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PM Modi’s Twitter handle for tours, speeches, updates only; not for complaints, says RTI

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PMO Modi Twitter Handle RTI

When PM Modi’s household chorus is being looked after by the government staff, then his personal Twitter handle should also be looked after by the govt. staff, he argued.

New Delhi: The Office of the Prime Minister of India, in a reply to an RTI ,  said its official Twitter handle is not meant for entertaining the complaints or issues raised by the public. The PMO’s primary purpose of being on social media is to Tweet about his travels, speeches, and updates from Ministries, it said.

Interestingly, the claims of the PM regarding transparency were failed by his own office again. First, the activist was not given any reply. After the first appeal, the Office took 150 days to answer basic queries that could have been answered within 10 days, said the activist. 

The activist suggested the Office was reluctant in revealing the details. This information received by the RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya as reply to his queries related to the official (@pmo) and personal (@narendramodi) Twitter handles of the PM Narendra Modi opposes the flagship Digital India campaign launched by the NDA government.

Scroll Down to Read the Copies of Original RTI, Appeal, Orders and Reply 

Despite very regular activity on both the Twitter handles, the PMO said it does not have any designated staff to look after them.

The activist has questioned the functioning of the handle after several of his Tweets, in which the official as well as personal handles of the PM were tagged, were not attended. The activist argued that while he received a positive response from the Twitter handles of other cabinet ministers about the grievances and issues raised by him, the PMO did not even bothered to respond to them.

 The dream of digital India of the PM Narendra Modi is being demolished in his own office,

said the activist.

I used to take in loop the official and personal handles of the PM in my Tweets relating to various administrative lapses since long because I had a nice experience with respect to the Twitter handles of Suresh Prabhu (@sureshprabhu) and Sushma Swaraj (@sushmaswaraj). Everytime I looped in them for any query the response came at once,

the activist added.

Disappointed by the indifference shown by the PMO towards his Tweets, the activist sought information from the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) regarding the operation of the handles through an RTI application on May 03, 2017.

The activist sought the following information:

  • Who monitor the Twitter handle of PMO India and Narendra Modi (@narendramodi)?
  • How many Tweets were received by the PMO and personal handle of the PM Modi from Dev Ashish Bhattacharya (@rtidab) during last 15 days?
  • What action was taken on these Tweets from his Twitter handle @rtidab?

On June 7, the activist said, the CPIO of the PMO sent an interim reply stating that his RTI application was being processed by the PMO and the information shall be sent to him as soon as possible.

He waited till the end of July for a response that did not arrive. Then he filed the First Appeal on August 24 to the First Appellate Authority.

On his appeal, the First Appellate Authority of the PMO on August 10 directed the CPIO to release the information within 15 days.

I received the sought information on 13 October 2017 – after 150 days against the stipulated period of 30 days,

he said. 

The information provided by the PMO said that the personal Twitter handle of the PM is not maintained by the PMO or Govt. of India.

The reply further said there is no designated officer to handle the PMO’s social media presence.

The PMO primarily uses the official Twitter handle to disseminate news on PM’s travels, speeches and various updates received from various Ministries/Departments only, and that no complaints etc. are entertained on the official handle, said the Office in the reply.

The PMO further said that only the concerned officer dealing with the subject provides the inputs. For complaints, the Office said there are separate online portals to submit complaints/grievances. 

The activist argues that if there is no designated officer in the PM Office to handle the official Twitter account, then who updates or posts the inputs received from various Ministries and Departments.

When the Twitter accounts of other Ministers are responsive on various issues raised by the citizens, then why the Twitter account of the PMO is non-responsive, asks the activist.

Modi is the full time PM of India, and his personal Twitter handle cannot be an isolated private entity. When his household chorus is being looked after by the government staff, then his personal Twitter handle should also be looked after by the govt. staff, he argued.

Further, the activist said the CPIO gave a simple response to his RTI queries, which should not have taken more than 10 days.  He questions such unusual delay in responding to the RTI.

The activist concluded that this delay might have resulted due to time taken to manipulate facts.

However, in totality, the information provided by the CPIO of the PMO after 150 days seems to be a cover up, and it seems that the PM Modi does not know about this matter, said Bhattacharya.

The activist expressed doubts that the relevant issues and complaints are deliberately ignored by the PMO on social media.   

The PMO is, it seems, knowingly creating a one way conversation through the personal and official Twitter handles of the PM in order to remain out of touch from the sentiments of the citizens of India,

said the activist.

 

Misc News/Press Release

Accused arrested in Kotkhai Gudiya case sent to 14-day judicial custody

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Kotkhai Gudiya case update

Shimla: While all eyes will be on the status report to be submitted in the Himachal Pradesh High Court in Gudiya gangrape and murder case, the only accused arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on April 13, 2018, was produced in a special court in Shimla. The accused was sent to a 14-day judicial custody.

Officially, the sleuths have not revealed the identity of the arrested accused and are maintained a distance from all media person. The face of the accused covered while he was brought to the special court today morning.

However, media reports are identifying the accused a Neelu of Mandi district.

The agency is also supposed to file a status report in the state High Court during this afternoon. The people are expecting the agency to make identity and findings of the probe public.

They could face disappointment as the agency has made only one arrest in the case. The arrested accused is being speculated to be a woodcutter.

The people do have hope to get justice for Gudiya, they are equally sceptic about the arrest in the absence of any clear clue about the story of Gudiya.

It is pertinent to mention that the High Court in this March had expressed extreme disappointment with the CBI’s pace of investigation and had directed the CBI Chief to be personally present in the court during the next hearing.

However, right after the hearing, the CBI had suddenly announced that it has got its hands on a strong forensic evidence against the real culprits.

Prior to it, the CBI was empty-handed and had even announced a reward of Rs. 10 lakh to anyone who provides it with any substantial clue about the culprits.

After about 10 months of investigation, the agency had in March claimed that it will expose the accused by April 25, which is today.

 

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Misc News/Press Release

Arrested accused in Kotkhai Gudiya case confesses crime: Reports

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Kotkhai accused confession

Shimla: The police in Kotkhai region of Shimla district of the peaceful Hill State is on high alert as the Central Bureau of Investigation brought the lone accused arrested in alleged case of the murder of a 16-year-old girl after a gangrape back to Shimla on Sunday.

The agency has cracked the case and the accused has confessed his crime if the reports of CBI sources and media are to be believed.

The lone accused arrested by the CBI on April 14, 2018, was taken to the agency headquarters in New Delhi for further investigation.

On Sunday, he was brought back to Shimla for the re-creation of the crime scene based on the statement given by the accused. However, the identity of the accused remains unconfirmed because CBI has been maintaining distance from media.

The accused was on Monday morning was taken to the crime spot in the Halaila forests of Kotkhai Tehsil.

A large crowd gathered to see the accused, however, as per a Hindi Daily, they were disappointed as he was reportedly wearing a helmet as a part of the agency’s measures to keep the identity concealed.

A national news channel, however, claimed that the name of the accused is Neelu and he is a lumberjack.

The round of speculations regarding the identity is likely to continue until April 25 – the next date of the hearing in the State High Court.

The agency had earlier assured the court that it would reveal the real culprits in the upcoming hearing. The agency has not made any other arrest so far while the date of hearing is just two days away.

However, sceptic minds are trying to add up the numbers. It is hard to believe that a lumberjack alone could send the entire Special Investigation Team of the HP Police to jail and fool the premier investigation agency of India.  

Therefore, more arrests are expected to be made during the next few days. 

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ECO-Tourism

Himachal seeks Rs. 300 crore from Centre to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism

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Religious Tourism in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the Union Minister for Tourism, K.J. Alphons to sanction three schemes worth Rs. 300 crore to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism in the state.

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, during a meeting in New Delhi, apprised the Minister that Himachal was also a major centre of religious tourism and religious tourism circuits will be developed here to provide devotees more facilities.

The Chief Minister also invited Union Minister to Himachal and said that he himself will take him to the tourist destinations of the State. K.J. Alphons whole-heartedly accepted the invitation.

Chief Minister also urged the Centre to provide funds generously for widespread publicity of tourism sites in the state.

The Union Minister of State for Tourism assured the Chief Minister that the Union Government will extend all possible support to this hill state for exploitation and expansion of its tourism potential.

The Chief Minister said that the focus should be on tourism in the state, which was not given before. However, now the state government is giving special emphasis to strengthening infrastructure in virgin natural places, he said.

Himachal has immense potential for adventure tourism and adventure sports like mountaineering, biking, river rafting, and paragliding and the state is considered as a paradise for these adventure sports.

However, it is true that the governments have done very little to polish and maintain the tourism sector.

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