Maoists loot CRPF's chicken; cop jailed after wife accepts bribe
There seems to be a brazen 'Neta-raj' over the mining business in Madhya Pradesh.
An investigation by Rajasthan Patrika has revealed that over 80% of the mines in the state are owned either by politicians or their near and dear ones.
Both BJP and Congress seem to be equally complicit in this trade. Some of the mines are even run jointly by the leaders of the two parties.
The investigation suggests that the supporters of the ruling BJP get preferential treatment in the allocation of mines.
There are more than 8,000 mines in Madhya Pradesh. Nearly 70% of the 1,200-odd mines where expensive minerals are excavated belong to the people affiliated to the BJP.
For example, BJP MP Ganesh Singh's wife Mona Singh owns a 3.76-hectare limestone mine in Bathiakala. His brother Umesh Pratap Singh is the owner of a 103-hectare limestone mine in the Rampur-Baghelan area. His daughter-in-law also has a Laterite mine in the same area.
State Cabinet minister Kusum Singh Mahdele's brother has a mine to his name in Purana Panna area.
Similarly, BJP MLA Sanjay Pathak is the owner of many mines in Katni-Vijayraghogarh. His mother and wife are also mine owners. BJP had accused Pathak of blackmail for the allocation of mines when he was with the Congress.
Congress leaders aren't far behind either. Urmila Tripathi, Gopal Sharan Singh, Dharmesh Ghai, Sudhir Singh Tomar and Mahesh Dariyani oversee mining businesses worth crores.
Even the BSP has its share of mining barons in the state. As many as 10 relatives of BSP leader Devraj Singh have mining leases. He himself is the owner of a 2.61-acre mine in the Sumedha area.
[twittable]Nearly 70% of the 1,200-odd sites where expensive minerals are mined belong to BJP-affiliated people[/twittable]
However, neither the BJP nor the Congress are ready to share the blame.
"Most of the mines belong to the Congressmen as the party has remained in power for the most part since independence. Our government has adopted a transparent policy in the allocation of mines. There is nothing wrong in BJP leaders owning the mines, if the due process has been followed," says state BJP chief Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan.
Arun Yadav, his counterpart in the Congress, disagrees.
"BJP leaders are neck-deep in the mining business. Corruption worth crores of rupees is being done under government protection. The government should expose the big faces behind this game. But there is little chance of this happening as it is afraid of the mining mafia," he retorts.
Red-ultras seem to have a taste for chicken.
Maoists looted a taxi carrying supplies for CRPF jawans posted at Reddy village of Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh.
The incident occurred between Gunnapara and Potampara, 22 kilometres from the district headquarters.
The taxi driver saved his life by saying that the supplies were meant for an ashram and not the CRPF camp.
Believing his version, the Maoists let the driver go with 44 kg onions and 25 kg tomatoes, but walked away with 5 kg of chicken.
There is fear among the local residents after the incident. Security agencies have launched a campaign to track down the culprits.
Parbat Singh, Sub-Inspector at Bilada police station of Jodhpur, had been promoted just 20 days ago. He had even packed his belongings to attend the promotion cadre course in Jaipur on 28 September.
Now, Singh is languishing in jail along with his wife Paras Kanwar.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested Kanwar while she was accepting a bribe of Rs 70,000 from a Jodhpur-based jeweller on behalf of her husband.
She was caught red-handed from the city's Kudi Bhagat Singh Housing Board colony after a tip-off by the jeweller, Om Prakash Soni.
Singh had allegedly demanded Rs 1 lakh from Soni for releasing 40 silver biscuits. He had seized these biscuits a few days ago from a man called Sagar Pandya.
The bribe money was ultimately negotiated to Rs 70,000. Singh allegedly asked Soni to hand over the money to his wife at his residence in KBHB colony.
However, the ACB had already laid the trap after receiving a complaint from Soni. Singh was later arrested on the basis of a cell phone conversation between him and his wife.
This is the fifth time that a complaint by Soni has led to the arrest of a corrupt official.