40 stone crushers owe Rs 80 cr as fine; Is the mining mafia getting political protection?
Dharamsala : As many as 40 stone crushers in Kangra district owe Rs 80 crore to the state government as penalty for illegal mining.
Despite the fact that the stone crusher owners have lost the case in the Supreme Court, they have not paid the amount, nor submitted any schedule of repayment.
About 25 stone crushers are still being allowed to operate by the authorities.
Sources in the Mining Department said in the state, the stone crusher owners owe penalty worth Rs 150 crore.
In Kangra district, most of the erring stone crushers are in Nurpur area that borders Pathankot of Punjab.
Mining officer posted in Nurpur Naresh Kumar said notices had been issued to the erring stone crushers to deposit penalty. If they do not deposit the amount, their power connections are likely to be cut.
Sources here said most of the violating stone crushers are directly or indirectly owned by politically influential people or their families.
Recently, a stone crusher located in the Mand area on the Punjab-Himachal border was in news after an activist Puran Chand was beaten up by the owners of a stone crusher. It was only after the intervention of the CM that a case was registered against the owners. However, now the stone crusher has been bought by the family of a first-time MLA, who has deep interests in mining, and a few others affiliated with the ruling party.
The fact that politically influential people own stone crushers was also raised in the Assembly. BJP MLA from Nurpur Rakesh Pathania had raised it after he was targeted by some party MLAs over illegal mining.
Puran Chand, while talking, alleged that stone crushers were still illegally mining in the Beas riverbed. Despite the fact that pokelane machines were banned in riverbeds, illegal mining was still taking place and riverbed had been dug by 20 to 30 feet at places, he alleged.
The mining officer, Nurpur, said since the present BJP government took over, power connections of 25 stone crushers that were operating illegal were cut. The power connections of seven crushers had now been restored after they completed the papers.
The locals, however, alleged that the stone crushers whose power connections had been severed were still operating with the help of generators. Such stone crushers were working on a daily basis and distributing profits from illegal mining among the partners.
The department that is responsible for checking illegal mining is grossly ill-equipped. The Nurpur mining office from where the maximum cases of illegal mining are reported, has staff of just two members – a mining officer and a mining inspector. Both officials do not have any official vehicle to go in the field and are dependent on the police for action against violators.
The state government rules notified this month on April 6 have increased the penalty for illegal mining to Rs 5 lakh and the use of JCB from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. However, till date no one has been penalised under the new rules.
- Many stone crushers still being allowed to operate
- Issue raised in Assembly
- Most of the violating stone crushers are directly or indirectly owned by politically influential people
- A stone crusher located in Mand area on the Punjab-Himachal border was in news after an activist was beaten up by the owners of stone crusher
Apna Ghar was built like jail: Ex-cop; Will the accused of Apna Ghar case be punished severely?
Kurukshetra : On the eve of the pronouncement of punishment to nine convicts in the infamous Apna Ghar case, police officers recall traumatic tales of about 100 inmates at Rohtak’s shelter home.
They said the guilty should get exemplary punishment.
MS Mann, who retired as the DGP (Home Guards), told “During my visit to Apna Ghar in 2012, I found differently abled girls and women living in pathetic conditions. The shelter home was built like a jail, where the goings-on could not be known to the outside world,” said Mann, who headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the police before the case was handed over to the CBI.
Mann said the SIT was constituted after the state authorities were not convinced with the investigation by then police officials of Rohtak district.
In May 2012, three inmates had escaped from Apna Ghar and reached New Delhi. As they shared details of sexual exploitation of inmates at the hands of shelter home caretaker Jaswanti Devi and others, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) raided the premises in Rohtak’s Shri Nagar locality. About 120 inmates were rescued.
“SIT member Dharna Yadav, then a newly recruited DSP, played the most important role in building confidence among abused children and women. It was only due to her and her subordinates — Laxmi, Satya and Vidyawati — the victims opened up to share their tales of sexual and mental abuse,” Mann said.
He added Yadav used to play with minors and differently abled victims to gain their confidence in building the case.
Yadav, currently posted as Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in Gurugram, said the threat of Jaswanti Devi was visible on the faces of the inmates.
“It was shocking to listen to the endless tales of brutality. Inmates were subjected to exploitation at a place where they were supposed to get protection,” she said.
“It was my first major professional assignment. As an inexperienced cop, I found it tough to accept such a brutal face of society. After the expose, the victims got overwhelming support from the child helpline, the police, the media and volunteers. But the major relief came from the judiciary. The guilty should get exemplary punishment,” she said.
Yadav recalled several of the victims were psychologically challenged and they were unable to narrate their ordeal. “We had to rope in sign language exerts and special educators to understand them,” she added.
During my visit to Apna Ghar in 2012, I found differently abled girls and women living in pathetic conditions. The shelter home was built like a jail, where the goings-on could not be known to the outside world
Former DGP (Home Guards)
Several of the victims were psychologically challenged and they were unable to narrate their ordeal. We had to rope in sign language exerts and special educators to understand them
BJP to fight Assembly polls alone: State chief Barala; Will BJP make government again?
Panipat : State BJP president Subhash Barala said on Monday that Haryana would soon get the waters of the SYL canal. Besides, the party has started preparations for the elections in 2019 and it would not have alliance with any other party. The BJP would fight the elections in state on its own.
He was interacting with mediapersons after chairing a meeting of the members of the district core committee at the PWD rest house here.
All 12 members of the core committee, namely Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar; MLAs Rohita Rewri, Mahipal Dhanda; state party general secretary Sanjay Bhatia; district unit president Pramod Viz; Zila Parishad chairperson Ashu Shera; Gajender Saluja; Devender Dutta; advocate Vedpal; vice- president Sunil Soni; Panipat party in charge Kavita Chaudhary and Rammehar Malik attended the meeting.
Barala said that the BJP government was working seriously to bring the SYL waters in the state. “The BJP has started preparations for the mission 2019 and all ministers, MLAs, office-bearers and workers have been directed to work among the people and report whether the benefits of welfare schemes of the government have reached intended beneficiaries or not,” he added. Besides, the meetings of workers were being held at the district level.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had taken serous note of corruption in the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) and an special investigating team had been formed to investigate the matter. Anyone found indulging in corruption would not be spared, he said.
He reviewed the performance of the government welfare schemes in the district and also collected feedback from the members at the closed-door meeting.
This time, no show of ‘pagri’ at Cong rally; Will this reduce the Congress factionism?
Chandigarh : Congress leaders of the faction-ridden Haryana unit will be unable to put up a show of strength at party president Rahul Gandhi’s Jan Aakrosh Rally scheduled for April 29 in New Delhi.
Sources say AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot and Haryana affairs incharge Kamal Nath have told several factions of the state unit that none will ask their supporters to wear turbans of a particular colour or raise slogans in favour of any particular leader except for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul.
State Congress president Ashok Tanwar has confirmed this.
Earlier, supporters of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda used to go to Congress rallies donning pink turbans, while those owing allegiance to Tanwar wore red turbans.
Not only this, supporters of Hooda, Tanwar, Randeep Surjewala, Kiran Choudhry and others would raise slogans in favour of their leaders in the rally to make their presence felt.
On October 6, 2016, Tanwar had sustained injuries when his supporters clashed with those of Hooda ahead of Rahul’s rally. Tanwar had to remain in hospital for a few days. He had even gone to the extent of lodging a police complaint against Hooda’s supporters.
The state Congress chief said the leadership has asked the Haryana unit to work together for the success of the rally.
Notwithstanding the call for unity, leaders of various factions of the state Congress have been mobilising support for the rally separately.
Tanwar has addressed meetings in 11 districts of the state, while Hooda has called a meeting of his supporters at his Delhi residence on April 25.
Rajya Sabha member Kumari Selja has addressed meetings of party workers in Hisar, Ambala, Panchkula and Yamunanagar, drumming up support for the rally.
“I am getting a good response for the rally. People of Haryana are fed up with the BJP government and want a change,” Selja said.
Surjewala and CLP leader Kiran Choudhry have also been touring the state to mobilise support for the April 29 event.
Will carry only party flag: Tanwar
Faridabad : State Congress chief Ashok Tanwar has said all party workers and leaders are required to carry only a party flag and no one should wear a pagri for the Jan Aakrosh Rally. He said this while addressing a party workers’ meeting here on Saturday. “The rally’s aim is to exhibit party’s unity and strength,” Tanwar said.
SC stays proceeding against Salman for alleged remarks against a community; Has Salman got relief from this decision?
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday stayed criminal proceedings and the inquiry initiated against Bollywood superstar Salman Khan for allegedly making derogatory comments against Valmiki community members during the promotion of film ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra considered the submission of senior advocate NK Kaul, representing Khan, that the proceedings be stayed.
The senior advocate said some criminal cases were lodged against the actor in Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Mumbai.
The bench asked Kaul to provide the details of the cases pending against Khan and ordered that proceedings in those matters would remain stayed.
Khan had allegedly made some objectionable remarks against the community during the promotion of Bollywood flick ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ and subsequently several proceedings were lodged against him under penal provisions under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.