesting in Bhopal)
The police and administration that earlied seemed to act as per the directions of the Saffron brigade and harassing the families of eloped teenagers has now changed its stance. On television channels the Bhopal police officials IG Sanjeev Singh and DIG Anuradha Shankar Singh had a lot to answer for the early statements of police officials denying illegal detention of Shakeel.

The entire top police brass kept lying but they were exposed due to a cell phone clip showing Shakil in police station. Ironically senior IPS officers went against the law in the State capital in this case. The role of Sindhi Panchayat has also come in for sharp criticism from various quarters.

The Central Sindhi Panchayat of Bhopal on Wednesday issued the diktat that the community should not let their girls use cell phones, drive two-wheelers and cover their faces. The Panchayat fears that two-wheelers give girls freedom and mobile phones lead to friendship.

By covering the face the girls go along with any youth and nobody can spot them, fears the Panchayat members. Girls have however reacted strongly and said that restrictions on girls alone can't be tolerated. At Bhopal's Nutan College, girl students expressed outrage over the diktat and criticised it.


Madness over an inter-religious marriage in Bhopal

College students Umar and Priyanka ran away from their homes on April 2 and appeared in Mumbai a few days later after their marriage as per Vedic rituals with Umar's conversion to Hinduism with a changed name Umesh.

But Hindu organisations are still fuming. First the RSS, BJP and VHP threatened the administration of dire consequences and laid siege to the office of Superintendent of Police. They mounted pressure on the government, which forced the police to illegally detain Umar's brother Shakeel at a police station in disregard to the law.

Senior officials refused to take phone calls of television channels on Monday when Umar (Umesh) and Priyanka appeared on television and the girl said that she had not been converted and it was the other way round. She also said that there was risk to their love if they return to Bhopal.

Interestingly, the organisations that initially claimed that Muslim boys were abducting Hindu girls and marrying them, have raised their pitch even after the boy's conversion was made known. The VCD of the couple's marriage notwithstanding, they want immediate arrest of the couple though they are adult and have submitted an affidavit in the court in Mumbai.

With BJP government in the state, the police officials were searching for words as they did not have any thing to say about the legality of a youth arrested and kept in police station for three days without being arrested for any charge. Umar's father Shafiq Pahalwan and the entire family claims that they are being victimised.

Meanwhile, the BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS leaders have threatened to intensify the stir. The girl's father said that the VCD and the conversion was just an eyewash. Priyanka has told media persons from Mumbai on phone that she fears that the moment they will return, the police will arrest them and made her change statement under pressure before handing her over to her parents.

Observers feel that though the theory of turning Madhya Pradesh into a mini Gujarat could be far-fetched, the aim of these organisations could be to increase the polarisation further as the election is not too far. Already, the riots across the state have led to a surcharged atmosphere.

However, fingers have also been pointed out at the manner such an issue has been turned to raise tempers. Though there have been incidents of rapes in the capital and crimes of much higher magnitude in the past with girls, nothing prompted veteran leaders like RSS' Uttam Chand Israni to come on the street and sit on a demonstration.

Priyanka Wadhwani's father is a trader. It may be pointed out that there have many incidents involving inter-community marriages involving various religions but none prompted such emotions. The elopment of a Muslim girl by a middle-aged medical practitioner is a case in the point. But the communal frenzy witnessed in this incident of elopment has crossed all limits.


Communal violence in Talen (Rajgarh), 2 killed

On Saturday night the historic town of Talen in Rajgarh witnessed communal violence after a row between two youths. One person died on the spot while another succumbed to injuries later.

Stone pelting and group clashes followed and half-a-dozen persons were seriously injured. One of them Ajab Singh Yadav reportedly died in hospital. Police had to use teargas and force to disperse the mob. Also, they had to fire in the air to control the situation.

Senior officials including Collector and SP had rushed to the spot by midnight. Section 144 was imposed and the situation was tense. Nearly 50 persons have been arrested so far. Two other towns of the same district viz. Narsinghgarh and Biaora were also rocked by riots recently. Three persons had died in Narsinghgarh and property worth lakhs gutted.

Talen, a sleepy town in Rajgarh, was an important place for both the Holkar and Scindia dynasties. It is a town and Nagar Panchayat, situated 90 km from the Rajgarh town. The sensitive Shajapur district is on the Southern border of Rajgarh.


Gangster's surrender & BJP leaders' proximity

Bhopal don Muzaffar Husain alias Munne Painter, who modelled himself upon Haji Mastan, and has been convicted in the case of gang war in court, surrendered to police on Thursday night amid high drama.

A BJP leader of the rank of district vice-president was present with Painter when he surrendered. It is not that Painter's relations with top BJP leaders are not known publicly. He is said to be close to a senior politician and a former Madhya Pradesh chief minister. Another former Chief Minister of state is also reported to be close to him.

What explains the manner in which the Central Jail Superintendent was suddenly replaced. Isn't it to ensure that Painter lives in the jail in comfort and runs his business from inside? But with politicians close to him, nothing will change for him--whether he is in jail or outside. Seeing a BJP politician standing with him while surrendering, a journalist quizzed the reasons of this friendship and the answer was 'communal harmony, the hallmark of Bhopal'.

The other gangster, Mukhtar, who has been sentenced to death, is close to a Congress leader. Interestingly, both Mukhtar and Painter were together until 12 years ago when a dispute turned these friends into foes. The shootout in district court had led to three deaths in cold blood inside the court, with one dying just on the dais of the magistrate. Nine persons have got life imprisonment in this case at the High Court and two, Mukhtar and Asif Mamu, got the noose. They will be hanged. However, they can appeal to the Supreme Court.


Bhopal gangster Mukhtar gets death sentence, rest sentenced to life imprisonment

The Jabalpur High Court on Thursday awarded death sentence to absconding gangster Mukhtar Malik and life term to his rival Muzaffar Husain alias Munne Painter in the shoot-out case involving death of three persons in the court premises by these rival gangs in 1996.

Another accomplice Asif Mamu also got death sentence while half-a-dozen other accused were sentenced to life term. The court had held them guilty last week and reserved its judgement. All the nine accused involving Mukhtar and Munne had been convicted by the bench earlier. Soon after hearing the judgement, Mukhtar, Muzaffar alias Painter and Asif Mamu had escaped from court premises, causing a sensation.

Ever since raids were continuing in Bhopal, Jabalpur and neighbouring districts. Munne Painter holds considerable influence in certain areas of Walled City in Bhopal. He allegedly runs betting syndicate. Arch rival Mukhtar Malik, who had shot at Painter before the shoot out, is a history-sheeter with influence in Raisen, Gauharganj, Sultanganj, Obaidullahganj and 34 Miles.

Munne Painter has allegedly been close to a senior BJP leader. Interestingly, the shootout case that had left three dead in court including one dead in front of the judge, was tried in Bhopal court earlier. The judge had acquitted all the accused then. The High Court has ordered hanging for two and life term for the rest.

Update: Later Mukhtar Malik got relief from the higher court. The Supreme Court upturned the court's order.


Three killed in communal violence in Narsinghgarh town in Madhya Pradesh

On Hanuman Jayanti, the Narsinghgarh town witnessed violence that left one dead and over a dozen getting injured. Nearly 50 shops were set afire by a rampaging mob. Two bodies were later recovered on Tuesday.

The trouble began when the procession on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti was reportedly stoned when it was passing the Ramkund locality. The stone pelting resulted in injuries to some persons in the afternoon. Shoot at sight orders have been issued.

Subsequently, tension gripped the town. The communities had a confrontation. Police used force and tear gas to control the rampaging mob. One person, Sadeep Bairagi, was killed. Though it was reported that police fired at the mob but it could not be officially confirmed. Narsinhgarh has witnessed communal riots in the past as well.

It is located in the communally ultra-sensitive Rajgarh district in the Malwa region. The Rajgarh district had recently witnessed a clash in Biaora town and also communal tension had gripped Sarangpur. The entire region has been put on high alert.

The towns in Rajgarh have a mixed population with large Muslim population in urban areas of the region. The local MLA was an activist of Bajrang Dal in the past. Besides, Hindu-Muslim tension is not a new thing in Rajgarh district, that borders on Malwa and Bhopal regions.

Senior officials have rushed to Narsinhgarh and more police force has been sent. SAF and STF has also been rushed to the town. The situation remains tense but under control, an official told the media persons. Madhya Pradesh is witnessing communal violence across the state despite the fact that it was always considered a peaceful state and free of communal violence.

Curfew was imposed later in the evening. IGP reached the town by night. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh has said that stern action would be taken against the troublemakers. Narsingarh was a princely state before independence.

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