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It was on 9th November, 2000 that Uttarakhand acknowledged the constitutional recognition as the separate state. It is on this very day every year since then that the successive and the current governments have been celebrating this day with with complete fanfare using the tax payers’ money by way organising government functions and issuing advertisements highlighting their so called inflated achievements to impress the innocent electorates and protagonists in and outside Uttarakhand.

The two major national parties Congress and BJP have ruled this state turn by turn during the last more than one and a half decades n the latter is still at the political and administrative helm since the last eight months. I also wish to convey you all my heartiest greetings on the 18th foundation day after completing the 17 tumultuous n challenging years after its official formation in the year 2000 after so much of sacrifices and relentless struggles and thousands of activists going to jail after tremendous torture, physical, mental and psychological.

On this day the government of the state, its chief minister and his cabinet colleagues also get a golden opportunity to put forth their so called achievements and the news analysts a reason to asses the successes and failures of the political outfit in power. However it is an open secret that people of Uttarakhand have witnessed 8 chief ministers during the 17 year rule and number of scandals with no single politician going to jail for alleged corruption.

Thanks to the successive governments for their failure in appointing a state LOKAYUKT , despite ample and umpteen commitments. The electorates have always been kept on dark on pivotal issues of health, employment, quality education, their socio economic and all round development during all these years and the unholy nexus between the politicians, corrupt bureaucracy, liquor, land, building, illegal mining and forest mafia always had their fullest say. Even the finacial aid meant for the welfare and well being of the tragic Kedarnath victims of June 2013 have been embezelled.

If honestly anybody have been outrightly benefitted at the instance of achieving statehood 17 years ago, they are obviously and undoubtedly the politicians and the above unholy nexus whereas the families of the real and hard core Uttarakhand movement activists are in immense financial mess.

The politicians have allegedly amassed huge wealth, property and heavy bank balance with bright political future to be conveniently carried forward by their sons and daughters. The pivotal issues of appointment of Lokayukt, capital Gairsain, employment generation, decentralized all round development at the block level has taken the back seat and instead people are being misled under the populist slogans like ” Selfie in your village and Raibaar (message ) by organising highly ostentatious government events without the adequate participation of the village populace and the people who actually matter.

There is complete lack of participatory democracy in the development process of the state. What have we achieved during the last years? Is it the staggering fiscal deficit of 42000 crores. Massive migration of 32 lakh people. Locks in 2.5 lakh village houses. 3000 villages devoid of population . About 2.5 thousand schools closed in the interiors. Hospitals devoid of doctors, compounders, equipments and basic medicines. Lot more is there to be said but time and space is the constrained.

SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

 

Crime

Maneater attacks continue unabatedly in UTTARAKHAND VILLAGES

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On the one hand the jungles of Uttarakhand are on incessant fire, causing collosal loss to wildlife and the flora and fauna including the environment of the Uttarakhand hills, on the other hand the spree of man eater attacks on human lives is shockingly and anguishingly on with no sign of any end to this dreaded menace.

The inefficient forest department of Uttarakhand already devoid of sufficient staff has proved to be a complete failure till now and so are those sitting at the helm at the political and administrative levels.

According to sources though not fully confirmed about 150 leopards, tigers and panthers have become maneater and have created hovoc in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal and Kumaon regions thus not only terrorising the inhabitants of the interior villages but also affecting the tourist influx .

In the past six months, several incidents of dreaded man eater attacks have come to light killing women, children n senior citizens. But there had been no efforts from the side of the Forest department to reduce such incidents of man eater attacks.

Just a few days ago two children had been brutally killed by these maneaters/ predators in Kumaon and several others in Pauri Garhwal district.

Similarly the incidents of wild bear attacks are also on the rise, particularly in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.

The photograph below is of a hard lucked man of Chowbattakhal Tehsil in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand where this innocent villager aged 65 years, namely Virendra Prasad Sundriyal, resident of village Sundrai, Kulkanddhidh was brutally killed by the man eater leopard near a bus shed on road side where the latter was sitting clandestinely in search of the prey.

The mutilated body of the deceased was found by the revenue police after several hours. The angry and furious villagers angrily protested in front of the forest staff raising slogans for their ineficiency and complacense.

The irate residents were demanding dousing of the jungle fire and subsequent killing of the maneater.

Meanwhile sources reveal that the maneater leapard has been captured by the forest division and is in the custody of the VAN VIBHAG.

Though the incidents of maneater attacks are already on the rise but after the jungle fires the maneaters are thronging towards villages and human settlements in search of refuge and food and the human beings are becoming their easy prey, particularly the women and children and at time the senior citizens.

If you ask for the accurate statistical data from the forest division of Uttarakhand they have none and even if they give it its too unauthentic. The reason being if they give the factual data their inefficiency and complacense would be revealed and subsequently would invite penal action.

Niharika Ghia writes: According to a newspaper report, UK forest department lacks the factual database on victims of animal attacks. The activists allege that complilation of factual data of wild animal attack victims will expose the inefficiency of the forest officials in tackling such conflicts. The officials do not wish to get caught in this so the actual figures are not been registered. Pauri has had the highest number of leopard attacks but unfortunately the database is not being registered correctly. I guess the fencing around the forest area as well as CCTV cameras is not done. Besides adequate supply of food will prevent the wild animals coming near villages. What a merciless attack.

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Delhi

Facebook and volunteers of a social organisation helped in uniting an old woman to her family! Kudos

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The social networking site Facebook and whatsapp are extremely significant if used for good and healthy purposes, but has its ugly consequences as well if the users have ill conceived notions and intentions. There are cases of ugly nature happening when people are compelled to watch immoral, obnoxious and uncivilised material and pictures posted intentionally by notorious and disgruntled elements or hackers intruding into accounts of others to derive pivotal informations clandestinely.

But there are intellectuals, social activists, journalists and people with ethics who rightfully use this important via media for exchange of healthy and intellectual views seeking and providing significant information good for one and all. There have been lots of positive incidents that have happened due to facebook like delivering a particular group of blood to the needy, financially helping poor and hapless patients, providing job opportunities to the needy and even helping people and women in distress. This pivotal via media has also helped bringing issues of burning nature to the knowledge of the authorities concerned and simultaneously getting them resolved. Important and sensitive issues such as that of Jessica Lal murder, diabolical murder of Amit Kataria, gang rape and brutal murder of Nirbhaya of Vasant Vihar and Nazafgarh and Kathua rape and horrendous murder of a girl child also acknowledged tremendous momentum nationally through this important social networking sites finally leading to capital punishment to the guilty human beasts and stringent amendments in the laws of the land to severely punish the perpetraters of gruesome crime.

Just two days ago a great job could be executed successfully through the publicity of a missing illeterate old woman of Uttarakhand in Delhi who could finally been restored back to her family. According to BM Upreti of a social organisation of Uttarakhand in Delhi, Uttarakhand Lok Manch an old women probably in her eighties, namely Bhagwati Devi of Kumaon, Uttarakhand who was living in Sagarpur, Delhi for the last two months disappeared after she left the house alongwith her grandson. Since she was illeterate and new in Delhi, was completely unaware about anything, the addressand locality. Not well versed in Hindi she could’nt explain anything about the family and the address.

However, she was left at the Sagarpur, police station by someone. But the police was unable to locate the family as the address and other details of the family was unknown. The volunteers of Uttarakhand Lok Manch Prithvi Rawat and Vijay Gosain put her picture in the Facebook with a message to help locate her family. The message and the picture became viral and finally the Lok Manch’s dedicated team was able to restore the old woman back to her son from the Old Age Home where she was given refuge with the help of police authorities and Uttarakhand Lok Manch. After the ordeal of ten hours and the best possible efforts of the police and volunteers of the Uttarakhand Lok Manch particularly Prithvi Rawat and Vijay Gosain, it was finally the facebook post with the picture of the old woman that she could be united with her son, daughter in law and her grandson who were not only badly worried having searched all the nook and corners of the city but were also apprenhesive of her being met with some accident or UNHONEE.

Thanks Facebook, police and the social organisation Lok Munch and Prithvi Rawat n Vijay Gosain for this marvellous job of reuniting the old woman with her son n family. Let’s imbibe the positive efforts of these young men and help people in distress in future.

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Featured

Kairana by poll significant to test BSP, SP’s political clout in UP after victories in Phulpur n Sitapur

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The byelection in Kairana, Uttar Pradesh slated for May 28 is going to be the barometer of the popularity of prime minister Narendra Modi, the BJP as well as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath. It will on the other hand also test the relevance and significance of the anti BJP opposition front or alliance that is slowly but steadily taking final shape against the BJP and Modi, particularly in view of the 2019 general elections. It’s primarily again a litmus lest for the SP, BSP combine who are outrightly backing the RLD candidate in Kairana after having earlier scored victries in two bye elections

Though the byelections are also being held in Palaghat and two other parliamentary constituencies and 28 assembly seats in other states including Noorpur in UP but Kairana by poll is important because its the parliamentary seat of the largest state which brings 80 MPs in Lok Sabha and several law makers in the upper house and also impacts the national political scenerio of the country.

All would remember that the recent two by poll defeats of the ruling BJP and the victory of BSP supported SP candidates in Phulpur and Sitapur, the home turfs of the UP CM and deputy CM have tremendously denigrated the ruling party’s image and in a way led to the assumption that prime minister Modi and Amit Shah are losing their political clout consistently in view of the anti BJP opposition unity.

The Kairana seat has been vacated by the sitting BJP MP Hukum Singh’s untimely demise which was won by him by a huge margin of over five lakh votes defeating the Lok Dal candidate in 2014 after the riots that polarised the Jat and Gurjar votes to a huge extent.

The Kairana seat however had been the stronghold of the Rashtriya Lok Dal. The BJP has given the ticket to Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh to cash on the sympathy vote and a one sided vote bank of the Gurjars who are about one lakh twenty five thiudand in number.

The RLD has allotted ticket to the muslim women candidate banking on the majority minority votes which are more than 5 lakhs, a sizeable chunk to decide the winning chances. Dalits votes too are about two lakhs in numbers and the Jat votes over 1.5 lakhs.

In all, there are 19 lakh votes in this constituency. After the successful example of the one sided victory of SP candidates in Phulpur and Sitapur defeating the BJP in the saffron vote bank turf of Yogi Adityanath, the Congress, BSP and SP have not fielded their candidates but have promised to support the RLD candidate of Choudhary Ajit Singh, who happens to be a women from the minority community.

The BJP is trying to capitalise on the majority vote bank already apprehensive of the minority votes likely to go in favour of Ajit Singh’s RLD candidate, the Dalits too may probably back the RLD in view of the BSP’s support to Chaudhary Ajit Singh.

Congress support may also help to an extent to derive votes of youths and other communities apart from minorities and the Dalits.

Sources reveal that the polarisation trend which helped Hukum Singh of BJP win this seat with a heavy margin in 2014 may perhaps not be the factor this time and the opposition unity minus BJP may work well in favour the the RLD candidate who is already having the advantage of the large chunk of minority vote bank.

The Jats and Gurjars who had inclined towards the BJP in view of the influence of the Hindu Muslim riots and played a pivotal role in the victory of the BJP candidate Hukum Singh may still be there but 25 to 30% of them may tilt this time in the favour of RLD and earlier mentor Ajit Singh whose prestige is actually at stake.

After the formation of the Congress JD(S) combine government in Karnataka and the credible victory in Phulpur and Sitapur by elections, the morale of the anti BJP opposition in the saffron ruled state seemed to be quite high, particularly after the involvement of the ruling BJP MLA in a rape and murder case in Unnao, grave unemployment and existing agrarian crisis in the state compounded with several other factors as the detetiorating law and order situation, false encounters and inflation of essential commodities.

The alleged communal hatred environment in the state and the country has also led to the consolidation of the minority vote bank to a huge extent, who are more than five lakhs and a major factor towards victory are bound to be an asset n a credible winning factor for the RLD candidate Tabbassum.

Since prime minister Narendra Modi usually avoids campaigning in the byelections it may also amount to a big loss to the BJP which is now left with the only alternative to bank on jat leaders like former minister Baliyan and the saffron robed chief minister Yogi Aditya Nath.
What’s your take, friends?

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