Religious organizations not to be allowed to hold congregations in educational institutions: Chief

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 Announces upgradation of PHC Ghanvi to CHC

Chief Minister  Virbhadra Singh said action would be taken against people responsible for damage to property during a protest in Rampur Bushahr on Sunday. He directed the police authorities to ensure strict action against those who tried to break in to the school campus gate.

Virbhadra Singh, who was addressing a public meeting at Jeuri in Rampur Sub Division of district Shimla, today said it was disgusting that few BJP loyalists were involved in hooliganism in the name of religion at Rampur Bushahr.

He said that such incidents were not in interest of the state and never before such type of vandalism had been witnessed in Himachal. Cautioning, he said that the communal violence should be avoided and government institutes should not serve as the venue for religious ceremonies. No religious organizations will be allowed to hold congregations in educational institutions, he said.

He said that conversion of religion by luring and paying for the same was not a good practice and it should not be made a business. Such practice needs to be stopped as conversion by luring or financing was illegal and banned and one had to apply to the district magistrate on a form to seek permission to do so. No person abet any such conversion, too, he said.

Himachal was the first state in the country which had passed a law against conversion and would be imposed strictly, he added.

The Chief Minister said that every citizen of India had the right to practice the religion of his choice but few religious organizations in the country were seen involved in suppressing the true spirit of right to freedom of religion. He cautioned the people to be aware of  such people and also those who shift their loyalties when elections were around the corner.

Without naming, he said that many people, nearing elections, jump from one branch to other shifting loyalities and we should be aware of such people who try to deceive people.  Such persons did not have any concern for the people but were selfish enough having own self interests. This had become practice in almost all the parties which was not good for democratic set up.

Though the 14th Finance Commission had withheld the grants to Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samitis, the state government was funding them out of its own resources and a budget of Rs 42 crore had been proposed for this fiscal, said the Chief Minister.

“I have taken up the matter with the Union Government time and again to amend the recommendations of 14th Finance Commission so as to pave way for devolution of funds to Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads,” he said.

As far as Mahatma Gandhi Engineering College, Jeori was concerned, a provision of Rs 100 crore had been made for the same, he said, adding that it would be an asset for the State and a hub of engineering education.

The Chief Minister announced upgradation of Primary Health Centre, Ghanvi to Community Health Centre and announced various inaugurations and foundations stones worth Rs 90 crore from the stage.

Former Member of Parliament  Pratibha Singh, Chief Parliamentary Secretary  Nand Lal, Vice-Chairman, HPSIDC  Atul Sharma, BCC, President  Satish Kumar were also present on the occasion amongst others.


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