Farmer commits suicide in Madhya Pradesh

Another farmer has committed suicide in the state. The debt-ridden farmer, Nandram Raikwar, 35, set himself afire in Kalua village in Damoh.

Raikwar was depressed as his crop on leased land was damaged by the pests and he was in a debt of over Rs 1 lakh. He was unable to pay the loan. Recently the farmers had reached Bhopal and brought traffic to standstill.

He had taken land for cultivation from a land-holder, however, when pests attacked the crop, he bought pesticides but that didn't work and spoiled the entire crop. He set himself afire on the fields and died of burns. Local farmers have demanded that the Agriculture minister Dr Ramkrishna Kusmaria should resign as he has failed to redress the problems of farmers.


Women IAS officers face corruption charges in Madhya Pradesh

Tinoo Joshi, Anju Baghel and Salina Singh
Not ready to lag behind their male counterparts, the women IAS officers in Madhya Pradesh are also feeling the heat of corruption charges.

Tinu Joshi's name remained in headlines along with her husband Arvind Joshi for Income Tax raid and later Lokayukta action against the couple for amassing wealth disproportionate to their assets.

The role of former Katni collector Anju Singh Baghel was found in a case of land transfer and she was suspended. The departmental inquiry was initiated but she approached the Central Administrative Tribunal against the decision.

Minister Vijay Shah recommended registration of EOW case against former Commissioner, SC Welfare, Salina Singh, for allegedly misusing fund of Rs 4.5 crore but the recommendation remains stuck in the corridors of GAD.

Local daily Raj Express reports that the case 395/99 against former Principal Secretary Anita Das is still pending with the EOW. The case number 107/09 against Salina Singh is also pending at the Lokayukta office.


Farmers 'invade' Bhopal, capital on a standstill

Thousands of farmers kept the capital of Madhya Pradesh at ransom as they blocked almost all the major roads, bringing the City to a grinding halt.

The farmers who came in over 5,000 tractor-trolleys parked their vehicles in the midst of roads and refused to leave. They were angry with the BJP government for refusing to pay attention to their plight. The administration was absolutely unprepared and hadn't anticipated the traffic jams.

Never before in the history, Bhopal had witnessed such massive jam. On December 20, the farmers under the banner of RSS affiliated Bharatiya Kisan Sangh reached Bhopal to meet Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

True to their threat, the farmers brought Bhopal to a halt. Children were stuck in schools, office-goers couldn't reach to their workplaces and vehicle riders were caught in jams for hours. On the second day, the farmers continued their stir, saying that the state government was not sensitive.

Farmers say that the crop was not fetching adequate money and they were not getting electricity in villages which hurt agriculture. The major intelligence failure exposes the police department's lack of preparedness also.


Kailash Vijayvargiya says Chambal region known for 'abduction industry'

Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvergiya shocked the audience at a programme in Gwalior when he publicly said that Chambal region was known for abduction industry.

He even said that it was a matter of courage that the investors have come to the region which is known for kidnapping industry.

Foreign delegates including industrialists from abroad were present in the programme. The fact that the statement came from no one else but Vijayvergiya who holds the charge of Commerce and Industry portfolio in the cabinet further surprised the audience. The function was organised to mark the birth centenary of JK group Lala Laxmipat Singhania.


Food fatwa: Minister's vegetarian zeal shocks business fraternity

State minister Paras Jain's anger upon seeing non-vegetarian food at a programme in Hotel Jehan Numa has surprised business fraternity and citizens.

Jain got upset that how a meeting hosted by the BJP government should have non-vegetarian delicacies. He 'ordered' that henceforth no government function will have any non-vegetarian stuff for the guests and everyone will have to eat vegetarian food.

His anger and outburst stunned the officers. The Food and Civil Supplies minister seems to have forgotten that it is the government which has to lure businessmen and investors from all over the country by repeatedly cajoling them and at investors' summits, liquor is served openly along with non-vegetarian food.

Shouldn't it be a person's choice whether he wants to adopt vegetarianism or non-vegetarian ways? Will his suo-moto fatwa of banning the non-vegetarian cuisines be accepted by the other government departments or it is just a gimmick to attract publicity.

Farmer ends life due to crop failure in Madhya Pradesh

Farmers continue to reel in severe economic hardships in the state due to crop failure and lack of proper action on part of the district administration.

On Tuesday a farmer committed suicide in Tendukheda block in Damoh. The farmer Nandkishor Yadav, 30, committed suicide by hanging himself in Harrai village.

He was under heavy debt along with other farmers. The farmers had approached the district collection and informed him about the crop failure in the region.

As a result of failure of rabi crop, farmers lost money. Nandkishor's brother Raja Ram said that his brother had sowed crop on 15 acres of land but the entire crop was affected by pest and destroyed. Depressed due to the huge loss, Nandkishor consumed pensticide and killed himself.


Sunil Joshi murder case: Reluctant police moves, State government cautious

Sunil Joshi
The murder of RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi has once again come back to haunt Madhya Pradesh police and the Sangh Parivar as almost all the invetigation cases including Ajmer Dargah, Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express blast in which Saffron groups are found involved lead the police to Joshi's murder.

Joshi, 45, who was considered a leading Hindutva idealogue in Malwa region, was shot dead in Dewas on December 29, 2007. The Madhya Pradesh police had stopped investigation when they found that leaders of BJP and Sangh Parivar may get exposed in the probe.

It was an inside job. There are various theories. The first linked to Congress leader Pyar Singh Ninama, who had cut Joshi's 'choti' (tuft of hair) publicly in Mhow. Joshi had left Mhow and shifted to Dewas where he lived with four RSS workers in a house.

Later Ninama was murdered. Later Ninama's son was also killed. Following the tribal leader's killing, Joshi was shot dead and three bullets pumped in his body. There was theory that he was bragging about his role in organising the terrorist attacks and this scared others who feared that he would expose them also.

Shrikant Purohit had allegedly said that it was Joshi who had been behind the Samjhauta Express bomb strike. But police closed the case and the investigation including the last calls made on his cell phone, his roommates and other evidences was buried.
Hindi Newspaper Dainik Bhaskar's report

Joshi's uncle Madan Mohan Modi and family members has openly said that it was his companions who had killed him. He said that the police were aware of the case but were not pursuing the matter for reasons known to them only.

But in 2010, when NIA and ATS teams of Rajasthan and other states again focused on Hindutva groups like Abhinav Bharat and Jai Vande Mataram after the arrest of Aseemanand, to solve the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Dargah blast cases, MP police were forced to reopen the investigation.

Newspaper reports suggest that it was during the Kumbh Mela at Ujjain that Swami Aseemanand had planned to bring the militant Hindutva groups together to avenge Islamic terrorism by targeting Muslim places of worship.

It is also believed that Joshi's closeness with Pragya Thakur, who is in jail for Malegoan blast, led to the killing. She had given her bike to Joshi and it was used in planting bomb in Muslim-dominated Malegaon. Now role of a BJP leader and other Sangh workers has also been found. The MP police are in a tough situation.

If it solves the case, persons linked to Sangh Parivar would be caught. If it doesn't, then central agencies and Rajasthan ATS can claim success. In this scenerio, the police have begun fresh investigations but are unsure how to move ahead.


Chief Minister's goof up: Do away with Rajya Sabha

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan stunned audience with his statement during a function in Bhopal on Sunday.

Chouhan said that Rajya Sabha had lost its relevance and persons like Vijay Mallya get entry into the Rajya Sabha through wrongful means. He also said that British had instituted the Upper House of Parliament but it was no longer serving its purpose.

If at all there is need for prominent citizens, artists and intellectuals, then a quota of 25-30 persons should be reserved in the Lok Sabha itself. At the seminar on electoral reforms, Shivraj's utterances surprised the audience.

As a host of top BJP leaders have also failed to win Lok Sabha election and are in Rajya Sabha, the comments were clearly going to unruffle feathers in the central leadership of the party. Also, the statement was against the constitutional body.

Later in the night, Chouhan 'clarified' that he didn't mean that Rajya Sabha had lost its significance. He said that his statement reflected his concern for parliamentary democracy and decorum in the houses. Chouhan said that he respected the leaders of Rajya Sabha and regrets if any other inference was made from his statement.

Police quiz Ajmer blast accused in Bhopal Ijtima bombs case

The police are interrogating the links of Harshad Solanki, an accused in terrorist attack on Ajmer Sharif shrine, with the attempt to plant bombs at Bhopal's Islamic congregation.

For two years bombs were planted at Ijtima, the biggest Muslim congregation, in Bhopal. The bombs were diffused due to alertness of local youths in 2002.

The next year the bomb was found on way to Ijtima venue at Ghasipura near Eintkhedi in outskirts of Bhopal but due to technical flaw it failed to explode.

The police had earlier also got clues that former RSS activist Sunil Joshi and absconding terror accused Ramji Kalsangra were involved in planting the bombs.

Joshi was murdered before it is believed that he had begun bragging about his module's involvement in blasts in Ajmer and Mecca Masjid at Hyderabad. After Joshi's co-accused were arrested by Rajasthan ATS, MP police have also brought Harshad Solanki to Dewas to interrogate him. MP ATS is also interrogating accused in Ijtima case that remains unsolved.

Ijtima is the biggest congregation of Muslims in India and a million persons attend it every year. Sources said that there are orders to policemen to go slow in these cases as links of more right-wing militants may be disclosed. The People's Samachar newspaper published this news in December 2010.

Damoh woman dies in Varanasi blast

A woman from Madhya Pradesh who was injured in the blast at Varanasi has died, taking the death toll to the terror strike, to two.

Phoolvati, also known as Phoolmani, 60, belonged to Damoh district of the state. She was present at the 'ghat' when the bomb blast occurred. She was among the three persons belonging to the state who were injured in the blast.

A child had died earlier. Phoolvati's condition was serious and she succumbed to injuries in the hospital. She had gone to the City to see the ancient town. Her son studied in an educational institution in Varanasi, policemen said.

Nearly 40 persons were injured when the bomb planted by terrorists had gone off in Uttar Pradess' Varanasi earlier this week. Some other injured persons are undergoing treatment but none of them is in a critical state now.


Corruption case against Panna, Vidisha district collectors

Bureaucrats in Madhya Pradesh are certainly minting money by siphoning off funds.

In a fresh development, Lokayukta has registered corruption case against Panna collector KC Jain and former Indore Municipal Corporation commissioner CB Singh who is now Vidisha Collector and five other municipal officers.

The case is regarding a property-related fraud. All the persons named in FIR had acquired plots in Vasant Vihar Colony in Indore without the due permission. The complainant Rajendra Gupta has alleged that Jain got four plots in the name of his relatives and though they were not permitted for joint construction, construction of one huge building structure began on the plots clubbed together.

There is complaint that Jain has purchased ten dumpers in the name of his brother. The other officers include building permission officer, building inspector and former IDA CEO have been booked, according to Hindi daily Raj Express.


Lokayukta case against former Jhabua collector for NREGA corruption

Bureaucrats in Madhya Pradesh appear involved in massive corruption. The latest officer charged of corruption is Jagdish Sharma, an IAS officer, who is posted as Deputy Secretary with the Vallabh Bhawan. 

Sharma is accused of causing a loss of Rs 28 lakh to the state government through fraud and conspiracy. Chief Executive Officer Jagmohan Dhurve and others are also accused in the case filed by Lokayukta police. The accused persons had got documents relating to National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) scheme printed from a private press rather than government press.

Sharma was then Collector of Jhabua. On the complaint of Rajesh Solanki, a resident of Jhabua, the police conducted inquiry and found that there were irregularities in printing of posters, registers, pamphlets, NREGS booklets and other documents. 


'Moderate' Shivraj wants Omar Abdullah behind bars

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is considered a moderate leader among BJP and is praised for his measured speech.

But his speech at a symposium in Bhopal was not in line with his overall image. Chouhan said that Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah should be behind bars.

Chouhan said that instead of sitting on CM's chair, Abdullah's rightful place is a jail along with Arundhati Roy and Hurriyat leader Gilani. This was a bit unusual for the MP Chief Minister, as he rarely attacks fellow politicians even if they belong to opposition or other political parties.


Dumper Case: State government, Chief Minister again feel heat

Lokayukta is probing dumper case
Four years after the 'dumper case' had rocked Madhya Pradesh, Congress has again stepped up pressure on the ruling BJP government over the major scandal in order to corner Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

With Congress leaders deciding to go to Delhi and meet President Pratibha Patil on the issue, the dumper scam is again hitting headlines. It was alleged that Chief Minister's wife Sadhna Singh had bought four dumper trucks in May 2006.

A case was filed in the court to seek details of purchase of dumpers. It was alleged that the dumpers were attached to JP Group's cement plant in Rewa. It was raised as a case of corruption and allegations were made against Chouhan.

Former Leader of opposition late Jamuna Devi had shot a letter to CM and asked him to explain the situation. It was later found that Sadhna Singh had taken a loan of Rs 77 lakh from bank to buy four dumpers for personal travels business.

It was clarified that it is not wrong to earn living through business. She had earned Rs 16 lakh through the dumpers. Congress leaders had alleged that her company got Rs 75,000 monthly rent from JP Cement which was raised by Rs 10,000 later.

The opposition had alleged that how the dumpers were purchased, who financed them, whose photographs were affixed on the bank documents and why the dumpers were sold all of a sudden. They demanded that if everything was in order, why the record was not put in the Assembly.

Though it was accepted by CM that a loan of Rs 77 lakh was taken to buy dumpers in 2007, no details were released in his personal assets revealed in 2009-2010. Neither purchase and sale of dumpers, nor the earnings from this business to his wife, were mentioned. The Congress had alleged that the aim was to provide benefit to the JP group.

Jamuna Devi had questioned how the margin money was paid and despite not having an account in Oriental bank, how the instalments were paid and whether the Income Tax department was informed. The court had asked the Lokayukta police to conduct inquiry and submit report.

Once again the Congress is now forcefully raising the issue. Opposition didn't let the house function and the Assembly was adjourned. Congress is insisting on the demand for a CBI inquiry into the entire episode. Seems the opposition is trying to put the government in dock and also energize itself with the four year old case.


BJP celebrates Gaurav Diwas in MP, Narendra Modi kept away

BJP's Moderate Face
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan completed five years in office and the BJP's mega-show at jamboree ground in Bhopal saw almost all the top party leaders except Narendra Modi.

Chouhan who has maintained the image of a moderate leader in BJP just like Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and Nitish Kumar who leads JDU-BJP coalition government in Bihar, seems sending a message once again that politics of religion and communalism has no space in MP.

The BJP had won in Madhya Pradesh after Congress government led by former CM Digvijay Singh was ousted after two successive terms due to popular anger over lack of power and poor infrastructure including roads.

Uma Bharti and Babulal Gaur had brief stints and once Shivraj took over he led BJP to victory in the next Vidhan Sabha election also. The BJP organised the programme to celebrate five years of Shivraj in office. Though there are murmurs of disapproval that the event is Chouhan's 'one-man-show' and there was not much reason of pride as power crisis still plagues the state.

Almost everyone including LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Venkaihan Naidu, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar were invited and they arrived for the mega Karyakarta Gaurav Diwas Sammelan at Bhopal. Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa and Narendra Modi were not invited. Yeddy is facing corruption charges.

Huge cutouts of BJP leaders are put up in Bhopal where lakhs participated in the convention but there was no cutout of Modi. This signals that BJP central leadership has finally decided not to project the personality of Narendra Modi whose brand of politics has been controversial in the past.


MP minister Paras Jain faces corruption charge

State minister Paras Jain once again finds himself in the midst of the bribery row. Food Inspector Akram Khan was asked for a bribe of Rs 1.55 lakh for transferring him. Khan had committed suicide due to the pressure on him.

The minister's PA Rajendra Bhootda had allegedly demanded the money. Khan was transferred from Indore to Bhind. Though he paid, Khan was instead transferred from Bhind to Dewas. He was not given posting of Indore.

After transfer, Akram did not get his pay for nine months. There was further pressure on Khan to pay more bribe. After his suicide, his wife Zarina fought for justice. She knocked at every door and even reached state capital, Bhopal.

The issue has now rocked the Assembly. Food minister Paras Jain has suspended Bhootda and the officer who had stopped Khan's salary has also been removed. The issue again shows that corruption plagues the state and this affects the image of the BJP government. Will Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan do a cleanup?


Babbar Khalsa militant caught in Madhya Pradesh

Criminals, underworld gangsters and terrorists are making Madhya Pradesh a place of hiding. This was proved again when a Babbar Khalsa terrorist was arrested in the state.

Gurmeet Singh, a Sikh militant who has links with Babbar Khalsa, was caught when he was living in Shivpuri. He was concealing himself and living as a driver here. Rajasthan's Anti-Terrorism Squad tracked him down in MP.

Here he had told his name as Amar Singh. He has robbery cases in Rajasthan and was in Bikaner jail. He was on parole but escaped and went into hiding. Gurmeet, 50, was located in Padora in Kolaras and is being taken back to Jaipur. Hindu, Muslim terrorists including SIMI and Abhinav Bharat members have been arrested in MP earlier.


How Dainik Bhaskar's report on Sudarshan's comment put BJP, RSS in embarrassing situation

The controversy over ex-RSS chief KS Sudarshan's comment would not have erupted at all had Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar also 'under-played' this news like most other newspapers in Madhya Pradesh did.

Almost all the journalists representing the major newspapers and channels were present at Sudarshan's press conference but they were convinced that no other paper would publish it. The reason is that none of the media group owners want their advertisement revenue cut in the state.

Journalists on BJP beat who get sympathetic to party as they are covering it for second term didn't want to upset Sangh leaders and BJP government. But Dainik Bhaskar played the spoilsport for all of them and went ahead with a huge full page news.

The story covered all the allegations which former RSS sarsanghchalak Sudarshan made including Sonia being a CIA agent and her alleged role in the killings of Indira Gandhi and her husband Rajiv Gandhi. Other reporters thought no one would publish and it had been 'managed'.

Some papers published the news but diluted it, thinking that it was an old man's eccentric comments and could be ignored. But when Bhaskar published the news and its national edition also carried it, the controversy reached parliament.

Angry protests were held in the country and the Congress got BJP on the backfoot. There was no way that such charges and vulgar allegations could be defended. It was a dream breaking story for any newspaper or channel reporter but pro-state government owners and journos who tried to block it, got a shock as Bhaskar played it up. But they had missed it and there was no other option but to follow the story now on the next day.

In MP, Raj Express and Jagran carried small item news while Nai Dunia and Patrika neglected it. TV channels also compromised on their journalistic principles and ignored the important news which has seriously dented RSS' image.

For long Dainik Bhaskar was considered a pro-BJP and to some extent a pro-establishment newspaper also but it seems the owners now want to bring a radical change and take it to national centrestage as leading Hindi newspaper.

Jagran and Bhaskar had indeed been pro-Hindutva papers and their leanings towards RSS and BJP were open. But the young generation seems to change the way the newspaper has been run. It is now being modelled on the lines of modern newspapers where news should take precedence.

Though Bhaskar has interests in many sectors and news gets compromised, they are planning to get aggressive to beat other papers outside MP, Rajasthan belt also. If they don't do it, they can't win over Bihar, Jharkhand and be ready for the big fight in Delhi-UP.


BJP MLA's kin in rape row: Girl reaches CM House for justice

Another BJP leader is in the midst of controversy after his nephew was booked for raping a girl recently. The victim was allegedly abducted and raped. The MLA Yashpal Singh Sisodia represents Mandsaur in the Assembly.

The girl has alleged that Sisodia's nephew Dharmendra raped her after abduction. Her complaint was registered but later administration didn't act. Dharmendra moves freely and was not arrested. She reached Bhopal to get justice and meet Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
But here she didn't get an opportunity to even present her case. When she reached CM House, the policemen forcibly took her away. There was no women police personnel when she was whisked away. After media persons flashes the news, she was released in a hurry.

This incident again shows that power-drunk relatives of ministers and legislators care little about the law. Poor victims in small towns and villages don't have a voice and there complaints aren't taken seriously in Bhopal also.


Global Investment Summits: Is investment really coming to Madhya Pradesh?

The Global Investment Summit that was recently held at Khajuraho was declared a success by most newspapers.

But hardly any newspaper questioned that how many Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed in the past materialised and whether the huge figure of investment promised at the Khajuraho summit was realistic or it was just a jugglery.

Were figures of investment promised in the past Global Investment Meets were added to push the investment amount up? Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should be congratulated if it's true that the state bagged investment proposals of Rs 2.35 lakh crore.

The investors ranged from Kumaramangalam Birla to Anil Ambani. It was said that 107 MoUs were signed at the two day business meet in Khajuraho which was attended by representatives of 70 groups from 17 countries.

While Ambani is interested in setting up power plant, Essar group is investing in cement and ferro-alloys. Major MoUs were also signed in mining and some other sectors.

Indore-based evening newspaper Agniban reported that Anil Ambani's group did not sign a new agreement at Khajuraho, rather, the previous MoU of R 50,000 crore signed at the Indore summit was again mentioned here by raising the cost to Rs 75,000 crore. So isn't it a joke?

The newspaper wrote that for 25 years the state will buy electricity at a much higher rate from Ambani's upcoming plant and the group will thus earn an additional Rs 15,000 crore in process. The finance department had objected to this loot but it was overruled.

Madhya Pradesh has vast land available for industrialists and has huge natural resources along with cheap manpower. This is enough to tempt the big businessmen but while inviting the investors, the state must not lose focus and ensure that the exercise shouldn't remain a jugglery.

Are industries coming and locals getting jobs? That's the foremost question and the state can't afford to lose sight of it while going ga ga over holding 'successful summits' in plush hotels in different cities of the scenic state.

Hospitality is fine but how much of it is translating into real investment, infrastructure building in the state and bringing employment? This should be the criteria before declaring such business meets as successful or unsuccessful.


Digvijay Singh fires fresh salvo at RSS, justifies comparison with SIMI

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh has said that some office-bearers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) get money from the Pakistan's secret agenc ISI.

Singh who had been Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh twice said in Bhopal that comparing RSS with SIMI was not wrong as both organisations have members found involved in terrorist activities.

Singh said that Rahul Gandhi's statement was correct because RSS workers' role was established in Samjhauta Express, Malegaon and Ajmer Dargah blasts while SIMI was involved in terrorism including Mumbai blasts. Inset is news published in Dainik Bhaskar.


EOW raids Chief Engineer's residence in Indore

The raid at Indore Development Authority (IDA) superintending engineer Vimal Kumar Gangwal has revealed that he had assets valued at more than Rs 10 crore or Rs 100 million.

His palatial homes in Vasant Vihar and Snehlataganj were raided. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) team found three lockers other than cash, jewellery, insurance policies, shares and other assets. His daughter study in medical colleges while the son is manager with a private bank in Gujarat.

Gangwal had joined IDA as an assistant engineer and later became Chief Engineer. He was now Superintending Engineer and was about to retire soon. Recently Lokayukta raid had yielded Rs 1 crore assets at BL Gothwal's residence. He was also IDA engineer.


Another MMS scandal in Madhya Pradesh

Another MMS scandal has hit Madhya Pradesh. On this occasion, it is Mandla district where the despicable crime occurred.

A minor girl was gang raped and one of the youths made a video clip, which was circulated among friends and others. Of the six youths named in the case, one is said to be son of a police official while another is a deputy collector's son.

Three accused have been arrested while the rest are absconding. Local police have said that tough action will be taken on the culprits. Many similar cases have been reported from different cities in state in the last few months.


Woman lecturer drags MANIT chairman to NCW

A woman lecturer has complained to the National Commission for Women (NCW) against the chairman of Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT).

Dr Jyoti Mittal has also made a complaint with the President Pratibha Patil in this regard. Mittal has accused the chairman AN Singh of harassing her. She has alleged that in order to pressurize her family, the director suspended her husband Professor Dr Alok Mittal.

Earlier there was a complaint against Mittal that his appointment was made in violation of the norms. The complaint was made to the CBI. Now Jyoti Mittal has written to women's commission against the director of the Bhopal-based prime engineering college.


Communal riot in Ratlam: Curfew imposed in City

Communal tension gripped Ratlam town in Madhya Pradesh after anti-social elements threw cowdung at a place of worship.

Angry mob resorted to violence and soon tension spread several parts of the City. Over two dozen houses were attacked and vehicles were torched. The police force has been deployed in sensitive areas of the town but arson and violence was reported.

Cowdung was thrown just when the place of worship was getting a whitewash. Despite policemen firing in the air, the situation could not be controlled. The Rapid Action Force was also sent to the troubled areas. Home Minister Umashankar Gupta is planning to visit the City. Police have recovered arms and ammunitions and taken nearly 100 persons in custody.

Later reports suggested that the policemen committed gross human rights violation and used excessive force against innocent people including women and children. Hundreds of citizens were detained and illegally kept in custody.

The role of police has come under severe criticism. So much that section of people termed it as not a Hindu-Muslim communal riot but policemen committing atrocities. In news reports, the Superintendent of Police (SP) Dr Mayank Jain, who was head of Ratlam police, said that police didn't use excessive force.

But the truth is that police highhandedness is stamped on the streets of Ratlam. It was Khaki terror that was witnessed in Ratlam. Mercifully, a vast majority of the Hindus and Muslims remained calm. Ratlam has a reputation of being an island of peace.

Due to this restraint, the situation didn't worsen, at least, in terms of casualties. One hopes that proper inquiries would be conducted and the role of the Ratlam police officials and policemen who beat up women and went on rampage in houses, would be probed.


Woman raped, paraded naked in Dhar

A married woman was raped and later paraded naked in Manawar in Dhar district. Manawar is the constituency of Minister for Woman and Child Welfare Ranjana Baghel.

This incident occurred in Bhagyapura on Thursday evening. The victim is a woman belonging to Bhil tribe. Her former husband Sitaram and nearly two dozen other persons stormed into her house. She was raped and later taken around the village, naked.

Due to marital discord, panchayat had got her divorce from her first husband Sitaram and asked her not to marry in Bhagyapura again. But she married Mansharam of the same village. This had angered Sitaram and other villagers who decided to exact revenge.

When the culprits reached her home, Mansharam was not in house as he had taken his father to Singhana for treatment. In their absence, the lone woman was an easy prey. She was raped. Later the accused stripped her, beat her and made her walk naked in Mujaldapura, Solyapura, Semalyapura villages.
Senior officials reached and heavy force deployed. The victim has been given police protection. The local police have registered a case against the two dozen persons involved in the abominable act.

MP police kill Kargil warrior in fake encounter, term him 'dacoit'

One of the four persons who were killed in an alleged fake encounter in Bhind in Madhya Pradesh was an ex-army personnel who had fought in the Kargil war.

Amjad Khan, who was killed in an encounter in Bhind, was a Kargil warrior who had returned home after spending ten years with army.

State Congress has demanded that Bhind police led by Superintendent of Police (SP) Chanchal Shekar killed Khan in a fake encounter by terming him a 'dacoit'.

Deputy leader of Opposition Rakesh Singh alleged that Khan was killed by police to get gallantry medal and other accolades for officiails. Congress leader Govind Singh demanded a CBI probe into the fake encounter and action against culprits.

Singh said that murder case should be registered against SP and TI. Amjad's wife was present at the press conference in Bhopal on Friday, with her infant son. Amjad, Raju, Udal and Ravindra were killed in the encounter.

Amjad Khan, an ex-armyman had returned back home and was an active social worker. He had joined Congress and was president of block Congress of Lahar in Bhind. "He had no criminal record but a conspiracy was hatched and he was killed by police", said Rakesh Singh.


Scindia wins MPCA election, overcomes Kailash Vijayvargiya's challenge

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia finally won the first ever election that was contested for the post of president of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA).

In the past, the president was elected unanimously. But the decision of BJP leader Kailash Vijayvergiya to stand against Scindia and fight the election, turned it into an interesting contest. But Scindia won comfortably. 

Scindia, who is scion of erstwhile ruling family of Gwalior princely state and represents Guna in the Parliament, got 142 votes while Kailash could get the support of 72 members. All the contestants of Scindia panel easily won.

Kailash had sensed it when he said that he had won when 'Maharaj' had to come on the street and seek votes like a commoner. This is a loss for Vijayvargiya who is a strong leader and astute politician. Ironically, he lost in his bastion, Indore.


Action on Dr Anand Rai: Vendetta against Whistleblowers!

When Centre is formulating a policy to protect the whistleblowers, the Madhya Pradesh government has done the opposite and taken action against the doctor who has exposed the unholy practices in the name of clinical drug trials in the state.

The government took action against the doctor for JDA's strike. But except him and a doctor who has already resigned, none of the 60-odd junior doctors were sacked. All others were suspended. However, citing indiscipline, the services of Rai were terminated.

The steps once again shows the lack of interest on part of the state government in taking action against the real culprits. Ebhopal had earlier published a post on the clinical drug trials. This post can be read at the following LINK.


Dalits stopped from hoisting flag on Independence Day

Dalit women were not allowed to unfurl the national flag at a number of places in Madhya Pradesh.

Sarpanch, Meera Ahirwar, reached Bhabukakari panchayat in Rahatgarh (Sagar) on August 15 but was forced to leave without hoisting the flag. Her husband was beaten.

In Rahli, another Sarpanch Kusum Rani was not allowed to enter Chandrapura village for the independence day programme, just because of her belonging to 'lower' caste.

In Malthaun, Dalit janpad president was refrained from hoisting the tricolour at Rajshahi fort. The tradition was broken because of his caste. In Syavan village panchayat in this block, Sarpanch Mihilal was also humiliated and made to stay out of the function by the local strongmen belonging to upper castes.

Discrimination with Dalits is nothing new. But the existence of caste prejudices that prevent a Dalit from hoisting flag in 21st century, 63 years after we achieved freedom, is really shocking. However, there is no strong action from the state government as yet.


DB City Mall: First shopping mall opens in Bhopal

The Dainik Bhaskar group's DB City Mall has finally opened after facing numerouscontroversies.

No doubt, the grand structure and the imposing building adds to the skyline of the capital of Madhya Pradesh.

Till now, an important town like Bhopal that has a population of around 20 lakh or 2 million, had no major shopping mall.

Its one of the biggest malls, spread over vast area on Arera Hills near MP Nagar, in the heart of Bhopal.

Controversies and Corruption

But the construction of mall has been mired in controversies. Hundreds of shanties in the Sanjay Nagar slum were shifted to outskirts of Bhopal, to clear the land for this project. The poor residents had to leave their homes and were evicted to a faraway place.

There were also irregularities in transfer and allocation of land to DB corp. Hindi newspaper Dainik Bhaskar certainly has clout and helpful politicians & bureaucrats came to the group's help. It was alleged that land was allotted by violating norms and the state government suffered loss of Rs 14 crore in stamp duty alone.

Accidents and Deaths

Many accidents had also taken place during the construction. Labourers died and got
years and got injured in mishaps in the last 2-3 years. There were other several other controversies also.
Bhaskar's rival newspaper, Patrika, published a series of stories exposing the corruption and large-scale irregulatiries in the land deal and construction of the mall. But a new entrant in Bhopal, Patrika, still has less clout in the state.

Food joints, Leadings brands, Cineplex, McDonald burger!

For shoppers of Bhopal, it is certainly good news. The city, at last, has a mall. So what if hundreds of poor had to abandon their homes! The rich, upwardly mobile class and the middle-class citizens would have fun.

Good brands will be available. Food chains including McDonald have already opened shop in this mall. So have your burget, watch movies at the separate screens in the upcoming cineplex in the mall and forget the rest. After all, we are immune to land grabbings and corruption.

Perhaps, on this note, Bhopalis can welcome DB Mall and its Shopper's Stop.


High Court halt on CBD, Minto Hall projects

Just a week ago, State minister Kailash Vijayvargiya had made the statement that he salivates whenever he spot a piece of open land, though he latter tried to pass it off as a statement in lighter vein.

But the truth is that 'khaali zameen dekh kar munh mein paani aana' is the feeling most politicians in Madhya Pradesh are getting these days. With connivance of builders and land mafia, politicians are seizing and selling off precious properties across state.

In this background, the High Court's verdict against state government's plan to sell Minto Hall and land near TT Nagar, acquires even greater importance.

The post on BJP government's land grabbing in Madhya Pradesh was published on this blog two years ago (See photo on the left). Read Butchers of Bhopal: Cutting 1,000 trees for CBD. Link.

The state government had decided to give away vast chunk of land in the heart of Bhopal to Gammon India for Central Business District (CBD) and later another prime property--Minto Hall-- was given at throwaway price to the land sharks.

But the Bhopal Citizen Forum and another NGO took the case to court and the Jabalpur Hight Court quashed the notification of changing land use for the projects & asking government to have a re-look into both the plans.

At the site of proposed CBD, hundreds of trees were felled and killed by giving them poisonous injections. Bhopal residents should have taken to streets but they didn't show much the much needed outrage against these ridiculous projects.

However, the court finally saw the absurdity of the two projects and has rightly scolded the government for the manner in which land was transferred. The court also said that if these projects are okayed, it will make the life of citizens hell in a city where trees are constantly felled and every available property is up for commercial activity.


Prabhat Jha terms BSF, CRPF as 'dacoits'

In a surprising statement, BJP state chief Prabhat Jha said that the Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were nothing less than dacoits. Jha also blamed army personnel during his outburst in Indore.

He said that the guns used by Naxalites in killing the law-enforcers had been bought from army jawans in Allahabad and Kanpur. He said that there are evidences that army jawans are engaged in arms' smuggling also.

The Madhya Pradesh BJP head said that army personnel are given the task to guard the borders of the country but they are involved in trafficking of firearms and other weapons at Nepal border. Jhas' attack on BSF and CRPF surprised the party workers also.

Jha seems less careful in his choice of words. Recently he was in the news when he made a comment that whether the society will run as per the High Court's directive or vice versa, when a BJP rally was taken out on a street where such political gatherings were banned by court.

He had even gone ahead by saying that whether Article 370 is imposed in Indore. Later a petition was filed against him, accusing Jha of contempt of court. Earlier also Jha's statements had caused controversy. Shouldn't he be more careful with his words.


Clinical Drug Trials: Doctors' role under scanner in Madhya Pradesh

The role of a number of doctors in Madhya Pradesh has come under scanner for testing drugs on patients as part of Multi National Companies' (MNCs) clinical drug trials.

The strength and effects of the medicines were tested on poor patients without their consent and knowledge. In Indore and Bhopal, doctors in many private and government hospitals conducted these trials that are illegal and unethical.

Drug manufacturers who don't easily get consenting patients and volunteers in other countries are offering huge sums to the doctors in India. As a result patients who are unaware fell victim to these nefarious designs and often suffer horrifiying medical complications that can even lead to deaths.

A complaint has been made against six doctors in Indore. NGO Swasth Samarthan Sewa Samiti has lodged its complaint with the government. But the number of doctors involved in the unethical practice is estimated to number around 100.

The doctors have been getting crores for such trials and the money is deposited directly in their accounts. It is not known how many children and under-age persons have been put to such tests and the after-effects of such trials on them.

Now the issue has reached the police. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and Lokayukta are now initiating inquiry. Some MLAs have also raised the issue in the current Assembly session  but the real question is whether the guilty would be punished?

Indore's Maharaja Yashwant Rao (MY) Hospital is at the centre of the controversy as most trials have been conducted in this hospital which is attached to the MGM medical college. There are reports from other colleges and hospitals in MP also.

Doctors who have brought bad name to the noble profession and compromised on the health of patients, including vulnerable children, must not be allowed to go unpunished for violating government guidelines and keeping everybody in dark to mint money.


Dirty journalism: Dainik Bhaskar brands Kashmiris as 'terrorist'

Journalism is considered a noble profession but the media loses respect of society when it thrives on sensation to create reports that cause panic in the society.

Dainik Bhaskar, a mass circulated daily, began with publishing a series of stories by reporter Siddharth Machhiwal on large number of Kashmiri students studying in Bhopal. But the series soon acquired communal overtones and was clevery worded to sound alarm about all Kashmiri students.

For a community that finds it tough to get a rented home, it could be disastrous. First, the story pointed at the manner in which police take money for verification of students. This was a proper story and it is true everywhere as even passport seekers would tell that often policemen ask for bribe for verification.

But soon the story turned into a communal propaganda. It demonised Kashmiris on the premise that students who are admitted in Bhopal's Hamidia College and other educational institutions could be 'involved in throwing stones' in the recent Kashmir violence.

It further went on to suggest that under the garb of Kashmiri students, terrorists could also sneak in. Further, rather than putting onus on corruption, it branded Kashmiri youths with assumptions like 'a youth who got a bullet injury could be a student of college'.

Without any names or quotes, the report suggests that 'stone-pelters' are terrorists and that one of the stone-pelter was studying in Bhopal's Hamidia College. But whom? By getting ABVP to support its agenda, the report further lost its credibility. ABVP activists or NSUI activists are also involved in bandhs and protests all over India, so how come a protestor becomes a terrorist? In fact, we don't know yet if there was a youth involved in stone pelting either. But all Kashmiri students in Bhopal are now branded as terrorists!

Read the cleverly worded but vague sentences from the report:
1....aashanka hai ki Kashmiri mein jaari hinsaa mein Hamidia college ke sandigdh chhatron ki bhumika ho sakti hai..
2....ek praadhyakapak ne naam na bataane ki shart par bataaya ki voh chhatr Hamidia ka hi hai

When the need is to integrate the Kashmiri youths and take pride in the fact that Madhya Pradesh is lending a helping hand to Kashmiri youths and letting them study, the story veered off with falsehoods and unsubstantiated charges to take a fasicstic tone. By equating Kashmiri students with terrorism, the newspaper lost its credibility once again.

It is unfortunate that while Agarwals intends to take their newspaper to the national level and have been working hard to get it a progressive and credible face of Hindi media, its editorial seems to have lost something that is vital for any media group--Credibility.


MP Minister facing murder charges resigns

State Health Minister Anup Mishra who is at the centre of controversy involving a youth's murder in Belgaon near Gwalior, resigned on Friday. His resignation was accepted.

Mishra, who is relative of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was under intense pressure after his son and other relatives were booked in the case of murder of Bhikam Kushwaha. It was alleged that Mishra's relatives were forcing villagers to leave the land for extending his college.

BJP leaders had stepped up the pressure. Party leaders including its president Nitin Gadkari and Anant Kumar had hinted that tainted ministers should be dropped for improving the image of the party. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan after getting the resignation letter forwarded it to Governor.


Minister's son, kin booked for murder

The son of Health minister Anoop Mishra has been booked in the case of murder of Bhikam Kushwaha who was killed in Bel village near Gwalior.

Mishra's son Ashwini has been charged with murder. The minister's son Abhay, Ajay, cousin Deepak Vajpayee and brother-in-law Yogesh Sharma have also been booked in the case. The complaint was made by the deceased's brother.

The dispute was over the land near IPS college. One person was killed and four injured when the clash took a bloody turn. Ashwini and others fired at villagers. The land was given on lease for college. But the pathway to the village also fell under this land and this was cause of dispute.

The villagers had protested earlier also. On June 23 and 24, boundary wall was being constructed for college and villagers were asked to leave village, vacating their homes. The JCB machines had reached Belgaon and Vajpayee told villagers to leave their houses else they would face the consequences. Anup Mishra owns the IPS college.


Comunal riot in Obaidullaganj in MP

Cufew was imposed in Obaidullaganj town in Madhya Pradesh after two groups had a clash during a marriage function.

One person was shot dead while many persons were injured. Later angry members of one community torched the houses and shops of members of the other community.

The police vehicles were attacked. The situation was tense in the town and senior officers were camping at the place.

A youth was killed while municipal council president Tufan Singh was injured in the violence. Earlier prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC were issued but later curfew was imposed and shoot at sight orders were issued also. Obaidullaganj falls in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. The town is located just 30 km away from the state capital Bhopal.


BJP leader in Indore praised mafia don!

Leading Hindi newspaper Patrika made a disclosure about a state minister praising underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. The paper reports that the minister publicly praised the don for his 'management skills'.

Though it is possible that the minister unintentionally made the comment, most newspapers blacked it out. In Indore, Patrika is the leading Hindi newspaper in terms of circulation, followed by Dainik Bhaskar and Nai Dunia.

The paper was also in the news for publishing reports of land scams. The same BJP leader who is a cabinet minister in the state claimed that he was targeted and the reports were malicious and aimed to defame him.


Naxalites revive activities in Madhya Pradesh

After a lull, the Naxalites have again got active in Madhya Pradesh. The ultra-leftists burnt the JCB back-hoe loader machines used in road construction in Balaghat.

Naxals are against construction of roads to far-flung areas and in forests. After setting fire to the machines and pickup, they escaped. It is suspected that the Naxals sneaked into the neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

This should be cause of worry for State government. For a few years, the Naxalites were lying low in MP. Though there was movement of the radicals in the region, there was no criminal incident in the last couple of years. Recently the state police' intelligence wing had got information about entry of the Naxals in Balaghat.


Blackmailer policemen force girls to commit suicide

Two girls, both sisters, committed suicide as they were blackmailed by two policemen who had forcibly shot an obscene MMS of one of the girls and were threatening the girls' family.

This incident occurred in Chhatarpur. The elder sister and her boyfriend were caught by policemen who forcibly took her away and made an obscene video clip of the girl. The policemen Kanhaiyalal and Arvind Patel blackmailed her.

When the family complained to SP PS Bisht, the policemen were suspended. But they kept threatening the family. Other policemen also went to the sisters' residence and threatened them. Unable to bear this harassment, they consumed poison.

They were taken to Jhansi for treatment but both died. Senior police officials and Women's commission members have left for Chhatarpur for inquiry. The two policemen who were posted with Orchha Road police station have been booked.


Case of dowry harassment against BJP leader

There seems no end to the troubles of BJP in Madhya Pradesh. One after the other, its ministers, leaders and legislators are facing crimnal cases.

The latest is the case against former minister Rustam Singh. The BJP leader has been booked for dowry harassment. Singh's daughter-in-law Deepti lodged FIR with Haryana police that she was married to his son Kuldeep Singh in 2009 but was tortured.

She alleged that after the marriage, she was harassed and asked to bring dowry. Deepti was allegedly beaten and not given food. Her father is also a former MLA in Haryana. The Haryana police registered the case on May 21.

Discrimination with Dalits in CM's native village!

The reports that Dalits are denied entry in temples in the ancestral village of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, are shocking and rather than going into denial mode, the party should take corrective measures.

The Dalit families in Jait village told media persons that they were not allowed to step into the temple. "We are told that Chamars can't get inside", said Vaijyanti, a Dalit woman who lives near Chouhan's ancestral house.

Congress has attacked the ruling party over the practice of untouchability. PCC chief Suresh Pachouri has visited the village. National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) Buta Singh has also made a tour of the place after the news hit media headlines.

He said that Dalits were made to enter the temple during his visit but it looked stage-managed at. BJP government appears on the backfoot but it should better concentrate on eradicating such social evils. Jait is located in Sehore, a district that borders Bhopal.

BJP defends ex-minister arrested in murder case

Former revenue minister and BJP leader Kamal Patel was arrested for destroying evidence in a murder case in which his son is an accused. The CBI arrested him and Patel is now in judicial remand in jail.

But the patry is backing the tainted leader from Harda, who has courted controversies in the past also. Patel was arrested in connection with Durgesh Jat murder case.

Jat, a teenager, had disappeared on March 5, 2008 after a shootout between Kamal Patel's son Sudeep and local Congress leader Rajendra Patel at the latter's farmhouse in Harda.

Durgesh's father Ramvilas Jat had approached court. Then the Jabalpur High Court asked CBI for inquiry. Patel was charged with section 304, 204 and 120 (B). The CBI hasn't succeeded in tracing the body of Duresh Jat.

But the BJP has come in support. Kailash Vijayvargiya who is already facing corruption charges has said that CBI is acting at the behest of Centre. State BJP chief Prabhat Jha is also unfazed over the charges. BJP workers and BJYM activists staged demonstration to protest the action on Patel.

The court has refused to grant him bail and he is lodged in the Indore jail. Kamal Patel is also accused of involvement in an attack on activist Shamim Modi in Harda. She had contested the election against her in the past.


MANIT permanent staff axed: 62 appointments cancelled!

In a major shake-up, the Human Resources Department (HRD) has reportedly cancelled the appointments of 62 permanent teachers and other staffers of the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) who were appointed in 2005.

The appointments were illegal and in violation of norms. The HRD ministry has decided to terminate services of assistant professors and lecturers other than technicians and staff members who were appointed without following the procedures and set norms for employment in NITs.

An inquiry in the past had also found massive irregularities. The entire process of appointments had come under scanner. The HRD minister Kapil Sibal has finally given ascent to the action. After working for five years, these permanent employees are likely to be sacked.


IAS officer, wife killed in Uttarakhand

An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Jabbar Dhakwala and his wife Tarannum were killed in a mishap in Uttarakhand on Friday.

Dhakwala who belonnged to Raipur (Chhattisgarh) was an officer of 1993 batch of India Administrative Service. He was presently posted as member, Revenue Board. Dhakwala and his wife went to Tehri where their car fell in a deep gorge.

Dhakwala was also a writer and satirist. He was a familiar face at literary functions in Bhopal. The accident occurred between Chamba and Uttar Kashi. The driver was seriosly injured in this accident.


Minister's nephew raped tribal girl!

The relative of a state minister has been accused of raping a tribal girl. PWD Minister Nagendra Singh's nephew Rupesh Singh 'Baba Raja' allegedly raped the girl in her house in Satna district.

This is not the first time when a minister is in trouble because of the acts of his kin. Many state ministers in this regime have found themselves amid controvery due to the misdeeds of their sons or other kin.

The girl said that her complaint was not registered in the beginning and when media reached the police station, the case was registered. The girl said that Rupesh and his friend raped her when her parents were not in the house.

Indore's terror connection hurts Madhya Pradesh image

In cases of crime and terrorism, the name of Indore frequently comes up though this historical city has always been known for its culture and communal harmony.

But somewhere things changed in the last two decades. Fundamentalism and fanaticism gained ground. First the City got notoriety for its underworld connections and now terrorism is also linked to it.

CBI and Anti-terrorist squads regularly raid places in Indore and towns around it. Ajmer Dargah blast case, militants' targeting Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid and Malegaon bomb blast are connected to Malwa. Pragya Thakur was arrested here.

Before Hindu groups' involvement in terrorism, the Muslim hardliners like SIMI was functioning here. The SIMI mastermind Safdar Nagori was arrested in Indore. Why has this peaceful City turned into a place of lawlessness.

Crime rate of Indore is also going up. Murders and loots are daily affairs but there is no movement for peace and ensuring communal harmong among the citizens of Indore, which is also called Mini Bombay.


Bulldozing Bhopal's heritage: Plan to demolish Jumerati Darwaza, Sheesh Mahal

Former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur has said that the historic Jumerati gate, the oldest post office of Bhopal and the Sheesh Mahal are three decrepit structures that ened to be demolished.

This statement comes from the minister who holds the charge of Urban Administration Department. The manner in which Gaur outrightly ordered demolition of the heritage structures is not just condemnable but also shows a total lack of vision.

Worldover citizens take pride in heritage and take care to protect historical structures in their cities but in Bhopal, which had palaces and buildings in abundance, it is exactly the opposite which is being done.

Here builders and landsharks are eying every piece of land that is available, regardless of the importance of the place.When Taj Mahal and Gauhar Mahal could be renovated, why not the existing Sheesh Mahal, GPO and Jumerati Darwaza?

Citizens must protest the decision and send a strong message to the state government regarding the mindless plan to demolish the structures. Bhopal must be saved and its historical buildings preserved, for the sake of all of us.


Power and Politics: Caste Conventions and Clout in Madhya Pradesh

Caste remains a uniting factor though the moneyed and influential also tend to flock together.

In Madhya Pradesh, caste-assertions is a relatively new trend. People belonging to particular castes and sub-castes are holding conventions on a daily basis. Sometimes they are show of strengths and also serve as political and social platforms.

It's age-old practice that once you have money or influence, you aspire for fame. When these things get inter-connected, it brings more power. The positive aspects are the cultural events during these sammelans. The weddings of unmarried youngsters are planned at these programmes.

The latest is the 'International Kalar Mahasammelan' that was held in Bhopal on February 21 though the use of 'international' may raise eyebrows. The poster shows prominent politicians of national-level and state other than local social workers and other personalities.

One may recognise Dilip Suryavanshi, a City-based builder along with other dignitaries' photos. MLAs Pradeep Jaiswal, Dileep Jaiswal, liquor contractor Dileep Shivhare and corporator Pankaj Chaukse are among those whose names adorned the hoardings.

The best part of such events it the 'parichay sammelans'. The meritorious students are honoured also. There are many other benefits but there is another aspect. Aren't caste events encouraging exclusivity and in turn fragmentising society!


Madhya Pradesh BJP turns Builders' Janata Party!

The three day convention of Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is being held in Bhopal but the unfortunate truth is that the party is not focusing on why builders are wielding enormous powers and the party is going the Congress way.

It is an open secret that builders are almost running the government by proxy. One builder partiularly is involved in transfers and postings, which has almost become a portfolio in the state government.

Bureaucracy is unrestrained and many officers of Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service even salute this builder. They attend his parties and dance even wearing uniform when he 'orders' them to do so.

A blogger is not a journalist and it's not his job to expose everybody or write everything. One may ask the mainstream media why they don't write it. But a party like BJP that claims that it is pro-poor and speaks about 'shuchita' and 'samrasta' should have discussed why it's also getting afflicted with the same malaise that Congress suffered from.

At least, in Congress rule the moneyed were shown their place. But in the current government, the situation is getting out of hand. Shouldn't it be a cause of concern, as the administration has become less effective and citizens don't appear happy with the goings-on.


MP BJP leaders may have to pay for anti-poor policies

State Urban Administration minister Babulal Gaur has said that he was upset because a poor man's shanty was razed to ensure that Vice-President's chopper landed near the Mandu fort but the mediamen failed to question Gaur's moral right to make such a statement.

Just a week ago an entire slum cluster was shifted from near Habibganj crossing and the residents had to spend the cold night in open. They were relocated 14 km outside the City, without ever giving a thought that how would the poor walk this distance to go to their workplaces or whether there was any dispensary or school nearby.

Gaur has razed thousands of shanties and poor men's houses and at least he has no moral right to speak for the poor. Yes, many poor residents live in shanties on encorached lands as they have no option.

But land mafia, hoteliers, big business owners and all so-called prominent citizens including bureaucrats who construct or extend houses illegally, pay extra money as compounding fee and get it legalised.

The poor can be kicked out and their houses demolished. And the joke is that the 'demolition minister' takes moral high-ground and even plays politics over it. But what does the newspapers do? They also speak for the rich, or partly the affluent middle-class.

The BJP should have learnt from Congress' that achieved success because of pro-poor schemes like NREGA. But State BJP's anti-poor actions would only make it further unpopular, and the party might have to pay for it in the next Assembly elections.


Corruption in Madhya Pradesh: Bureaucrats or Dacoits!

Crores are lying at home and property worth hundreds of crores have been amassed by some of the bureaucrats in Madhya Pradesh, as evident by the recent Income Tax raids.

Aren't these bureaucrats worse than dacoits! The dacoits rob a select few and mostly the rich exploiting class of traders and money-lenders. But the corrupt bureaucrats who are supposedly educated siphon off funds meant for everybody--all of us including the poorest citizens--money meant for nation building.

Is the pension insufficient to live a decent life? When educated class resort to such large-scale corruption, it's time to ponder for the society that what's wrong with our collective DNA. Why we are so corrupt?

Journalists should also answer why they never catch corruption and wait until only when an investigative agency like Lokayukta and EOW or the Income Tax register a case or conduct raids.


Shiv Sena leader rapes, burns Christian girl

A 20-year-old Christian woman was kept confined, raped and later burnt by a Shiv Sena leader in Barwani, an incident that has stunned the residents of this town.

The victim teaches at a school in Para in Barwani. On February 5, the local Shiv Sena leader abducted her from Bus Stand and took the girl to his residence. He raped the girl and later set her afire after pouring kerosene on the girl.

The girl has suffered 70% burns and her condition is critical, say doctors. Amit Dubey was earlier convener of the district unit of Shiv Sena. Police inspector VK Sisodia said Dubey has been arrested for rape and burning the girl.


MP IAS officers' residences raided: Arvind Joshi, MA Khan in IT net

The level of corruption in Madhya Pradesh is staggering and it was proved once again when Income Tax department raided the houses of senior IAS officers in Bhopal.

Arvind Joshi, his wife Tinoo Joshi, retired IAS officer MA Khan and Road Development Corporation officer Deepak Asai are just a few names. Raids started on Thursday morning and the officers' houses were sealed.

Machines were installed to count the currency notes and still it took hours as the moolah was to the tune of crores at home alone. Foreign currency worth Rs 25 lakh was also found at the residence at 74 bungalow.

Even after investments and naming property after relatives, crores were found at home. One can imagine who is the real culprit in this country. There are reports of hawala transaction also other than bureaucrat-businessman nexus.

The raids can answer a lot of questions that haunt the common man. Now we all know where does the money goes and who keeps this country poor. Former DGP HM Joshi's house in Arera Colony was raided also. He is Arvind Joshi's father.

Their accounts and lockers are being examined. The action must be hailed as the state is seriously afflicted with the cancer of corruption. Bureaucracy remained unchecked but the IT has swung into action recently.

The rais will certainly put fear into the minds of officers who think that getting bribes is their birthright. In Lokayukta raids, senior officers were not touched. It is hoped that the IT department would continue its operation and also catch other IAS, IPS & IFS officers involved in corruption.


Corruption case against former Health director, commissioner

The Lokayukta police have registered case against former Health Director Dr Yogiraj Sharma and six other officers for the Rs 12 crore fraud in purchase of medicines.

Other than Sharma, former Commissioner Rajesh Rajora is also an accused in the case. The drug kits were purchased through supplier Ashok Nanda in 2005-2006. It was found that some officers had forced the government to pay Rs 11.99 crore more than the required amount that ought to have been paid.

The Laghu Udyog Nigam (LUN) officers' role had also come under suspicion and were allegedly in collusion with health department officers. A complaint had alleged that the drug kit was purchased under the National Rural Health Mission scheme but fraudulently advance payment was made to Malwa Drug House, a firm, in violation of rules. Rajora is these days posted in Revenue Board at Gwalior.


Lokayukta raid at Deputy Director's houses unearths crores

The Lokayukta police conducted raids at the houses of Urban Administration Department's Deputy Director Ashok Sharma and recovered property disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The raids at Ujjain, Indore and Bhopal unearthed assets worth over Rs 2 crore. Sharma is posted in Ujjain and has house in Indore also. His family lives in Indore. In Bhopal he owns house in Gulmohar Colony in Shahpura.

His houses in Mahananda Nagar in Ujjain and Indore's Vijay Nagar were searched. Jewellery, investiments, insurance policies and cars were found in the raids in three cities. Two of Sharma's children study in America and Singapore.

he raids of Lokayukta, Income Tax, CBI and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in state prove that a large number of government officials and employees have induldged in large-scale corruption, as it has become a norm to seize crores in almost every raid.


Avani Vaish is Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh

Ending speculation for weeks, the state government made it clear that Avani Vaish would be the next chief civil servant of Madhya Pradesh.

He will take charge from Rakesh Sahni. Vaish, a 1975 batch officer of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), was on deputation in New Delhi. His wife is also an IAS officer.

Earlier, names of Sumit Bose, Alka Sirohi, Prashant Mehta, OP Rawat and Satya Prakash were doing the rounds. But Shivraj Singh Chouhan chose Vaish over others, in process superseding several officers.

Vaish came to Bhopal on Wednesday and met the Chief Minister. Avni Vaish's wife Anshu is also an IAS officer, presently posted in HRD ministry in Delhi. Outgoing CS Rakesh Sahni is retiring on January 31.

Though Chief Secretary is an important post, local newspapers gave an impression as it a Chief Minister was getting appointed. The post was glorified and an unprecedented hype created over the selection of the next CS of the state.


Who will be the next top babu of Madhya Pradesh?

The Chief Secretary, who is the top public servant or the head of all government employees, holds an important post in the administration. Speculations are rife as to who would take over after Rakesh Sahni's retirement.

Names of Sumit Bose and Alka Sirohi were making the rounds. Bose is not too keen on returning to the state. Sirohi is not very popular but her meeting with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has suggested that she is a strong contender.

Prashant Meha should have been ahead in the race as he is neither arrogant, nor impractical. But there is a lobby against him. There are other contenders inlcluding Ranjana Chaudhary, Avani Vaishya, Satya Prakash and OP Rawat.

As per seniority, Sandeep Khanna and SC Wardhan should have been among the contenders. They are due for retirement in coming months. In the coming days, the picture would be clear whether MP will have another woman appointed at the post of Chief Secretary.

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