Two railway engineers among a dozen people thrashed in Bihar on child-lifting rumours


In a worrying sign of mob attacks over rumours of child-lifting continuing unabated despite warning by the Bihar government to book the culprits under the Crime Control Act (CCA), a mob thrashed half-a-dozen people, including two railway engineers and a beggar woman, in two separate incidents on Tuesday.

In Samastipur, two engineers were thrashed in Munnichak-Sarsauna village under Bangra police station while they were busy conducting a survey for a new rail line project. The incident took place around 11.45 am when some villagers surrounded them, suspecting them to be child-lifters, and thrashed him.  The mob also damaged their vehicles and snatched mobile phones.

A police contingent was also called in to control the situation after villagers went on a rampage and attacked the policemen as well. “An FIR has been registered against named persons of the village and 15 unidentified for attempt to murder, rioting, criminal assault and criminal intimidation,” said local SHO Anil Kumar. Efforts are on to nab those named and others, he said.

Both engineers hail from Uttarakhand, the police said.  

In Begusarai also, a mob assaulted a mentally challenged woman at Khatopur village, suspecting her of being a child-lifter. The woman was rescued by police. 

Earlier, in Lakhisarai, a woman was mercilessly thrashed on similar rumours.

In Nalanda, a mob attacked a beggar, suspecting him to be a child lifter. Later, an investigation found him innocent.

BJP dares Cong chief to clear stand on ‘thieves’ remark


State BJP leader and party spokesperson, Pratul Shahdeo has demanded State Congress president Rameshwar Oraon to make his stand clear on his ‘all are thieves’ comment. A few days ago, the State Congress chief, while talking to media persons on Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) future in State remarked that Chor Log Chori Karte Samay Ek Rahte Hain, Aur Chori Ka Maal Baatte Samay Alag Ho Jate Hain (thieves are together while committing theft, but fall apart while sharing the loot).

Shahdeo said, “The BJP wants to know from Congress chief that who is he referring to as Chor (thief) in his remark. With such a remark, Congress has equated JMM leader and former chief minister Hemant Soren, JVM (P) leader Babaulal Marandi and RJD chief Lalu Prasad on the same table.”

The BJP leader said this is not for the first time that Mahagathbandhan leaders have used such words for their partners. During the last Lok Sabha election, JMM executive president and former Chief Minister Hemant Soren had compared alliance leaders with rubble. The BJP leader said that Oraon’s remark, who is a senior Congress leader in State, implies that all is not well within the Mahagathbandhan camp.

Sources said that with just three to four months left for Assembly elections, the Mahagathbandhan leaders are yet to decide on alliance formula. Few days ago, Oraon stated that the Mahagathbandhan is still not clear about who they are going to project as their leader in coming Assembly poll. Oraon’s remark was a shock for JMM leadership as the JMM leaders have tried to project Hemant Soren as their Chief Ministerial candidate.

The Congress, on August 26, appointed Rameshwar Oraon as the new president of its Jharkhand unit and announced five working presidents for the State ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled later this year.

The new appointments in Jharkhand came after former State Congress chief Ajoy Kumar resigned from his post on August 9 owning moral responsibility, but blamed senior State leaders for sabotaging the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP leader on the occasion also attacked JMM for being anti-tribal. Shahdeo said, “JMM is number one party who is anti-tribal, as on several occasions the party has tried to betray tribals of this State.”

The BJP leader said that the JMM government introduced CSAT mode of examination in JPSC which is against the interest of tribals and moolvasi. Also in the JPSC examination very less weightage was given to local languages. Shahdeo said, “The JMM leader intentionally created hurdles in defining the local policy depriving lakhs of tribals from Government jobs.”

The BJP leader claimed that the JMM leaders, with an attempt to weaken the Gram Sabha, had provided sand license to businessmen from Mumbai. Also the JMM never made any local as Rajya Sabha members but made millionaire businessmen Muktinath Upadhaya and KD Singh as party’s representatives for Rajya Sabha.

Congress workers getting disillusioned in Bihar


Patna, Sep 3 The Congress party continues to be in a state of disarray in Bihar. With the Assembly polls scheduled next year, the party just doesn”t seem to be getting its act together.

The continued indecisiveness on the part of the party leadership has led to confusion among the party workers as to the future course of action on issues like the continuation of the alliance in the state.

The Congress spokesperson in Bihar, Harkhu Singh, admitted that the party is going through a very difficult phase. “Right from the central level to the state level, our party is right now going through a difficult phase. There is an urgent need for a change or a makeover. Our party interim President Sonia Gandhi is trying to do this,” he said.

The situation at the ground level is worsening day by day for the party in the state. A top Congress leader in the state admitted on the condition of anonymity that every other big or small party is busy with outreach programmes, but Congress leaders are not even attending the party meetings.

Recently, the state Congress” advisory committee meeting was held in Patna, the first after the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, but only eight of the 29 members turned up. The meeting was called to discuss the strategy to strengthen the party and the continuance of alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

While some senior leaders like Sadanand Singh want the party to go solo in the Assembly polls, some are in favour of continuing the alliance with the RJD.

“There is no dearth of leaders in our party. We should go solo in the polls. The alliance has not brought any benefits to us,” Sadanand Singh said.

The party had won only 27 out of the 243 seats in the last Assembly polls in 2015, clearly showing that the alliance with RJD did not benefit them.

A Congress leader said: “Most of the leaders are only working in their constituencies in order to save their seats. No one is working on the organisational level.”

Before the Lok Sabha polls, big names like Shatrughan Sinha, Uday Singh and Tariq Anwar had joined the party, but none could achieve electoral success. Now the party has been left with a bigger problem of giving befitting responsibilities to each of them.

With no clear cut strategy on alliance, even the ordinary party worker is confused and disillusioned and this can very well spell more trouble for the Congress.

Two suspected JMB operatives arrested from Bengal’s Malda district


The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police on Tuesday morning arrested two suspected operatives of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) Bangladesh from an area near Shamsi police station of Bengal’s Malda district. The two nabbed were identified as Abdul Bari (28) and Nijamuddin Khan (28).

According to the police, Bari and Khan were looking after the recruitment and training of the newly recruited JMB members under the instructions of Salahuddin Salahein and Ejaz Ahmed, two top leaders of the outfit.

Officers described Bari and Khan as “two main organisers of the newly detected JMB’s Uttar Dinajpur module”. Both are residents of Bengal’s North Dinajpur district.

Just one day ago, STF authorities said they arrested a suspected JMB member Abul Kashem alias Kashem, who hailed from Durmut village under Mangalkot police station in Burdwan district. He was arrested from the Canal East Road in Kolkata.

STF officers said information about Abdul Bari and Nijamuddin Khan were given out by Kashem.

Bari and Khan were booked under IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against the govt of India), 122 (collecting arms etc with intention of waging war against the govt of India), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war), 124A( sedition), 125 (waging war against the govt of any Asiatic power in alliance with the govt of India).

A week ago the STF arrested Ejaz Ahmed, a top JMB operative, from Gaya in Bihar in connection with the Bodh Gaya explosion during the visit of the Dalai Lama. Salahein, a Bangladeshi national, who is presently leading JMB’s pro-Al Qaeda faction, is believed to be based in India since 2014.

Bari and Khan went into hiding after the arrest of Ejaz Ahmed, said STF.

After questioning the arrested JMB operatives, the STF officers have come to know that senior operatives of the JMB were planning to meet in Kolkata shortly to finalise their strategy before escaping to somewhere in South India.

“We have seized some incriminating articles and mobile phones from the possession of Bari and Khan,” said a statement.

Only last week, 19 of the 31 people arrested in connection with the Khagragarh blast were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment ranging from six years to 10 years after they pleaded guilty in a special National Investigation Agency court in Kolkata. They were all linked with the JMB.

Nilgai shot, buried alive in Vaishali dist of Bihar


Many nilgai (antelope) were shot by hired shooters of forest department in Vaishali district of Bihar. Most nilgais died on the spot. The forest department of Vaishali district has claimed to have killed over 300 nilgai in the last four days. However, an injured nilgai met a tragic end, when it was buried alive after being pushed into the pit by a JCB machine. The video of the incident went viral and drew widespread condemnation.

On the initiative of Vaishali MLA Rajkishore Singh, with the cooperation of the state government and local administration, a shooter was called to carry out the gruesome killings, just to solve the problem of farmers who complain of their crops being destroyed by the nilgais. When the video went viral, Singh questioned the veracity of the video circulating on WhatsApp groups and termed it a “fabricated video”. However, the MLA wasn’t asked to respond to or questioned over the video, which suggests he had anticipated possible backlash and to avoid slander, tried to clear his hands.

As soon as the information of this whole matter came in, Vaishali SP Manavjit Singh Dhillon instructed the local Bhagwanpur police station to investigate the veracity of the viral video and when its authenticity came to light, sought clarification from forest department officials to take action on the people responsible for the live burial.

Meanwhile, Singh said, “This incident didn’t happen under my watch. I would not have allowed it to happen if I knew it. I had requested the DM to call the shooter and kill the Nilgais to reduce their numbers, after which forest department shooter came and shot Nilgais in many villages. The live burial is inhumane and I condemn it. Authorities will take the necessary actions.”

Jharkhand: Tata Steel deploys women engineers at Noamundi mine


Jamshedpur: Tata Steel has deployed women mining engineers at its Noamundi mine in Jharkhand in all shifts, according to a company release. The company has recruited 10 women officers from across disciplines including mining, electrical, mechanical and mineral processing, it said.

“Tata Steel is the first company in India to deploy women in all shifts in mines; and OMQ (Ore, Mines & Quarries) division becomes the first division in Tata Steel to deploy women in all shifts with effect from September 1, 2019,” the release issued here said. Earlier, Tata Steel had started two shifts at its Jamshedpur plant’s shop floor for women employees on April 1, it added.

Fifty-two women employees were deployed at its coke plant and electrical repair shopfloor in shifts ‘A’ and ‘B’ between 6 am and 10 pm through the week.

“In line with the company’s target of having 20 per cent women officers in the workforce by 2025 and the recent modifications in the law, the human resource management division and the raw material division have undertaken an initiative called ‘Women @ Mines’. 

“This initiative will focus on four aspects namely communication, amenities, recruitment of women: officers and non-officers, and Tejaswini 2.0. This follows the Central government’s decision (vide Gazette notification dated January 29, 2019) to exempt the women employment in any mine above ground and in any mine below ground from the provisions of Section 46 of the Mines Act, 1952,” the release said.

Vice President, Raw Materials, Tata Steel, Arun Misra, said, “We are extremely happy to deploy women in mines. We respect uniqueness of individuals to create a diverse and inclusive workforce by having access to a wider talent pool. We are enhancing our facilities to recruit more women in all sections of our mines.

“There is a clear business case for employing women in mines as it leads to generation of new innovative ideas and perspectives, added Misra.

The release said that all the norms stipulated by the Directorate General Of Mines Safety (DGMS) are being adhered to ensure effective deployment of women at the mines. It added that a written consent from each women employee has been obtained prior to the deployment.

Adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health of the female employees have been considered and arranged for. A slew of measures including sanitary vending machines, canteens for women, rest rooms, deployment of women in groups of not less than three in a shift, female security guards, transportation facilities, and more are being put in place to aid the process. A set of robust security measures, including GPS & CCTV monitoring, have been implemented, it said. 

Decomposed bodies of woman, daughter recovered from tank in Ranchi


The police on Monday recovered decomposed bodies of a 26-year-old woman and her five- year-old daughter from the soak pit tank of the house in which she was living as tenant in Ranchi’s Argora area, police said.

The police have registered a named FIR under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against prime suspect Samim, the deceased woman’s live-in partner.

“On information passed on by house owner Bhairow Tigga, we reached the spot and recovered the bodies of Rekha Tigga, a widow, and her daughter Priyanshi Tigga from the soak pit. It appears that the accused, in order to destroy the evidence, had thrown the bodies in pit, put bricks over them and cover the pit’s opening with the cemented slab. The bodies, which were found in almost decomposed condition, have been sent for postmortem,” said Hatia deputy superintendent of police Prabhat Ranjan Barwar.

He added that police suspect that the murders were committed between August 21 and August 22 as the deceased were seen last on August 21. A manhunt has been launched to arrest Samim who is now absconding, the DySP said.

“The woman, who originally hails from Hurhuri in Ranchi’s Ratu block, was a daily wage earner and living with her daughter in the rented premises at Uppar Kocha, Pipartoli in Argora. As per the information gathered from different sources, Samim, a mason, lived with them in the same house,” Barwar said.

According to the house owner Bhairow Tigga, who lives in a nearby separate quarter, Samim, Rekha and her daughter had been residing in his house on a monthly rent of Rs 1500 since April 28.

“On August 21, I saw her working as labourer in an under construction house in our locality. But, thereafter, I never saw her. Next day, Samim informed me that Rekha and her daughter had permanently left for their village. Two days later, Samim vacated the house. When I came here on Monday to clean the premises, I encountered a foul smell emanating from the house. We then informed the police,” Bhairow said.

Rekha’s elder sister Panchmi informed that Rekha, after the death of her husband, shifted to Ranchi’s Argora area for better upkeep of her daughter.

“Meanwhile, she befriended a mason Samim. After taking the present house on rent, both were living together like husband and wife. I had talked to her last on August 21 over phone. She disclosed about her poor health condition and her dispute with Samim. Next day, she didn’t pick up my phone despite repeated calls,” Panchmi said.

‘Poster War’ Over Nitish Kumar Being “Just Fine”, And Bihar “Sick”


PATNA: A “poster war” erupted in Bihar on Tuesday as the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal countered a recent slogan by the ruling Janata Dal-United that claimed Nitish Kumar was doing “just fine” as the chief minister, and there was no need for a leadership change ahead of the assembly polls next year.

Kyon na karen vichaar, Bihar hai bimaar (why not think for a change when Bihar is sick) screamed a poster put up by the RJD at its state headquarters on the Birchand Patel Marg in Patna. The party also came out with several verses on social media, alleging that the state was in a bad shape under Nitish Kumar and there was an urgent need for leadership change.

The RJD’s poster came up a day after people noticed that the JDU had, at its own headquarters right across the road, put up two gigantic banners proclaiming “Kyon karen vichaar, theeke to hain Nitish Kumar”. 

Roughly translated, it means “Where’s the need to think (about political alternatives) when Nitish Kumar is doing just fine”.

The slogan was the latest in a series of catchy one-liners the JDU has come up with to capture public imagination and eyeballs.

Two such older posters with slogans — Bihar mein bahar hai Nitish Kumar hai (Bihar blooms, the state wants only Nitish Kumar) and Sachcha hai, achha hai, chalo Nitish ke saath chalo (he is good, he is honest, let us go with Nitish) — can be still found inside the JDU office premises.

The move is being seen as an attempt by the JDU, a party without much organizational depth which banks heavily on the charisma of Nitish Kumar, also its national president, to suggest that despite the growing clout of ally BJP, the party still saw Mr Kumar as the NDA’s best bet in the state.

However, senior BJP leader C P Thakur, a former state party chief and a colleague of Mr Kumar in the erstwhile Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, had a different take on the slogan.

“I do not know why the JDU has used the expression ‘theeke hai‘ for Nitish Kumar. It gives an impression that he has been just okay when his performance as chief minister has been truly commendable. The party has a right to coin its own slogans, but it could have come up with something better,” CP Thakur told reporters in Patna.

JDU sources said on condition of anonymity that the slogan was coined by a senior office-bearer of the party who does not have “much aptitude for political strategy”.

It was unlike the 2015 assembly polls when Prashant Kishor, now the party’s national vice-president, had got his team to come up with “Bihar mein bahar hai, Nitish Kumar hai” which, rendered to acclaimed composer Sneha Khanwalkars tune, had worked wonders for the party when it had hit a rough patch, he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, a senior BJP leader known to be close to Nitish Kumar, reminded on Twitter assembly elections in the state are more than a year away. 

“This is not the time when the NDA would like to be in the poll mode…… there is neither any doubt nor any infighting over the issue of leadership in our camp.”

Sushil Modi had, in a rare gesture, said in the state assembly during the Monsoon session last month that the ruling coalition would contest the assembly polls under Nitish Kumar’s leadership.

Several hardliners in the BJP have shown the inclination for asserting the party’s supremacy in Bihar after its phenomenal growth under the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine.