CS says RTI has made bureaucrats' life miserable

Should the Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni have said it? In a Bhopal newspaper on December 22, he said that the RTI has made the life of bureaucrats miserable.

Do we read it as absolute failure of CS to check corruption. Else why should an IAS officer be scared of revealing information. When he gets his salary from the citizens, should he have the right to misappropriate it?

If seen in broader context, this also suggests that a large number of the officers in the elite services, are doing something which they don't want to reveal. What is it which they are concealing?

It is also sad that bureaucrats who are supposed to bring efficiency in government work and ensure transparency are speaking against Right to Information (RTI), an act which the Centre brought for the benefit of the common man.

The aim is that the citizen should not get befooled and cheated by bureaucrats. When a highly educated person who holds an important post speaks against RTI, it's really a sad day for Madhya Pradesh's babudom and it's official machinery.


Adarsh Katiyar posted as SSP Bhopal

DIG Ratlam Adarsh Katiyar has been given the posting of Bhopal SSP. His predecessor Jaideep Prasad has been sent to PHQ.

The state government was unhappy with the growing crime in Bhopal. So Prasad was replaced and a senior officer appointed at the newly created post of SSP. Katiyar will take charge in two days.

He will have two more SPs to aid him. One expects that the crime would be controlled in Bhopal due to the reshuffle. The Home department has shifted 25 senior police officers.

Some IG rank officers have been shifted. The rest are SPs. It is felt that if the system works here, SSP could be posted in Jabalpur also which is the other major city after Indore and Bhopal.


BJP's Krishna Gaur becomes Bhopal Mayor

If Krishna Gaur has become the Mayor of Bhopal, the BJP should thank Congress for putting up a little-known candidate Abha Singh against her.

The voters were unhappy with BJP, which was evident because nearly 40 Congress corporators won compared to 27 wards where BJP won in Bhopal. Even then Congress' Abha Singh lost by 15,000 votes.

A stronger candidate would have easily tilted the balance in favour of Congress. But State Congress chief Suresh Pachouri gave ticket to Singh despite knowing that she was not a well-known face in Bhopal and the Thakur votes are not substanital. Her rival Krishna Gaur got the benefit of being Babulal Gaur's daughter-in-law.

BJP's candidates won in Mayor elections in other important cities also. In municipal corporations, BJP won seven including Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur while Congress and BSP won two each. In municipal councils and municipalities, the Congress comparatively fared better.

In Sagar, a eunuch Kamla Bua won as an independent. In Indore BJP's Krishna Murari Moghe defeated Congress' Pankaj Singhvi. In Khandwa and Burhanpur also the BJP won the election. But most importantly for the BJP, it has a Mayor in Bhopal after ten years of Congress Mayors.


Girl related to Bhaiya Raja's family murdered in Bhopal

A 20-year-old girl Vasundhara Bundela alias Nishi was murdered in Bhopal. Her body was found near Misrod.

Bundela was relative of ex-MLA Ashok Vir Vikram Singh 'Bhaiya Raja', who is a fedual chieftain from Chhatarpur. His wife Asha Rani is a BJP legislator from Bijawar. Nishi studied in INIFD, Bhopal and lived in a private hostel in MP Nagar.

She was shot with a pistol in the head. The police are secretive about the high-profile murder, that bears similarity to Princy Jain's killing in Bhopal earlier this year.

Police suspect that it could be a case of one-sided love and don't rule out other possiblities like land dispute or inter-family conflicts. Police have raided the influential political family's home in Kolar Road and their ancestral house in Bijawar (Chhatarpur).


Corruption in Madhya Pradesh Media: Biased journalism, Hindi newspapers exposed

How major Hindi newspapers in Madhya Pradesh are involved in corruption, was exposed recently, when news of ragging in a college was published without naming the institution at all.

A young student of NRI group's pharmacy college was beaten up for not wearing trousers that had pleats as part of a 'dress code'. His father went to college and met authorities but 'senior' students also misbehaved with him.

The youth, Akash Sahu, was beaten up and had to be admitted to hospital. The police also registered the case. But the newspapers blacked out the institution's name. It was not the work of institution but that of some youths.

But mass circulated Hindi newspapers including Dainik Bhaskar, Dainik Jagran and Patrika didn't carry the name of the private college. All for few advertisements and moolah!

When a minor incident is reportedly unfairly and the big groups get 'managed' by the small fries, one can imagine whether reports and stories about powerful politicians, corrupt bureaucrats and land mafia could get published in these papers!

Shivraj Singh's Chouhan's statement angers Bihar politicians

It was predictable. The moment TV channels showed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying that Bihari workers and labourers shouldn't get jobs in Madhya Pradesh, there was a sense of outrage in Bihar and other parts of the country.

Chouhan reportedly said, 'This can't happen that the factory is set up in Satna, but the employees would come from Bihar (and UP)'. As BJP and the JDU are allies in Bihar, and a national party can't afford to upset entire state, Chouhan retracted.

He clarified that what he meant was 'priority for locals' in jobs. By then the damage had been done though. Bihar leaders like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan and even Nitish Kumar had reacted angrily.

Chouhan was described as another avatar of MNS supremo Raj Thackeray in the newspapers on the next day. It is equally true that India is no banana republic. Today it's states and regionalism.

Tomorrow it could go to districts. There may be campaings that those from Sehore and Vidisha should not come to Bhopal or those from Bhopal not welcome in Hoshangabad and Bina.

This is not just bad for the unity and integrity of the nation but also goes against the spirit of the constitution. Good that the issue seems to be over and there is no further hue and cry over the statement after Chouhan went back on his words.


Home Minister's participation in RSS march condemned

The participation of Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Umashankar Gupta in the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) path-sanchalan programme has been condemned.

Gupta has been inducted into the state cabinet recently. As soon as he got the important portfolio of Home, the very next day he was seen joining the RSS volunteers in the path-sanchalan. The photographs of Gupta, wearing the khaki knickers and holding the baton, has led to criticism.

State Congress has taken exception and said that it will send the wrong message to the forces and police. Congress leaders said that the police will work with bias and the allied outfits of the RSS like Bajrang Dal and VHP would get more fearless in their acts.

The Congress spokesman JP Dhanopia has said that the participation of Gupta in full uniform of RSS would instill a sense of insecurity among the minorities. He has demanded that the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should remove Gupta from the post of Home Minister, because of his conduct.


Tainted ministers re-inducted in BJP cabinet

The re-induction of three tainted ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan's cabinet has surprised not just the citizens but also the party workers. Insiders in BJP feel that a wrong message would be sent to the citizens as far as dealing with corruption is concerned.

Chouhan has been claiming that he will act tough on the corrupt. But the re-induction of Ajay Vishnoi, Narottam Mishra and Vijay Shah has stunned everyone. The newspaper editorials have also been scathing, as the BJP's double-speak has been exposed.

While small fries are taken to task, the big ones facing allegations are let off. Incidentally, the only ex-minister not to be included in the recent expansion of the state cabinet, is controversial MLA Kamal Patel, who is also facing a CBI probe. What was the CM's compulsion that the trio made a re-entry into the cabinet?


IAS officer Anju Baghel suspended

The Madhya Pradesh government has suspended Anju Baghel, an officer of Indian Administrative Service, for irregularities during her tenure as the district collector of Sehore.

The decision comes just days after the Chief Minister ordered institution of a committee to look into the land scams and take action on the land mafia. There were complaints that despite non-payment of revenue, no dues certificates were granted and private land was acquired to allocate prime land in its place.

Baghel is an officer of 1993 batch of IAS. A GAD order says that the irregularities were detected during her posting in Katni. Her actions and irregularities were unbecoming of an officer of the elite services and hence action was taken against her.


Superstitious MP cops watch as Sadhu burns to death in Morena

A Sadhu set himself afire and the Madhya Pradesh policemen were not just watching the spectacle but also taking photographs of the elderly man's self-immolation through their cell phone cameras.

Worse, they folded their hands as the man took samadhi. The incident that brought disgrace to Madhya Pradesh police took place in Morena (wrongly pronounced as Muraina by some TV channels).

Baba Avtar Das of the Hanuman Temple had announced that he would take 'samadhi' to people's welfare. Hoping to see some miracle, hundreds turned up to see his death. He poured kerosene and then set himself ablaze.

But the policemen didn't interrupt even though he died. TV channels showed them bowing their heads, while some among the crowd laughing and making fun. Even derogatory lines like 'buddha mar gaya' were heard about the death of the Saint. Strangely, the top officials also refrained from commenting over the incident.

Gunshots are a joke in Madhya Pradesh!

Who will abide by law when the law-enforcers themselves flout the rules and regulations, and even remain unaplogetic about it.

Recently Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan fired gunshots in air during the Dussehra celebrations. Though Congress raised objection and Suresh Pachouri issued a statment condemning the irresponsibility with which a person holding a constitutional post resorted to firing, there was no expression of regret from government.

Bhopal Superintendent of Police (SP) Jaideep Prasad's eight year old son was handed over an AK 47 rifle and he was made to fire with it at the Police Line. CSP Dilip Singh Tomar gave the shooting lessons to SP's son during Shashtra puja.

PHQ officials remained tight-lipped. Is it wrong or not? At least, it's reckless, if not unlawful. Senior officials are expected to be even more responsible. However, law is applied selectively.

Now, it was the turn of RSS workers. There was an unusual incident at a 'school' where the worship of arms was held. Flouting rules, the programme was held in an education institute and someone's gun misfired, causing a RSS worker's death.

In Bhopal, everybody seems to be having fun firing. So why not criminals? When law-makers show the way, how can others be expected to remain restrained? That's the irony of this state.

[Photo courtesy: Daily Nai Dunia, Indore]


Madhya Pradesh IAS officers want land at Rs 1

The Madhya Pradesh IAS officers' association has asked for precious land at Char Imli, at the ultra-nominal cost of Rs 1 lease rent. Does this astonish you?

It shouldn't. Greed has no limit. The 3.25 acres of prime land is estimated to cost Rs 50 crore but for the IAS officers, who call the shots, and still hold the begging bowl, this is probably their 'right'.

There was a similar effort earlier. Now once again a group of IAS officers of MP are lobbying for taking the plan to the state cabinet for approval. It is no secret that some of the officials have no interest except grabbling land and act as real estate agents than bureaucrats.

They want to construct the office of the MP IAS association and a guest house on this prime land. Though it's not easy to get an approval despite the so-called clout of the bureaucracy but shouldn't the babus try to act sensibly and do something for the welfare of citizens and the poorer sections rather than eyeing land all the time?

[Excerpt from a report published in local Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar is attached]


Hindu organisations reignite conversion issue

Once again the issue of religious conversion by the Christians has been raised in Madhya Pradesh. The protests and rallies signify a revival of anti-Christian mobilisation.

A little-known organisation Sanskriti Bachao Manch has taken the lead on this occasion. Its members entered a Church and forcibly took away a woman who was being 'converted.

The woman denied that she was lured. She said that she came to the church willingly. But the angry Manch supporters issued a warning to the church authorities who had to send the woman away.

Though Bajrang Dal, Dharam Sena, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other groups close to RSS have been involved in movements against the missionaries' work, new organisations are also floated regularly.

While it is true that often evangelists work among tribal, this is equally true that self-styled leaders hold protests against Christians to get into limelight. The state government must ensure that the rule of law is maintained and violent incidents against Christians are severely dealt with.

Saffronisation in Schools: BJP introduces Bhojan Mantra

The BJP ministers seem to have a penchant for controversy. The recent announcement that the students will have to recite the 'bhojan mantra' in the schools is the latest example.

The minister Archana Chitnis says that before taking their midday meals, the students will recite this mantra. The Muslim organisations and other minorities' bodies are already upset.

Though the state government and the education minister assert that the mantra has nothing objectionable, it leads to suspicion as this particular mantra is chanted in the Saraswati Shishu Mandir schools run by the RSS.

Was there any need for a mantra, even if it doesn't have Hindu religious words. Shouldn't government focus on improving education rather than further burdening teachers with its agenda?

There is a suspicion that first government will introduce mantra and then the students will have to hold their palms together, resmebling the Hindu prayer. Unfortunately such needless controversies negate the good work undertaken by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.


Storm over virginity tests during mass marriage: Tribal girls in MP's Shahdol face humiliation

The brides at a mass wedding ceremony under the state government-sponsored scheme were made to undergo physical tests, creating a major controversy for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.

Not just the girls who were about to tie knot, faced tremendous embarrassment, their families were outraged by the unusual check. No less than 152 girls were participating in the mass marriage under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana.

The incident occurred in Shahdol. Though government officials say that the manner in which the tests were conducted was wrong, they claim that the aim was to check the malpractices reported recently.

Often pregnant women were also made to sit in the mandap by the middle-men who lured them with the promise of money apart from cases of married couple registering themselves for the marriage again, in order to get the utensils and goods worth Rs 5,000 given by the government.


Congress wins 12 seats, BJP 16 in Madhya Pradesh

Results of the Lok sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh. Of the 28 seats, BJP won 16, Congress 12 and BSP got one seat. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan must be worried as Congress has performed exceedingly well.

The results of the 29 seats for which elections were held are as follows:

Indore: Sumitra Mahajan [BJP] defeated Satyanarayan Patel by 11,480 votes
Khargone: MS Solanki [BJP] defeated Bala Bachchan by 34,175 votes
Khandwa: Arun Yadav [Cong] defeated Nandkumar Singh by 49,081 votes
Dhar: Gajendrasingh Rajukhedi [Cong] defeated MS Kirod by 2,661 votes
Dewas: Sajjan Singh Verma [Cong] defeated Thavarchand Gahlot by 15,457 votes

Ratlam: Kantilal Bhuria [Cong] defeated Dilip SIngh Bhuria by 57,668 votes
Ujjain: Premchand Guddu [Cong] defeated Satyanarayan Jatia by 15,841 votes
Guna: Jyotiraditya Scindia [Cong] defeated Narottam Mishra by 2.49 lakh votes
Morena: Narendra Singh Tomar [BJP] defeated RN Rawat by 1 lakh votes
Bhind: Ashok Argal [BJP] defeated Dr Bhagirath Prasad by 18,886 votes

Gwalior: Yashodhara Raje Scindia [BJP] defeated Ashok Singh by 26,591 votes
Betul: Jyoti Dhurve [BJP] defeated Ojharam Ivne by 97,317 votes
Jabalpur: Rakesh Singh [BJP] defeated Rameshwar Neekhra by 1.06 lakh votes
Sagar: Bhupendra Singh [BJP] defeated Aslam Sher Khan by 1.31 lakh votes
Khajuraho: Jitendra Singh Bundela [BJP] defeated Raja Pateria by 28,332 votes

Tikamgarh: Virendra Kumar [BJP] defeated Vrindavan Ahirwar by 41,862 votes
Damoh: Shivraj Lodhi [BJP] defeated Chandrabhan Singh by 70,887 votes
Sidhi: Govind Mishra [BJP] defeated Indrajit Patel by 45,740 votes
Balgahat: KD Deshmukh [BJP] defeated Vishweshwar Bhagat by 40,819 votes
Vidisha: Sushma Swaraj [BJP] defeated Samajwadi Party's Munawwar Salim by 3.89 lakh votes

Satna: Ganesh Singh [BJP] defeated Sukhlal Kushwaha by 4,418 votes
Mandsaur: Meenakshi Natrajan [Cong] defeated Laxminarayan Pandey by 30,819 votes
Mandla: Basori Singh [Cong] defeated Faggan Singh Kulaste by 65,053 votes
Shahdol: Rajesh Nandini Singh [Cong] defeated Narendra Marawi by 13,415 votes

Rajgarh: Narayan Singh [Cong] defeated Laxman Singh by 24,388 votes
Chhindwara: Kamal Nath [Cong] defeated MR Khabse by 1.21 lakh votes
Hoshangabad: Uday Pratap Singh [Cong]defeated Rampal Singh by 19,245 votes
Rewa: BSP candidate Devraj Patel defeated Sundar Lal Tiwari of Congress by 4,021 votes


Bhopal girl gets 20th rank in UPSC

Sufiyah Faruqui has secured 20th rank in the civil services examinations, the results of which were announced recently.

She had studied at St Joseph's Convent School and later graduated from the Sarojini Naidu PG College (Nutan).

She had done her post-graduation in History. Sufiyah will opt for Madhya Pradesh cadre. Three others Ankita Pandey, Avaneesh Tiwari and D Satish were also selected from Bhopal.


Child marriages solmenised on Akshaya Tritiya

Dozens of minors got married on Akha Teej, despite the 'strictness' of the district administration and the police.

Across the state numerous child marriages were reported. Just like the photograph along with this post that shows Ramu, 8, with his child bride, Rekha, weddings were solemnised through out Malwa, Bundelkhant, Baghelkhand and Gwalior-Chambal region.

Ramu alias Onkar is a Bhil. His 'wife' is a year older. She is nine. The couple was brought to the temple along with their family members and the baraat. Women danced and sang on the occasion as per the tradition of Malwa.

On Askshay Tritiya, children are annually married in rural parts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Though the efforts of governments and NGOs have shown a decline, but still the practice is prevalent and often marriages are held secretly.


Minister Ranjana Baghel slaps tribal woman

The state minister Ranjana Baghel slapped a tribal woman and threatened her when she asked the minister about non-fulfilment of the promises made by Baghel earlier.

Baghel had gone to Palasi village near Manawar (Dhar district) for election campaign of her husband Mukam Singh Kirade when the woman, Ganga Bai, 35, questioned her on loan waivers.

But the minister was so stung by the query that she hit the tribal woman. This shocked the villagers. Police did not register an FIR initially but when the Congress leaders led by Jamuna Devi reached the police station, the case was registered.

Baghel was booked for causing hurt to a woman and threatening her. Congress leaders said that they would raise the issue of mistreatment with the woman and the arrogance of the minister.

Ranjana Baghel looks after Women and Child Development department. She also has charge of social justice department. She had earlier promised to waive farm loans up to Rs 50,000 when she was contesting election but this remained an announcement.


MLA's Murder in Bhind: Criminalisation of Politics

Once again an MLA has been murdered in Madhya Pradesh. Makhanlal Jatav, a Congress MLA from Gohad seat in Bhind, was shot dead, by unidentified persons when he was getting into the car.

Jatav was campaigning for his party's official candidate for the Lok Sabha election, Dr Bhagirath Prasad. The murder has shocked the local residents and has also signalled the growing criminalisation of politics in state.

Jatav was shot in the head. He was returning after addressing a public function in Chhareta. Two shots were fired at him. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.

Makhan Jatav had defeated BJP's Lal Singh Arya in the Assembly elections. His son blames that some BJP leader were responsible for killing Jatav. Police have arrested Pappu Sharma 'Pandit' but it is not clear at whose behest he murdered Jatav.

A few months ago during the Assembly election, the BJP's candidate from Prithvipur constituency, Sunil Naik, was murdered. He was shot in the neck. Congress MLA Brijendra Singh Rathore's brother was accused of the murder.


MANIT staff attacks Director KS Pandey

The staffers of the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) attacked the director of the institute KS Pandey and manhandled him.

Pandey tried to retaliate and took out scissors. The extraordinary event took place on Thursday after Pandey refused to sign the cheques because of which the staff couldn't get their salaries.

They protested and held a demonstration at the College building. Later they entered the chamber of director. The professors, lecturers and other employees raised slogans against him.

There was an attempt to assault the director. He was hit a few times and later police intervened to save him from getting beaten up. Some professors and other staff members were accused of causing damage in the chamber and attacking the director.

The teachers have opened a front against him. MANIT that was previously known as MACT has been in the news for wrong reasons. Pandey is facing serious charges of irregularities and corruption.


Girl talking on cell phone falls off third floor

A girl who was talking to her boyfriend forgot that she was on the terrace of a building and fell off the third floor of an apartment on Annapurna Road in Indore.

Bhavna was talking to her friend Shubham on phone. First she sat on the wall and while talking lost her balance. She fell on the parapet and tumbled down to the next parapet and in processing hitting the chhajjas came to the ground.

She was seriously injured and is in the hospital. Her father said that Bhawna was talking to her fiance Shubham and was talking to him on mobile phone when the incident occurred.

He said that his daughter is about to get married to the same boy. Researchers say that when a person talks on cell phone, he often gets so engrossed that he loses sight of things around him and it can cause major accidents.


Uma Bharti to campaign for Advani

The mercurial Uma Bharti has now offered her unconditional support to LK Advani, the man whom she had earlier pilloried for visiting the grave of MA Jinnah in Pakistan.

Bharti told journalists on Wednesday that it was her religious duty to support LK Advani and ensure that he became the Prime Minister of India. "Though I am not a big leader, I don't want to harm him".

There should not be a single vote against Advani because of me, she said. But the future of her Bharatiya Janshakti Party now remains uncertain. The party workers are also unsure about their next step.

Bharti has said that she will not join the BJP. But this appears just a step before the final rapprochement. Else, how oculd the Sadhvi, who was using harsh words for Advani and his party, have a sudden change of heart?

Lokayukta inquiry against Chief Secretary!

The Times of India has published a report that Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta has sent a notice to the Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahani after a preliminary inquiry to probe to complaints against him reached the investigative agency.

But no Hindi newspaper in Bhopal published the news. Are they afraid to even report a minor complaint or they just don't want to brush the bureaucrats wrong way? The complaints are made by two Indore-based persons.

The two persons Shri Ram Goyal and P Jain complained that the state government resumed its grant and aid to MP Flying Club after nine years only when the son of CS was offered concession for training as a commercial pilot.

The concessional flying fee was Rs 4100 per hour compared to 6200 per hour for others. The club says resuming the aid was coincidence and they give a concession to relatives of government officials.


Violence in Ujjain's Mahidpur claims one life

Once again the Madhya Pradesh police failed to anticipate trouble in the communally sensitive Ujjain.

The Miladunnabi procession ended in the evening and later policemen commanded the members of minority community to disperse, as a function of majority community was going on nearby.

The police and members of procession had a clash and later police fired, resulting in one death. But the question remains that why the police were not alert when the Miladunnabi and Holi were falling within a day of each other.

Sadly it was not a communal riot but lack of police preparedness and excess action turned the situation into a riot. Why the police fired at the crowd rather than using water canon or rubber bullets?

Sadly, in almost every riot it is the police action that worsens situations, as the firing is on upper parts of the body. Indian citizens irrespective of their religion keep getting killed by their own force.


People's Samachar launched: Another Hindi newspaper in Bhopal

The People's Group has launched its daily Hindi newspaper, People's Samachar in Bhopal's already crowded Hindi market. 

Along with Dainik Bhaskar, Rajasthan Patrika, Raj Express, Dainik Jagran, Nav Dunia and the poor old Nav Bharat, People's will be the seventh major Hindi daily morning paper in Bhopal.

The first issue was not too impressive. The news content was ordinary and the special stories were just too cliche. But it's just the inaugural issue. The printing quality was quite good. Price at Rs 2, the paper has announced a subscription scheme.

If sycophantic workers are kept away and real professionals are allowed to run the paper, it can make its place secure in the ever-expanding Hindi readership and can expect a fairly good circulation in Madhya Pradesh. Best of Luck.


Corruption case against Digvijay Singh

The Economic Offences Wing has registered a case against Digvijay Singh and three retired IAS officers for providing undue benefit to the promoters of an Indore mall.

EOW has booked the former Chief Minister on the compaint of Ramesh Garg. The three retired IAS officers, UK Samal, AV Singh and DP Tiwari other than VP Kulshreshtha, Rakesh Sharma and Ashwin Janwade have also been made accused in the case.

When the Treasure Island mall was under-construction in Indore, the MG road was a residential locality as per the old master plan but permission for commercial activity was given for a plot of 90x30 sq metres.

Later officials fudged the records and the mall was constructed on the entire 90x120 sq metre plot. It was a joint project of Kalanis and Housing Board though the former were defaulters but just before completion of project, the HB Chairman cancelled the agreement that resulted in huge benefits to the Kalanis.

Digvijay Singh has said that the case was false and he was framed. The former Chief Minister said that the EOW case was nothing but a political vendetta.


Attack on St Thomas School: Christians up in arms against atrocities

The Christian organisations in Madhya Pradesh have joined hands to protest the attack on St Thomas Convent by the ruling BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The activists of ABVP and Bajrang Dal vandalised the school and roughed up teachers. Hundreds of children in the school had a nightmarish experience as the ABVP activists went on rampage, damaging property and misbehaving with the staff.

Children were crying due to the vandalism. The cadre of ABVP was abusing the authorities and threatened the administration to take action against the Principal Fr Thomas Malancheruvil. They alleged that singing of national anthem was stopped midway in the school on Republic Day, which was a disrespect to nation.

But school authorities countered the charges. However, after demanding arrest for several days the ABVP activists attacked the school. The vehicles on the premises were damaged in the incident. Some policemen were also assaulted.

Ironically the parties hadn't protested when the BJP corporators had unfurled BJP flag instead of national flag on Republic Day. There was no action on these leaders and the police had not even registered a case then.

The Prinicipal was later arrested due to the pressure of the right-wing organisations and released from court on bail. Now the Christian organisations have decided to join hands and have also petitioned President Pratibha Patil in this regard.


Unfurling BJP's flag rather than tricolour on Republic Day

Was it a coincidence that the workers of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) hoisted the party flag instead of the national flag on Republic Day at different locations in the state?

In Bhopal, the BJP councillor, Vandana Parihar stunned the residents when she hoisted BJP's flag at Nehru Nagar. The BJP workers were present on the occasion. Parihar late said that there was no disrespect intended to the national flag on the Republic Day. She claimed that she had hoisted the national flag early in the morning.

Later the Congress leaders reached the area and staged a demonstration. Similar incidents were reported from other places of the state also. In Mandsaur also, the local BJP workers hoisted the BJP flag. The workers said that as per the guidelines of the party they put up the flag and performed the 'puja' of Bharat Mata.

Surprisingly, it was neither the foundation day of the party, nor any other important day in the history of the saffron party. Though it was objectionable and a serious issue, it is learnt that the BJP workers hoisted their flag as per a scheme. They were testing the reaction among public over such step.

There was no violent reaction or major opposition. Insiders in the BJP say that the party has never been comfortable with the fact that the Congress flag resembles the national flag and the RSS intends to make a change in this direction. This was probably a test case.


Did Chief Secretary ask for constable's suspension?

Was a constable suspended just because he had dared to stop the car of Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahni?

Local Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar reported that constable Kudrat Ali had stopped the traffic to let Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's vehicle pass at a trafic junction.

Though the newspaper doesn't enjoy much credibility and is also known for playing up or playing down stories to suit it's aims, there appear some substance in the news.

The vehicles of common citizens that were stopped on the other side of the junction included the car of CS. Sahni's guard asked constable to let the vehicle pass but constable refused and said that rules can't be changed for someone.

This is the Bhaskar version and is termed half-truth by some others. The other version is that the constable had let some police officers' vehicles pass but not the CS's car.

Yet another version says that CS didn't want constable to be suspended but some senior IPS officers took the action and then planted the news in the Hindi paper to settle the scores. It's tough to know the exact truth from a cocktails of hearsay and half-truths.

The current IAS Vs IPS feud is known to everybody in MP. Though the suspension is wrong, the practice of stopping traffic for a VIP or VVIP's cavalcade is equally unjustifiable.


Essar's Singrauli power project faces rough weathers

The Essar's proposed 125o MW power project in Madhya Pradesh's Singrauli is becoming a second Singur as residents oppose the land acquisition.

The administration's attempt to silence the detractors and manipulate the media hasn't met with success. Singrauli is on the boil. Unfortunately the state government has yet to formuate a proper compensation package.

Essar isn't clear about it either. But the bureaucrats who tried to feed the media that the trouble was minor, have failed to deal with the situation. In the absence of proper rehabilitation process and non-implementation of existing guidelines, the discontent is simmering.

The police had to fire, reminding the country of a Nandigram-like situation that occurred in West Bengal. Mineral-rich Singrauli is a new district in the state and is located on the border of Uttar Pradesh.

Once again the poor are being displaced under the facade of development. Hundreds of acres of land is yet to be acquired. In the current situation when there is already arson, attacks and agitation, it seems too difficult that the project may come up until there is sensitivity towards poor locals, tribals and villagers whose land is being forcibly acquired.

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