August 23, 2017   
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Home » INFA, Round the States


Gau Rakshak Dals


By Insaf


Holy cow, Karnataka has sprung a shocker! The Congress-led Siddaramiah government has defended its law shielding ‘Gau Rakshaks’ to prevent cow slaughter in the State. This comes in the form of the administration urging the Supreme Court to dismiss a PIL challenging the constitutional validity of the law. The southern State now joins five others — Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand – which have framed laws to protect the Gau Rakshak Dals. The apex court had sought replies from all these States and the Centre on why such groups shouldn’t be banned given that these allegedly are creating disharmony among communities and castes. While Karnataka was the only State which replied on Wednesday last, it sought to emphasise that its law seeks to protect only those cow vigilantes who are acting in “good faith” and doesn’t offer any cover to those engaged in violent or criminal activities or working to create disharmony among communities. Further, the protection, it said applies only to the groups recognized by “competent authority” provided for under the law and not to just any group which can claim to be engaged in protection of cows. Wonder, whether this would be any consolation to the Congress, which has been flogging the Gau Rakshak issue accusing the BJP of encouraging and protecting the cow vigilante groups, specially in its ruled States. The fact that the law is very old wouldn’t be any comfort as the timing of the admission has clearly gone awry. Will it take the winds out of the Congress sails?

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Incorrigible Bihar!

Bihar will be Bihar. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s talk of development appears to be hogwash if one goes by the State’s admission before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court castigated the Bihar government on Tuesday for coming up with a snail-paced recruitment plan to fill over 34,500 vacancies in its police force and warned that “someone will go to jail for this unless rectified forthwith”.In its response to the apex court on filling up of the massive vacancies in the police force, the Home department stated that in its action plan it would take over two years to fill vacant stenographers’ post. (July 2019)! Prompting an exasperated CJI to say: ‘Is this some kind of joke? Are you making fun of us….Somebody will go to jail for this unless it is rectified forthwith…” Bihar has to fill 34,500 vacancies and as per the plans law and order doesn’t seem to be Nitish’s priority. In comparison, Jharkhand and West Bengal got away lightly. The former has 26,300 vacancies and assured the court it would cut down its constable strength gradually and increase the sub-inspector post. Bengal with 26,000 vacancies said 4,375 constable posts would be filled by July-end and thereafter it would recruit 8,000 constables every year till 2020. The other States facing shortage includes Gujarat with 28,500, Telangana 17,504 and Rajasthan 15,731. Their plans would be examined later. Guess, they would be cautious after Bihar’s chastisement.

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Telangana Aloof

Telangana may well upset the combined Opposition’s efforts to put up a united Presidential candidate. And, none other than the Congress, which is in the forefront to get that elusive unity, is only to blame. TRS Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is peeved understandably with Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s statement that the State police set up fake IS websites to radicalise Muslim youth. Singh, known to put his foot in mouth, has unwittingly even played spoilsport for his boss Sonia Gandhi, who is busy reaching out to the RJD, SP and NCP to join hands. State Congress leaders are too upset with the timing—not at this juncture when their party is trying to unite anti-BJP forces. However, it seems the damage has already been done. The TRS, which has strength of 22,048 votes in the presidential poll, has given signals that it may vote with the NDA, which is short of 18,000 votes. Though many say that the contest is a forgone conclusion for NDA victory, the fact is that a prospective partner has been rubbed the wrong way. Will there be more boo-boos? Reducing chances of the Opposition making it at least a close contest!

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J&K Money Loot

New Delhi will need to think out-of-the-box when it comes to Kashmir. Already shaken by the spike in stone-pelting and violent incidents and beheading of soldiers along the LoC, and postponement of the Anantnag byelection, it now has a new headache—of bank robberies. North Block which has been reviewing the critical situation in the Valley on Wednesday last with NSA advisor, IB Director and RAW chief, will need to aid the ruling BJP-PDP government with more security personnel to guard both the banks as well as to counter the terrorists. In the past 72 hours three banks have been looted in the Valley by militants—in Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama districts. Five policemen and two guards have been killed. The incidents send obvious signals that the Hizbul and Lashkar terrorists are short of money for weapons and their underground workers. They want the people to keep their money at home instead of the banks, which they started doing after demonetisation. This would help the terrorists access their money when needed. It is no secret that in these districts the support to militants has increased. Will the Government be able to give them a run for their money, literally.

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MP Takes Lead

Madhya Pradesh adds a feather to its cap. It has become the first State to switch to the January-December financial year from this April-March cycle. On Tuesday last, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Cabinet endorsed the move, which breaks a 150-year tradition the country started adopting the April-March financial year since 1867. The Budget session of the next financial year for the BJP-ruled State will now begin either in December or January 2018.  All ministries and departments have thus been instructed to prepare a quarterly, half-yearly and annual road map of works to be done with fixed deadlines in view of the change. Chouhan obviously will please Prime Minister Modi, who made a strong pitch for the shifting the financial year recently at the NITI Aayog’s governing council meet. However, while he would like this move to add to his State’s first, and pip the Centre, which may gradually make the change next Union Budget, officials would be on tenterhooks to deliver. Hiccups aren’t being ruled out.

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UP Village Rings Out

A village in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh should make women empowerment groups see red.  Its panchayat has issued a bizarre diktat. Any woman found talking on a cell phone in public is to be fined Rs 2000. The justification given by the Muslim-dominated Mandora village elders is that this shall prevent girls from eloping! The thinking has been influenced by reports in the media where every week there is a report about girls eloping with young boys, which in some cases has led to bloodshed. So, it has been decided that the girls should use there mobiles only at home. Absurd as it sounds, the panchayat, defends its decision saying that unlike some other khap panhayats they have not banned mobile phones for women per se. Poor connection indeed. –INFA.


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