They were words that Rekha Bai had been waiting to hear for a long time from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who reached Mandsaur on Wednesday morning, eight days after five farmers were killed in a police firing. The CM has come to Mandsaur to meet some of the family members of those who had died in the 10-day farmers’ agitation.“I am personally looking into the matter and the culprits will not be spared,” the Chief Minister said. Mr. Chouhan addressed Rekha Bai and other women present at the house of Durgalal Dhakad, whose 32-year-old son Ghanshyam, a resident of the Badwan village, was allegedly beaten up by the police in Mandsaur district on June 6. He was shifted to Indore’s MY Hospital where he breathed his last.Rekha Bai reportedly asked the CM, “How can you order the police to fire bullets?” To this, the Chief Minister and his officials kept mum, a senior official told this newspaper.Mr. Chouhan’s second stop over was village Lodh. The CM told the bereaved family that the State government was standing with them.Clear mortgageThe CM reportedly told Mangilal that his land would be cleared of mortgage, and that the government had sanctioned an amount of ₹1 crore as compensation.Mr. Chouhan also paid a visit to Pipliya Mandi and assured compensation for property damaged.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday assured industry players of a review of the existing policy to allow change in land user (CLU) transfer to facilitate industrial development in the State.Capt. Amarinder apprised the industry leaders of the various incentives made available by his government to business houses seeking to invest in Punjab, with the promise to review the new industrial policy, where needed, to address the specific concerns of the industry, according to an official spokesperson.In his interaction in New Delhi with Walmart officials, the Chief Minister said that the State government would consider CLU transfer to enable the company to expand in Punjab, where it had set up its first store in 2009.Urging Walmart to look at further expansion in Punjab, the Chief Minister said the new industrial policy launched by his government had brought in ease of doing business and he was open to making further amendments to the policy to address major concerns of the industry.An official statement said that Walmart officials expressed their willingness to set up 10-12 new stores in Punjab over the next 3-4 years, with the next couple of stores likely to come up in Patiala and Mohali.
Eight families in Olapur village of Odisha’s Ganjam district have been suffering social ostracism for over three years now. Superstitious villagers had attacked the families in 2015 and tortured eight members over a suspicion that they were practising sorcery. Since then, the families have been awaiting help from the administration as well as the National Human Rights Commission, which had directed the State government to compensate them for the loss and humiliation suffered by them. According to one of the victims, Amar Behera, in May this year the NHRC had directed the Odisha government to provide ₹7.5 lakh compensation to them. The money was to be paid within six weeks, but they have not received it even after three months.Plea to District CollectorOn Monday, seven of these victims, including a woman, met the Ganjam District Collector during his monthly grievance hearing in Berhampur. They narrated their plight and handed over a memorandum to the officer.These victims said their front teeth were uprooted by the assailants in 2015 and they were compelled to consume human excreta. At that time, the administration had promised to provide them financial support to get artificial teeth, but even that has not been done so far.“Due to lack of financial assistance we have not been able to get artificial teeth in place of the uprooted ones,” said Subash Behera, another victim. He added that due to the opposition of the villagers who are ostracising them, his marriage plans failed even after printing of invitation cards.The victims demanded that the administration and the police should intervene so that they can lead a normal life at Olapur. It was decided that the Chikiti tehsildar and police officers will initiate measures to solve problems of these eight families. Berhampur sub-collector Siddharth Shankar Swain told newsmen that the government has not yet allotted funds for payment of compensation as directed by the NHRC. According to him, the victims will surely get the compensation in the near future.
Odisha CPI(M) leaders demanded ₹10 lakh compensation for the family of a farmer who allegedly committed suicide due to crop loss and loan burden at Hatibadi village of Digapahandi block in Ganjam district. Ramchandra Pradhan (50) consumed pesticide on September 9 and died at MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur on September 11.His wife Damayanti Pradhan alleged that he was overburdened by the loans he had taken from cooperative and private sources. His woes multiplied after his crops were damaged by pests.Ganjam district secretary of CPI(M) Kailash Sarangi alleged that the ruling Biju Janata Dal had joined hands with the local BJP leaders to suppress the farmer’s “suicide”. “On September 11, a group of BJP activists, along with the deceased’s family members, brought the body to the Digapahandi tehsil office and staged a demonstration. They ended their demonstration when the tehsildar promised ₹5,000 from Red Cross funds for the funeral,” said Mr. Sarangi.