Giriraj Singh To Replace Nitish Kumar In Bihar After Assembly Polls? His Reply Shocks Everyone


It is being long speculated that Union minister and the firebrand leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Giriraj Singh is likely to replace Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister, if the Saffron party outscores JDU in Bihar Assembly polls. However, putting all the speculations to the bed, Giriraj Singh on Tuesday asserted that his political innings may “come to an end” with the completion of the second term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

It is to be noted that that the clarification from Giriraj Singh comes in reply to the reporters’ queries about him being a probable chief ministerial candidate after the assembly polls in Bihar next year. The BJP leader said, “I am one of those party workers who entered public life to fulfil the dream of integration of Kashmir pursuing which Syama Prasad Mukherjee had sacrificed his life. PM Narendra Modi has achieved that.” 

“I did not enter politics to acquire positions of power. So now I see my political innings nearing its end. It may come to an end with the completion of Modi’s ongoing tenure, Giriraj Singh added.  

It is worth mentioning here that Assembly elections in Bihar for all 243 seats will be held in October 2020. The term of current assembly, which was elected in 2015, will culminate on November 29, 2020.  

Giriraj Singh is currently serving as the Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Giriraj Singh defeated CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar from the Begusarai parliamentary constituency.

Amid soaring prices, onions worth Rs 8 lakh stolen from godown in Patna


Amidst the reports of soaring onion prices across the country, a case of onion theft worth more than Rs 8 lakh from a dealer’s godown has surfaced from Bihar.

Dheeraj Kumar, the godown owner alleged on Monday that he found the godown broken in and 328 bags of onion along with cash missing when he came in the morning.

“At around 6 in the morning I came to know that the door of my godown was broken, approximately Rs 8 lakh worth of onions kept in 328 bags, cash of Rs 1 lakh 73 thousand and a television set kept in the godown were stolen,” Kumar told reporters here.

He, however, added that he had insured the goods in his godown and therefore was hopeful of getting some relief.

“The godown was built in a desolate spot where usually people do not visit after eight at night, the theft could have happened anytime in the night. My goods were insured, I will lodge an FIR and then try to get the amount from the company,” Kumar said.

Vinod Thakur, the police inspector agreed that a theft had taken place and prima facie it seemed that it was onion and bags which were stolen from the godown.

“The shutters were up and the doors of the room were open, the lock of almirah too was broken. We have begun the investigation and try to nab the culprits,” Thakur said.

Separate medical university to be set up in Bihar


Bihar will have a separate full-fledged medical university to cater to all medical, nursing and paramedical courses.

Announcing this, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday said the government was working in this direction and had constituted a four-member committee to explore possibilities to have an independent medical university.

He said the idea was to carve out medical education from the Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), which currently mentors all technical and medical institutions, and to create a separate medical university, which will have under its ambit all medical, ayurvedic, unani, paramedical and nursing colleges. The AKU will then cater to only technical institutes like engineering colleges, added Modi.

Speaking at a function to mark the completion of first year of the Ayushman Bharat universal health scheme, he said Bihar should strive to improve its coverage, both in terms of treatment and issuance of e-golden cards to its beneficiaries.

He said Bihar would open 11 new medical colleges, which would wipe out the shortage of doctors in the next four-five years. At the same time, Modi was critical of the Congress, for opening only four medical colleges in undivided Bihar since independence during the nearly-65-years period it governed the country.

The deputy CM said the Centre was committed to opening 75 new medical colleges in India this year and asked the health minister to avail of the opportunity by giving 20 acre land and making a formal request on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Expressing concern over booming population, he also urged the health department to study the total fertility rate (TFR – child bearing capacity of a woman) pattern in West Bengal, where it was as low as 1.6, whereas the same was 3.2 in Bihar.

The TFR in other southern and western states like Tamil Nadu (1.6), Maharashtra and Karnataka (1.6 each) was also less, while those in Uttar Pradesh (3), Madhya Pradesh (2.7), Rajasthan (2.6), Jharkhand (2.5) and Assam (2.3) was higher.

Earlier, state health minister Mangal Pandey said the state had to achieve much more than what it had achieved in the first year under Ayushman Bharat. He expressed concern at the fact that only 147 private health facilities were empanelled under the scheme in Bihar against 18,000 private centres in the country.

Highlighting efforts to improve health services in the state, Pandey said the government would issue the tender this week for the ₹5,500-crore project to convert the existing 2,500-bed Patna Medical College Hospital into 5,400 beds over the next seven-eight years. He also said nine district hospitals would be upgraded and 22 others would get CT scan facility.

Earlier, state principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar said this would be a year of recruitment for the health department as it would recruit 2,425 doctors in addition to 4,000 general duty medical officers as also 9,130 grade A nurses to tide over the shortage of doctors and nurses.

Health secretary and chief executive officer of Bihar health authority, Lokesh Kumar Singh, gave a brief overview of the Ayushman Bharat scheme in the state.

Bihar government reshuffle: 22 IAS and IPS officers transferred


The Bihar government has transferred four IPS and 18 IAS officers. The officers are of District Magistrate (DM) and Superintendent of Police ranks. One IPS officer who was awaiting posting has been given charge while an IAS officer has been given additional charge.

Arshad Aziz, 2006-Batch, currently Collector and DM, Sheohar, has been appointed as the new Gopalganj DM replacing Animesh Kumar Parashar, 2010-batch, who will now be managing director of state food corporation along with an additional charge of additional secretary of food and consumer protection department.

General administration department (GAD) additional secretary Avaneesh Kumar, 2010-batch is the new Sheohar DM along with an additional charge of settlement officer of Sheohar.

Vaishali SP Manavjeet Singh Dhillon is now posted as SP of Special Task Force (STF). Dhillon got replaced by J Jalaraddy who earlier was posted as Jamui SP.

Gopalganj SP Rashid Jaman will be posted as commandant of home guards in Patna along with an additional charge of assistant state fire officer in Bihar fire services. He will be replacing Manoj Kumar Tiwary who was Gopalganj SP. Also, Inamul Haq Mengnu, who was awaiting posting, is the new Jamui SP.

Health Department Special Secretary Radheshayam Sah, 2005-Batch will now be the Special Secretary in Revenue and Land reforms Department.

General administration department (GAD) Special Secretary Dayanidhan Pandey, 2006-Batch will be working in the same capacity along with the additional charge of director of social security in the Social Welfare Department.

Tourism Department Additional Secretary Uday Kumar, 2007-Batch will work in the same capacity in the General Administration Department (GAD) along with the additional charge of cane commission in sugarcane industries department.

Raj Kumar, 2010-Batch who was the Director of Social Security in the Social Welfare Department, has been designated as director of social welfare in the Social welfare department. Kumar will continue to hold the additional charge of the Director (disability) in the same department.

Planning and Development Department Joint Secretary Sunil Kumar Yadav is now the finance department joint secretary. While GAD additional secretary Himanshu Kumar Rai, 2010-Batch will continue to work in the same capacity in cabinet secretariat department.

Planning and Development Department Joint Secretary Anand Sharma, 2011-Batch has been moved to the Cooperative Department in the same capacity. Meanwhile, Rural Development department additional secretary Kanwal Tanuj, 2010-Batch will take up Additional charge of managing director of Bihar state tourism development corporation.

Jhanjharpur SDO (Madhubani) Anshul Agarwal, 2016-Batch is now deputy development commissioner (DDC) cum chief executive officer (CEO) of district board in Bhojpur and Mahua SDO (Vaishali) Richi Pandey, 2016-Batch is now DDC cum CEO of district board in Begusarai.

Sadar SDO (Gopalganj) Varsha Singh, 2016-Batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board at Katihar while Sadar SDO (Sitamarhi) Mukul Kumar Gupta, 2016-Batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board Jehanabad. Forbesganj SDO Ravi Prakash is now DDC-cum-CEO of District board of Banka.

Hilsa SDO (Nalanda) Vaibhav Kumar is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board at Nawada. Danapur SDO (Patna) Anshul Kumar, 2016-batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board in Aurangabad while Bagha SDO (West Champaran) Vijay Prakash Meena, 2016-Batch is now DDC-cum-CEO of district board at Vaishali.

Onion Theft in Bihar After Its Price Soars


Patna: It is not only the common people who are concerned about the rising prices of onion, but the onion traders are also concerned about the safety of the produce, as onions worth Rs 8 lakh were stolen from a godown in Bihar on September 22.

At a time when apple is cheaper than the onion in the retail market in Patna and other districts across the state, a gang of thieves reportedly targeted a wholesale onion godown in Sonaru locality near Patna and stole the onions.

“It is true that a case of theft of onion was lodged by a wholesale onion trader. Police have begun investigation into the case and are conducting raids to recover onion bags that were stolen,” said Manish Kumar, officer in-charge, Fatuha police station, while speaking to NewsClick on Monday.

He added that video footage of a CCTV from a nearby locality is being examined.

Onion trader Dheeraj Kumar is upset after his 328 bags of onion were stolen by thieves. “I have never thought that onion will become a target of thieves. It all happened after prices of onion crossed Rs 50 [per kg] in the wholesale market. This incident of onion theft—first such instance in my memory—has created fear among the onion traders who are now taking extra care and are ensuring security of their godowns as well as shops,” said Dheeraj.

He confirmed that he has a filed a complaint with the police.

Another wholesale trader from the old Patna city, Krishna Prasad, said that onion has become a costly item following its unprecedented selling rate in markets. “We were shocked to know that thieves have targeted an onion trader,” he said.

Kanchan Devi, a housewife, told NewsClick that she has been forced to reduce the use of onion in cooking, as it is very costly. “I used to put half a kg onion to prepare foods for the family of five twice a day. Now, I am using hardly 200 grams,” she said.

A grocery shopkeeper, Mahesh Mahto, and a vegetable seller, Zahoor Alam, said that the demand for onion has drastically fallen in the last one week following the increase in its prices. “We are selling onion at Rs 60 per kg, but others are selling at Rs 70 to 80 per kg in Patna itself,” Alam said.

Saket Kumar, a businessman, told NewsClick that people have are buying and using less onion now. “Onion was selling at Rs 35 to 40 per kg till about a week ago, but it has almost doubled now.”

Rate of this essential vegetable is expected to touch even Rs 100 per kg in coming days, as the government has not brought in any measure to bring its price down.

In Bihar, onion is exported mainly from Maharashtra and South Indian states.

US couple alleges adopted child assaulted at Gaya centre, 5 held


PATNA: The Bihar government on Saturday closed an adoption centre in Gaya after a US-based couple complained that a child adopted by them from there in August this year was physically abused.

A case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has also been lodged and five persons have been arrested, officials said on Sunday. They said all 13 children from the centre have been shifted to other centres.

“Following the allegations made by the US couple, we have been asked by the CARA [Central Adoption Resource Authority] to get the medical examinations done of all other children at the Gaya adoption centre and submit a report by end of September,” said Rajkumar, the director of Bihar’s social welfare department.

CARA works under the Union women and child welfare ministry and deals with inter-country adoption.

The US-based couple had adopted the five-year-old girl on August 17 from the social welfare department centre being run by a non-government organisation in Gaya. All the 13 children who lived there are all below six.

“After completing the formalities in Gaya, the couple left for Patna to get the passport of the adopted girl. They returned to the US on August 30,” said another social welfare department official, who is aware to the adoption case but not authorised to speak to the media.

CARA, in the first week of September, received a letter from the couple alleging that the child may have been mistreated at the Centre on basis of “discomfort in walking” and her “uneasiness” in seeing the pictures of the adoption centre in Gaya.

The official said that the allegations made by the couple were surprising as the girl underwent a medical test at a leading hospital in Delhi and was issued a fitness certificate before leaving for the US.

“Soon after the receiving the letter, the matter was reported to Mufassil police station, Gaya, by assistant director, child protection unit, and an FIR for offences under various sections of POCSO Act was lodged against the adoption centre. Five persons were arrested on Saturday,” the official said and added that the centre has been sealed.

Rupesh Kumar Sinha, station house officer of Mufassil police station, Gaya, said the case was registered on the basis of the complaint by assistant director, child protection unit, Gaya. “It was alleged in the letter that the baby girl might have gone through some physical abuse at the [adoption] centre. Five persons from the NGO, which used to run this Centre, have been arrested in this connection. The accused have been sent to the jail and adoption centre has been closed,” he said.

Bihar Man Blows Away Skulls of RJD MLA’s Kin, Her Male Friend After They Resist His Rape Attempt


Munger: A woman, who is an RJD MLA’s niece, and a young man were found dead in Bihar’s Munger district with their skulls blown away by gunshots in what police described as a double murder.

The bodies of Mohammed Asif and Twinkle Yadav, both aged 25, were recovered from the Sadar block premises in Mofussil police station area — around 180 km east of Patna — on Friday evening, district Superintendent of Police Gaurav Mangla said.

Yadav, who was living in Delhi for some time and preparing for medical entrance tests, had come home, the SP said. Her paternal uncle, Vijay Kumar Vijay, is the sitting Rashtriya Janata Dal legislator from Munger and had also represented the Lok Sabha constituency in 1990s.

Asif was a local resident whose father eked out a living in Saudi Arabia, according to Mangla, who had said earlier in the day that it initially appeared a case of “failed love affair”.

Later, it emerged that Asif’s friend, Danish, who was accompanied by some of his associates, allegedly tried to rape the woman, but faced stiff resistance from the two, the officer said. “In a fit of rage, he (Danish) shot them dead and fled.”

Earlier, Danish, who was picked up for questioning, said he had provided Asif with a firearm. He claimed that Asif shot Yadav dead before pulling the trigger at himself, according to the SP.

Danish claimed that Asif reached the spot with Yadav on Friday night to receive the firearm. It was not clear yet for what purpose Asif had sought the weapon, the SP said.

“We recovered the pistol used in the incident and the mobile phones of the deceased from Danish,” Mangla said. “Based on inputs from forensic investigations, we grilled Danish intensively and he spilled the beans.”

Efforts are on to nab the other associates of Danish, the officer added.

‘He is a Babu…’: Giriraj Singh Castigates Official in Bihar for Sitting in Car While Talking to Him


Begusarai(Bihar): Union minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday gave a dressing down to a government official in his Lok Sabha constituency here for apparently showing reluctance to alight from a vehicle while speaking with him.

Singh has been touring flood-affected areas of his Lok Sabha constituency since Saturday. This morning, while he was travelling on foot, accompanied by supporters, local residents and a Deputy Superintendent of Police Ashish Anand, the car of Nishant, Sub-Divisional Officer of Teghra, pulled up close by.

When Singh addressed the official, he replied from within the car, irking the minister’s supporters.

The firebrand BJP leader got sore and remarked, “Why would he alight from his vehicle. He is a babu (an honorific used in Bihar to describe bureaucrats). I greet him with folded hands.”

The official, subsequently, got out of his car and tried to placate Singh, who gave him a piece of his mind.

“While touring this area I have heard a lot of tareef (praise) for you from the people. Please ensure that more of this does not happen,”

Singh remarked with trademark acerbity.

“You must ensure that relief is provided to all the people of the sub-division without any discrimination. I remember that a relief camp had been set up here in 2016 when areas were similarly inundated. A camp should be set up again. Else I am going to stage a dharna in front of your premises,” he told the official, who nodded with folded hands.

Singh also said that he would apprise the chief minister and the chief secretary of the flood situation in his constituency. “And please do not remain under the illusion that I will be content with speaking to you. I am going to speak to the Chief Minister as well as the Chief Secretary about the flood in my constituency. So you better set your house in order,” he warned.

Singh gave up his sitting seat of Nawada in the general elections this year and retained Begusarai for his party by trouncing CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar by over four lakh votes.

Childline staff attacked as rumours continue to fuel mob fury in Bihar


A group of men working in Bihar’s Darbhanga for Childline, a telephone hotline meant for helping children in distress, was on Friday attacked by a mob on suspicion of being child lifers, the police said.

According to the police, Childline employees Raghav Thakur, Nilesh Kumar Karn, constable Gopal Ram and driver Daya Jha were attacked when they reached Koriahi village in Sitamarhi district to verify the address of one of the three children they brought from a Darbhanga-based shelter home. The mob also damaged their vehicle.

During the address verification process, the officials took help of a local boy to locate the house of the child. Some villagers thought they were child-lifters and started thrashing them, the police said.

A police team led by sub-inspector Dasrath Prasad Singh reached the spot to rescue the Childline employees and was initially attacked by villagers .

“An additional police force is camping in the village and the situation is normal,” said Sitamarhi superintendent of police Anil Kumar. He also urged the Childline team to keep the police informed when they travel with children. The injured men were treated at a t local primary health centre .

Several mob attacks have taken place in Bihar on people suspected to be child lifters. As many as 14 people have been lynched by mobs across the state in the past two-and-a-half months, but none of them proved to be a real child abductor, the police claimed.

“We have found that none of those killed in mob violence was a child abductor. The police headquarters is reviewing the situation on a regular basis,” said additional director general (ADG) of police (headquarters) Jitendra Kumar on Friday.

Bihar police have filed first information reports (FIRs) against 348 people in connection with these incidents. The ADG said 278 suspects have been arrested in 39 cases of mob lynching in the state so far.

Apart from the deaths, at least 14 people have been injured in attacks by locals over such rumours, police said.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar is set to review the situation in the next few days, according to officials.

State police headquarters has asked people not to spread rumours, and keep away from mob violence, warning them of serious consequences under law. Separate teams from the police and district administrations have also launched campaigns to sensitise people through audio/video clips and posters, besides making them aware that mob attacks were a cognisable offence.

“The police will deal with those spreading rumours sternly. Those seen involved in incidents of mob justice will not spared,” said a second senior police officer on condition of anonymity.

Tale of a Bihar school: Gunny bags for benches, open sky as roof for 250 kids


The Rajkiya Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya in Bihar’s Basanta village, 40 kilometre from Patna, teaches students from classes 1 to 8. Almost 250 children study here, however, due to lack of resources, the school runs from just two classrooms, forcing many to study in the open space outside.

“There is a lack of resources because of which children are studying outside the classroom. We have taken up the matter several times with the district officials but to no avail,” said Sanjeev Kumar Sah, a class teacher at the school.

India Today TV travelled to this government school in Vaishali district and found that there were no tables and chairs available for students from classes 1 to 4. Lack of resources compelled the children of these classes to get their own sitting arrangement to school.

“We don’t have a chair and table to sit and that is why we bring empty gunny bags to school to study”, said student of Class 2.

There is a separate room just outside the school premises which is being used by students of class 3 and 4 to study. Urvashi Kumari, teacher of these students, complained that the roof of the room is broken from many places because of which water fills up the classroom during the monsoons.

When India Today TV went into this classroom, it was found that the children were sitting on the floor with water and studying.

“The roof of this class is broken and we have raised this matter many times but nothing has been done. We have no option but to teach students in this situation,” said Urvashi Kumari.

Such is the condition of the school that students of classes 7 and 8 share a single classroom and two teachers use the same blackboard. While Ramanuj Prasad teaches History to students of class 7, Richa Kumari teachers Maths to students of class 8.