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October 19, 2017

MP House discusses Barwani blindings: CM announces compensation, pension to victims


Newsroom24x7 Desk

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday took up for discussion through an adjournment motion the plight of 43 persons who had lost their eyes during operation.

When the House, that had been adjourned briefly during zero hour reassembled, the Speaker took up the adjournment notice on the Barwani incident given by 12 Congress MLAs, including Ramnivas Rawat Bala Bachchan. Since the first notice was received from Rawat, Speaker Sitasharan Sharma read it out.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan gave consent on behalf of the Government to start discussion. Starting the debate, Rawat said that the Barwani incident is most unfortunate and inhuman. He said that eye operations were conducted in Barwani between November 16 and 21. He demanded that there should be system to ensure this is not repeated in future and criminal offenses be registered against the culprits. He also raised questions about the purchase of medicines and demanded the State health minister’s resignation.

Rawat also asked for the setting up of a house panel to probe the Barwani incident where 43 persons have been blinded during their eye operation. He said that each victim should be given pension of Rs. 5000 per month and a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh.

When Health Minister Narottam Mishra was replying the debate, the Opposition members staged a walkout. At this juncture when the Minister tabled his written reply, the chief minister arrived and announced that a high-level probe into the Barwani incident would be conducted by an additional chief secretary level officer. The inquiry team would comprise of experts from Indore medical college and AIIMS, Bhopal. The Government would fix responsibility and an FIR against the culprits would be registered. He also announced life-long pension of Rs. 5000 per month besides a compensation of of Rs. 2 lakh to each victim.

Earlier, amidst noisy scenes, Ministers answered written queries and their supplementaries during the Question hour. At one stage, Speaker Sitasharan Sharma even had to adjourn the House proceedings for 10 minutes. There were occasions when the Congress members twice stormed into the well of house.

During the Question Hour, there was a question by a ruling BJP member relating to the Kumbhraj nagar panchayat in Guna district. The member raised the issue of embezzlement and demanded action against the guilty. Narmada valley and the General Administration and Urban Development Minister Lal Singh Arya said that the guilty has been traced and action has been taken. Congress member Sunder Tiwari said that farmers are being forced to pay bloated electricity bills, their electricity supply is being stopped, the recovery officers were threatening them and the Electricity Board has initiated criminal proceedings against them. Tiwari and other opposition members were not satisfied by the reply given by Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya, in the absence of the Minister for Energy. The outraged members rushed to the well of the House and started protesting. There were heated arguments before the Congress members staged a walkout on this issue. Prominent from the Congress side who raised critical objections were Ramnivas Rawat, Omkar Singh Markam, Jitu Patwari and Govind Singh.

Immediately after question hour, during zero hour, Congress MLA Arif Aqueel drew attention to a published photo of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan showing him waving a sword and said people are now carrying swords. This led to sound and fury from both the ruling and opposition benches as members traded charges and hurled accusations. The chief minister intervened and said that functions of all religious communities are held at his residence. Similarly a function of the Sikh community was also organised and he had only carried forward a tradition. Respecting all religions is the true spirit of India and no one should draw any other meaning. As the Opposition members were in no mood to relent, the Speaker then adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

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