NATIONAL POLITICS: Tribal council takes shape – Ram Dayal is executive president

NATIONAL POLITICS: Tribal council takes shape – Ram Dayal is executive president – solving problems speedily and permanently, a Gorkha Adivasi longing too ?!!

Chief secretary Ashok Kumar Singh (right) welcomes Governor MOH Farook on his maiden visit to the secretariat in Ranchi on Wednesday after imposition of President’s rule. (Photo by Prashant Mitra)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU

Ranchi, June 2: On his maiden visit to the main secretariat at Project Building today, Governor M..H. Farook constituted the Tribal Advisory Council (TAC), which will be headed by eminent academic and Rajya Sabha member Ram Dayal Munda, as long as the state remains under central rule.

Once President’s rule is revoked, Munda would cease to function as the executive president as according to rules, TAC has to be headed by the chief minister. Munda, will, however, continue to be a member of the council.

Champai Soren, Simon Marandi, Deepak Birua, Guru Charan Nayak, Bimla Pradhan, Lobin Hembrom, Hemant Soren, Sita Soren, Bandhu Tirkey, Chamra Linda, Geetashree Oraon, Laxman Gilua, Kamal Kishore Bhagat, Mistri Soren, Gopal Krishna Patar alias Raja Peter — all members of the suspended Assembly — former Union minister Rameshwar Oraon and Kolhan University vice-chancellor Beni Ekka have been named members of the council. The state’s welfare secretary will double as secretary of TAC.

Yesterday, Munda had met the governor and urged him to constitute the TAC at the earliest and initiate steps to hold panchayat elections as soon as possible. He had argued that the absence such bodies was the root cause of a majority of problems in the villages. He also demanded a look at the MoUs signed so far and the alleged misuse of central aid.

The governor is learnt to have already directed officials to begin preparations for panchayat elections. Sources in the personnel department added that the governor also intended to examine the controversial mass transfer of officials after the Shibu Soren government was reduced to a minority, following withdrawal of support by the BJP.

While presiding over a meeting with senior officials at the Raj Bhavan last evening, the governor had spelt out his priorities. He had stressed on improving law and order, speedy disposal of forest act cases, effective utilisation of funds, disposal of pending vigilance cases, improving public distribution system and punctuality of officials.

Today, Farook also held one-to-one meetings with the chief secretary and secretaries of different departments. He inquired about the current status of different welfare and development schemes, especially those sponsored by the Centre. He advised them to speed up work and achieve the set targets on time. He also stressed that lapses on anyone’s part would not be tolerated and that there was no place for lax and corrupt officials in his scheme of things.

“It was basically an interactive session. He comes across as soft-spoken, but he can be a hard taskmaster. He is more interested in strictly executing what Delhi wants him to do. Let us hope that things work out well,” said a senior official.

The governor reached Project Building at 10.20am today and stayed for two hours. Thereafter he left for Delhi in the afternoon. He is likely to return on Friday.

Farook’s Delhi visit is aimed at selecting his advisers and seeking necessary guidelines from the Centre in the changed scenario.

Former chief secretary P.P. Sharma, former development commissioner T. Nandkumar, former DGP R.R. Prasad are reportedly contenders for the advisers’ posts.

HOMELAND SECURITY Rebels gun down school head

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Ranchi, June 2: Suspected People’s Liberation Front of India (PLFI) members today gunned down the principal of a school in Hardag, about 5km from the police headquarters, in the Dhurwa area.

Walls Plus Two School principal Stenis Kindo (35) was taking a class in the school, which has 400 students, when he was called away and shot.

Confirming the incident, city police superintendent Sambhu Thakur said the assailants came on a motorbike. While one of them kept watch near the bike, the other two entered the school campus.

The two called out Kindo from the classroom and took him to his chamber to talk. After talking for about 10 minutes, Kindo stepped out of the room with one of the men.

The other man, who was sitting inside, took out a 9mm pistol and pumped two bullets into Kindo’s head.

As the principal collapsed on the ground, his killer smashed a stone on his head to ensure that he did not survive.

An FIR was registered in this connection at the Tupudana outpost.

Primary investigations suggested that Kindo had some connection with PLFI, Thakur said.

According to the police, Kindo’s involvement was suspected in the murder of local resident Sanjay Singh in January this year.

Two persons were arrested in connection with the murder and both said they had acted on Kindo’s orders.

Another police officer said Kindo also had enmity with one Lilariys Toppo, with whom he set up the school. “The principal took the help of PLFI members to threaten Toppo, who established another school at Chand village,” the officer said.

Local residents also supported the police claims and said Kindo was close to PLFI area commander Mantu Soa and Pankaj Munda.

Kindo’s wife Kamta refused to comment. The victim has two sons Stage (5) and Spell (3). Sources at Khunti said PLFI commander Sao had claimed responsibility for the killing.

MEANWHILE

2 criminals killed in Ranchi encounter

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Ranchi, June 2: Two unidentified criminals, who were allegedly on a mission to kill, were gunned down by the police inside an apartment complex at Hinoo in Doranda police station area this evening.

Senior superintendent of police Praveen Kumar, who reached the spot soon after the incident took place around 8pm, said the two belonged to the Bhola Pandey gang. The two were acting on the orders of Kishore Pandey, who has been running the gang after Bhola Pandey’s death, to kill one Satish Srivastava.

“The criminals came on a brand new bike which had no number plate. After confirming from the guards that their target indeed lived in the apartment, they moved in. Once they identified Satish, they fired at him,” said Kumar.

Satish, a businessman, is the brother of criminal Sushil Srivastava, who is now lodged in Hazaribagh jail. Satish lives in the four-storey Saroj Apartment with his family.

Senior superintendent of police Kumar said the police had prior information about the possible attack on Satish and his family members by the criminals, and some plainclothes policemen had been deployed near Satish’s residence.

“As they fired at me, I ducked and saved myself. I ran inside my house and locked the door from inside,” said Satish.

As soon as the shots rang out, the plainclothes men who were in the vicinity, swung into action and opened fire. In the encounter that followed, the two criminals were killed.

The SSP said though the criminals were yet to be identified, one appeared to be from the state capital, and the other from somewhere else.

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