Centre issues Ebola advisory, asks Bihar to remain alert

Source: hindustantimes.com

The Bihar health department has readied guidelines to issue an advisory asking medical colleges and district hospitals to identify isolation facility for Ebola virus disease (EVD).

This follows an advisory by the Centre on July 18 urging states to keep vigil for EVD after its cases were reported from Congo. On July 17, the World Health Organisation declared the situation of Ebola in Congo as public health emergency of international concern.

The letter from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW), New Delhi, advised state surveillance officer to keep constant vigil and raise awareness level and knowledge of surveillance officers and healthcare providers on basic standard precautions to be followed during the care and treatment of the suspected patients.

It also asked states and union territories to identify an isolation facility in each district and medical college.

“While asking our healthcare officials to stay alert and also ready isolation wards in their respective facilities, we will ask all districts and medical colleges to immediately notify us if they come across any case of Ebola. We will urge our health officials to keep themselves abreast with the Centre’s instructions on safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients, hospital infection control guidelines, guidelines for sample collection, storage and transportation, guidelines for healthcare provider and guidelines for clinical case management, available on the MoH&FW website,” said executive director of Bihar’s State Health Society, Manoj Kumar.

He said though hospitals did not have separate beds for different diseases, it did have a limited number of beds in isolation ward to cater to infectious diseases.

“We will reiterate the need to keep in readiness isolation wards in district hospitals and medical colleges that can also be used to treat Ebola cases,” added Kumar.

Director, NCDC, Dr Sujeet K Singh, in his letter, said, “If any suspect is admitted to their health facility or seen by health provider, (they should) include the basic level of infection control — hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment to avoid direct contact with blood and body fluids, prevention of needle stick and injuries from other sharp instruments, and a set of environmental control.”

Cases of Ebola are being reported from Congo since 2018. So far, 2,522 cases (2,428 confirmed and 94 probable) and 1,698 (1,604 confirmed and 94 probable) deaths have been reported since August 2018 till July 16, this year from Congo with case fatality rate of 70%. 

OPINION | Amid Soaring Crime Graph, Bihar Police Officers Lock Horns Over State Govt’s Decision to Split Force in Two

Source: news18.com

Patna: Amid growing incidents of lynching and deteriorating law and order situation in the state, Bihar police officers are locked in a bitter war of words, reflecting the rot that has set in the state police force over the years.

The state police force has mainly two groups that are at loggerheads.

The reason for the ongoing tug of war is Bihar government’s decision to bifurcate the state police force into two separate wings — the law and order wing and crime investigation wing — down to the police station level from August 15. The Supreme Court had issued an order in 2006 for separating the law and order duty and crime investigation down to the police station level.

Now there have been allegations that a concerted attempt is on to post the patrons of sand and liquor mafia within the police force in the law and order wing, but they want to control the crime investigation wing so that they can run the cartel without any hindrance.

Recently, the state police headquarters had directed to remove at least 386 Station House Officers (SHOs) and Circle Inspectors (CIs) from their posts as they were facing different charges, including moral turpitude, and were accused in cases involving sand and liquor smuggling. Most of them want to get posted in the lucrative crime investigation wing.

A few of them, however, claimed that the charges against them were fabricated and the senior officers did not do justice with them before blacklisting them. In response to the Facebook posts of Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey, an SHO had observed that he had been punished due to personal vendetta of his seniors even though he performed his duty with full sincerity.

The DGP, however, said that the grievances of such officers would be heard and taken care of if found to be correct. But the decision to shift them has been taken at the instance of chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has ‘zero tolerance’ on crime and corruption, the DGP said.

The Bihar Policemen’s Association has also taken up the matter contending that some of the officers have been wrongly put in the tainted list. “We will talk to the top officers for rescinding the decision or the working committee will meet on August 25 to chalk out future course of action,” said association president Mrityunjay Kumar Singh.

Against the backdrop of deteriorating crime situation, the DGP had recently revealed on his Facebook that he is not being allowed to work the way he wants to as some of his colleagues are spreading all kind of canard against him, thereby demoralising the morale of the police force.

The anguish expressed by DGP Pandey is a tell-tale story of how policing system in Bihar has been afflicted with deep-rooted casteism, lobbies patronised by senior officers and overall corruption even though some officers stand out in terms of integrity and dutifulness.

Insiders in the police headquarters claimed that the incumbent DGP is opposed by a coterie of senior police officers. His orders on improving infrastructure in police stations and controlling crime were either not obeyed or buried in official files on one pretext or the other.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reviewed the law and order situation twice last month in view of rising incidents of contract and political killings, rapes, abductions for ransom and bank loot in the recent past in Bihar. The leader of opposition, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, had shot off a letter to the chief minister listing government’s alleged failure on the law and order front.

After coming to power in 2005, Nitish had demystified the myth that crime could not be kept on tight leash in Bihar. Within the framework of law, he focused on quick disposal of cases registered under the Arms Act since the witnesses in all such cases were primarily the policemen. This proved very effective in bringing down the number of pending cases under the Arms Act as scores of accused were convicted at the end of the trials.

Nitish appeared much aggrieved to know that nearly 1.4 lakh criminal cases are pending in the police stations across the state. The chief minister directed the DGP to dispose off pending cases at priority, upgrade the police stations and release the contingency funds.

The Bihar Police have been facing problems ever since the state government decided to introduce total prohibition and to regulate sand mining in the state. Most of the policemen have found smuggling of liquor and sand as lucrative trade and source of easy money.

Prior to his elevation to the post of DGP, Pandey had launched a personal campaign for implementing the liquor ban policy of the state government. He had addressed altogether 160 meetings in 35 districts in five months to make people aware about the liquor ban.

Policing in Bihar also grapples with the problem of poor police-public ratio as the state has one policeman for every 840 persons. According to the data of Bureau of Police Research and Development, a central agency keeping track of the state and central police forces, Bihar ranked 33rd among states and union territories in terms of police-public ratio as there is a huge shortage of manpower.

Having created investigation and law and order wings, the Bihar government has decided to recruit 24,000 constables, 4500 sub-inspectors and 2000 drivers to fill vacancies in the understaffed police force.

No compromise on corruption, communalism: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Independence Day

Source: indiatoday.in

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday asserted that there would be no compromise on “crime, corruption and communalism” under his rule, which has been characterized by “nyay ke saath vikas” (development with justice) and “sampradayik sauhardra” (communal harmony).

In his hour-long address at Gandhi Maidan here on the occasion of Independence Day, Kumar said a new system of policing was being introduced in the state for effective maintenance of law and order.

“We are never going to compromise on crime, corruption and communalism. ‘Nyay ke saath vikas and sampradayik sauhardra’ have been and will always remain our priority.

“From today, we have introduced a new system of policing wherein maintenance of law and order and investigation shall stand separated so that personnel engaged in either are not distracted by other demands of duty,” Kumar said after unfurling the tricolour.

The chief minister also inspected the tableaux depicting the various schemes launched and the measures taken during his 14-year-long rule in the state.

“Our crackdown on corruption will continue. Bribery, amassing of wealth disproportionate to assets and through misuse of public office will be severely dealt with. None of those who are involved in earning money through illegal and immoral means will be spared,” the chief minister said.

Kumar pointed out that a Public Service Grievances Redressal Act is in place which guarantees resolution of complaints in a transparent manner and a mechanism has been devised for deciding service-related issues of government servants in a time-bound manner.

“People must be made aware that ill-gotten wealth may bring momentary pleasure, but its long-term impact is perilous. We must always keep in mind the words of Mahatma Gandhi that we must consume only as much as we need, giving up greed in any form,” he maintained.

Recalling that he had ordered a complete ban on sale and consumption of alcohol three years ago, in line with the demand of women in the state, Kumar said it had evoked enthusiasm, with people forming a massive human chain on the theme of prohibition, though “many who think it is their right to drink, seem to be unhappy over this move.”

People must realize that consumption of alcohol cannot be a matter of rights, he asserted.

“I would also like to draw the attention of youth towards a report of World Health Organization which has done a study on the ill effects of consuming liquor,” he added.

The CM also spoke at length about the measures taken by his government to improve education scenario in the state, including the proposed launch of “Unnayan Bihar” programme next month which aims to emulate across the state a successful e-learning experiment carried out in Banka district.

He said that his government was committed to providing people with better health care facilities and that the expansion and upgrading of premier hospitals at Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya have been approved.

Kumar mentioned that his government was taking steps to boost agriculture, including the setting up of a separate power feeder for farmers.

He lamented that the effects of climate change are being felt in Bihar, where there has been a decline in average rainfall over the years, while untimely showers have caused flash floods.

“We are doing our bit to reverse the damage. Our Jal-Jeevan-Hariyali drive, launched recently, is a step in this direction”, he added.

The CM, after attending the Independence Day ceremony, visited the Rajdhani Vatika adventure park in the city where he tied a thread around a tree in presence of cabinet colleagues, including his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.

The state government is observing the festival of “Rakshabandhan”, which falls on this date, as “Vriksh Suraksha Diwas” (Day for protection of trees).

Villagers Help to Declare Gogabeel as Bihar’s 1st Community Reserve

Source: newsclick.in

Patna: Ten days back, the Gogabeel lake in Katihar district was declared as Bihar’s first Community Reserve. Nearly 250 villagers including farmers and tribals expressed their happiness and said that they have offered 140 acres of land to develop it as a bird sanctuary.

A local environmentalist T N Tarak said local villagers are happy and upbeat following the Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dipak Kumar’s notification declaring Gogabeel part (140.29 acre) as a Community Reserve and another part (73.78 acre) as the Conservation Reserve on August 2 .

Jeet Narayan Yadav, a retired defence personnel, who is residing in village near the Gogabeel lake, told NewsClick that local villagers, mostly farmers, have contributed to turn it into a community reserve and to develop it as a bird sanctuary. “We have offered our land for it,” said Yadav, one of the 250 villagers who offered their land for the development of Gogabeel lake into a bird sanctuary.

Another villager Mahesh Rai said, “We are happy as our long struggle has finally born some fruit as the authorities have accepted our request to conserve the Gogabeel lake for birds and biodiversity and declared it as the first and only community reserve as well as a conservation reserve in the state.”

Gogabeel is an ox-bow lake formed by rivers Mahananda and Kankhar in the north and Ganga in its south and east. Despite being ignored by the concerned government agencies for a long time, the lake survived due to the awareness and motivation of local enthusiasts and friendly villagers in collaboration with the members of Mandar Nature Club. It has now become the 15th Protected Area (PA) of Bihar.

Ram Kripal Kumar of Goga Vikas Samiti of Sura Par praised and lauded the villagers, by saying, “They have set an example by donating land to develop the wetlands as a reserve for local and migratory birds.”

“It was not at all easy to convince the villagers that the rights and management of this community reserve will remain with the local community. For this, the members of different organisations Goga Vikas Samiti, Janlakshya (Katihar), Mandar Nature Club and Arnav from Bhagalpur worked together hard for years. Janlakshya has adopted a local tribal village ‘Marwa’ organising different camps and programmes for them for ensuring the protection of Gogabeel Lake and its biodiversity,” said Dr. Raj Aman Singh, who is the treasurer of Janlakshya.

Arvind Mishra, state coordinator of Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN), and a member of IUCN Species Survival Commission said, “We are overwhelmed to find the first community reserve and conservation reserve of Bihar with the help and support of local villagers.”

Mishra said the proposal for notifying Gogabeel and Baghar Beel as ‘Community Reserve’ and ‘Conservation Reserve’ was passed in the meeting of State Board for Wildlife held on November 2, 2018. “We will request the government to similarly notify the adjoining wetland Baghar Beel which is no less than the Gogabeel lake,” he added.

According to Mishra, Gogabeel was initially notified as a Closed Area by the state government in the year 1990 for 5 years and this status was extended in 1995 up to 2000. After the amendment of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in 2002, the provision of closed area has been omitted and this site disappeared from the list of the Protected Areas (PAs) of the state government of Bihar having no legal status.

But this wonderful birding site, including Baghar Beel and Baldia Chaur, was given the international status of an IBA (Important Bird Area of India) in 2004 and again in 2017 by the IBCN, a network of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Bird Life International, UK and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), UK, on the recommendation of Mishra, who was a regular visitor to the area since the early 90s. He also recommended this site as having all potential for being declared as a Ramsar Site of India which found place in the book “Potential Ramsar Site of India” published by BNHS in 2008 in which eight wetlands of Bihar have been included. At present, there are 27 wetlands in India with global value and importance, which have been designated as Ramsar Sites.

Besides many scientific publications at national and international level Gogabeel finds mention in the book Ducks, Geese and Swans of India: Their status and Distribution published by BNHS and the bird count conducted by Mandar Nature Club, Bhagalpur has been recorded in the data zone of Asian Waterbird Census of Wetlands International since 1995.

Mishra said Gogabeel is a permanent water body, which shrinks to some extent in summer but never dries completely. “It may be a smaller water body of only 88 hectares but it supports unique assemblage off bird species both in count and diversity,” he said.

More than 90 bird species have been recorded from this site of which about 30 species are migratory. Among the threatened species, the Lesser Adjutant falls in the vulnerable category; and three species, the Black-necked Stork, White Ibis and White-eyed Pochard are under the near threatened category. Four of the Biom Restricted species are also found here. The site falls in Biome-12 (Indo-Gangetic plains) but many species of Biome 11 (Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone) are also reported from this site. They include the Black Ibis, Ashy Swallow Shrike, Jungle Babbler and Bank Myna (Mishra, A. 2002). Some other bird species of interest are Red Munia, Northern Lapwing and Spotbill Duck which otherwise are not commonly seen in other wetlands of the state. The large flocks of Asian Openbill and White Ibis are the beauty of Gogabeel.

Bihar: Ailing mother tries to sell sick children

Source: dnaindia.com

After a chilling case of two kids being sold by their poor mother due to her inability to treat them and herself of tuberculosis came to light, the local administration has admitted all of them in a hospital and they are being taken care off.

District Magistrate Yogendra Singh said as soon as the matter was reported by the media, the authorities were immediately rushed to take care of the matter. “We have a special ward in the hospital for malnourished children and have sent their samples to exactly determine the disease. Proper care of the mother and her kids are being taken,” said Singh.

Sonam, a resident of Kalyan Bigha of Harnaut block, was abandoned by her husband after she and the kids fell sick. Unable to deal with her condition, she decided to sell her two children for Rs 50,000 for her treatment. When media personnel came to know about this, they informed the DM. The DM immediately took cognizance of this and made arrangements for proper treatment of the three.

Singh informed that the medicines in the hospital are free of charge and if medicines are needed to be ordered from outside, financial assistance will be provided. 

The DM summoned the Civil Surgeon and Deputy Superintendent of Nalanda and directed them of treating the woman without any kind of leniency. At the same time, he also directed the immunization team to conduct a survey to identify those who are suffering from TB-like illness and initiate their treatment.

Patna diary: Bihar medical college hospitals to have eye bank

Source: newindianexpress.com

Bihar medical college hospitals to have eye bank

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said on Sunday that each of the nine medical college and hospitals in Bihar will have a full-fledged eye bank functioning from October. A fund of Rs 1.5 crore has already been sanctioned for setting up the eye banks. Speaking during a function held on International Organ Donation Day, Modi said a target of successful transplantation of corneas in the next one year will be achieved. He said 412 cornea transplants and 54 kidney transplants had been done successfully.

Career portal launched to help students

The Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC), in association with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), has launched the state’s first career portal in a move to help students choose their careers. Launched by state education minister KN Verma, www.biharcareerportal.com provides information on careers, scholarships, colleges, entrance exam preparation, and other subjects. The head of the Bihar chapter of Unicef, Assadur Rahman, said that more than 78 lakh youths would benefit from this portal. He said nearly 13.88 lakh students of Class 10 and 10.83 lakh students of Class 12 can also benefit from the portal in seeking details on careers. The career portal will help the students make appropriate career choices.

Anganwadi centres to be linked with HQ

Around 1.24 lakh Anganwadi centres run by the Integrated Child Development Services will be linked with the state headquarters through a digital app by November this year. Following this, officials would be able to monitor the functioning, attendance of pupils and other activities of the centres online. By August 31, all the volunteers at the centres would be equipped with smartphones to run the digital app. The Integrated Child Development Services department has made preparations to provide training on running the system in 21 districts of the state, including Patna.

RJD leaders scramble to get Kashmir apples for Lalu

Sources in RJD in Patna have revealed that party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is in prison in connection with fodder scam cases, eats two Kashmiri apples a day to remain healthy. But the amendment of Article 370 has led to a shortage of the apples. With the apples hard to come by in the Ranchi and Patna markets, RJD leaders are scurrying to get them from across the country for their leader. A number of RJD leaders have asked their contacts in other cities, including in Jammu and Kashmir, to send Kashmiri apples for Lalu Yadav by any means.

“The BJP has again created inconvenience for our leader, albeit indirectly, by scrapping Article 370, as it has caused a shortage of apples from Kashmir which are eaten by our sahib”, an RJD leader remarked in lighter vein.

Security beefed-up in Bihar on Eid al-Adha, last Shravan

Source: indiatoday.in

Security has been beefed-up across Bihar in the view of Eid-ul-Adha, also called Bakrid, coinciding with the last Monday of Shravan month, when devotees visit temples of Lord Shiva in large numbers, a senior police officer said.

He said the security forces have been deployed at sensitive areas in all the districts and central paramilitary forces have been kept on standby for any exigency.

“One company of Rapid Action Force and Sashastra Seema Bal have been stationed at Patna and Bhagalpur respectively to assist the local police in maintaining law and order in case any disturbance is reported,” Additional Director General of Police, Headquarters, Jeetendra Kumar told reporters.

The security beef-up comes after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, at a high-level meeting last week, asked officials to maintain law and order during the two festivals and lay emphasis on preventing rumour-mongering through social media.

DGP Gupteshwar Pandey, who was present at the meeting, has appealed the public through the social media to remain vigilant against attempts to disrupt peace during the festivals and warned of stern action against rumour mongers.

In his message on Eid-ul-Adha eve, the Chief Minister urged the people of the state to remember that “the festival symbolises sacrifice and its true joy can be found only in an atmosphere of peace, amity and brotherhood”.

Meanwhile, four teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been dispatched from here to neighbouring Jharkhand’s Baidyanath and Basukinath temples to prevent any untoward incident during the massive turnout of devotees there on the last Monday of Shravan.

NDRF’s Patna-headquartered ninth battalion commandant Vijay Sinha said,”Devotees visit the shrines after taking bath in the nearby ponds. Our personnel will be vigilant there with rescue boats to avert any untoward incident”.

Khattar may get notice from Bihar women panel Read

Source: deccanherald.com

The Bihar Women Commission has taken umbrage at Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s statement wherein he referred to “Bihari girls” while speaking about Kashmir and Article 370. The woman panel is likely to send a notice to Khattar asking him to explain what he meant by “Bihari brides” and the rationale behind making such innuendoes while speaking about Kashmir.

The whole controversy arose after Khattar, while addressing a meet in Haryana on Saturday, said, “Earlier, OP Dhankarji, a Haryana minister, used to say that brides had to be brought from Bihar for the youths of Haryana. But now, as Kashmir is open, brides would be brought from there.”

Dhankar had earlier said so in reference to Haryana’s poor sex ratio.

However, the chairperson of the Bihar Women Commission Dilmani Mishra found the statement made by Haryana CM “highly objectionable and completely avoidable.”

“He will have to explain what he meant by Bihari brides,” said Mishra, adding that the women’s panel will soon send a condemnation notice to Khattar.

“When he was discussing Kashmir and Article 370, what was the necessity to argue that brides from Bihar were needed in Haryana for marriage. It’s an insult to all women and should be condemned by everyone,” said the panel chairperson.

The All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) too has castigated Khattar for his unsavoury remarks. “His statements about Kashmiri and Bihari girls should be condemned in the strongest words. The way he said how Kashmir was open and brides should be brought from there, shows the mindset of such leaders. These people (Haryana leaders) reportedly kill their daughters in the name of honour killing/social status and then talk of Bihari girls or Kashmiri bride. These statements were just not acceptable,” said Meena Tiwari, national general secretary of AIPWA.

HEAVY RAINS IN BAG FOR RANCHI, HAZARIBAGH, JAMUI FOR THE NEXT TWO TO THREE DAYS

Source: skymetweather.com

The weather over the eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand was running consistently warm and humid with a cloudy sky. Though, scattered places have received light to moderate rains in the last 24 hours.

As on August 10, the state of Bihar is running rain deficit by 7%, while Jharkhand is rain deficient by 36%. Presently, a Cyclonic Circulation lies over northern parts of Bay of Bengal. An upper air Trough is extending from North Bihar to this system across Jharkhand. While, the eastern end of Axis of Monsoon Trough is also running across Central parts of Jharkhand.

This Cyclonic Circulation over North Bay of Bengal will be intensifying into a Low-Pressure Area during the next 24 to 36 hours and will be moving Northwestwards.

Under all these weather conditions, the rainfall over the states of Bihar and Jharkhand will increase during the next two to three days.

Hence, light to moderate rains are likely at many places over these states. Places like Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Jamui, etc may receive heavy showers. Though, Northeast parts of Bihar will experience light rains at scattered places.

There will be relief from the ongoing warm weather in the states as temperatures will be decreasing in the upcoming days as soon as the rains take over. Also, these rains will turn out useful for the ongoing paddy crops.

Crimes against women on the rise in Bihar, MLA says incidents can’t be brought to zero

Source: zeenews.india.com

Recent weeks have seen a spurt in the rate of crimes against women in the state of Bihar which has put the glaring spotlight on the police and political machinery here. While opposition parties have upped the pressure on the government, BJP MLA Arun Sinha said that such crimes can be reduced but cannot be eliminated completely.

The political uproar in Bihar comes in the backdrop of rise in crimes against women with three incidents in the recent past adding fuel to fire. In a state where the crime graph has been steadily on the rise, incidents against women too have been reported. In one incident, three men allegedly raped a minor girl and then tried to kill her in Chapra. While cops arrested two of the accused, the third managed to flee. The minor is in a critical condition at PMCH Hospital.

In a separate incident, the body of a 16-year-old girl was recovered in a mutilated condition in Nalanda’s Baellor village. Cops say that the head was beaten with bricks in an attempt to conceal the identity of the victim who may have been raped before she was killed.

In the third gruesome incident. a minor girl was kept inside a hotel room for four days and repeatedly raped in Muffasil district of the state.

These three incidents, in particular, have inflamed political tensions with Congress spokesperson Rajesh Rathore saying that girls and women are not safe under the government of CM Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi. “There are Nirbhaya-like incidents happening in Bihar everyday and the government is silent,” he said. RJD’s Mrityunjay Tiwari also echoed similar thoughts and said that the message of good governance is false.

In the government’s defence, JDU’s Rajeev Ranjan admitted that the recent crimes against women have been shocking. BJP’s Sinha, however, courted controversy while mounting a counter. “Such crimes can be brought down but cannot be eliminated completely,” he said. Sinha also appealed to people to come out and report such crimes.

There have been 605 rape cases which have been reported in Bihar between January and May of 2019. The maximum number of these have been in Patna – 41.

In 2018, 1475 cases of rape were reported across Bihar while 1195 cases in 2017 and 1008 cases were reported in 2016.