Ranchi, March 9: Top state officials, including chief secretary A.K. Singh, will camp in Latehar on March 12 and 13, which will coincide with the visit of the secretary of the Union rural development minister, B.K. Sinha.
The central official is arriving in Ranchi on March 11 to take stock of the ground situation in the wake of the recent killing of MGNREGS activist Niyamat Ansari at Jerua village in Manika block of Latehar district.
According to sources, Sinha will assess whether the regular deaths of MGNREGS activists and workers were the fallout of administrative failure.
Sinha will visit Jerua to meet Ansari’s family members on March 12. The same day, he will go to Bokaro, where MGNREGS worker Subbal Mahto was allegedly assaulted by a contractor on February 22 when he asked for his dues. Later, Mahto succumbed to his injuries. Sources said Union minister of rural development Vilasrao Deshmukh wrote to chief minister Arjun Munda, calling for immediate action against the culprits.
“We have received details about Sinha’s visit. He will go to Latehar and Bokaro and meet the family members of both the victims,” MGNREGS commissioner Singh told The Telegraph. The state team, which will include welfare secretary L. Khiangte, MGNREGS commissioner Ajoy Kumar Singh, special secretary in the state art, culture and sports department N.M. Kulkarni and director of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan Vinay Kumar Choubey, will also examine the implementation of government schemes, including MGNREGS.
The chief secretary will also hold a meeting with district and block-level officials at Latehar on March 12.
MGNREGS commissioner Singh said a second report on the progress in investigations into Ansari’s murder had been jointly prepared by Latehar DC Rahul Kumar Purwar and SP Kuldeep Diwedy and sent to the Centre.
On March 13, he and the other officials will meet respective members of Parliament, MLAs, Zilla Parishad chairman and vice-chairman, panchayat samiti pramukh and mukhiyas of different gram panchayats.
“It’s an effort to set things right after Ansari’s murder,” said a senior government official.
On March 2, Ansari was reportedly killed by unscrupulous contractors, suspected to have been backed by Maoists, for exposing rampant corruption in the rural job scheme in Latehar.