Farmers approach HC over ‘ban’ on paddy cultivation; Should farmers have the freedom to plant crops on their own?
Face social boycott, Rs 51,000 fine
Four farmers have approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for cultivation of paddy in their fields in Paintawas Kalan village of Charkhi Dadri district against a ban by a social panchayat in the village.
Deepak Sangwan, a resident of Paintawas, had filed a petition in the High Court on July 9, stating that they (farmers) should be given freedom to plant any crop in their fields. He said a khap panchayat had issued a diktat, banning paddy plantation in the village.
The High Court had, on July 11, issued a notice to the Haryana Government, asking the state counsel to submit a status report and obtain instructions as to why the petitioners should not be given the freedom to sow paddy. The court fixed the next hearing on July 19.
Sangwan said he owned 14 acres adjoining a canal in the village, but the khap panchayat had banned sowing of paddy, arguing that it led to waterlogging in the fields and residential areas.
He told The Tribune on Friday that he stopped sowing paddy for the past two years, but planted the crop this year. “Irked over the paddy plantation, the panchayat imposed a fine of Rs 51,000 and announced social boycott of my family,” he said, adding the land was fit for no other crop except for paddy and he had little choice.
However, another section of villagers, who opposed the paddy plantation, said that due to low-lying area, paddy plantation caused waterlogging in the village. “When it rains, water floods the residential areas as the fields, which are already inundated due to paddy plantation, could not hold rainwater,” another villager said.
Gulzari Lal, the sarpanch of adjoining Charkhi village, said waterlogging was a serious problem in the village. “We are facing water problem, but the low-laying area draws rainwater from far-off places. Moreover, the Indira canal and its subsidiary minors flowing through these villages have caused waterlogging,” he said. Lal said no farmer of his village had sown paddy for many years and it was a consensual decision.
Paintawas sarpanch Dhirpal said there was no ban in the village.
Similarly, Sombir Sangwan, president of Sangwan khap, too, denied having issued any diktat on behalf of the panchayat. He said it was a collective decision of the villagers to save their residential areas from flooding due to waterlogging caused due to excessive water in the paddy fields. He also denied imposing fine or socially boycotting any family.
No ban on Manushi taking exam: College director; Should Manushi get the chance?
“There is no problem for Manushi Chhillar, Miss World 2017, to appear for her semester examination of MBBS degree provided she fulfils the basic condition of attendance of classes,” said Dr APS Batra, Director of the Bhagar Phool Singh (BPS) Government Women Medical College at Khanpur Kalan in the district, on Friday.
Dr Batra told The Tribune that it was mandatory to have 75 per cent attendance in theory and practical classes to become eligible for appearing in the semester examinations.
These rules had been laid down by the Medical Council of India, he added.
When his attention was drawn towards a news report that said Manushi has been banned from appearing in the examination, Dr Batra categorically stated that the college had not put any ban on her taking the examination.
“It is not a ban but a condition of class attendance which has to be fulfilled by any student to become eligible for appearing in the examination,” Dr Batra said.
He said it was good that Manushi had applied for one year leave. Otherwise, a student could appear in the examination only after fulfilling the condition of 75 per cent attendance.
Manushi, the sixth Indian to become Miss World, took admission as an MBBS student in the college in academic year 2015-16. After winning the title of Miss India in June 2017, she applied for one year leave.
Then, she was crowned Miss World in November 2017. As she had gone on one year leave, she neither appeared in the second semester examination held in January 2018 nor in the supplementary examination held in April-May.
Factionalism doing no harm to Congress: Kasni; Is he right?
Says even BJP workers are disillusioned with their govt
Former IAS officer and Congress leader Pardeep Kasni has stated that not only the common people, but even BJP members were disillusioned with the functioning of the state government.
“During a survey-assessment of the Rohtak Lok Sabha constituency, we have got the feedback that the people are polarised between the communal and progressive political forces,” he said while addressing a news conference here.
The Congress leader revealed that they were preparing a chargesheet against the BJP government and would present its failures and wrongdoings before the people in an emphatic manner.
On being asked about the rampant factionalism and infighting in his own party, he said that the factionalism prevailing in the Congress was doing no harm to the party.
Kasni, who has been appointed the party observer for the Rohtak Lok Sabha segment, said he would soon submit a ground report to the party authorities.
In response to a query, he asserted that no Congress leader was bigger than the party, adding that it was not certain that all sitting MLAs and MPs would get the party ticket in the coming elections as well.
Yadav’s sister denies link of I-T raid with Nirav Modi’s firm; Is this a politically motivated raid?
Denying any connection of income tax (I-T) raids at their hospitals with jewellery firm of diamantaire Nirav Modi, the Swaraj India Party national president Yogendra Yadav’s sister Dr Poonam Yadav said the I-T sleuths learnt about the jewellery on finding its bill during search in the evening, while the raids were going on in their hospitals/houses since morning.
“The gold ring was bought by her nephew - Dr Gautam - to present it to his wife on their 10th wedding anniversary in February 2017 and Nirav Modi was not even in the picture at that time. The I-T officials told us that the raids had been conducted following a complaint, but they did not disclose further details about these,” said Poonam while talking over phone after the raids.
Sources said the raids, which were conducted simultaneously at Kalawati and Kamla Hospitals adjacent to Shiv Chowk in Model Town here around 11 am on Wednesday, ended around 2 pm on Thursday. During the 27 hours, the I-T sleuths recorded the statements of the hospital staff about various issues like hospital’s functioning, their salary and number of employees etc. Yadav’s kin were also questioned about their sources of income, the sources added.
“The I-T officials allowed us to perform medical check-up and ultrasound examination of patients admitted in the hospital in their presence. They also let the hospital employees go to their houses after the working hours on recording their statements. However, staffers deputed at the cash counter remained confined in the hospital by the end of the raids,” said Poonam, adding that the officials got the computers and medical store inside the hospital closed.
She maintained that they were not allowed to go outside the hospitals and their mobile phones were also taken during the raids. “We all family members remained confined to the hospitals. The officials questioned me three or four times during the raids, but found nothing wrong in the hospital as all records had been maintained properly,” she claimed.
Poonam confirmed the I-T officials seized Rs 22 lakh during the raids on their hospitals and houses. However, they returned jewellery after the inquiry.
The raids drew public attention yesterday when Yogendra Yadav described these as politically motivated, claiming that these were the result of his recently concluded nine-day Swaraj Yatra in which he had demanded fair crop price for farmers and the closure of liquor vends in villages.
He also accused the I-T officials of confining doctors to consultation rooms and not letting them attend to patients.
Star Dept Award launched in Jhajjar; Will these awards increase the efficiency of Panchayats?
The district authority has initiated ‘Star Department Award’ programme to assess the performance of government departments and to felicitate the ones performing well.
The programme is the brainchild of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sonal Goel who claimed that it would create healthy competition among the departments. It would also give recognition to efficient officers and the best departments at the district level.
PWD and Forest Minister Rao Narbir Singh launched the programme by releasing its booklet at a programme held in the mini secretariat here.
The DC said, “Awards will be given in three categories. The first category is for infrastructural development which includes PWD, NHAI, Irrigation, HUDA, Roadways and Municipal.
“The second category is for social development and community engagement and DSWO, Agriculture, Red Cross, Housing Board, SC-BC Nigam etc will be included in it.
“The third category is for integrated economic development which includes Haryana Rural Livelihood Mission, Food and Supplies, HAFED,” said Sonal.
She maintained that departmental performance would be assessed on various parameters like their CM Window performance, progress on CM’s announcements, collaboration with different departments, innovation in existing scheme of work, digitisation of records, achieving of monthly targets in comparison to their annual targets and performance on other digital platforms of the government like SARAL, Harpath, Swachh Maps etc.
“The departments will be honoured with one award per category except in the third one where two departments will be awarded. The departments will be able to apply online for the award from July 16 and nominations will be received till the second week of August. All departments have already been told about the concept at a common workshop,” Sonal said.