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Jind farmers face ‘kurki’ notices; Should the government come forward and stop the attachment of the farmer?

Chandigarh :
Earning just enough from his six acres to feed his family of 11 and meet agricultural inputs costs, Ram Phal of Jind’s Rajpura village hardly gets any rest these days.

Busy visiting relatives to arrange for money to put off “kurki” (auction) announced by Land Mortgage Bank, now christened Haryana State Cooperative Agricultural and Rural Development Bank, Ram Phal is knocking on all doors.

“I have got an auction notice from the Assistant Registrar, Cooperatives, for May 30. Against a home loan of Rs3 lakh taken in 1998, I have already repaid Rs1.2 lakh. I intend paying the rest, but crop returns have been poor and I am yet to get my payment for this year’s crop. With no money, I am forced to ask for money from my relatives,” he said, adding the bank was asking for Rs11.5 lakh.

While the bank notice pegs the recovery at Rs89.84 lakh, Ram Phal has only managed to collect just Rs3 lakh. “The auction notice is insulting. If I am unable to pool all my resources and pay the outstanding amount, my only other option is to end my life while asking my family members to follow suit. Then the government can do what it wants with my land and sell it for what it is worth,” he said.

Ram Phal is not alone. “Kurki” notices have been served on at least five other farmers in Jind. Balraj (47) of Shahpur village has a loan of Rs11.88 lakh taken for a poultry farm.
“We are three brothers. We took the loan in the name of a poultry farm. We used Rs5 lakh to lay a pipeline through our fields. This was about 15 years ago. All three of us have parted ways. Now, the entire loan is against my name. I was illiterate and my brother used that to his advantage to cheat me. Now, I don’t have funds to pay off the loan,” he claims.
The farmers say they are in a fix as their earnings don’t permit them to pay back huge amounts. They, however, say they can repay the loan if the principal amount is to be given.

Another farmer, Dilbagh, has a loan of Rs6.56 lakh. He is hoping the government would come to his rescue since he has no source of repaying it.

Sources in the Cooperatives Department said the state government had no role in issuing auction notices

“Auctioning off land is the last option. We give farmers a chance to give their land on lease and repay the loan with half their earnings or pay instalments. Only when farmers falter on three or more instalments, we issue auction notices,” an official said.

Minister of State for Cooperatives Manish Grover said the government was not in favour of auctioning farmers’ land. “The bank has served notices as per the conditions farmers agreed to while seeking the loan. We can do little since they agreed to the terms and conditions,” he said, washing his hands of the matter.

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Won’t withdraw Jat quota stir violence cases: Haryana to HC; Will the image of the government be bad from this?

Chandigarh :
Efforts by the Haryana Government to withdraw cases registered during the 2016 Jat reservation stir hit a roadblock with its Advocate-General Baldev Raj Mahajan giving an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the state will not pursue withdrawal at least till July 11 — the next date of hearing in the case.

The undertaking came after a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa was told that 20 per cent of the total cases registered during the stir, including those “serious in nature”, were sought to be withdrawn.
The cases were registered after widespread violence during the agitation seeking reservation for the Jat community. As the case came up for resumed hearing, amicus curiae (friend of the court) Anupam Gupta said the government wanted to withdraw 407 of the 2,105 cases registered in 21 districts.

Urging the Bench to issue restraining orders, Gupta added that intervention was a must before it became a fait accompli. Gupta said 82 out of 172 cases were sought to be withdrawn in Jhajjar — one of the worst-hit districts during the agitation. Among these were 53 FIRs of arson, damage or loot tabulated as serious by the Parkash Singh Committee set up by the government after the incidents of lawlessness.

Calling the then situation as extremely bad, Gupta said even the “Army failed”. “Men in uniform with hands tied behind their back with instructions not to fire were sent. As a result, the mob took over... The Army loses its respect in such situations. If you were to apply this formula to Kashmir or other parts, God save the country,” he added.

Referring to Hisar, Gupta said 36 out of 63 cases sought to be withdrawn from a total of 155 were tabulated as serious by the committee. In Rohtak, the situation was a shade better. Gupta said 21 out of 35 cases sought to be withdrawn from a total of 1,212 were dubbed serious. But untraced reports were filed by investigating agencies in more than 1,000 cases after they could not track down those involved. Gupta added that the state, as such, was required to be restrained from pursuing the withdrawal of any FIR.

Haryana A-G Mahajan and Additional A-G Pawan Girdhar, on the other hand, said withdrawal of cases was not an automatic process; and that the trial court’s permission was mandatory.

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Hooda takes a dig at govt on new policy for sportspersons; Is he right?

Chandigarh :
Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda accused the state government of ‘insulting’ sportspersons by announcing new conditions every other day for jobs and cash rewards for medal winners.

Reacting to the new gradation policy for state sportspersons that entitles only those who are not only Haryana domiciles, but also play for the state, Hooda alleged that it was insensitive on the part of the government to do so.

“A sportsperson who gets medals in international events brings laurels to the country and not for the state alone. During the Congress regime, we gave cash rewards and jobs to all those who were either Haryana domicile, or played for the state or whose mother or father hails from the state, irrespective of the fact from which place the sportsperson played,” said Hooda.

He claimed that it was only due to good sports policy of his government that while youths from Haryana won medals in international events, those from neighbouring Punjab were trapped in drug addiction.

Terming the suspension of the HSSC chairman as an eyewash and devoid of any provisions under the laws, the former CM questioned the government’s authority to suspend him by invoking the provisions of Article 309 of the Constitution.

“The chairman of a commission is not a government employee that he could be suspended under Article 309. He could only have been removed from his post either by asking him to resign or through dismissal,” he said.

Calling the HSSC issues a big scam, Hooda alleged that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar continued saving Bharti despite the fact that the issue of audio tape accusing his son of collecting money for the appointment of the municipal chief was taken up in the Assembly by the Opposition parties.

Hooda also questioned the probe into a scam in the HSSC by the CM’s flying squad and said it should have been done by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
He also accused the government of being anti-farmers and alleged that vegetable growers were forced to throw their tomatoes on roads. 

Hooda described ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ by the INLD as ‘Bus bharo andolan’ and said Leader of the Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala and his party leaders were always seen sitting in buses, but had never gone to jails.

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Rules say payment within 72 hrs, awaited for mustard sold in April; Is Haryana Government delaying payment of farmers?

Jhajjar :
Naveen Pandit, a farmer of Kot village in Jhajjar, is a harried man. Yet to receive payment for his mustard crop the agencies procured last month, he has skipped his loan instalment. He will not only have to pay penalty now, but may be denied subsidy too.

“I sold 25 quintals of mustard on April 16, but have not been paid so far even though as per the rules, it should have been done within 72 hours of procurement,” he says. Many other farmers are in the same boat. One of them, Raj Singh of Jondhi village, says he has yet to pay wages to the labour. 

“Not one farmer has received money since April 16 when procurement of mustard at the Jhajjar grain market began. In all, a payment of Rs 15 crore is due,” claims Narender Kumar, president of the Commission Agents’ Association, Jhajjar.

Ashok Sharma, District Food and Supplies Controller, says payments could not be released for technical reasons. “The process to transfer money to bank accounts of farmers who sold mustard on April 16 and 17 has been initiated,” he adds.
Mustard in Jhajjar district has been procured by both HAFED and the Food and Supplies Department. HAFED began procurement on March 15, on behalf of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation,  and the Food and Supplies Department on April 16. It came to a halt in mid-May.

HAFED chairman Harvinder Kalyan admits delay  but points out that it is the Food and Supplies Department which is to release the money directly. “There has been a delay since online procurement has been launched for the first time,” he reasons.

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Khattar pats his back on transparency; Is the Haryana Government corruption free?

Safidon (Jind) :
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on said unlike the previous political regimes, the BJP had been successful in maintaining transparency in the state.

Addressing a public gathering on the 478th birth anniversary of Rajput warrior Maharana Pratap here, Khattar said while former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala of the INLD was languishing in jail for the JBT teachers’ recruitment scam, senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda would land behind bars soon for alleged corruption charges.
Khattar said the BJP had given a strong political alternative in the state where merit was the sole criteria for any public work. No past political regimes in the state proved to be corruption-free as their top leaders were either in jail or facing trails for various crimes.
He said the state government had decided to spend Rs 700 crore to strengthen infrastructure of various crematoriums and burial grounds. “Soon, each of the 22 districts will have a medical college. Also, work on women’s college at every 20-km distance is being implemented. The government will start arranging vehicles to ferry girl students to their schools or colleges for their safety,” he said.

The CM said under a major step to rehabilitate the nomadic tribe, about 10,000 registered nomads would soon get constructed houses.

On the occasion, Union Sports Minister Col Rajyavardhan Rathore (retd) said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had introduced several schemes, including Direct Benefit Transfer, auditing of LPG cylinder beneficiaries, which had saved crores of rupees generated from the taxpayers’ money by eliminating middlemen.

He said the GST was aimed at generating more income tax funds and it had started yielding results.

Rathore lauded the role of Haryanvi youths in sports, defense forces and other professional fields.

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