Yogi suspends 8 officials for cow deaths in Uttar Pradesh

Reacting against the escalating number of cow deaths in bovine shelters, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has suspended eight officials

The suspended officials included the chief veterinary officer of Mirzapur and three other government vets in Ayodhya. Along with the suspensions, Adityanath on Sunday night also issued a stern warning to officials to maintain cow sheds or face the music

Following the death of 36 cows at shelters in Ayodhya and Pratapgarh on Saturday and 35 bovines in Prayagraj on Friday, Adityanath convened a video conferencing with all 75 District Magistrates and warned that cow deaths would invite immediate disciplinary action.

He also said that owners who abandon cattle on streets after milking them will be punished.

Civic authorities in Lucknow, too, were put on notice that if they failed to curb stray cattle menace on streets, they would face action.

Shocking video clips of cow carcasses lying on marshes at an Ayodhya shelter and the subsequent outcry from seers of the temple town angered Adityanath, according to sources.

The Commissioner and District Magistrate, Mirzapur, were asked to probe into circumstances that led to cow deaths in the district.

The Chief Minister also asked the Prayagraj Commissioner to probe the deaths and recommended action against officials responsible for the maintenance of cow shelters, where trapped bovines died after an electric pole fell on the waterlogged shelter.

Amidst protests by farmers and people over cattle trampling upon crops or triggering accidents on streets, the Yogi government had directed all District Magistrates to rehabilitate abandoned cows in new shelters, while announcing a budgetary corpus for protection of the bovines.

On Sunday, the Chief Minister said that panchayat officials will be taken to task if cows were herded on school campuses.



Scholarship scam: How officials, bankers cheated poor students

Initial investigation by the CBI into the multi-crore scholarship scam reveals a deep-rooted nexus between government officials, private institutions and public sector banks to siphon-off funds meant for poorest of the poor students. Students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Minorities were also deprived of scholarships to pursue basic education.

Sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) revealed to IANS that the scam in the scholarship fund meant for children from below poverty line (BPL) families was spread across Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.

Though the scope of the investigation pursued by CBI’s Shimla branch is limited to this region, sources said that the scam is widespread and similar complaints have been made in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country.

“In the interest of the poor and SC/ST students, the agency can take up more such cases if the matter is recommended to us by other states,” said a highly-placed source in the CBI.

The agency’s investigation revealed that institutions like Lovely Professional University and Karnataka University established centres in different states, including Himachal Pradesh, where documents of SC/ST and BPL students were collected but admissions not granted. Later, with the connivance of officials of the Education Department and banks, fake bank accounts were opened on the basis of genuine documents(and addresses) secured by the centres.

For instance, almost 250 students of village Dehri in Himachal’s Kangra district had applied at these centres, which took the documents of these students but did not give them admission.

Subsequently, a large number of fake accounts were opened in the State Bank of India and the Allahabad Bank on basis of documents submitted by the students and the bank officials did not verify the account holders, facilitating the scamsters’ siphoning off the scholarship money.

Last month, the CBI conducted raids at multiple locations in northern India in the Rs 250 crore scholarship scam related to pre- and post-matric scholarship scheme. The CBI sleuths carried out the raids at 22 educational institutes across Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Haryana.

Besides the CBI, police in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh are also investigating scams related to scholarships where officials of the Education Department and private institutions have been found to be hand in glove. In Uttar Pradesh, the scam relates to the Minority Department, where scholarships of poor Muslim students were fraudulently siphoned-off by corrupt officials.



Information technology sector in Chennai face water crisis

 Officials in the information technology sector in Chennai’s Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) agree the water shortage situation in the business district is grim but say they are managing the issue for now.

Officials of some of big IT companies having their development centres in the OMR belt told IANS that they are minimising the usage of white/fresh water while the grey/treated water is being used for flushing toilets.

Though a media report said about 5,000 IT employees in 12 companies have been asked to work from home owing to the water problem, industry officials including officials in the industry body NASSCOM said they are not aware about companies that have asked employees to work from home.

“There are about 250,000 people working in IT companies in the OMR belt. Compared to this 5,000 is a very small number. Further each company may have their own work-from-home policy,” an industry official told IANS.

However, he said companies might have asked their employees to bring drinking water from home.

Officials of major IT companies like Cognizant, Intellect and BCT Digital told IANS that they have not asked their employees to work from home owing to water shortage problem.

“We are reusing the grey water/treated water in our toilets for flushing. With regard to tap water, the water pressure has been reduced to minimise the consumption. We are also advising the employees to minimise the water usage through notices,” Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO, BCT Digital Pvt Ltd, told IANS.

She said no employee has been asked to work from home owing to water issues.

According to her, the usage of grey water and white water in her office are in equal proportion.

One IT sector official told IANS preferring anonymity: “It seems concentrating the IT companies in one belt is a mistake. With about 250,000 people working in this stretch, residential colonies and other social infrastructure has cropped up resulting in strain on water resources.”

Though Tamil Nadu has IT parks in other parts of the state, companies prefer to locate their offices near Chennai.

A NASSCOM official told IANS that not many IT companies have approached them with the water problem as it is a problem for all in the city.

According to an industry official, the companies are not approaching the industry body as they do not want to reveal their current source of water.



Sachin Pilot tells officials to focus on common man’s issues

Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot has directed officials to pay heed to the grievances of the common man and said that those found guilty will be dealt with an “iron hand”.

His remarks came while he was touring Udaipur, Jalore, Sirohi and Pali districts after Congress’ loss in last month’s Lok Sabha elections.

In an effort to connect with the locals, the Congress leader has been making field visits where he is meeting people to know about their problems and directing officials for immediate redressal of their grievances.

While on one such visit to Kasela village in Jalore on Sunday, Pilot spent the night at farmer Jai Kishan’s hut where he also ate traditional Rajasthani food.




Action for neglect of duty against Madhya Pradesh poll officials

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday asked for details of the poll officials, who have not been working in a free and fair manner, during the ongoing Lok Sabha general elections.

As per sources, complaints are being reported from different parts of the state against poll officials for not carrying out their duties in a free and fair manner. Some officials are also accused of working against the Congress party.

Following this the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Lok Sabha candidates and officials of the Congress party saying: “The Election Commission (EC) has directed that polling should take place in a free and fair manner. Those officials who are not carrying out their duties in a neutral manner and are careless in their work, their names, designation, and department should be sent to the Congress Committee.”





Note ban biggest scam, officials involved; Congress

The Congress on Tuesday said that demonetisation was the “biggest scam” in the country and alleged involvement of government officials in currency exchange to earn money and looting the country.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal played a video at a media briefing here and alleged that an employee of RAW, India’s external intelligence agency, was involved in the money exchange.

“A RAW official can be seen in the video. His ID of cabinet secretariat can be seen. A bank manager was involved. All the things being shown took place in the godown of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation,” he said.

He said the video has been taken from a website which has tapes of several hours.

“You have seen in the past five years how money has flowed like water. You have seen a glimpse of how it is flowing, why it is flowing. If a banker, government employees, people of the treasury, earn an exchange of 15 to 40 per cent, how much they would have earned,” he said.
Sibal alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “traumatised” the people of this country.

“He is traumatising and he has traumatised journalists, his political opponents and he has used agencies to target people who are opposed to him,” Sibal alleged.

He said the government should probe the contents of the video, saying it amounts to “treason”.

“Since the ED searches people with such alacrity, then with equal alacrity, they should tell the people what the truth is, but, they will not do it,” he said.

Referring to a video clip he showed at a press conference last month, Sibal alleged that it was of a man who exchanged demonetized currency worth Rs 5 crore at 40 per cent commission against legal tender of Rs 3 crore in Rs 2,000 notes with the help of a BJP worker in Ahmedabad.

“He (the man) said ‘we can give you that exchange even in Bombay’. He says there are 26 such operations throughout the country – 22+4 (22 men and four women).”

“Will the government arrest these people, will the ED arrest these people? They will not because ED protects those who loot the country,” he said.

Answering a query, he said the party had gone to the Election Commission over NaMo TV. “There is no licence, there is no broadcasting licence, they say this is an advertisement. So, if it is advertisement, then it must be included in the expenditure of the Prime Minister because it is eulogising the Prime Minister, but nobody will take action because nobody dares, nobody dares in this country to speak out any more,” he said.

Asked about Modi’s allegations of scams during the UPA, he said: “All the scams have come to nothing.”



Keep co-op society officials out of election duty; DMK

The DMK on Tuesday urged the Election Commission to ensure that officials of co-operative societies/banks are not involved in election-related work in Tamil Nadu.

In a representation to the poll panel, the DMK alleged if the officials of co-operative societies/banks are involved in poll duties, they would abuse their power in favour of the ruling AIADMK, impacting free and fair elections.

According to DMK, there are 18,775 co-operative societies/banks functioning in Tamil Nadu under different government departments and they are under the administration of elected bodies, totally controlled by the ruling AIADMK members as Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Board of Directors.

In a separate complaint, the DMK urged the poll body to pass orders for keeping away T. Senthilkumar, Chairman and R.S. Isabella, Managing Director of Repco Group of Financial Institutions, from the administration of the Repco bank, to appoint an Administrator under its control and to monitor cash transaction of Repco bank and its all branches.

It also sought that the Election Commission ensure that no loan is disbursed by the bank to any association until the general elections are over, to instruct the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Ministry to continuously monitor the bank’s cash transactions and to strictly check every vehicle belonging to REPCO bank or engaged by it.



After Pakistani prisoner’s murder, four officials in trouble

The Rajasthan government has suspended two jail officials and acted against two others after a Pakistani prisoner was murdered by Indian inmates in the Jaipur Central Jail, officials said on Thursday.

The government has put Jail Superintendent Sanjay Yadav and Jailor Jagdish Sharma under Awaiting Posting Orders (APO) category and suspended two officials with immediate effect, Inspector General of Police Rupinder Singh said.

Rakesh Mohan Sharma has been appointed the new jail Superintendent.

Singh said that Vaidhyanath Sharma, in charge of cell number 10 where the Pakistani, Shakarulla, was lodged and murdered, has been suspended along with the warder of the cell, Ramswaroop.

Security has also been enhanced in other prisons in Rajasthan where Pakistanis are jailed, an official said.

The Pakistani prisoner was allegedly murdered by group of fellow prisoners on Wednesday after an argument over a TV programme, officials said.

The incident comes in wake of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the terror attack in Kashmir which left 40 CRPF troopers dead.

After Pakistani prisoner's murder, four officials in trouble





17 IAS, 15 IPS officials transferred in Uttar Pradesh

In a late night reshuffle, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday transferred 17 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and 15 Indian Police Service (IPS) officials.

Among the IAS officials who have been transferred are M.P. Singh who has been made the new secretary of the Lucknow Development Authority; Rajesh Kumar, the Vice Chairman of the Varanasi Development Authority; TK Shibu, Special Secretary, Rural Development’ Arun Kumar, the Vice Chairman, Moradabad Development Authority; Krishna Kumar, the Inspector General, Stamps and Deep Chandra is the new Additional CEO of Greater Noida.

Prayagraj District Magistrate Suhas L.Y. has been replaced by Bhanu Chandra Goswami, while Mahendra Kumar has been made the new Divisional Commissioner of Devipatan.

Among the IPS officials who have been shifted is Prayagraj’s Senior Superintendent of Police Nitin Tiwari, who will now be the new Meerut district police chief.

Prem Prakash and Avinash Chandra have been named as the new Additional Directors General of Police of the Kanpur and Bareilly zones respectively.



Rajnath meets top security officials ahead of CCS meet

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday held a series of meetings with top security officials in wake of the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 43 CRPF troopers and left the security establishment stunned.

His meetings came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked to him and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The Cabinet Committee on Security will meet on Friday morning to discuss the terrorist attack and the security situation in the state.

Rajnath Singh met Central Reserve Police Force Director General R.R. Bhatnagar and NSA Doval to discuss the security situation. Sources said that Bhatnagar briefed the Home Minister about the Pulwama attack in detail.

The Home Minister will visit Srinagar on Friday to take stock of the situation and meet senior security and police officials to make a ground-level assessment and review further operational actions.

The Home Ministry also rushed teams of National Investigation Agency operatives and forensic experts to Jammu and Kashmir to carry out an investigation into the attack.

Arrangements were made to airlift the mortal remains of the killed troopers.

In the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, a suicide bomber on Thursday rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing at least 43 troopers.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the horror and released a video clip of the suicide bomber, a ‘commander’ identified as Adil Ahmad Dar, which it claimed was shot before the young man carried out the strike in Lethpora, about 30 km from Srinagar.



Central Bureau of Investigation books its two officials in graft case

The CBI has registered case against two of its officials, a district administration employee of Uttar Pradesh government and some unidentified state police personnel for their alleged involvement in “illegal and corrupt practice” for settling Yamuna Express Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) land scam case.

In its First Information Report (FIR) filed on Saturday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named its Inspector V.S. Rathore and Assistant Sub-Inspector Sunil Dutt. Rathore is posted in the central probe agency’s anti-corruption branch in Uttar Pradeh’s Ghaziabad district on deputation from state police while Dutt is employed with the CBI academy Ghaziabad.

Besides them, Ranveer Singh, who is posted as Tehsildar in Uttar Pradesh’s administration and a suspect in YEIDA land scam case, has been named in the FIR. The YEIDA case is learnt to be under process of transfer to the CBI by Uttar Pradesh government.

They have been booked under charges of criminal conspiracy for obtaining undue advantage by the public servants for dishonest performance of duty, undue advantage to influence public servants by corrupt and illegal means and bribing of public servants.

According to the FIR, both the CBI sleuths are indulged in “illegal and corrupt practice”.

Singh, in connivance with Rathore, Dutt, unidentified officials of Uttar Pradesh police and other persons, is accused of indulging in YEIDA cases in order to obtain undue relief for himself and other suspects from police.

He is accused of paying a bribe of Rs 10 lakh to Rathore and Dutt on January 31 to manage the investigation of the case with the help of state police.

Both the CBI officials demanded Rs 25 lakh as bribe from Singh to settle his case, and the deal was finalised in Rs 20 lakh, said the FIR.