Indian 'happiness minister' sought for murder, police say

Rodiano Bonacci
Dicembre 15, 2017

After getting mired in the murder case, Arya is all likely to resign from the Shivraj Singh Chouhan ministry in Madhya Pradesh.

Arya is chief of India's only Department for Happiness, which was established by the government in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in 2016.

A manhunt is underway for India's so-called "happiness minister", who vanished after his arrest was ordered in the 2009 death of an opposition politician, according to local reports.

Indian official Lal Singh Arya, who is wanted on murder charges.

"Police teams are looking for him".

The 53-year-old has previously denied the charges, according to the BBC. Authorities have searched three locations across central India: Bhopal, Gwalior, and his native town of Gohad. "We are positive that we will track him down by then", Prashant Khare, police superintendent in Bhind, told AFP over phone.

Nearly one and a half years ago, the state government constituted the country's first Ministry of Happiness and it was announced by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as a novel initiative.

In India, the ministry hopes to create its own happiness index, promising social programs such as yoga, meditation and free religious pilgrimages.

Mr Arya, who has headed the happiness department since its inception, heads five other departments, including aviation, general administration and welfare of scheduled castes and tribes.

Sources told AFP officials were hoping to find Arya before his scheduled court appearance on December 19.

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