From asset declaration to Chhath stampede

The year began on a promising note with a new Lokayukta Act coming into force in Bihar on the eve of New Year, after Governor Devanand Konwar gave his assent to the Bill.

According to the Act, the incumbent Lokayukta Chandra Mohan Prasad was re-designated as Chief Lokayukta, with provisions for two other members in the three-member body.

Assets & liabilities

With the beginning of New Year, Nitish too declared his assets (which is now mandatory for everyone right from the CM to Class III employee).

Though Nitish’s immoveable assets remained the same at Rs 40 lakh, the number of cows and calves doubled. Till 2010, Nitish was the proud owner of one cow and a calf. But a year later, he had two cows and three calves.

Tracing roots

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad Bissessar came to Bihar where she was accorded a red carpet welcome at her ancestral village Bhelpur in Buxar district. The visit was aimed to trace her roots in the nondescript village where her great grandfather and his family stayed before shifting to Trinidad 122 years back.

Wedding bells

Meanwhile, Lalu Prasad, perceived as a political pariah in his fiefdom, was busy sealing matrimonial alliances of his daughters.

Having ample time to fulfil the family obligations, Lalu wedded his fourth daughter Ragini with Rahul, son of a UP-based Samajwadi Party leader. Later, his fifth daughter Hema and sixth one Anoushka too got married.

Ex-DGP in the net

On February 1, the Special Vigilance court asked the District Magistrate of Patna to confiscate the property of Bihar’s former Director General of Police (DGP) Narayan Mishra, and open a school in the building premises. The judge asked the DM to comply with the directive in the next 30 days.

Mishra was the first IPS official against whom action was taken ever since the Bihar Special Court Act, 2009, came into force. His property was not only attached but a school for poor children opened much on the lines of the one opened in the house of suspended IAS officer SS Verma last year.

Field day for goons

However, the bubble of ‘good governance’ in Bihar got burst when a motley group of 5,000-odd supporters of Ranveer Sena founder Brahmeshwar Singh (who was shot dead) indulged in vandalism, loot and arson on June 2.

The rampaging mob, accompanying the body of Brahmeshwar which was being carried from Ara to Patna, torched nearly 50 vehicles, attacked 14 journalists and scores of policemen besides roughing up innocent on-lookers in the heart of the State Capital.

All throughout the vandalism, the Patna police remained a mute spectator, with majority of them running for cover when the angry supporters of Brahmeshwar went berserk.

Food for thought

On October 3, President Pranab Mukherjee flew down to the state capital where he unveiled the ambitious agriculture roadmap – a dream project of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar – to usher in a rainbow revolution in the farm sector in the next five years (2012-2107) by boosting production of foodgrains, dairy, fisheries and horticulture.

Katju’s tirade

In the meantime, Chairman of Press Council of India (PCI) Justice Markandey Katju during his Patna visit on October 19 slammed Nitish regime in no uncertain terms and said people, who voted him to power with such a brute majority, were now fed up with him.

Chhath stampede

The year ended on a sad note when 17 persons including nine children, were killed in the stampede after a makeshift wooden bridge near Adalat Ghat in Patna collapsed on the day of Chhath. More than 100 persons sustained grievous injuries.

The mishap took place when thousands of devotees were returning after offering arghya (obeisance) to the Sun God on the occasion of Chhath, one of the most revered festivals here.

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