Citizens' Issues
Centre offers CBI probe into Karnataka IAS officer's death
The central government is ready for a CBI inquiry into the death of Karnataka IAS officer D.K. Ravi if the state government wants, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.
 
Making an intervention during zero hour in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said a delegation of parliament members met him and demanded that a CBI inquiry be initiated into the incident.
 
"Some senior IAS officers have also raised this demand," he said.
 
The home minister said: "I have spoken with the Karnataka chief minister and he has said he will send a detailed report within a couple of days".
 
"If the state government wants (CBI probe), then as soon as I get a representation from them, we will be ready for a CBI inquiry".
 
D.K. Ravi, a 36-year-old additional commissioner in the state commercial tax department, was found dead on March 16 at his official apartment. His wife found him hanging from a ceiling fan.
 
The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha on Thursday by BJP member Prahlad Joshi, who is from Karnataka.
 
Joshi said: "We met Rajnath Singh to apprise him of the situation and how people are been treated there (Karnataka)".
 
"I demand a CBI inquiry," he said, adding that the parents of the officer are also demanding it.
 
"The CID works under home minister of Karnataka against whom fingers are being raised," Joshi said.
 
Joshi's comments led to a protest by Congress members in the house. Amid the uproar, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the house briefly for 15 minutes.

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No VIP access to the gods at Panchkula shrine
VIPs will not henceforth get preference over common folks for quicker access to the gods.
 
At least twice a year there were clamours among the Who's Who of Chandigarh and the adjoining tri-state area to get closer to the divine with special passes for quicker access to the shrine. This time the "VIP culture" - much detested by ordinary people who had to stand in queues for hours - has been put an end to with authorities deciding to do away with the special passes for the Navratra Festival at the Mata Mansa Devi shrine in Panchkula near here.
 
Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Vivek Atray has made it clear that VIP and VVIP passes will not be issued for the Navratras - a nine-day auspicious period in the Hindu religious calendar. The bi-annual festival gets under way on Saturday. Tens of thousands of devotees throng the shrine from the region, comprising Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, twice every year - in March and October. The shrine got over a million devotees last year.
 
With thousands of influential people and VIPs vying to get special passes for the festival, local authorities and police were stretched to accommodate them. Tempers would rise with the VIPs being given easy access to the shrine through a special entrance and allowed to get closer to the deity at the cost of the common devotees who had to slog it out for hours for their brief turn - lasting barely four-five seconds - to worship the Hindu goddess.
 
Officials in the Panchkula district administration say that over 10,000 VIP and VVIP passes used to be issued. Each pass allowed up to four people through the VIP route. The VIPs were also entitled to special drive-in parking closer to the shrine so that they did not have to walk much.
 
"We have decided not to issue any special passes this time. We want the arrangements to be foolproof for all," the dynamic Atray told IANS.
 
"We are focussing on providing good and comfortable arrangements for all. We cannot have so many VIPs," he added.
 
The VVIPs expected this time include Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the first day and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on the last day. Other VVIPs likely to arrive at the shrine will include ministers, lawmakers, judges, senior bureaucrats and police officers.
 
The administration has made arrangements for golf carts to ferry the elderly and physically challenged devotees.
 
"It is a good thing that the administration has thought of. We need to get rid of this VIP culture. Only then will things improve for everyone. Presently, the common man suffers while VIPs enjoy the privileges," Panchkula businessman Rohit Bansal told IANS.

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