To shame officials, tribal widow begs for funds to pay bribes | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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To shame officials, tribal widow begs for funds to pay bribes

bhopal Updated: Sep 27, 2016 08:49 IST

Anupam Pateriya, Sagar
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Rajkumari and her son, begging for money in front of the Tikamgarh Collectorate. (HT photo)

For 25 years, she ran from pillar to post in order to get her land demarcated, but was met with resistance everywhere. Officials hinted that they wanted her to grease their palm, but the widow, an extremely poor tribal from the Tikamgarh district, had no money to pay them. She was at her wits end.

Now, Rajkumari, along with her son, has come up with a novel way to ensure that her work is done — the two have started begging for money in front of the Tikamgarh Collectorate, with a cardboard sign around their neck stating that they need the money to bribe the officials.

Rajkumari’s troubles began when her husband died, leaving her with a small piece of land in Larkhurd village. However, the local revenue officer refused to demarcate the land, and after a while, Larkhurd villagers started claiming the land as their own.

She said even forest officials didn’t help her —according to her, they said her land was forest land and if she didn’t pay them, they would take possession of the land.

Things came to a head when she was attacked by Larkhurd villagers, who threatened her to not set foot on the land. She reported the matter to Jatara police but no action was taken.

Not knowing where to turn to, Rajkumari began her protest in front of the Tikamgarh Collectorate.

However, it has borne fruit, with the administration finally taking notice of her plight. Tikamgarh sub-divisional magistrate Manoj Singh Thakur said he had asked Baldevgarh SDM Swati Jain about Rajkumari’s travails, who informed him that the demarcation of her land has been done.

“If someone stops her, then she can complain to us... If someone is demanding bribes from her, strict action will be taken against them,” Thakur said.