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Rajasthan

Thorns In The Wilderness

Relatively speaking Rajasthan is quite, well, quiet. Only relatively speaking, though the MLAs are infamous for roughing up government officers.

Thorns In The Wilderness
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Rajasthan could be said to be miles behind as far as the  exploits of political ‘heavyweights’ are concerned. It has 200 MLAs and 25 members in the Lok Sabha, but not every often have serious charges been leveled against them. The police records of the past decade reveal that most of the cases against MLAs pertain to participation in 'people's movements'.

In recent years, though, cases of murder and rape have been filed against Janta Dal (United) MLA Jeetmal Khant. Lahoria police station in Banswada district filed a case of murder of one Dholji in November 2000 against him. In February 2003, Mrs. Leela wife of Shankar Jat filed a report at Gadhi police station in Banswada district charging Jeetmal with gang-rape, along with his friends, under the influence of alcohol. The very next day a person named Manna Lal Bheel filed a case at the Gadhi police station claiming that the MLA kidnapped him, put him in a jeep and locked him up. But a police inquiry declared all the three cases false, and a final report was filed disposing off all the cases.

Rajasthan MLAs have been infamous for roughing up government officers. In June 2001, Congress MLA Babu Lal Singhania created an uproar in political circles when he slapped Ajmer police commissioner Alok Tripathi in a meeting. Another minister lost his job for slapping his subordinate. In 1997, BJP leader Devi Singh Bhati, who was the irrigation minister in Bhairon Singh Shekhawat government, had to resign for slapping the irrigation secretary and IAS officer P.K.Dev. RJD MLA Jagmal Singh was accused of rape in the same year. A committee was formed in the state assembly to investigate the matter -- the case hasn't moved since, and the committee-report still awaited. 

In this series of cases against the representatives of the people, an interesting incident was reported against Congress MLA from Jhalawad, Miss Minakshi Chandrawal, who was caught cheating in the MM (1st year) examination. The police have closed the case by filing a final report.


Translated from Outlook Saptahik, dated February 17, 2003

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