MP government dealing firmly with mafias, says Governor

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Bhopal, Feb 22 (PTI) The Madhya Pradesh government has dealt firmly with real estate mafia, freeing encroached land worth Rs 8,800 crore from their clutches, and other organised gangs involved in illegal sand mining and abduction of women and children, Governor Anandiben Patel said on Monday.

In her customary address to the assembly on the first day of the budget session, she mentioned about the Freedom of Religion Ordinance which penalises religious conversions by misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat of force, undue influence, coercion, marriage or by any other fraudulent means.

More than 9,500 girls were freed from abductors and reunited with their families in the state in the last 10 months, Patel said.

My government is dealing sternly with all types of mafias, including liquor, drug, land, cyber, sand mining, ration, chit fund, and also history-sheeters and those involved in crime against women and children by launching a statewide campaign against them, the Governor said.

The campaign (against mafias and organised gangs) was launched on April 1, 2020. So far, 500 people linked with land mafia and encroachments on government land were identified and more than 3,300 acres of state land worth Rs 8,800 crore were freed from them by registering 384 cases, Patel said.

In her address, the governor mentioned about the implementation of the new anti-conversion law, which came into force in early January, providing for up to 10 years in jail in some cases and hefty fine for violators.

Besides, action against chit fund mafia resulted in investors getting back Rs 700 crore so far by registering 268 cases against more than 1,000 accused persons, she said.

Similarly, 172 FIRs were registered against those involved in adulteration and 10 persons were sent to jail for the crime under the stringent National Security Act (where one can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months), the Governor said.

So far, 227 persons have been arrested and adulterated edible items worth Rs 400 crore seized by the government, Patel informed the assembly.

Relevant IPC sections, too, were amended to make a provision of life imprisonment for adulteration instead of the earlier six-month jail term, she said.

Referring to the COVID-19 situation in MP, Patel said the government has taken a slew of measures to deal with the pandemic like augmenting medical facilities in public and private sectors.

She said while the testing capacity for COVID-19 was just 300 in March 2020, it is now more than 30,000 persons per day.

Eleven months back, the total number of general beds available for COVID-19 patients was 2,500, while the counts of oxygen-equipped and ICU beds stood at 230 and 537, respectively, Patel said.

Due to sustained efforts by the government, the number of general beds has gone up to more than 5,000. Similarly, the state now has 9,000 oxygen-equipped beds and over 3,000 ICU beds for dealing with the coronavirus, she informed.

The governor also highlighted efforts of the government in areas like agriculture, economy, energy, sports, education, tourism infrastructure and implementation of schemes related to Aatmanirbhar MP, housing, cleanliness and SC/ST welfare.

After the address, the assembly expressed its gratitude to the governor following which new Speaker Girish Goutam adjourned the house till Tuesday. PTI MAS RSY RSY