About 20 families belonging to the Manganiyar community of folk musicians have fled their native village in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan after a community member was allegedly beaten to death following a dispute over a ritual in a local temple. The folk singer was held responsible for failure of a temple ritual.A faith healer, Ramesh Suthar, who belongs to the ‘Bhopa’ (exorcist) clan, had claimed that Amad Khan (45) had failed to perform a specific melody at the temple in Dantal village during the Navratra festival, because of which the spirit of the temple goddess did not enter his body. He allegedly thrashed the singer and broke his musical instruments.Suthar allegedly entered the house of Khan, along with some accomplices on September 27 night and assaulted him again, leading to his death. Police have arrested Suthar and launched a hunt for two other accused after registering a murder case under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code.The frightened Manganiyar families have fled Dantal village and about 200 persons are camping at Balad, 20 km away, under the police protection. Some of them shifted to the Jaisalmer town earlier this week and are staying at a night shelter near the railway station.Though the police have assured them of security if they return to their native village, Manganiyars claim that they were being threatened by the dominant Rajput and Suthar castes. Gunasar Lok Sangeet Sansthan president Baksh Khan said the Manganiyars expected the district administration to help in their rehabilitation.
The Congress government in Rajasthan has identified a whopping 10 lakh farmers for grant of loans through cooperative banks during the next crop cycle, amid allegations by the Opposition BJP that its “populist measure” of farm-loan waiver had failed to extend the benefit to the eligible agriculturists and led to scams in several districts. State Cooperative Minister Udai Lal Anjana said here on Saturday that the cooperative debt structure was being strengthened for the benefit of farmers who would get the loans without mortgaging their land. Farmers getting themselves biometrically registered under the scheme would be given preference in the loan disbursement, he said. The farm loans will be disbursed in two stages during the next crop cycle of kharif season from April 1 to August 31 and rabi season from September 1 to March 31. Mr. Anjana said the loan recipients would also get the benefit of other schemes operated by the Cooperative Department. The BJP has alleged that the loan waiver scheme, announced by the State government without the Cabinet’s approval, was not clear about the eligible farmers and the process of implementation. BJP State president Madal Lal Saini said the “loan scams” had come to light in several districts, where the loans were picked up in the name of farmers who had never received the amount. The Congress government had announced loan waiver for farmers up to Rs.2 lakh each, resulting in the burden of an estimated Rs.18,000 crore on the Exchequer, on December 19, 2018, two days after being sworn in. The Congress had promised to tackle agrarian distress during its campaign for the 2018 State Assembly election. The entire short-term loans taken by small and medium farmers from cooperative and land development banks without any monetary ceiling and the debts up to Rs.2 lakh due on November 30, 2018, for the defaulter farmers who had obtained loans from nationalised, commercial and rural banks was to be waived in the scheme’s first phase. Registrar of Cooperative Societies Niraj K. Pawan said the farmers who had become members of village cooperative societies several years ago would be among the beneficiaries selected for the crop loan disbursement scheme.
Protests in Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka took a new turn with Tamil chauvinists on Tuesday demanding that the Indian cricket team not be sent to the island nation for the forthcoming Twenty-20 World championship.While Yuvraj Singh was making a comeback in international cricket after his battle against a rare germ cell cancer representing the Indian team in the second T-20 match against New Zealand, Tamil protesters held a demonstration outside the Chepauk stadium in Chennai on Tuesday evening.The protesters also disrupted traffic near the stadium.Pro-Tamil groups have also issued a warning to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) against sending the Indian team to Sri Lanka.Mainstream political parties in Tamil Nadu have not taken a stand on the matter so far. DMK chief M. Karunanidhi had earlier said that sports and politics should not be mixed.