Two days ago, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar proudly announced that his government is setting up incubation centres in educational institutes in order to promote entrepreneurship among youth. The same day two entrepreneurs were made to spend six hours at a police station after they raised questions during a start-up meet in Patna.The reason? No one knows.
According to a report in The Telegraph, 43-year-old Nemi Kumar and 46-year-old Suresh Kumar Sharma had raised issues on start-ups before the chief minister on Tuesday at the 4th Bihar Entrepreneurship Summit-Start-up Bihar" organised by Bihar Entrepreneurs Association (BEA).
After the event, they were whisked to the police station. They were reportedly not allowed to get in touch with their family members, not allowed to eat or drink and not even allowed to use the toilet.
Another report notes what happened during the event. Nemi had asked the chief minister why his start-up proposal was rejected, raising the issue of lack of information in the whole process. The chief minister heard and immediately directed the industries department to make public the details of the selected start-ups on startup.bihar.gov.in and also inform the entrepreneurs the grounds for rejection of their ideas.
Meanwhile, Suresh had interrupted the chief minister while he was speaking, telling him that he was harassed by bank officials for a loan he had taken to manufacture machines. It didn't go down well with Nitish.
"If you want to say something, you should come here (on the dais) and speak. Had this been an interactive event, I would have fixed my schedule accordingly. The session of legislature is going on, so many things are there. You need to learn behavioural skills before establishing start-ups," the chief minister said.
You would think this was the end to it. But, no.
As soon as the event got over, the entrepreneurs were taken to the Gandhi Maidan police station. They were told that they will have to stay there till the deputy superintendent (town) Kailash Prasad comes and questions them.
"We were treated like criminals and detained in a room inside the police station for over six hours," one of the entrepreneurs told The Telegraph.
Later in the evening, they were allowed to leave after being told that the deputy superintendent will not be able to make it. The newspaper reports that both the entrepreneurs were asked to give in writing that they were treated well by the police personnel.
Om Prakash Srivastava, Special branch sub-inspector said that he had sent the two entrepreneurs to the police station as the chief minister had wanted to meet them. "I thought their details should be recorded in case any senior official asks for them later."
On February 15, the state cabinet of Bihar had decided to allocate funds to the tune of Rs 50 crore out of Rs 500 crore earmarked as venture capital for startups. The policy envisages 22% of the Rs 500 crore venture fund for scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) applicants.
"Bihar will soon become the first state where the state government will provide seed money to budding entrepreneurs," BEA secretary-general Abhishek Singh had said at the event.
If the accounts of the two 'budding entrepreneurs' are to believed, then things don't look that rosy after all.
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