Dara Singh case, Naomi Campbell, Rushdie hog limelight in Rajasthan

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 05:20 hrs

Jaipur: Rajasthan saw a slew of initiatives, significant developments in the Dara Singh encounter case, an extravagant birthday party hosted by supermodel Naomi Campbell for her boyfriend and a controversy surrounding the Jaipur Literature Festival over the visit of author Salman Rushdie in 2012.

On the political front, both Congress and BJP witnessed some infighting but were able to ride over the crises.

Trouble began in the BJP when MLA Gulab Chand Kataria decided to take out rallies in the state. Vasundhara Raje opposed it and threatened to quit the party if the plan was not dropped. Next day, over 30 MLAs met Raje and offered to resign expressing faith in her leadership. However, the issue ended with the intervention of the party's senior leadership and Kataria also withdrawing his plan.

In the ruling Congress, a section of MLAs met the party's high command and accused Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of sidelining them. However, Gehlot succeeded in regaining their confidence.

Ajmer was in news when the Supreme Court granted bail to octogenarian Pakistani scientist Khalil Chisti in a two- decade-old murder case and set him free in December.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari paid obeisance at the Ajmer dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti and announced USD one million for the shrine, but the payment was delayed.

The Ajmer dargah's religious head Zainul Abedin Ali Khan objected to actors and producers coming to the shrine to pray for success of their films and demanded a ban on their visits.

The year began on a controversial note over Rushdie's proposed visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival. The author was invited by the organisers of the annual literary event but it was strongly opposed by Muslims. Rushdie finally did not turn up and blamed the state government for his failed visit.

The first quarter of the year saw the surrender of absconding 1978-batch senior IPS officer A K Jain and subsequent arrest of Opposition BJP MLA Rajendra Rathore in connection with the infamous Dara Singh fake encounter case. Rathore's arrest triggered stiff opposition from BJP which accused the government of falsely implicating him.

Rathore emerged victorious as a lower court discharged him from the case but his delight was short-lived as the Rajasthan High Court directed him to surrender before CBI.

However, Rathore approached the Supreme Court, which stayed the high court order and the matter is now pending with the apex court. In another development in the case, one of the absconding accused Vijay Kumar was found murdered in Churu district after Diwali.

The government introduced several schemes and made efforts for their proper implementation.

"Rajasthan is the first state to introduce 'Right to Hearing Act' which ensures time-bound hearing and disposal of complaints. As many as 4,611 complaints were received in a period of 4 months since its launch and out of them, 4,156 have been disposed off," Gehlot, whose government completed four year in December, told PTI.

The government launched a free generic veterinary medicines scheme and announced making essential testing for patients free of cost from next year.

The state also decided to give a separate five per cent quota to five communities, including Gujjars, under Special Backward Category which raised the reservation in the state from 49 per cent to 54 per cent. However, the Gujjar leaders were not satisfied with the decision, which was taken as per the recommendations of the state OBC Commission report, saying their demand was quota under legal limits of 50 per cent.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh relaunched the Aadhar project in Dudu near here.

The state experienced drought like-situation and deficient rainfall in the initial phase of monsoon but the rain god soon smiled. However, the relief was shortlived as the heavy rains left over 35 people dead.

A one-month-old motherless girl Damini got blessings and support of people when the pitiable condition of her rickshaw puller father caught their attention in Bharaptur. She was battling for life but her father Bablu, who had no money, was forced to pull a rickshaw while carrying her in a sling, to feed her. She was then admitted to a hospital and her father given monetary support for her proper upbringing.

Rajasthan Atomic Power Station was also in news when IAEA conducted an in-depth operational safety review of its two units, the first such exercise in India in the aftermath of Fukushima nuclear accident.

The 10th Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas was held here in January which was attended by large number of NRIs and PIOs. During the event, attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad Bissesar among others, Gehlot announced a special programme to fund 90 per cent of the travel of young NRIs and PIOs coming to the state once a year.

The assembly got its deputy speaker this year with the unanimous election of Congress' Ramnarayan Meena.

Veteran Congress leader and former governor of Gujarat, Naval Kishore Sharma, died in October after prolonged illness whereas senior IAS officer V K Singh was killed in an accident while returning from a morning walk in December.

A woman police inspector, who deified orders of the state legislative assembly and high court to appear before a panel of the assembly, was suspended by the DGP.

Outspoken legislator Hanuman Beniwal was suspended from the legislative assembly for passing ugly remarks against a state minister during budget session. However, in the next session, the suspension was revoked.


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