Concern in Rajya Sabha over killing of NREGA activist

Members in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday voiced serious concern over the killing of an NREGA activist in Latehar district of Jharkhand and rued that money meant for the poor is being siphoned off by officials and contractors.

Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 14:12 PM IST

New Delhi: Members in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday voiced
serious concern over the killing of an NREGA activist in
Latehar district of Jharkhand and rued that money meant for
the poor is being siphoned off by officials and contractors.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Mabel Rebello
(Cong) said Neyamat Ansari was killed because he was exposing
the nexus between officials and contractors.

Ansari, who had been working for the implementation of the
National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme was killed this
month after being mercilessly beaten by a group of Maoists at
Jerua village in Latehar district. He was a close associate
of noted social activist Jean Dreze.

Alleging that NREGA money is going to contractors and
officers instead of the poor for whom it was meant, she said
there was no need for the scheme if it continued like this.

She demanded that the Centre should ask the state to take
strict action against the Deputy Commissioner and Deputy
Development Commissioner and put them behind bars in such
cases.

Referring to irregularities in the scheme in Gumla
district of Jharkhand, she said the money should be recovered
from the Deputy Commissioner`s account.

The entire House associated itself with the member`s
concerns.

Avinash Rai Khanna (BJP) raised the issue of the killing
of an elderly Sikh in the US recently and said India should
take up the matter with the US and build pressure so that such
incidents did not recur.

He said if such things happen and there is no response
from the government, it will create fear in the minds of
people.

Balwinder Singh Bhunder (SAD) said if such incidents
happened, then Indians working abroad will come back due to
fear. He demanded a statement from the government on the
issue.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (BJP) said a recent directive of the
Information and Broadcasting Ministry threatens the employment
of thousands of people working in short films and documentary
making and it should be withdrawn.

He said documentary makers are encouraged in all countries
but the ministry here has directed that multiplexes should
show short films made only by the Films Division.

Naqvi alleged that the ministry has conspired to render
these short film-makers unemployed to suit its interests.

K B Shanappa (BJP) said reduction in custom duty for silk
would seriously hit the indigenous silk producers and feared
that China could dump its materials in India.

PTI