Ranchi firm dupes 20000, mastermind flees

Source: telegraphindia.com

Rround 20,000 students and homemakers of the capital have been allegedly cheated by scamsters running a fake survey agency, Smoak Multi Project Pvt Ltd, for the past six months at Sharma Lane on Main Road under Hindpiri police station.

On Tuesday, some 2,000 persons, mostly homemakers and students, held a protest in front of the closed office building and tried to ransack it despite the presence of the police.

The mastermind, identified so far by only his first name Ankit, is said to be from either Muzaffarpur or Nalanda district of Bihar, said police. Ankit also hired local youths to run the office. All are absconding.

Ranchi police have lodged an FIR against Ankit under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of IPC.

A policeman explained the scam was not a fake chit fund, but a survey with an elaborate modus operandi to give it respectability. “People were not asked to deposit their money as savings. People were lured by the promise of easy money,” he said.

Explaining the process, the policeman said: “Prime suspect Ankit convinced youths that they were conducting a national survey to prepare books for visually impaired people. Advertisements were placed in newspapers and pamphlets distributed outside schools and colleges. Interested people were asked to sign an agreement with the company with Rs 1,950 as refundable registration fee. Fake stamp papers were used for the agreement.”

Then, the surveyors were given booklets with numerical codes and words and 150 survey sheets each.

“They were told that if they completed 150 survey sheets in a week they would get Rs 3,000. If they brought in more people, they would get Rs 500 more per entrant. Homemakers and students, who wanted extra income or pocket money, fell for this in large numbers,” the policeman added.

DSP (Kotwali) Ajit Kumar Bimal said Ankit might not even be the mastermind’s real name, admitting that they had precious little to go with. “We will question the shop-owner who rented out his premises to Ankit. We have procured some documents from students and mobile numbers used by the accused. I will also probe into what action local police took when a citizen had raised an alarm last month,” he said.

The citizen concerned, Md Javed, who is the president of a watchdog outfit, non-banking agents and investors protection committee, squarely blamed the police for this present mess.

“On July 29, I gave a written complaint at Hindpiri police station. I had submitted evidence how Smoak Multi Project is committing scam and money laundering. Police did come to the office when Ankit was present. But the police did not trust me. They said action can’t be taken unless the victims lodge an FIR.” Javed said.

Victims were both dejected and furious. Kajal, a student of St Xavier’s College, said her friend trapped her into this. “I can’t face my family that I am such a big idiot. My father is a policeman. He will thrash me if he comes to know that his daughter was conned. I prepared at least 500 survey sheets,” she said.

Riya Singh, a student of St Anne’s College, said she knew something was fishy when she did not “get a paisa”. “We’ve been fooled.” Anukriti, from St Xavier’s College, lamented that she not only lost money but also wasted her valuable time.

“My family members did not even know. I thought I’d earn some pocket money and surprise them. I wasted my valuable time that I could have used for my studies,” she said.

Ruqshar Perwez, a teacher at a private school, said the tuition teacher of her children told her about the scheme. “I thought, why not. And now, I’ve lost my money,” she said.

Faizal Ahmed, owner of a computer store, alleged Ankit and his team ran away with eight computers that he (Ahmed) had rented out to the company.

Ranchi doctors protest ‘quack’ bill

Source: telegraphindia.com

Outdoor patients in the capital suffered on Wednesday as OPD services at private and government hospitals stayed suspended due to the doctors’ nationwide strike against the National Medical Commission Bill 2019 passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday, which doctors claim will legitimise quacks in the country.

The 24-hour national protest, called by the apex body representing the country’s medical fraternity Indian Medical Association, started from 6am on Wednesday with the withdrawal of non-essential services. Emergency, trauma, ICU and related services were outside the ambit of the strike.

In Ranchi, as well as elsewhere in the country, poor patients seeking OPD services at government hospitals faced the brunt of the strike.

At the state’s largest government-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, nearly 200 poor patients, many from outside Ranchi and districts of Jharkhand, had come on Wednesday. They did not know anything about the strike. On an average, over 500 people come to RIMS OPD every day.

Amar Nath Dubey, 62, who came from Baijnathpur in Deoghar to get his post-surgical check-up, said the strike was a big financial blow. “I met with an accident on February 7 and had a surgery at RIMS the same month. My doctor called me a month ago and again today (Wednesday) to the OPD for post-surgical check-up. I’ve come spending Rs 16,000 on a private vehicle as I am in no position to take buses or trains, but the OPD is closed. It means I have to stay in Ranchi, an added expense,” Dubey said.

Four-year-old TB patient Arvind from Chandankyari in Bokaro, who came for a consult at RIMS with his grandparents, slept outside the OPD, as the elderly couple worried about where to stay the night.

At Sadar Hospital, poor people from across the capital and nearby localities who turned up for free treatment at the OPD, had to leave. “I am suffering from toothache,” said Salia Khatoon, who came from Brambe to Sadar Hospital. “I was asked to come tomorrow (Thursday).” Usha Devi from Hatma, who came for a pregnancy-related test, said the same. Seven-year-old deaf-mute Raja from Dhanbad came with his grandparents to obtain a disability certificate. His grandfather, mason Ramchandra Sah rued he did not know about Wednesday’s strike.

District civil surgeon Dr Vijay Bihari Singh said outdoor patients at Sadar Hospital needing immediate attention were treated at the emergency ward that was open.

RIMS director Dr D.K. Singh did not reply to calls. President of RIMS Junior Doctors’ Association Dr Ajit Kumar said they were compelled to strike work to “save medical science.” Through the National Medical Commission Bill, the central government is taking a step that will transfer medical science in the hands of those who have not studied medical science. The new system will promote quacks. This will affect the poor the most,” Dr Kumar said. “However, all emergency services were exempt from the strike.”

On its website, the IMA has alleged that “Section 32 of the NMC Bill provides for licensing of 3.5 lakh unqualified non medical persons to practise modern medicine”.

It claimed the new bill vaguely defined the term “community health provider”, thereby allowing persons without medical training to practise and prescribe independently. If the bill comes in force, the quality of healthcare services will fall drastically, the doctors fear, calling the bill “draconian”, “anti-people”, “anti-poor” and “anti-students”.

OPD open

Dhanbad: OPD services largely stayed open at state-run Patliputra Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday. IMA state president, Dr A.K. Singh said they were “totally against the National Medical Commission Bill” but decided to let OPD services function to help the poor.

Jharkhand: 6 Congress workers expelled after protest against party unit chief

Source: indianexpress.com

The protesters raised slogans such as “Dr Ajoy Kumar, go back, go back”. A source in the party said Ranchi block presidents Sudhir Singh, Tinku Verma and Ashutosh Nath Pathak, among other leaders, have been expelled.

“It was a sponsored protest where some people raised slogans and were creating some objection while I was entering the premises. However, disciplinary action has been initiated,” said Ajoy Kumar after the meeting. Sources said workers are protesting as some of them want Assembly tickets, but the state leadership wants to give tickets to “energetic faces”.

The meeting was held to discuss the party’s alliance with the JMM and Left parties in the state. Sources said that 20 of the 24 district presidents showed their support for Kumar during the meeting. “Talks on alliance were discussed and various leaders discussed about the number of seats Congress is likely to contest. We discussed contesting 40 seats,” the source said. However, Kumar refrained from commenting further on the alliance talks and said “they are still in the deliberation mode”.

Leaders such as former Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Balmuchu and former MP Subodh Kant Sahay have earlier openly criticised Kumar after the Congress’s Lok Sabha debacle.

Leaders said the trouble began when Kumar announced JMM’s Hemant Soren as the opposition alliance’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections, before the Lok Sabha polls. It was a strategic move for Kumar, but for the old guard this brought in resentment. Sources in the party said this infuriated Subodh Kant Sahay as he was not kept in the loop. “In a scenario when political coalitions change in 24 hours, how can a CM face be announced so much in advance. This completely lacked political acumen,” said one of the leaders.

Ranchi district president Sanjay Pandey said that Kumar induced “fresh air in the team” and had worked hard. “The problem now is that the old guard, who lost in the Lok Sabha elections, want to contest in Assembly. Kumar-ji will not let this happen and that is why roadblock has been created,” he said.

Sources in favour of Kumar also pointed to “indiscipline” in the party. Congress’s former minister and ex-MLA Banna Gupta had earlier criticised Kumar after which East Singhbhum district president Vijay Khan had issued Gupta a showcause notice. This move had also irked the old guard.

Ranchi: Anti-lynching protest turns violent as mob tries to set college bus on fire; FIR lodged, 6 arrested

Source: financialexpress.com

Ranchi violence: The Ranchi administration is on its feet trying to water down the simmering tension in various parts of Jharkhand’s capital city after an incident last Friday when a mob tried to burn a college bus and vandalised several other vehicles. The police swung into action after CCTV images of the purported violence went viral. The incident reportedly took place during a rally organised to protest the lynching of Tabrez Ansari in Saraikela district on June 17.

The viral video shows a violent mob attacking a bus in Ranchi’s Doranda area on July 5. According to reports, some elders among the crowd were seen trying to pacify the agitated men not to resort to violence.

The Ranchi Police has set up special teams study the CCTV footage of the violence. Six people have been arrested so far and three separate FIRs have been filed, Ranchi SSP Anish Gupta said.

Earlier this week, the Jharkhand High Court asked the Jharkhand state government to submit a report on the lynching of Tabrez Ansari, 22. Hearing a public interest litigation, the High Court asked the state government to submit an action-taken report by July 17. The court also asked the Ranchi Police to submit a separate report about recent incidents of violence in the city.

Ansari was brutally thrashed by a mob which accused him of theft on June 17. He succumbed to his injuries on June 22. At least 11 people were arrested for the mob lynching incident.

The incident of Saraikela even featured in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in Parliament on June 26. PM Modi said he was ‘pained’ by the incident. “The lynching in Jharkhand has pained me. It has saddened others too. But, some people in the Rajya Sabha are calling Jharkhand a hub of lynching. Is this fair? Why are they insulting a state. None of us have the right to insult the state of Jharkhand,” PM Modi had said.

Jharkhand: Over 500 Muslims defy Sec 144 in Ramgarh to protest against mob lynching

Source: dnaindia.com

A group of over 500 people belonging to the Muslim community gathered in a school in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh on Monday to protest against the rising incidents of mob lynchings plaguing their community even amid prohibitory orders issued by the Ramgarh district administration, the Times of India (TOI) reported.

The group, under the banner of the Mutheda Muslim Mahaj, met at Chitrarpur High School just off the National Highway 23 in Gola Road area, to voice their grievances regarding violence against their community. They had earlier sought permission from the district administration for a demonstration rally, which was at first granted but cancelled later on keeping in mind the incidents of violence that are increasingly being associated with anti-mob lynching rallies in the state, the report said.

For a bit of context, a joint group of Muslim organisations had taken out a similar anti-mob lynching rally in state capital Ranchi on Friday but it ended with the group vandalising a Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP) bus in protest demonstrations, according to a Hindustan Times (HT) report. The rally had been taken out specifically in protest of the lynching of Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharsawan district on June 18.

In light of this, the Ramgarh district administration, fearing disturbance centering around the rally, had on Sunday cancelled the permission for the rally and also issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) that barred all unlawful assembly along the proposed route of the demonstration.

According to reports, even though the rally did not happen, hundreds of Muslims still gathered at the Chitrarpur High School to carry out their protest demonstrations, which, being an unlawful assembly, is also in violation of the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC.  

The district administration at Ramgarh in Jharkhand said it will take legal action in response to the incident on Monday.

TOI quoted Ramgarh Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Anant Kumar as saying, “What they (outfit) did was in defiance of the prohibitory orders and we would initiate lawful action against them now.”

On the other hand, the secretary of the Muslim outfit who led the protest demonstrations on Monday, Ahmad Khan, reportedly claimed that even though the permission for the rally had been denied, they had received police permission for a meeting after request on Sunday night.  Ramgarh Superintendent of Police (SP) Prabhat Kumar denied this claim, saying “no such permissions were issued,” according to the HT report.

The report further said that the Chief Speaker at the Muslim gathering, Sahjada Anwar, clarified the purpose behind the demonstration. The Supreme Court had issued directives to every state, including Jharkhand, to the Home Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) to review mob lynching cases every three months and constitute a task force to look into such cases. “However, nothing of that sort has been done in Jharkhand,” HT quoted an aggrieved Anwar.

Bihar: Upendra Kushwaha to take out ‘padayatra’ in protest against AES deaths

Source: indianexpress.com

Charging the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar with having “failed” to control the AES outbreak, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha Sunday announced that he will take out a ‘padayatra’ from the worst-affected Muzaffarpur district in protest, later this week.

The Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) outbreak has claimed the lives of more than 150 children during the month.

Addressing a press conference here, a day after he visited Muzaffarpur where 134 children have died since June 1, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief said, “our padayatra will have the theme, Nitish hatao, bhavishya bachao (oust Nitish from power, save the future of Bihar).”

The ‘padayatra’ will commence at Muzaffarpur on July 2 and conclude here on July 6, he said.

“Nitish Kumar will be completing 15 years as chief minister next year. Had he paid adequate attention to providing basic health care to the people of the state, so many children would not have died. We also get an impression that efforts are on to pass the buck so that Kumar is not held accountable,” Kushwaha alleged.

Kushwaha’s alliance partners such as the RJD and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhis Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) have been demanding the resignation of Health Minister Mangal Pandey, a senior BJP leader.

“It is not my concern whether Kumar retains Pandey in his cabinet or removes him. But, my point is he did not fight elections in the name of his cabinet colleagues. He won on the plank of his claims of ‘sushasan’ (good governance). Now that the falsity of the claims lay exposed, he must take the blame,” Kushwaha a former JD(U) leader who quit and floated his own outfit in 2013- said.

The RLSP started off as an NDA ally and won all the three seats it contested in 2014, riding the Modi wave while Kushwaha himself got a ministerial berth at the Centre.

He quit the BJP-led coalition in 2018 after the saffron party apparently offered him only two seats in order to make way for the JD(U) headed by Kumar, who had returned to the NDA, a year earlier.

Kushwaha thereafter joined the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ comprising Congress, RJD, HAM and budding Nishad leader Mukesh Sahnis VIP.

The opposition alliance was trounced in the recent general elections, with only the Congress among the constituents winning a seat. The RLSP, which had fought five, lost all including two contested by Kushwaha himself.

Junior doctors in Jharkhand protest against Bengal impasse, OPD boycott hits patients

Source: hindustantimes.com

Patients in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad had a harrowing time on Friday after junior doctors in the three government-run medical colleges and hospitals boycotted OPD services in a show of solidarity with the protesting doctors in West Bengal. Junior doctors across West Bengal are on strike since June 10, protesting against an alleged assault on a medical intern by relatives of an 87-year-old patient who died in Kolkata’s NRS hospital premises.

Junior doctors boycotted OPD duties at Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS), Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital (MGMMCH) and Patliputra Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and demanded that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee take action against the culprits immediately. However, senior doctors across the state attended to patients, wearing black badges.

The massive impact of junior doctors’ boycotting their duties was felt at RIMS Ranchi where long queues of patients were seen at all OPDs. Patients particularly had a difficult time at medicine, surgery, skin, eye and orthopaedic OPDs. Some of the patients were seen returning from OPDs due to the seemingly unending queues.

Govind Mahato, a patient from Powarganj in Lohardaga town, about 70 kms from Ranchi, visited RIMS but returned due to the commotion in the hospital. “I had no information about the sudden strike of doctors. I came here for the medical examination of my ailing grandson but had to return without treatment,” said Mahato.

Malti Murmu (45), a resident of Namkum in Ranchi, failed to consult a doctor despite waiting till noon at the gynaecology OPD. “The hospital should not have registered my name in the morning if the doctors were on strike. After being registered, I thought the doctor would check patients in the OPD, but they wasted my time and money,” she said.

Before beginning their boycott, junior doctors at RIMS staged a street play on the role of doctors in providing health services in the campus and sought cooperation from all teachers for their OPD boycott. Junior doctors also wore helmets and staged a sit-in protest in front of RIMS director Dr DK Singh’s chamber.

“We strongly condemn the attitude of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. We would be compelled to intensify our agitation if all the culprits are not arrested soon,” said Dr Ajit Prasad, JDA president.

Junior doctors at the Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Science (RINPAS) in Kanke also boycotted OPD services in solidarity with the JDA.

OPD did not function after 10.30 am at PMCH Dhanbad due to the boycott call by junior doctors. At MGMMCH, OPD did not function after 11 am. IMA Jamshedpur secretary Dr Mritunjay Kumar Singh said many doctors in private nursing homes also skipped their OPD duties in solidarity with protesting junior doctors.

Patients at Bokaro General Hospital (BGH) had also returned unattended from OPD as junior doctors boycotted services.

In the evening, the Jharkhand chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Jharkhand Health Service Association (JHSA) and JDA took out a protest march from RIMS.

“It is unfortunate that doctors who serve patients day and night were thrashed and the government did not act properly against culprits”, said Dr Pradeep Kumar Singh, IMA secretary.