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Scared for the lives of people around me: Uma Bharti

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Bhopal/New Delhi: The central government on Monday rejected calls for a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, even as a police trainee recruited through Vyapam was found dead — the third death in three days, while union minister, Uma Bharti said she fears for the lives of those around her.

While the central government rejected calls for a CBI probe, Uma Bharti called for it.

“There is panic in Madhya Pradesh due to the deaths. I am scared for the lives of people connected to me. I am a minister, but still I am scared. I will convey my fears to Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” Uma Bharti told a news channel.

“I suspect a big conspiracy,” she said, but refused to elaborate on her statement.

A former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Bharti has been mentioned in one of the FIRs in the case.

Even as a police trainee recruited through Vyapam was found dead in Sagar district on Monday, Chouhan, under pressure from the opposition to quit, said that while every death was sad, “it is not fair to link every death to Vyapam”.

In an interview to a news channel later, the chief minister called it an attempt to create an atmosphere of fear in the state.

“Unfortunate incidents have occurred, I agree, but there is an attempt to create an atmosphere of fear in the state.”

He also expressed confidence that the scam will not dent his image.

“Vyapam scam will not dent my image. The truth will come out before the people. I have a spotless record and I assure you that no one will be spared in the probe,” he added.

Trainee police sub-inspector, Anamika Kushwaha became the third alleged victim of the scam since Saturday. She was selected through the Madhya Pradesh Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal or Vyapam. Her body was found near a pond in the Police Training Centre in Sagar.

Sagar’s Superintendent of Police, Sachin Atulkar, however, denied any connection between her death and the scam.

The Congress, the AAP and the CPI-M, meanwhile, stepped up attacks on the central and Madhya Pradesh governments over the rising number of deaths in the recruitment scandal.

They demanded a CBI probe, but union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there was no need for a CBI inquiry as the Special Investigation Team probing the scam reported to the Madhya Pradesh High Court, and not the state government.

“The SIT is not working under the government, but under the supervision of the high court,” Rajnath Singh said in Jhabua.

On Sunday, Arun Sharma, dean of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Medical College at Jabalpur, who was connected with the probe into the scandal, was found dead in a hotel room near Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

A day earlier, television journalist Akshay Singh died in Jhabua soon after interviewing the family of one of the accused in the scam who had died.

More than 40 people associated with the admission and recruitment racket in Vyapam have died since 2013 — either in mysterious circumstances or have committed suicide.

The admission and recruitment racket apparently involves politicians, officials and businessmen.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should “no more remain silent” over the scam.

Another Aam Aadmi Party leader, Kumar Vishwas, on Monday filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court.

Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat alleged that the SIT was protecting Chouhan, adding that she did not believe that an impartial investigation would be carried out in Madhya Pradesh.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power in Madhya Pradesh, accused the Congress of playing politics over “dead bodies” and said only the Madhya Pradesh High Court can refer the investigation to the CBI.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told the Congress to have faith in the judiciary.

In Delhi, the Press Club of India (PCI) and the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) on Monday expressed concern over the death of journalist Akshay Singh and demanded an impartial, time-bound probe preferably by the CBI.

The PCI and IWPC also said the journalist’s viscera samples should be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s forensic laboratory in the US.

The journalists also demanded that Akshay Singh’s family members be given adequate compensation by the Madhya Pradesh government, the Delhi government and the union information and broadcasting ministry. (IANS)

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uma Bharti vow to clean up Ganga

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Yogi Adityanath, Wikimedia

Lucknow, April 8, 2017: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday met Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Conservation Minister Uma Bharti and assured her of all support and cooperation from the state government in cleaning up the Ganga.

“The largest stretch of the river passes through Uttar Pradesh and hence it is even more the responsibility of the state to keep the river clean,” he said, while underlining that for success of the ‘Namami Gange’ project, it is necessary that its tributaries are also cleaned up.

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The entire machinery of the state will now have to work on a war footing for this purpose, Adityanath said, stressing on the need of holding meetings of heads of the development blocks, members of the local Panchayats and village heads of districts on the banks of the river so that the cleaning up of the Ganga is take up in a mission mode.

Uma Bharti said that in absence of support and cooperation in the past regimes in Uttar Pradesh, the ‘Namami Gange’ project was not achieving the desired results but now that the present government is headed by a dedicated saint like him, she was sure that the Ganga cleaning would be a success.

Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Conservation Secretary Amarjeet Singh said at the meeting that under the ‘Namami Gange’ project, 19 projects worth Rs 2,900 crore were being run in Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Gadhmukteshwar, Kannauj, Bulandshahr and Vrindavan through which capacity to purify 391 MLD of water would be created.

Of the 19 projects, four projects in Allahabad have been completed while work is underway on the rest. Other than this, works worth Rs 4,348 crore are proposed in the state, he said. while suggesting that the proposed works be completed on priority basis.

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Following this, the Chief Minister directed officials to ensure completion of these projects within the fixed timelines by strengthening the infrastructure and arranging for necessary facilities. He also said that the District Magistrates concerned should also be involved so that there are no hurdles in the works.

Singh also said that because of the leather industrial units in Kanpur, Unnao and Banthra, there was a lot of pollution and added that they should be treated as a cluster and pollution controlled at these places.

At this, the Chief Minister said that a decision has already been taken by the state government to shift out leather industry units out of Kanpur and Kannauj in a phased manner, which will contribute in a big way towards the success of the mission.  (IANS)