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Chhattisgarh: CBI court grants bail to journalist Vinod Verma in ‘sex tape’ extortion case

A special CBI court on Thursday granted bail to journalist Vinod Verma for allegedly extorting a BJP minister over a sex tape.In November this year, Verma had claimed that he had a sex tape of BJP leader Rajesh Munat, who later said that it was fake. Verma was allegedly blackmailing him, which resulted in his arrest.The police seized over 300 CDs from Verma’s house. The Ghaziabad Police confirmed that the journalist’s laptop and pen drive were also taken away. The case was registered against Verma at the Pandri Police Station of Raipur district under sections 384 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.The senior journalist, who is also an executive member of the Editors Guild of India, was part of the fact-finding team looking into the intimidation of journalists in Chhattisgarh.On November 6, a Chhattisgarh court had rejected Verma’s bail plea, saying the arguments put forward could not be discussed during a hearing on bail and that the charges against the journalist were serious.After the journalist’s arrest, the “sex-video”, allegedly involving Chhattisgarh’s Public Works Department Minister Rajesh Munat, surfaced in Raipur, triggering a political storm with opposition Congress and ruling BJP targeting each other on the issue.The Chhattisgarh government has recommended a CBI probe into the alleged sex CD row.Munat had told reporters that Verma and the Congress were trying to tarnish his image through the “fake” CD.Subsequently, the minister had lodged a complaint against Verma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel at the Civil?Lines police station in Raipur

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MoEF panel turns down clearance for Rasuli iron mine in Chhattisgarh

The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has not recommended forest clearance for the Rasuli iron ore mine of Navbharat Fuse Co Ltd in Kanker, Chhattisgarh, as the mine falls in very dense forest area in the Bailadila mountain range.FAC is an apex panel of the MoEF&CC that appraises projects that seek diversion of forests for non-forestry purposes. The mining project required diversion of 220 hectares of pristine forest land rich in biodiversity.During its meeting on December 20, the FAC noted that the state government, which had allotted the mine in 2009, had conveyed to the company its rejection of the proposal and even the ministry’s regional office did not recommend clearance upon site inspection. On these grounds, the FAC decided against recommending the project for clearance under Forest Conservation Act, minutes of the FAC meeting showed.The Rasuli iron ore mine was one among 10 leases that the state government had allotted to private companies in 2009. The mine had a reserve of 9.4 million tonnes of iron ore that was to be provided for captive use in the company’s sponge iron plant in Jagdalpur. The company had retained the mine under section 10A (2) (c) of the amended Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act.The FAC noted that the forest land proposed for diversion is part of a stand-alone hill range running north to south. “The overall landscape of the area indicates area proposed for lease constitutes the part of extension of Bailadila mountain range. The extension of the said mountain range runs over a distance of more than 100 km in Dantewada, Bijapur, Kanker, Balod, and Rajnandgaon districts of Chhattisgarh…the area has high landscape integrity value,” the FAC minutes stated.The average density of the forest is approximately 0.7 to 0.8 SDI, and it is estimated that more than 90,000 trees stand across 220 hectares. “Removal of such a large number of trees over an area of 220 ha will certainly have an adverse impact on the local environment. The area proposed under the lease forms the immediate catchment of local nallah…opening of the area and removal of the trees will also disturb the existing water regime of the area,” the minutes added.Why not allowed The Rasuli iron ore mine of Navbharat Fuse Co Ltd in Kanker, Chhattisgarh, as the mine falls in very dense forest area in the Bailadila mountain range. The average density of the forest is approximately 0.7 to 0.8 SDI, and it is estimated that more than 90,000 trees stand across 220 hectares.

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BJP will see a pan-India win over Congress in 2019, says Prakash Javadekar

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, the minister in-charge for BJP for Karnataka is on a three day visit the state from December 23. Before he left the national capital, DNA speaks to him about his views on Gujarat polls, its impact on other elections and BJP’s position in election year 2018 vis a vis that of Congress.2018 BJP faces elections in many states where it has been in power for long time. How do you see anti-incumbency playing out there.We will win hands down in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan but before that along with Karnataka, three North Eastern states- Tripura, Meghalya and Mizoram will go to polls and we will do wonderful in all these three states also. So by 2019, we will have 22 plus states with us. Out of four states, we will win at least three or even all four we can win. We will retain Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. So by 2019, it will be a pan India BJP hurting Congress.Is the defection of Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Congress leader from Assam to BJP two years back is a big boost for BJP in North East?Congress is not serious to retain their folks and good people. People are coming to us and in our party, we give good roles. In Manipur, N Biren Singh (current BJP Chief Minister) was a senior Congress minister, was the right hand of Ibobi Singh (then Chief Minister) but anybody can see the changed Birender Singh now aftern he joined BJP. So people change completely when join BJP. The way he has united Nagas, Kukis and Maitis altogether in keeping peace in the state is really a very difficult task that he has completed..Tripura is a Left bastion. In another Left-ruled state Kerala, BJP has tried hard to expand but not with much success. What is your hope in Tripura?In Tripura, there is a mass upsurge against the Communist government. Besides people from both Trinamool Congress and Congress are leaving their parties and joining the BJP. So it will be a fight between Left and the BJP the Communists. We will give a surprise there. We will win Tripura also.You are the Minister in-charge of BJP for Karnataka. What BJP’s hopes this time in Karnataka, which it lost to Congress in 2013.BJP is 100 percent going to win in Karnataka this time. Last time we lost not for any other fault but because we were a fractured party. Our party had got divided into three factions. Now everybody is together. Everybody has learnt the lesson. Congress has, in last five years, given anti people governance, bad governance. They have made Bengaluru city a pot-holed city, a garbage city. And therefore people are angry, the farmers, the youth are angry.They (the state government) have allowed terrorism. Law and Order is so bad that day in a day out Hindu activists are being killed by terror outfits and Karnatka government has not nabbed even a single accused. They have failed miserably. So People are angry and we are going to win. People will give us decisive mandate.BJP has not done so well in rural areas in Gujarat polls. Will Gujarat rural divide will also be seen in Karnataka, where there are 150 rural seats.In Karnataka, people will unitedly vote for us because the rural support was always with us there and in Lok Sabha Bengaluru city and other cities voted us. This time urban areas are also voting for BJP because they have suffered heavily at the hands of Congress. Gujarat was a different ball game. It was not rural- urban issue. It was the worst kind of politics done by Congress, which was piggybacking on Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani. They tried to divide the society. Here also in Karnataka, they are trying to divide the society on caste and other lines. But I am very happy that Karnaktaka is standing united and they will defeat this divide politics. They (Congress) want to divide and rule, we want to unite and make Karnatka progress. That is what is our slogan.In Gujarat we were fighting for sixth term. After winning five terms consecutively, winning the sixth term is a rare feat no other party could achieve. Congress has never been able to do it anywhere. And therefore we will win this time.How do you see the corruption issue panning out in Karnataka with B S Yeddyurappa as your prime face vis a vis corruption charges against him in past?Corruption (under Siddaramaiah government) and the death of various honest officials and their testimonials is the real issue. Congress is looting the sate Left, Right and Centre. People remember B S Yeddyruappa’s government as a good governance model and so those bogus charges do not stick to BJP.In Karnataka, Yeddyurappa is considered a strong Lingayat face. What about other communities like Vokaligga.He is strong Karnataka leader and he is loved by all communities. All are coming together. First time you will see people are not voting their caste but casting their vote in Karnataka for development.2G case verdict has enthused Congress. How do you assess its impact electorally?What has happened in 2G. Licenses got cancelled because it was a clear case of corruption. The Supreme Court judgement (that had cancelled 122 2G spectrum licences in 2012) is important. What this CBI court has done, they are going to challenge. So let us wait for future. But the issue is very simple. In 2G, Congress did corruption. There was a bad policy. And therefore our stand was vindicated when the licenses were cancelled. And when we auctioned, we exactly received 1lakh 76 thousand crore rupees in auctions.So the BJP will continue to target Congress on corruption in Karnataka even after 2G verdict.Yes: Absolutely.There has been internal dissension in BJP state unit. BS Yeddyruappa versus others particularly with K S Ishwarappa.There were different opinions but we listened to everybody and chalked out a common strategy and therefore now there is now a united BJP team and there is no issue now.Why did BJP declare Yeddyurappa the CM face in Karnatka so much in advance. In many states did not declare CM face at all while in some like Himachal declared it at the last moment.It’s a strategy not a policy issue. Every state election is a different election. So every state will have a different strategy. And therefore here, we have already made it very clear that Yeddyurappa ji will be CM.Will the BJP declare CM faces in other states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well?Election in those states fall in December, which is one year away. So Let us talk about these four states that are going to polls now. So like in Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, whether we will have alliances or whether we will declare CM face is a state specific strategy issue and that will define our targets.Since Congress has also declared that incumbent Chief Minister Siddharmaiah is the party face, do you see it as a clash of personalities in Karnataka?It’s not a fight just between two personalities. It’s a fight between personalities, parties and principles. And on all these three, principles, personalities and parties, we are much ahead of Congress.Anything that you want to say on your own.The politics of Modi ji has won the hearts of people. It’s politics of development. He is responding to the aspirations of the poor class—like good health service, good houses, good education. Now the poor class are also aspirational class and they are voting for Modi ji. That is our most treasured trove. The plan of the poor, which was with the Congress has already shifted to Modi ji after demonetization, Mudra Yojana, Ujjawala gas and many other schemes that are directly benefitting the people,Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the BJP has a foundation of lies and Modi vision got exposed in Gujarat. Your Take?This narrative of one liner scripted by somebody else does not work in the long term. BJP has proved and Modi ji has provided a good governance. We have brought a change in the society at many levels and therefore the people are with us.What is BJP’s over-all plank in these state polls.Over all plank is development. Overall plank is new India. That is what we are aiming at.There have been accusations by the Opposition and in the run up polls, BJP goes all out for polarization. What do you say?We donot believe in polarization. The only plank is development, growth and prosperity for all sections of society.

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DNA EXCLUSIVE | The energy is back in Congress, says Salman Khurshid

Former Law Minister Salman Khurshid could not escape defeat in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when the Congress slumped to just 44 seats from 206 in 2009, and the party managed only two wins in his home state UP—Raebareli and Amethi, the pocket boroughs of the Gandhi family.As the party girds for elections in six states next year, Khurshid, a former Cabinet minister, tells DNA’s Anand Mishra that Congress will win the 2019 LS polls and feels the CBI court’s verdict on 2G spectrum case is “truth” panning out at a time when Modi’s magic, is “on the slide”. Edited excerpts:What is the takeaway from Guajrat polls. Some in Congress believed it was the best chance ever for party to win the state but it did not happen…What is more important is the manner in which you lose or the extent to which you lose. The manner in which you fail to win, or grow towards winning, is the matter. Essentially, it’s a feel of energy. Energy is back. If you ask are we re-energised, the answer is yes.What has brought this energy? There is no immediate reason visible for it.There are a variety of reasons for it. One is new leadership. Everyone is pitching to make Rahul Gandhi’s new leadership successful. Circumstances are changing. People are becoming aware of the truth of what the present government is all about. All that is happening. A combination of all this has given us new energy. In sum total 2017 has not been a bad year for us.What is there to celebrate for Congress from Gujarat election outcome?Gujart elections have brought us back into the normal course of fighting elections. It does not matter whether you win or lose with a whisker. We have shown that we are back with strength. This is what we have shown and that is a very important message for the party.2018 is an election year. How will Congress perform in these polls. In many of the states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, BJP is in power for a long time. How will you win those elections when the party organisation in disarray.We will do well. Circumstances for those elections are much better. This is a phenomenon of Indian politics that organisations come together despite not being in power for a long time and when you see a sense that you are in a winning strick, the organisation falls in place. An organisation without victory is a very difficult thing. So it is good, it is necessary but I do not think this is the only factor.B S Yeddyurappa, who had brought BJP in power in Karnataka in 2008 is back. Can Congress put up a formidable challenge as you had won the last election only against a divided BJP. Is he a problem for you?There is no such problem. Circumstances are much better for us in all the elections including Karnataka and we should do well.How does the 2G scam verdict by the CBI Special Court pan out for Congress? How will the verdict help you contest state elections in 2018.How does truth pan out for anyone. What has happened is amplification of truth. There is nothing better in life than truth. After this we will fight with greater vigour in times to come.BJP says Modi magic worked when it wins elections, Congress says Modi magic is over. What do you think?It’s sliding. The magic is gone, persuasive power still remains. Let us see how much it slides between now and next general elections.Is there any surge in Rahul Gandhi’s image when you say Modi’s image is on slide? Not many people think so?Rahul Gandhi always had enormous potentials. People were disbelieving it. Now they are beginning to believe it. Therefore it has given him a good start. But obviously he has a huge responsibility ahead and we are all confident that he will fulfil it.Where do you see Congress with 44 Lok Sabha seats now going in 2019 general elections?Congress will be in power in 2019, I promise you.

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Centre asks ED to go after Maoists’ funding, support

To break the network of funding to the Maoists for carrying out insurgency activities across the country, the Centre has roped in Enforcement Directorate (ED) and directed to look into the money laundering happening in Naxal affected areas. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the ED work in close association with intelligence agencies, local police and paramilitary forces to unearth the money trail and support the Maoists are getting.Also the agencies, have been asked to find the source of funding as Central intelligence agencies has stated that few foreign countries, particularly China, have been supporting insurgent activities in India and also helping them financially apart from Maoists are aided in their efforts to build modern weapons by the Chinese intelligence. “The agencies also stated that the Chinese intelligence units have been training, arming and funding the Maoists to help them wage an inexorable war against India,”said a government officer posted in Ministry of Home Affairs.Sources said that the a list around 90 of “Naxals and associated influential people” have been made in two states — Jharkhand and Bihar — and the joint operation to check their illegal financial activities has been started. Sources also stated that there are few lawmakers and top government employees names in the list. The agency has been asked to first start with the two states and thereafter carry out in other Naxal affected states.”Also, the top Maoists who had surrendered in last five years are also under radar,” said a government official adding that there are few top Maoists who had accumulated lot of wealth during their active role as Naxal and once they surrendered, they within few months, start using their ill-gotten money to spread the network and recruit many youngsters.Furthermore, the MHA has also issued directives to all the paramilitary forces and security establishments to be more “vigilant” and go “combative” while dealing with ultras. The Centre has also asked the force not to shun the muti-prone approach like development in the naxal affected areas and facilitating surrenders of the ultras.As per the ministry, till June 30 this year, in total 424 maoists surrendered before the various law enforcement agencies across the country.Last year, the figure had reached to 1442 but in 2015 it was just 570 and in 2014 it was 676. The government major focus in Chhattisgarh after in the deadliest Maoist ambush in April, 26 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) died in Sukma area. It was well-planned massacre carried out by nearly 300 Maoists.This year, in Chhatishgarh, 298 naxals surrender followed by Jharkand with 38 and Andhra Pradesh with 35. In West bengal, 11, in Telangana and Bihar 2, in Odisha 27and Maharashtra 7 ultras surrender.According to a ministry report, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.5 per cent of the violent incidents and 69 per cent of deaths. Bihar followed by Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 12.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent 6.9 per cent incidents.

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1,344 farmers commit suicide in Chhattisgarh in 2.5 years

As many as 1,344 farmers committed suicide in Chhattisgarh during the last two-and-a- half years, the state government said today.In a written reply tabled in the Chhattisgarh Assembly, state Home Minister Ramsewak Paikra said, “A total of 14,705 suicide cases have been registered between 2015-16 financial year and October 30 this year. Of them, 1,344 were farmers and 13,361 others.”He was replying to a question raised by Congress MLA Amarjeet Bhagat.Also readOver 1200 farmers committed suicide in 5 months: Maharashtra govtAmong the total cases, 13 people committed suicide due to financial crisis while 19 took the extreme step because of the debt burden, the minister said.The state government provided compensation to the tune of Rs 16,35,924 to kin of the 25 deceased, he said.Also readSharad Pawar leads protest march on 77th birthday, asks farmers not to pay power bills, other dues to govt As per the minister’s reply, 224 farmers committed suicide in Surajpur district during the period followed by Balodabazar (210), Balod (165), Mahasamund (134), Bilaspur (85), Balrampur (70), Mungeli (77) and Gariaband (65).Besides, in Surguja 63 farmers ended their lives, Jashpur (53), Bemetara (51), Kabeedham (45), Rajnandgaon (25), Raipur (24), Durg (18) Koriya (17), Dhamtari (7), Janjgir-Champa (4), Raigarh (3), Kondagaon (2) and one each in Korba, Kanker and Rail-Raipur (referring to case registered with the railway police in Raipur), Paikra said.

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Chhattisgarh village gets electricity for the first time since Independence

A tribal village in Chhattisgarh’s Balrampur district got electricity connection for the first time.The Jokapatha village, situated in mountainous region, had been deprived of power supply since independence.Expressing happiness over the development, a villager said that the electricity supply would help their children do well in their studies.?We are very happy now that we finally have electricity in our village, now our children can study well and progress in life,? the Sarpanch of Jokapath village told ANI.The students also seemed excited and said they did not like the village in darkness and were happy that they have electricity now.The state government led by Chief Minister Raman Singh has provided electricity connections to the several villages after 70 years of independence.The chief minister announced the electricity development project for the village following which the authorities ordered to provide the village with surplus power.

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PM Modi’s Gujarat gifts Congress a confident President

Even if Congress fails to form government in Gujarat, it will not complain. After all, the fierce election campaign has gifted the grand old party a more confident and determined Congress president, who has his task cut out with important assembly elections lined up closely followed by the parliamentary elections.Gujarat election has done complete image makeover of Rahul Gandhi. He proved his mettle and brought back Congress into fight after 22 years of oblivion. He took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi head on and infused new life in the fatigued Congress ranks. His several rounds of visits to temples during the campaign might have done a bit for this his miraculous makeover.The elevation of Rahul Gandhi has gained significance with fierce battle ahead in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where again Congress is pitted directly against Incumbent BJP. Change in leadership will definitely seeps in new enthusiasm and fighting spirit in the party which is struggling to make a comeback in these states.With this elevation, Congress may now be able to contest parliamentary elections projecting Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate for the first time. So, officially or unofficially next parliamentary elections would be Rahul V/s Modi.FIERCE BATTLEThe elevation of Rahul Gandhi has gained significance with fierce battle ahead in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where again Congress is pitted directly against Incumbent BJP. Change in leadership will definitely seeps in new enthusiasm and fighting spirit in the party which is struggling to make a comeback in these states.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi is now King of Cong; it is official

Rahul Gandhi (47) was elected Congress president unopposed on Monday, a much-awaited generational shift in India’s oldest political party that comes in the middle of the fiercely contested Gujarat elections. Rahul is likely to take over from his mother Sonia Gandhi on December 16, the party’s foundation day.The spotlight will now be on Sonia who has been the party’s longest serving president. She has been leading the Congress for 19 years since 1998. Party sources said Sonia remains UPA chairperson and head of the Congress Parliamentary Party.While senior leaders feel Sonia could remain the final arbiter, she herself has given enough indications of not coming in way of Rahul’s decision making. His elevation also ends speculation over his sister Priyanka Gandhi’s leadership role in the party.The move comes 10 years after Rahul was made AICC general secretary and five years after he became Congress’ vice-president.There will be now greater scrutiny of Rahul’s performance. Next year, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will go to the polls ahead of the 2019 general elections.All 89 nominations — all in Rahul’s favour — were found valid. When the time for nomination withdrawal ended on Monday, Rahul had no other contestant for the post.Soon after the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “I congratulate Rahul Ji on his election as Congress President. My best wishes for a fruitful tenure.” PM Modi had earlier likened Rahul’s imminent elevation as Congress president to “Aurangzeb Raj” or the rule of the 17th century absolutist Mughal emperor.Party workers gathered outside the AICC office broke into celebration with a slogan “Desh ka neta kaisa ho? Rahul Gandhi jaisa ho” renting the air. The Congress has sought to project the election as democratic to counter the BJP’s charges of dynastic politics.Rahul’s elevation comes at a time when the Congress faces an uphill task of reviving its flagging fortunes after having recorded its worst poll performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, wining only 44 seats.Rahul was campaigning in Gujarat, attacking PM Modi and the BJP, when his party made his election official in Delhi. The elevation concludes a year-long organisational election process in the 132-year-old party.

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Govt disputes claim of delay in releasing MGNREGA funds in SC

The Centre has refuted in the Supreme Court the allegations by an NGO that there was a delay on its part in releasing funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) scheme for drought-hit farmers.The issue was raised before the top court by the NGO, the petitioner in the matter, which claimed that there was a high percentage of delay over payment under MGNREGA made from the time when fund transfer order was made till the time the payment was actually given to the beneficiaries.A bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and N V Ramana asked Attorney General K K Venugopal, representing the Centre, to file an affidavit within four weeks in this regard after the government disputed these facts.The bench has posted the matter for hearing on January 18 next year.Also read89 per cent MGNREGA wages paid within 15 days: govtNGO Swaraj Abhiyan also claimed before the top court that there was an enormous delay on the Centre’s part in releasing the funds under the scheme even after receipt of fund transfer order.”Only for the purpose of verification of the averments and the allegations made on the basis of these two charts (given in the affidavit filed by the petitioner), we require an affidavit to be filed by the central government,” the bench said in its order.The court had earlier said that state food commissions, as mandated under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013, should be set up even in states not hit by drought.Also readLetter from Centre ranks WB on top in MGNREGA : MamataThe petitioner had earlier claimed that implementation of the NFSA still remained a major challenge and adequate work under the MNREGA was not being given by the state governments.The plea had alleged that parts of 12 states– Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chhattisgarh– were hit by drought and authorities were not providing adequate relief.The plea sought relief measures in drought-hit states in the country.Also readCentre sanctions addl 50 days employment under MGNREGA to Ker

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4 CRPF personnel shot dead allegedly by colleague in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur

Four Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, including two sub-inspectors (SIs), were today killed and another wounded in a gunfire allegedly opened by their colleague at a camp in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, officials said.The fratricide was reported around 5 PM at the ‘G’ company camp of the paramilitary force’s 168th battalion in Basaguda, about 450 km from here, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Dantewada range) Sundarraj P told PTI in Raipur.Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has condemned the the killing of the CRPF men — deployed for anti-Naxal operations in the state.According to preliminary information, constable Sanath Kumar (35) allegedly opened fire with his service weapon, an AK 47 rifle, leaving four personnel dead on the spot and another injured, he said.Three of the four CRPF men killed in the fratricide were senior to Kumar, a resident of Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh.The deceased were identified as SI Vikey Sharma (34) hailing from Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, SI Megh Singh (52) from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Assistant SI Rajveer Singh (48) from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan and constable G Sankara Rao (37) from Vijaynagram in Andhra Pradesh,?a police official told PTI.ASI Gajanand (49), a native of Rewari in Haryana, suffered injuries in his ribs during the firing, the official said.The bodies and the injured ASI were evacuated from Basaguda to Bijapur at 6 PM. An MI17 helicopter was sent to airlift the injured and the bodies to Raipur, he added.Officials said Kumar was soon overpowered and apprehended by other colleagues who were present in the camp. The jawans reportedly had a brawl before the fatal incident took place and a probe has been ordered into the incident, they added.”The chief minister has condemned the incident which took place in Basaguda village of Bijapur around 5 PM today,” an official statement here said.Expressing condolence, Chief Minister Singh extended sympathy to the family members of the victims, according to an official statement.He has also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured ASI, it said.

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61,974 cases of riots, group clashes in 2016; highest in Bihar: NCRB

A total of 61,974 cases of riots and group clashes took place in the country in 2016, down five per cent from the previous year, National Crime Records Bureau data said today.According to it, 35 cases of sedition were also registered in 2016 out of which Haryana accounted for the highest number of 12 cases followed by Uttar Pradesh with six.Among the 61,974 cases of riots and group clashes, the highest — 11,617 cases — were registered in Bihar, 8,018 in Uttar Pradesh and 7,898 in Maharashtra.There were 61,974 cases of riots and group clashes in the country in 2015.The 35 sedition cases registered in 2016 included three each in Karnataka and Kerala, two each in Delhi, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.Also readWith 16%, UP accounts for most murders in country: NCRBAs many as 60 cases of custodial deaths or disappearance from lock-ups were reported in the country in 2016 of which 12 were in Maharashtra, nine each in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, five in Madhya Pradesh, four in Punjab, three each in Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh and two in Rajasthan.A total of 32 people also died or disappeared in the country last year while they were under the remand of the police. These included six each in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, four in Maharashtra and two each in Assam, Gujarat, Haryana and Tamil Nadu.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Shoppers make a beeline as traders drop prices

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With two days to go before the India International Trade Fair (IITF) concludes on Tuesday, visitors are making hay as traders are selling their merchandise at reduced prices. While a lot of participants rue that the GST hit their profits this year, discounted prices have added to the joy of shoppers at the 37th IITF.From Korean blankets, marble figurines, Turkish carpets to goods made from camel leather, the IITF has products to offer for every budget. While Chhattisgarh is attracting buyers with its native Dhokra art, which uses brass as the main element to make sculptures; the artifacts in the form of animals, religious figures and lamps showcasing a beautiful marriage between tribal simplicity and finesse, are flying off the shelves. The artifacts have a nominal starting price of Rs 250.From brass door handles, decorative items for walls and home decor, the stall at Saras market is drawing buyers in hordes. The visitors are also buying mugs, slippers and lamps made from bamboo, being sold for anything between Rs 100 to Rs 500, depending on the intricacy of work done on the merchandise. Talking to DNA, Saryu Bansal, a visitor said,”Though on the last days, most of the top quality products are already off the shelves, I have been lucky to have found some great deals on home decor and clothes this year. One can get a good deal if one has the right bargaining skills.”Products made from camel leather, bearing art stamp and craft of Madhya Pradesh are also popular among the shoppers here. These are priced between Rs 50 to Rs 5000 and range from beautifully crafted figures of animal, settees in shape of tortoise etc costing Rs 1,200, small animals at Rs 150 to other decorative items at Rs 250. The shoppers are also enchanted with the wall clocks, photo frames, wall hangings, jewellery boxes, pen stands etc, made from traditional cone ceramic art.Businessmen, however, are unhappy with their sales this year at the IITF, citing the GST as the main reason. Reeling under losses for the second year in a row, they rue that it was demonetisation which impacted their business last year.Radhika Choudhary, an artist from Indore, who was selling cone art decor products at the IITF, claimed that her sale was reduced to half this year because people were not willing to pay the tax. The lesser number of visitors this year since India Trade Promotion Organisation put a cap of 60,000 on them, also took the sheen away from the IITF. The number of participants also came down to half, at around 3,000 this year as opposed to over 6,000 stalls in previous years.

Agusta Westland deal: Chhattisgarh govt need to answer few questions, says Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today said it wanted the Chhattisgarh government to answer a few questions on the purchase of a AgustaWestland helicopter for VIP use in 2006-2007 as it was only concerned whether any “fraud or hanky-panky” was committed.The top court said it was not questioning the choice of the helicopter made by the state government as it was an executive decision, but wanted it to explain the bid for the chopper. A bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit said there were few questions which the state government needed to answer and it may order probe only if the court was satisfied that some wrong has been committed.”You (state government) need to answer few questions, like explain the alleged sham bid, why only that particular helicopter, opening of foreign bank account by son of the Chief Minister at the time of bidding process,” the bench said.
ALSO READ Agusta Westland chopper scam: Company middleman used cover of journalist to contact George Fernandes, claims Jaya Jaitly”We are only concerned whether there was any fraud or hanky-panky committed on public exchequer. Nothing more or nothing less,” it said. The bench said if it found that there was nothing wrong, then it will close the case. The court was hearing a plea seeking investigation into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of the helicopter and also foreign bank accounts purportedly linked to the son of Chief Minister Raman Singh.At the outset, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner NGO Swaraj Abhiyan and leader of opposition and Congress leader T S Singhdeo, said that the documents received under the RTI show that although Bell helicopter was denied bid, the government was still hiring it on rent. He said the petitioners would like to reply to the affidavit filed by the state government. Senior advocates Mahesh Jethmalani and Harish Salve, who appeared for the state government, said there was nothing wrong in the bid and at present, 24 AgustaWestland helicopters were flying in the country.
ALSO READ Last minute tweaking in specifications brought AgustaWestland into fray: CBIAgustaWestland SpA was an Italian helicopter design and manufacturing company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Finmeccanica SpA, now called Leonardo. It was formed in July 2000 as an Anglo-Italian multinational company. “The state government was not satisfied with Eurocopter as on July 14, 2007. It had crashed and two pilots were killed,” Jethmalani said, justifying the bidding process.He said at that time, the existing helicopter was four years old and incurring huge cost on maintenance and servicing with replacement of its components.The bench said it trusted the choice of the executive but only wanted to see whether there were any “extraneous reasons” for the particular choice of helicopter. It asked Bhushan to file a reply on the affidavit and posted the matter for further hearing on January 18. At the fag end of hearing, Salve said although they have handed over the government records to the petitioners to enable them file the reply, these documents should not find their way to the media.Justice Lalit then asked Bhushan to ensure that the documents do not exchange hands.During the hearing, Attorney General K K Venugopal, who had during the last hearing, raised objections over cabinet file notings filed in the PIL and said if the documents were given by state government under RTI, then he does not wish to press his objections.”You see all these documents are given under RTI. Your grievances are now addressed Mr. Attorney General. This is quiet a transparent government,” the bench said on a lighter note. The apex court had on November 16 put some searching questions to the state government on the purchase of the Agusta helicopter and directed it to place the original files relating to the deal. It had asked the state government why a global tender was issued only for the purchase of one AgustaWestland chopper and how the recommendation of then state chief secretary to invite tenders from all the companies was “overturned”.

Chhattisgarh ‘sex CD’ row: CBI to take over probe involving journalist Vinod Verma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI will soon take over the probe into the Chhattisgarh “sex CD” row allegedly involving a state minister, agency sources said today.The agency, they said, has sought case documents from the state police as it has now received the notification from the Department of Personnel and Training, a prerequisite for the central probe agency before registering a criminal case.The Chhattisgarh government had recently recommended a CBI probe into the case, where senior Journalist Vinod Verma was arrested by the state police sometime back.The BJP-led state government had accused the opposition Congress of hatching a conspiracy.Chhattisgarh Revenue Minister Prem Prakash Pandey had said his party has already stated that the CD was fake and even a local TV channel in its report mentioned that it has been tampered with.The matter seems to be a “political and criminal conspiracy” and, therefore, it was decided that the premier investigation agency should probe it, Pandey had said while announcing the state government’s decision.Pandey had said the recommendation to the CBI for the probe has been made on six points including inter-state conspiracy in making the “fake” CD, a high-level technical examination of the alleged video, funding to make it and political and criminal conspiracy.The alleged sex video had sparked a political row in the state with the Congress and the BJP trading charges over the issue.The matter came to light when Vinod Verma was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police last month from his Ghaziabad residence for suspected blackmail and extortion related to a “sex CD”.According to the Raipur Police, a case of blackmail and extortion was registered at the Civil Line police station here following a complaint by one Prakash Bajaj who said that he “was being harassed over phone by an unidentified caller who told him that he had a CD of his master”.Raipur Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Shukla had claimed that about 500 “porn” CDs, Rs two lakh in cash, a pen drive, a laptop and a diary were seized from the journalist’s residence, who was picked up at 3.30 AM from Mahagun Mansion Apartments in Indirapuram by the Chhattisgarh police team with the help of the Ghaziabad Police.

7 securitymen hurt in IED blast by Naxals along Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven security personnel were today injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast, allegedly triggered by Naxals, along the Chhattisgarh- Jharkhand border, official sources said.A patrol party was targeted by the ultras, they said, adding that the seven injured men — five from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and two from the Jharkhand police — were airlifted to Ranchi.The blast took place around 2 pm near the Pipardhaba village of Balrampur district in Chhattisgarh, bordering Jharkhand, followed by an exchange of fire between the ultras and the securitymen, the sources said.The joint team of troops was out for an anti-Naxal operation when the blast was triggered.”As per preliminary reports, the condition of the injured troops is not critical,” a senior CRPF officer said.Additional forces from nearby areas were rushed to the area and the firing had stopped, the sources said.The CRPF men belonged to the 62nd battalion, they added.

End to crop burning issue? NTPC to float tender for buying farm stubble

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Power Minister R K Singh said today that state-run NTPC will float a tender to buy farm stubble at Rs 5,500 per tonne for use as fuel at its power plants, a move that will check farmers from burning it — a key source of pollution.He said this move will help farmers earn around Rs 11,000 per acre from the sale of stubble/straw pellets.A large number of farmers particularly in Punjab and Haryana are burning the farm stubble/straw, which causes air pollution, in the absence of viable alternatives.”On an average a farmer gets around 2 tonnes of stubble or straw in an acre. NTPC will bring a tender to buy the pellets of this farm residue in next few days at a rate of Rs 5,500 per tonne,” Singh said at a press conference.Power Secretary A K Bhalla however told reporters that the stubble pellets procured for power plants may not be used for this season, but the system will be in place.On the likely bidders, Singh said a new market will be created under which service providers will bid after making arrangements with farmers.He assured that the use of farm residue pellets would not result in an tariff escalation for the thermal power generator, NTPC.Singh said that mixing of pellets up to 10 per cent of the total fuel in a power plant is possible without affecting its efficiency in terms of gross calorific value.The minister launched the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) Web portal which will help monitor household electrification progress. It will disseminate information on household electrification status (state, district, village-wise), household progress on live basis, state-wise target versus achievement and monthly electrification progress.Singh told reporters that camps will be organised under the scheme in villages where connections would be issued on the spot.”If we want to electrify all households then we would have to go out and do it without waiting for people to come to us and apply for an electricity connection,” he said.He informed that all states are on board under the scheme and 7 states have already send their formal proposals which are being examined.These states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Mizoram, Nagaland, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, and Assam.Singh made it clear that although electricity will not be free for anybody, connections for the poor would be provided free of cost under the scheme.About the December 31, 2017 deadline for meeting stricter emission norms for power plants, brought out by the environment ministry in December 2015, Singh said that it is being revised.On issues related to backing out on power purchase agreements under solar energy auctions, the minister said that those are legal obligations.The minister also urged the startups to come forward to participate in domestic manufacturing of smart and prepaid electricity meters.The Saubhagya scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 25, 2017 with an outlay of Rs 16,320 crore including Budgetary Support of Rs 12,320 crore.Under the Saubhagya scheme, households in rural areas and poor families in urban areas are given free electricity connections.There are around 4 crore un-electrified households in the country and they are targeted for providing electricity connections by December 2018.

AgustaWestland case: SC asks Chhattisgarh govt to produce original file showing purchase

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Chhattisgarh Government to produce the original file in connection with the purchasing of AugustaWestland helicopter following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) claiming commission being paid in the deal.The case is in connection to the Rs. 3,700-crore AgustaWestland VVIP Chopper Scam.The CBI, earlier on September 1, had filed a chargesheet against retired Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, former Air Marshal J.S. Gujral and 10 others in the case.The chargesheet, filed before a special court, also named as accused Air Chief Marshal Tyagi’s cousin Sanjeev Tyagi, lawyer Gautam Khaitan, Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke, alleged middlemen Christian Michel, former AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini and former Finmeccanica chairman Giuseppe Orsi.The investigation conducted and various documents collected so far revealed that Agusta Westland International Ltd., U.K. paid an amount of Euro 58 million as kickbacks through Gordian Services Sarl, Tunisia and IDS Sarl, Tunisia.These companies further siphoned off the said money in the name of consultancy contracts to the Interstellar Technologies Ltd., Mauritius and others, which were further transferred to UHY Saxena, Dubai, Matrix Holdings Ltd. Dubai and others.

BSF constable shot in fight

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 35-year-old Border Security Force (BSF) constable was shot at by a group of men following personal enmity in Jarcha area of Greater Noida on Thursday morning.According to the police, BSF constable Gyanendra Singh was posted in Chhattisgarh and had come home 15-day leave from work and is a resident of Cholas Ki Madhaiya village.During the scuffle, Singh received a bullet injury in the abdomen and has been admitted to Kailash Hospital in Noida. According to Singh’s brother, the incident occurred around 8 am.”Around six men entered our house and Gyanendra came to my rescue. During the scuffle, they opened fire at him. He started bleeding profusely after which we took on the group and beat up the six men. The fight took place over a machine used for crop harvesting,” said Singh’s younger brother Dinesh.According to police, Dinesh owns a machine and gives it on rent to the farmers of the village. He charges the users on hourly basis.A week ago, the machine was taken on rent by a farmer Chandrapal, who allegedly kept it for a week and did not return it. After which Dinesh had got an order from another farmer so he brought his machine from Chandrapal’s house. The act had allegedly embarrassed Chandrapal and his son Mothlesh Teotia,” said Shailendra Pratap Singh, SHO, Jarcha.In the complaint, Gyanendra’s family said the men came to their house and started beating Dinesh.Gyanendra tried to rescue his brother but they fired a shot at him.He was rushed to a nearby hospital and later shifted to Kailash Hospital in Noida.In view of his condition, he was taken in hospital’s intensive care unit, where his condition is stable.Both the parties have filed complaints against each other and cases have been registered. “The case is being investigated,” Singh added.

Chhattisgarh court rejects journalist Vinod Verma’s bail plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A court in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district today rejected the bail plea of senior journalist Vinod Verma, who is in judicial custody after his arrest in connection with a case of alleged blackmailing and extortion.The court of Judicial Magistrate First Class Bhavesh Kumar Watti rejected the bail application, Verma’s lawyer Faisal Rizvi told reporters.The defence sought bail on various grounds, including lack of evidence, he said.The court said the arguments put forward could not be discussed during a hearing on bail and that the charges against the journalist were serious, Rizvi added.The defence would now move the sessions court for bail, he said.Special Public Prosecutor Suresh Prasad Sharma said he opposed Verma’s plea, contending that he could influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence, if granted bail.Verma is currently in judicial custody till November 13.He was sent to judicial remand on October 31, after three days of police custody.Verma had, after his arrest by the Raipur police from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh on October 27, said he was in possession of a “sex tape” of a Chhattisgarh minister.According to the Raipur police, a case of blackmailing and extortion was registered at the Pandri police station, on a complaint by BJP leader Prakash Bajaj, who alleged that he was being “harassed over the phone by an unidentified caller”, who told him that he had a “CD of his master”.Following an investigation, a police team was sent to Ghaziabad and Verma was arrested in connection with the case, the police had said.They had also claimed to have seized 500 “porn” CDs, a pen drive and a laptop from Verma’s possession.After the journalist’s arrest, the “sex-video”, allegedly involving Chhattisgarh’s Public Works Department Minister Rajesh Munat, surfaced in Raipur, triggering a political storm with opposition Congress and ruling BJP targeting each other on the issue.The Chhattisgarh government has recommended a CBI probe into the alleged sex CD row.Munat had told reporters that Verma and the Congress were trying to tarnish his image through the “fake” CD.Subsequently, the minister had lodged a complaint against Verma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel at the Civil?Lines police station in Raipur. PTI TKP RMT RC

PM Modi wishes five states on their foundation day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday wished fives states, including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala and Karnataka, on their foundation day.”On the occasion of state’s foundation day, best wishes to the residents of Madhya Pradesh, who have made a significant contribution in the development of the country,” the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets.Greeting the residents of Chhattisgarh, he wished that the state may touch new heights of development.”Many congratulations to the people of Haryana on the foundation day, who are following the path of development and Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,” he said”My good wishes are with the people of Karnataka on the Kannada Rajyotsava. We are proud of the rich culture of Karnataka,” he said wishing people of Karnataka on Kannada Rajyotsava.Prime Minister Modi also extended his greetings to the people of Kerala on its foundation day and said, “Best wishes to all Malayalis. I pray for peace, progress and prosperity in the years to come.”

Amid sex CD row, arrested journalist Vinod Verma says this is ‘just the tip of the iceberg,’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior journalist Vinod Verma who has been arrested for allegedly blackmailing a Chattisgarh minister in connection with a ‘sex CD’ said, “This is just the tip of the iceberg”.Verma made the comment when he was taken to Mana police station in Raipur on Saturday night, on his three-day transit remand.On October 27, Verma was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police in connection with extortion and blackmailing case involving a state minister, who called it ‘fake’ and an attempt at character assassination.A day after he was arrested by the Chhattisgarh police, an FIR was also lodged against the state Congress president Bhupesh Baghel and Verma.Verma, who earlier worked with BBC Hindi service and Amar Ujala, was denied bail and Chhattisgarh police has been given his transit remand till October 30 after he was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Archna in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Verma is also a member of Editors Guild of India.Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh government has recommended a CBI probe. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh at the Secretariat here, state’s Revenue Minister Prem Prakash Pandey told reporters.He said the Cabinet held a discussion on the purported video and decided to recommend a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the issue.Asked if Chhattisgarh PWD Minister Rajesh Munot, allegedly involved in the row, will step down from his post till the investigation gets completed, he said, “How can a state minister influence a CBI probe?”Accusing the Congress of hatching a conspiracy, the minister said his party has already stated that the CD was fake and even a local TV channel in its report mentioned that it has been tampered with.Raipur Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Shukla claimed that about 500 ‘porn’ CDs, Rs 2 lakh in cash, a pen drive, a laptop and a diary were seized from the journalist’s residence, who was picked up at 3.30 am from Mahagun Mansion Apartments in Indirapuram by a team of the Chhattisgarh Police with the help of the Ghaziabad Police.The SP said that Verma has been booked under Section 67 (A) Information Technology (IT) Act for possessing pornographic material.As Verma was being escorted by police, he claimed that the Chhattisgarh government was not happy with him as it suspected that he had a ‘sex CD of Chhattisgarh PWD minister Rajesh Munot’ and suggested he was being framed.

Chhattisgarh govt recommends CBI probe into ‘sex CD’ row

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chhattisgarh government today recommended a CBI probe into the “sex CD” row allegedly involving a state minister.The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh at the Secretariat here, state’s Revenue Minister Prem Prakash Pandey told reporters. He said the Cabinet held a discussion on the purported video and decided to recommend a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the issue. Accusing the Congress of hatching a conspiracy, the minister said his party has already stated that the CD was fake and even a local TV channel in its report today mentioned that it has been tampered with.The matter seems to be a “political and criminal conspiracy” and, therefore, it was decided that by the premier investigation agency should probe it, Pandey said. Asked if Chhattisgarh PWD Minister Rajesh Munot allegedly involved in the row will step down from his post till the investigation gets completed, he said, “How can a state minister influence a CBI probe?” He said the recommendation to the CBI for the probe has been made on six points including inter-state conspiracy in making the “fake” CD, a high-level technical examination of the alleged video, funding to make it and political and criminal conspiracy.
ALSO READ FIR registered against Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel, Vinod Verma in Chhattisgarh Sex CD caseThe alleged sex video sparked a political row in the state with the Congress and the BJP trading charges over the issue. The matter came to light when senior journalist Vinod Verma was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police early yesterday morning from his Ghaziabad residence for suspected blackmail and extortion related to a “sex CD”. As Verma was being escorted by the police, he claimed that the Chhattisgarh government was not happy with him as it suspected that he had a “sex CD of Chhattisgarh PWD Minister Rajesh Munot” and suggested he was being framed. Munot called it “fake” and an attempt at character assassination.According to the Raipur Police, a case of blackmail and extortion was registered at Civil Line police station here following a complaint by one Prakash Bajaj who said that he “was being harassed over phone by an unidentified caller who told him that he had a CD of his master”. Raipur Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Shukla had claimed that about 500 “porn” CDs, Rs 2 lakh in cash, a pen drive, a laptop and a diary were seized from the journalist’s residence, who was picked up at 3.30 am from Mahagun Mansion Apartments in Indirapuram by the state police team with the help of the Ghaziabad Police.The SP said that Verma has been booked under Section 67 (A) Information Technology (IT) Act for possessing pornographic material. Munot had demanded that the CD be examined for its genuineness and action taken against those involved in this “conspiracy”. Chhattisgarah BJP spokesperson Shivratan Sharma had alleged that state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel was part of the “conspiracy” involving the “fake CD”. Later on the basis of Munat’s complaint, a case was registered against Baghel, Verma and others.The main opposition Congress had demanded that a probe be conducted by an independent agency under the supervision of the Supreme Court into the “sex video” row. The way the ruling BJP has reacted to the (sex CD) matter, it is clear that a government agency cannot probe this issue,” Baghel had said during a press conference.

Bihar hooch tragedy: Tejashwi Yadav blames Nitish Kumar for deaths; says alcohol ban is ‘just on paper’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav attacked the Nitish Kumar government over the hooch tragedy in Bihar’s Rohtas district, which has claimed four lives, and charged that the ban on sale and consumption of alcohol in the state was “only on paper”.Four persons had died after drinking spurious liquor last night at Danwar village of Rohtas district of Bihar, where a complete prohibition was clamped in April 2016. Eight police officials have been suspended in connection with it.Speaking to reporters, Yadav, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Bihar assembly said, “What has happened in Rohtas is not the first incident of its kind since the complete prohibition was announced in Bihar. We (RJD) were then a coalition partner in the government and had supported Nitish Kumar’s move. But as things have turned out, prohibition seems to have been implemented only on paper”, Yadav told reporters.He said it appears that Kumar had announced prohibition only because of the “prime ministerial ambitions that he nursed at that time”. “He needed an issue on the basis of which he could market himself outside Bihar.” “Kumar used to hold meetings in states like Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh to press the demand for complete prohibition across the country. Now as an ally of the BJP, which is in power in all these states, can he hold similar public gatherings in these states ?” Yadav asked.Training his guns at BJP, Yadav said “Kumar’s current allies used to call the prohibition law in Bihar draconian.Now they are in power in the state. How will the ruling dispensation now muster the moral strength required to strictly enforce the ban on sale and consumption of liquor?” He said the suspension of police officials after the death of four persons in the liquor tragedy is “an eyewash”.”The people of the state will give a befitting lesson to this corrupt and inefficient government at an appropriate time,” Yadav added.

Journo held for bid to extort from minister

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chhattisgarh police arrested former BBC journalist Vinod Verma from his residence in Ghaziabad’s Indirapuram early on Friday for allegedly trying to extort money from a Chhattisgarh minister on the basis of an alleged sex CD.A Ghaziabad court granted Verma’s transit remand to the Chhattisgarh police. He was allegedly in possession of a CD showing Rajesh Munat, Chhattisgarh’s Public Works Department Minister, in a compromising position with a woman. Verma, a member of the Editors’ Guild of India, has also worked for Amar Ujala. “A team of Chhattisgarh police raided Verma’s residence around 3.30 am on Friday.They claimed recoveries of nearly 500 CDs containing pornographic material, and Rs two lakh from his residence,” said a senior police officer.According to Verma’s wife, nine people arrived in civil clothes and forced them to open the door. They said they wanted to carry out a search. Once they entered, they searched every corner of the house and later took him to Indirapuram police station for questioning, she said.”It is shameful that police arrived without any papers. Police just entered and searched the house, later walked away taking my husband. They did not allow us to even speak,” she added.Verma said outside the court that he was given a 90-second clip in a pen drive on October 24, but the police planted the CD on him. “It is a political conspiracy to frame and arrest me in a false case since I am looking after the social media campaign of Congress Party in Chhattisgarh,” he said.Verma has been booked under sections 384 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for extortion and intimidation.A complaint had been lodged at Pandari police station in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district by BJP’s state working committee member Prakash Bajaj on Thursday.”Prakash Bajaj gave us a complaint claiming that someone called his landline number and threatened him to release a pornographic CD of his boss. The call was traced to a shop in Delhi which was raided. Verma is said to have ordered the reprints of the CD,” a police officer said.

Watch: Skills and tech on display: From fighter jets to transport aircraft land on Lucknow-Agra Expressway today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 16 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are landing on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway in a special drill.The aircraft, including two AN-32 transport and fighter planes such as Mirage 2000, Jaguar, Sukhoi 30 MKI are taking part in the exercise.The exercise is being conducted on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway near Bangarmau in the neighbouring Unnao districtIn a first for India, a Mirage 2000 multi-role combat jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) test-landed on the Yamuna Expressway in May 2015. In November 2016, six fighter jets of the IAF touched down on the newly-built Agra-Lucknow Expressway.The Indian Air Force (IAF) has cleared 12 national highways (NHs) as emergency landing airstrips that will enable rescue operation teams to reach affected areas easily, an official responsible for executing the project said.Although there was initially a proposal to develop a total of 21 NHs into airstrips, for now 12 highways have been cleared, with three of those connecting Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh — all Maoist-affected areas — which witness vagaries of nature like floods and cyclones almost every year.

Petrol drops by 2, diesel by 1 per litre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major relief for motorists and consumers, the state government on Tuesday decided to reduce the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2 and 1 per litre. This came into effect from Tuesday midnight.On Tuesday, petrol cost Rs 77.58 per litre in Mumbai while the price of diesel was Rs 60.55. Since June, the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have been announcing daily revisions in fuel prices.Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the move came in the wake of the Centre’s call to state governments to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. Mungantiwar added that this reduction in VAT by the Maharashtra government, coupled by the union government’s move to bring down the basic excise duty rate on these motor spirits on October 4, would help cool inflationary pressures.Put together, the reduction in VAT by the Maharashtra government (Rs 2,015 crore) and the revenue loss due to the reduction in central excise duties (Rs 1,052 crore) will cost the state exchequer a total of Rs 3,067 crore annually.The state government charges 26% VAT on petrol in seven cities and towns of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Solapur, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nandurbar; and 25% in the rest of Maharashtra. In addition, a surcharge of Rs 11 per litre is also levied. For diesel, the VAT is 24% plus a Rs 2 surcharge per litre in these seven cities, and 21% plus Rs 2 per litre surcharge in other areas.”The surcharge on petrol has been reduced to Rs 9 per litre while that on diesel will be brought down to Rs 1,” explained an official from the state finance department. He added that motor spirits accounted for around 20 to 22% of the VAT collection with Rs 18,353.49 crore of the 90,985 crore VAT collections in 2016-17 coming from VAT on petrol and diesel.In 2017-18, the state has a target of Rs 1.06 lakh crore towards collection of state GST and VAT, with petrol and diesel expected to contribute over Rs 20,188.75 crore.Despite the advent of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, products such as motor spirits, aviation turbine fuel (ATF) crude, natural gas and liquor continue to attract VAT.Maharashtra, among the highest consumers of petrol and diesel in the country, consumed 426.80 crore litres of petrol and 976.46 crore litres of diesel in 2016-17. It is expected to rise to 469.60 crore litres and 1,075.10 crore litres respectively in the current fiscal.Natural gas, which attracts VAT at the rate of 3% for manufacturers and 13.5% for purposes such as Piped Natural Gas (PNG), contributes around Rs 600 crore to the state exchequer as VAT revenue.Maharashtra continues to have the highest tax structure for petrol compared to neighbouring states. The VAT stands at 47.94% for Mumbai and six other cities and 46.81% in other areas compared to 17% in Goa, 28.93% in Chhattisgarh, and 28.96% in Gujarat.For diesel, which is consumed largely by commercial and transport vehicles and hence affects the prices of essential commodities, the VAT structure is at 28.41% in seven cities such as Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai and 25.38% in the rest of the state. Comparative rates are: 27.14% in Chhattisgarh, 28.96% in Gujarat, and 19% in Goa.Fuel good newsMaharashtra has one of the highest tax structures for petrol among its neighbouring statesIn 2016-17, Maharashtra consumed 426.80 crore litres of petrol and 976.46 crore litres of diesel.

If East Pakistanis could be given shelter, then why not Rohignyas? Digvijaya Singh slams Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today questioned why the Centre was refusing asylum to the Rohingya community on security grounds while giving aid at the same time to Bangladesh for their settlement.He also attacked Union minister Hansraj Ahir for criticising BJP MP Varun Gandhi who has advocated shelter to the refugees in India after security vetting.”The government is not allowing Rohingya Muslims to come to India as it felt there were terrorists among the refugees. But the union home minister had not been able to name a single person (from Rohingya community) who is linked with a terrorist organisation,” the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister told a press conference here.”Rohingyas have sought refugee status and many Hindus are also among those fleeing Myanmar. As per the charter of human rights charter, nobody can be denied shelter based on their caste. When the people from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) came to India following atrocities, they were given shelter as refugees despite most of them were Muslims,” he said.The senior Congress leader questioned the government for giving aid to Bangladesh for settling Rohingya refugees while opposing their asylum in India.”On one hand, our government was refusing to give refugee status to Rohingyas while on the other hand, it is giving grant to Bangladesh to settle them. Why the government is doing so?” he asked.Responding to a query on the views expressed by Varun Gandhi on Rohingya Muslims, Singh said, “I condemn Hansraj Ahir, (Minister of State, Home) for criticising Varun Gandhi over his views on the issue”.Referring to Varun’s remarks, Ahir had said anyone who has national interests in mind, won’t make such statements.Expressing concern over the drought-like situation in the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, Singh alleged private insurance companies are getting benefitted through the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme.”The state is reeling under drought and farmers are in a deep trouble. The PM Crop Insurance Scheme is nothing but just a way to favour and benefit private insurance companies,” he alleged.He claimed the government itself had told Parliament that a premium of Rs 16,50,000 crore was deposited by farmers in the Kharif year 2015-16 while insurance companies had earned a profit of Rs 10,50,000 crore after settling the claims.”This clearly indicates that this scheme is meant to benefit insurance companies and not the cultivators,” he alleged.Replying to a query on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to Dwarikadhish temple in Gujarat, Singh said unlike the Congress, the BJP has been misusing religion.”Congress respects the religion. This is not a Hindu rashtra. This is the country of everybody, including Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians. Our makers of the Constitution have given us a socialist secular state,” he said.When asked about the dynasty in the Congress and the leadership resting only with the Nehru/Gandhi family, he replied, “I would say we don’t have any option other than them”.”I will never compromise with my commitment and loyalty towards the Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi family,” he said.Attacking the ruling BJP in Chhattisgarh, Singh said not only the chief minister and ministers, but bureaucrats too are steeped in corruption.”Recently, I heard that the issue of charges of corruption against minister Brijmohan Agarwal will be dealt by BJP chief Amit Shah not the law. It means Shah is being considered as the law in the BJP government,” Singh said.A controversy had erupted over the sale of a forest land near a Buddhist site in Mahasamund district to the wife of Agarwal, state Agriculture Minister, in 2009. P

Mathura: Self-styled godman rapes physically disabled disciple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A self-proclaimed “baba” was arrested on charges of raping a physically disabled disciple at his ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district.The victim hailed from West Bengal and was living at his ashram in Barsana district for several months.The victim alleged that the accused raped her repeatedly and threw her out of the ashram, when she got pregnant.The victim then returned home and lodged a complaint with the police there.A team of West Bengal police, accompanied by the local cops, reached the ashram on Thursday night and arrested the self-styled godman.”We are taking the “baba” to Bengal, as that?s where the complaint was lodge,” Superintendent of Police, Mathura, Aditya Kumar Shukla told ANI.The accused, however, denied the allegations and claimed that the victim wanted to oust him from the ashram and hence had implicated him in a false case.”I didn’t do anything, I don?t even know the girl. One day a couple left their daughter with me asking me to take care of her,” the accused told ANI.He also claimed that the family members of the woman had visited his ashram last year and left the victim there, asking him to take care of her.This comes a day after one woman lodged a complaint alleging sexual exploitation by Kaushlendra Prapanacharya Phalahari Maharaj in Chhattisgarh, on Thursday.The complaint against 70-year-old Phalahari Maharaj, from Rajasthan, was lodged by a 21-year-old woman hailing from Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur.Presently, Baba Phalahari is admitted in the hospital.”The concerned doctor is busy in operation. So, we had no conversation with them. We are waiting for his advice. As soon as we are allowed to talk to the Baba in regards to the matter, we will take the legal proceedings further,” Alwar SP Rahul Prakash told ANI.

Blue Whale Challenge: 12-year-old found dead on railway tracks in Uttar Pradesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another incident allegedly linked to Blue Whale Challenge, a 12-year-old boy was found dead on railway tracks in Uttar Pradesh.The incident took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district.The boy’s friends said that he died while playing Blue Whale game, reported ANI.In the last few months, the deadly online game has claimed several lives. ALSO READ Blue Whale Challenge: ‘They are forcing me to commit suicide’, boy seeks help on exam answer sheetThe Supreme Court has already issued a notice to the Centre on a plea seeking a complete ban on the Blue Whale Challenge and sought a detailed reply on the matter within three weeks.The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide.The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge. ALSO READ Blue Whale Challenge: School in Chhattisgarh asks students about online suicide game in examAdmitting to being the driving factor behind the suicides of youngsters playing the game, Philipp Budeikin, who claims to have created the game, says that the victims were just ‘biological waste’.”Victims were ‘happy to die’ and I am ‘cleansing society’,” Budeikin told police when he was arrested in May this year.A 17-year-old Russian girl has also been arrested by police for allegedly being the mastermind behind the Blue Whale Challenge, that encouraged players to commit suicide.

Blue Whale Challenge: School in Chhattisgarh asks students about online suicide game in exam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid concerns and demand to ban Blue Whale Challenge game, a Delhi Public School branch in Chhattisgarh asked students a question about the online game in the exam paper.The question was asked to the students of the Korba branch of the school in the semester exam.The students writing the Hindi language exam were asked to write in their own words (50) how two friends might converse about Blue Whale, reported the New Indian Express.Several school students have allegedly committed suicide falling prey to the online game.“Framing such question for students is an open violation of safeguards that we have been advocating. We will seek an explanation from the school,” said D K Kaushik, the Korba district education officer.Last week, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre on a plea seeking a complete ban on the Blue Whale Challenge and sought a detailed reply on the matter within three weeks.The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide.The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge.Admitting to being the driving factor behind the suicides of youngsters playing the game, Philipp Budeikin, who claims to have created the game, says that the victims were just ‘biological waste’.”Victims were ‘happy to die’ and I am ‘cleansing society’,” Budeikin told police when he was arrested in May this year.A 17-year-old Russian girl has also been arrested by police for allegedly being the mastermind behind the Blue Whale Challenge, that encouraged players to commit suicide.

Licence a factor in 2016 road accidents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As much as 8.7 per cent of the total accidents on Indian roads involved a learner’s licence holder, the road accident data of 2016 states. The percentage is significant, given that most of those procuring a learner’s licence retain the document for months before moving on to a regular driving licence.The data, released last week, also reveals that aside from the 41,405 accidents involving those holding a learner’s licence, a majority, 84.6 per cent, of road accidents involved regular driving licence holders, and 32,088 or 6.7 per cent of the total accidents involved those without any licence.Madhya Pradesh recorded the maximum number of road accidents involving learner’s licence holders at 6,068 in 2016, followed by 5,702 in Telengana and 4,627 in Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, Tamil Nadu has recorded the maximum accidents involving those without any licence at 5,610, followed by 3,082 in MP.The revelation has raised concerns in the government with officials stating that learner’s licence regulations are not being strictly implemented by states and could be issued in an ad hoc manner.”For example, anybody holding a learner’s licence should be accompanied by an adult holding a regular licence, while driving. It is the responsibility of the states to ensure such regulations are adhered to,” a senior official from the ministry said.Officials say that in many instances, minors drive vehicles for a couple of years before securing licences. As a result, they invariably get involved in several accidents.The report also reveals that 10,622 minors died in road accidents in 2016, of which 3,417 were driving the vehicle and 7,205 were passengers.The motor vehicles amendment bill, pending clearance at the Parliament also proposes a three-year jail term for parents if their minor children are caught driving vehicles.On its part, the ministry is providing funds to states for setting up of automated driving testing tracks and is planning reforms in the current licensing system by reducing human intervention in issuing licences and testing driving skills through automated driving test tracks.In the 12th five year plan, the ministry has sanctioned six additional Institutes of Driving and Research (IDTR), one each in Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur and Sikkim, for imparting driving training.

Most accidents happen during evening hours

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dusky evening is more dangerous than darker night in Rajasthan, when people use transport vehicles to commute. This striking fact was revealed in a report on ‘Road Accidents in India.’ The report highlights accidents’ causes, places, age group with most fatalities and what type of vehicles are more prone to meet with accidents. Apart from them, an analysis was also conducted mentioning time zones having accidents on roads in urban and rural part of the states including Rajasthan. A general perception is set that hours of late night or wee hours are vulnerable for road accidents, as it is the time of drunk and driving and rush of vehicles on the highways. The report, though, rejects this perception clearly and reveals a ‘duskier’ tragic timing zone with higher risk of human lives in contrast. 24,072 road accidents have been reported in the largest state of the country across the year. Of them, the highest number of accidents at 4,539 occurred within three hours from 6 to 9pm. It is followed by a preceding three hours zone from 3 to 6pm, recording accidents at 4,505. In contrast, the late or wee hours have less ratio of accidents. The report states that 9pm to 12 am when roads are empty inviting rash driving, people met with accidents at less. Only 2,536 accidents were reported in this dark night zone followed by next three hours at 1,051. When contacted the department transport officials explained that the highest ratio of accidents in the evening is a result of huge rush of vehicles when people start returning to their homes after finishing works. Hence, in the late hours, accidents, most of them fatal, happen but they are very few compared to the evening time zone. Furthermore, the report indicates that driving in the morning when traffic rules do not bother people is more dangerous. Nearly 2,529 accidents between 6 to 9 am and 3,865 between 9am to 12pm were reported in Rajasthan. During 2016, 13 States accounted for 86 per cent of the total road accidents in the country . These are Tamil Nadu, MP, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, UP, AP, Rajasthan, Telangana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Haryana. Similarly, 13 States accounted for 84 per cent of the total persons killed in road accidents during 2016. These are UP, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, MP, AP, Gujarat, Telangana, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana and Bihar.The fifty Million-Plus Cities accounted for 18.7 per cent in total road accidents in the country, 11.8 per cent in total persons killed in road accidents and 16.7 per cent in total persons injured in road accidents. Chennai had the highest number of road accidents (7,486) while Delhi had the highest number of deaths (1,591)) due to road accidents.

Roads accidents claimed 17 lives per hour in 2016: report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian roads claimed 17 lives in 55 accidents per hour on an average last year, a 3.2 per cent jump from the 1.46 lakh road accident fatalities in 2015, revealed the latest road accidents report released by the government.The report, Road Accidents in India 2016, launched by Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday, stated that road accidents in India, however, went down by 4.1 per cent.Indian roads saw 4.80 lakh accidents last year, which claimed 1.5 lakh lives and caused grievous injuries to 4.94 lakh people. The report revealed that 46.3 per cent people of road accident victims last year were in the 18-35 years age bracket, while as much as 34.8 per cent of total persons killed were two-wheeler riders. The maximum number of road accidents took place on two-lane roads. Drivers’ fault contributed to 84 per cent of road accidents, of which over speeding accounted for 66.5 per cent of accidents and 61 per cent of accident deaths.Other factors included intake of alcohol or drugs by drivers, which led to 14,894 road accidents (3.7 per cent) and 6,131 fatalities (5.1 per cent) in 2016. Similarly, talking on mobile phones while driving led to 4,976 road accidents, 2,138 fatalities and injuries to 4,746 number of persons in this period.As much as 11.6 per cent of the total road accidents in 2016 were hit and run cases, up from 10.9 per cent reported in 2015.The report says 13 states accounted for 86 per cent of accidents, which includes Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Haryana, Kerala, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.Of the the list of million plus cities, Delhi topped with 1,591 road accident deaths in 2016 while Chennai had the highest number of road accidents at 7,486.Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of road accident deaths in 2016 at 19,320 followed by Tamil Nadu at 17,218 and Maharashtra at 12,935.A senior official from the ministry said the reason for a high number of road accidents in India is because vehicle registration which went up by 10% between 2005 and 2015 does not match with the 3.75% increase in road length during this period, adding that an increased congestion on roads has resulted in an increase in accidents.Talking to the media at the event, Gadkari said a 4 per cent decline in road accidents from 2015 to 2016 is an improvement, and another 4 percent decline in accidents this year till July as against the corresponding period of 2016 is encouraging.Gadkari said he has asked states to utilise their central road fund for improving accidents prone spots on roads.Referring to the section of the report which stated that educated drivers contribute to the highest number of road accidents, highways secretary Yudhvir Singh Malik said it proves driving is purely a skill and has nothing to do with the driver’s educational qualifications.The motor vehicles amendment bill, which aims at bringing down accidents through hefty penalties and other regulatory mechanism is yet to come to force. The bill was referred to a parliamentary panel for review during the monsoon session.TollIndian roads saw 4.80 lakh accidents in 2017 These accidents claimed 1.5 lakh lives As many as 4.94 lakh people were grievously injured

Beef would continue to be consumed in Kerala: Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the first day in his new office as tourism minister, bureaucrat-turned-politician Alphons Kannanthanam touched upon the controversial issue of beef, saying it would continue to be consumed in Kerala.Talking to PTI, the 1979 Kerala cadre officer said that the BJP had never said that beef cannot be eaten. “As Goa chief minister, Manohar Parrikar has said that beef will be consumed in the state. Similarly, it will be consumed in Kerala,” he said. “The BJP does not mandate that beef cannot be eaten. We don’t dictate food habits in any place. It is for the people to decide,” he said. Kannanthanam said if a BJP-ruled state like Goa was eating beef, there should be no problem in Kerela.He later told a TV channel that he act could be a bridge between the Christian community and the BJP. Addressing some of the concerns that were raised by the Christian community about the BJP in the past, Kannanthanam said it was mere propaganda. “There was a lot of propaganda in 2014, that if Modi comes to power Christians will be burnt, churches will be demolished. The prime minister has made it clear that believe whatever you want, I will protect you. The PM has done a fantastic job in taking everyone along,” he said.Parrikar, in July, had said in the Assembly that he would ensure that there was no shortage of beef in the state and, if required, it would be imported from neighbouring states.Cow slaughter is banned in as many as 21 states. Consumption of beef has also been barred in some of these states, including Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. It is also banned in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.Kerala is among eight states where there are no restrictions on cow slaughter. However, widespread protests and “beef fests” were organised in Kerala in May following a central government notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter. The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stayed the Centre’s notification on cattle slaughter ban, while the Kerala High Court refused to order a stay on it. The Supreme Court later clarified that Madras High Court’s stay on the notification is operational, implying that the stay on cattle slaughter ban is effective across the country.

Opposition’s ‘save composite culture’ meeting in Indore tomorrow, Sharad Yadav main organiser

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking his battle against the BJP to the states ruled by it, rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav is organising the opposition’s “save composite culture” meet in Indore on Wednesday. Yadav said opposition leaders, including Digvijay Singh and Anand Sharma of the Congress, Sitaram Yechury of the CPI-M and Tariq Anwar of the NCP besides representatives of many other parties, will attend the meeting in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday. The BJP-ruled state had recently witnessed violent protests in Mandsaur by a section of farmers, and opposition leaders hope to build a campaign against the saffron party in the state that has emerged as its bastion.It has been in power there for the last 14 years.The state will face the assembly polls by the end of next year along with Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, two other states ruled by the BJP.”I will hold a similar campaign in Gujarat and Rajasthan. I will go to other states too,” he told PTI.The “save composite culture” meet was organised at the national level on August 17 in which Yadav had made clear his intentions to defy his party chief Nitish Kumar’s move to ally with the BJP, claiming that the country’s secularism and pluralism was under attack in the NDA government.”The country’s youth need to be told and made aware about the values of our Constitution when issues like cow and love jihad have become part of our public discourse,” he said.

Lack of oxygen supply led to four deaths in Raipur, NHRC issues directive @ 8/24/2017 7:49:36 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday took a suo motu cognizance of media reports about the death of four newborns due to alleged disruption in the supply of oxygen at the government-run Ambedkar Hospital in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. Police arrested the oxygen plant operator, who was found drunk on duty, and a notice was issued to the Chief Secretary, Government of Chhattisgarh calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. In a statement, the Commission observed that hardly two weeks back, in a similar reported incident, about 60 infants and children had died at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical Hospital in Gorakhpur, U.P. In both the cases, human error and negligence, reportedly, became the cause of deaths. ?It seems that nothing has been learnt from that tragedy. A death whether of an infant, child or of a grown up person, causes irrevocable loss to the families. No probe, amount of monetary relief and punishment to the culprits can compensate the loss of a human life,? the statement said. To ensure such lapses do not occur and suitable effective measures are taken to address such problems, NHRC suggested issuance of suitable instructions to all the government run and private hospitals to ensure that such lapses do not occur. Accordingly, the Commission directed the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the matter with every State and Union Territory. The response from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is expected within four weeks. As per the media reports, carried on the August 22, 2017, the Health Secretary of the Government of Chhattisgarh has denied that the deaths were due to disruption in the supply of oxygen, but he also admitted that the level of oxygen in a few cylinders was found to be low. The health officials have, reportedly, told that it was possible that the drop in oxygen pressure in the Children Special Care Unit may have caused the deaths. As per sources, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh has ordered stern action against those found guilty for the incident.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

C’garh govt forms panel to review arrangements at cow shelters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chhattisgarh government today formed a cabinet sub-committee to review the arrangements at cow shelters following death of large number of cows in some state-aided facilities. The panel will have four ministers and its mandate is to take stock of the arrangements and facilities in the cowsheds across the state, Urban Development Minister Amar Agrawal told reporters. The decision to constitute the committee was taken during the Cabinet meeting held at Mantralaya here, he said. Besides Amar Agrawal, the other minister-members of the panel are Brijmohan Agrawal (Agriculture and Animal Husbandry), Ajay Chandrakar (Panchayat and Rural Development) and Premprakash Pandey (Higher Education). The Raman Singh government has come under sharp attack from the opposition Congress over the death of large number of cows at “gaushalas” in two districts of the state. One of these state-aided shelters was run by BJP leader Harish Verma in Durg district. According to the state officials, over 200 cows died in three gaushalas located in Durg and Bemetara districts last week due to “starvation and lack of care”. Four persons, including Verma, have been arrested in connection with the deaths.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC asks govt how it will implement, monitor mid-day meals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and states how were they monitoring the implementation and hygiene of the mid-day meal schemes in government schools across the country. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud sought the response of the Centre and the state governments while noting that two committees at the national and state level were suggested to be set up to monitor various aspects like maintaining hygiene in the mid-day meal schemes in schools. “How will the implementation of the scheme take place? Tell us and we will crystalise it (in the form of an order),” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on August 24. The court was hearing a PIL, filed by NGO ‘Antarashtriya Manav Adhikaar Nigraani’ in 2013, on the issue of mid-day meals. It had issued directions to prevent incidents like the one that occurred in a government primary school in a Bihar village where 23 children died after eating contaminated food in 2013. The apex court had on March 23 asked state governments and union territories to upload information including the total number of students getting benefit of the mid-day meal scheme within three months on their websites. The court had approved the “proforma” for providing the details and requirements of the mid-day meal scheme, noting that 25 states agreed to give information as per the format. The Cente had informed the court that 11 other states, which have not filed their reply, were also “not averse” to providing the requisite information as required under the proforma, which contains heads under which information is to be uploaded on the website of the state education department. Information like the total number of schools covered under the scheme, number of beneficiary students, quality and nutritional value of food grains and vegetables, eggs and other supplements served, have to be provided by state governments. The proforma also seeks states to provide information as to whether there is any monitoring mechanism to check the quality of food served to the children in government schools. Earlier, the apex court had issued notice to the Centre and 12 states seeking their response on the steps taken to ensure cleanliness in the midday meal scheme and prevent incidents like the one that occurred in the Bihar village primary school. The states were Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Jharkhand. In over 12 lakh government-run and aided schools across the country, children receive free, cooked lunch every day but “they are constantly exposed to the risk of food poisoning and related health hazards due to a lack of mid-day meal infrastructure and proper monitoring of the scheme,” the PIL said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chhattisgarh: 3 children die allegedly due to oxygen supply disruption, CM orders probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the row over Gorakhpur tragedy is still raging, three children in Chhattisgarh allegedly died due to the disruption of oxygen supply.The incident took place on Sunday in Raipur’s BR Ambedkar Hospital.Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has ordered a probe into the incident. “No one responsible for this incident will be spared,” the Chief Minister said.”Yesterday there was a drop in oxygen pressure, there was no cut in oxygen supply,” said R Prasanna, Director of Health Services.Prasanna also said that the Chief Medical Officer and Medical Superintendent immediately intervened and sorted the issue. “Death of children are due to illness, information will be shared shortly,” he added.The incident comes days after the death of over 72 children in state-run hospital in Gorakhpur, apparently due to encephalitis.Amid demand for action against ministers for Gorakhpur tragedy, an inquiry report has blamed the absence of doctors and the supplier for oxygen shortage at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) hospital.

DNA Exclusive: DoT seeks data upgradation for better intel gathering

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To boost intelligence gathering in Naxal-affected areas, the Department of Telecom (DoT) wants to upgrade 2G towers to 4G and has written to the Union Home Ministry seeking specifications for the same.In the letter accessed by DNA, DoT has stated that 2G telecom towers, 2,199 in number, are breathing their last. The issue was discussed at a recent review meeting of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with the chief ministers of Maoist-affected areas and it was decided that upgraded technology would be provided to counter left wing extremists (LWE) in the country.”Since provision of data connectivity has certain security implications, it is requested that MHA may kindly give their comments regarding the inclusion of specifications for data connectivity (2G/4G) for phase-II of the project,” DoT Administrator Sanjay Singh said in his communiqué to MHA.The DoT administrator further said that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh wants mobile towers in Phase-II with 4G capability in Bastar region.According to the Home Ministry, there are 106 districts across 10 States, which have been identified by the government as Naxal-affected districts across states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.In a high-level meeting in May this year, the DoT was directed by the Home Ministry to examine the issue of up-gradation and serviceability of mobile towers in LWE areas.PROJECT APPROVALThe total cost in the second phase is expected to be Rs 4,396 cr
The project was first approved by the Cabinet in June 2013 after a Maoist attack in Bastar, in which 27 people, including senior Congress leaders, were killed.
It was sent for Cabinet approval again due to change in cost structure and was cleared in August 2014.

Don’t make false statements, show us some proof: Congress on Jaitley’s demonetisation claim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Monday said the Narendra Modi-led government should not make any assumptions without any basis or concrete proof.The comment came a day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley claimed that demonetisation has left Maoists and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir fund starved.Speaking to ANI, Congress leader PC Chacko said the Finance minister should give some definite proof to prove his claim.”The Finance Minister of India is making certain assumptions without any basis. He is making some tall claims but not being authenticated so far. So merely by making statements people are not going to believe what they are saying. I think people will not take these statements on its face value,” he said.Finance Minister Jaitely on Sunday claimed, demonetisation has left Maoists in several parts of the country and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir fund-starved.Addressing a function in Mumbai, Jaitley said, post-demonetisation, the number of protesters taking part in stone-pelting in Kashmir has also gone down.”After demonetisation, separatists in Jammu and Kashmir and also Maoists in states like Chhattisgarh have become fund starved,” Jaitley said.Highlighting the benefits of demonetisation, Jaitley reiterated that money which was earlier getting circulated outside the economy has come into the formal banking system.

9 officials suspended amid allegations of 173 cows deaths in a

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine officials, including two deputy directors, of Chhattisgarh animal husbandry department have been suspended amid allegations that 173 cows have died in about one week at three shelters, one of which is run by a local BJP leader. Chhattisgarh Rajya Gau Sewa Ayog chairman Bisheshar Patel today claimed that 52 deaths had taken place at Shagun gaushala in Rajpur village of Durg district, 106 at Phoolchand gaushala and 15 at Mayuri gaushala in Godmarra and Rano villages respectively of Bemetara district. “173 cows died in three government-aided gaushala (cow shelter) in Durg and Bemetara districts of the state in nearly seven days,” Patel claimed. Taking cognisance, state Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Brijmohan Agrawal has suspended nine officers of the department for “negligence in discharging their duties” and issued a show cause notice to Gau Sewa Aayog’s secretary, a government statement said. Those suspended include the department’s deputy directors in Durg and Bemetara and seven veterinarians. The minister, who is on an official tour of Israel, had sought a report from the animal husbandry director, S K Pandey, on the incident by August 19. Based on the preliminary finding that indicated grave negligence on the part of these officers, the action was taken, the government statement said. The minister later also sought a report within three days on the condition of all cow shelters in the state, it said. Shagun gaushala owner Harish Verma, who belongs to the BJP and holds the post of vice president in Jamul Municipality, was arrested on Friday. Chhattisgarh Rajya Gau Sewa Ayog had lodged a police complaint alleging lack of proper facilities and management at his facility. The owners of the two shelters were Verma’s relatives, he claimed. The police today took into custody two office-bearers of Phoolchand guashala and one of Mayuri cow shelter in Bemetara and they were being questioned, an official at Parpodi police station in the district said. The chairpersons of the two gaushalas were absconding, he said. According to Patel, lack of management and proper facilities at the cow shelters led to the deaths. The cattle from these shelters were being shifted to other shelters, he said. Meanwhile, an official of the animal husbandry department said teams of senior veterinarians were deployed in these shelters to provide treatment to the ailing animals and for their regular monitoring. In the past two days, 152 cows were provided treatment, he said. Besides, several cows from Shagun gaushala were being shifted in the nearby shelters, the official said. The shelter was overcrowded as 599 bovines were housed there. Meanwhile, Verma, booked under relevant provisions of the Chhattisgarh Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act 2004, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and IPC section 409 (criminal breach of trust), was yesterday produced in a Durg court which remanded him in judicial custody, a police official said. A group of youth Congress workers yesterday smeared ink on Verma’s face when he was being taken to jail from the court, a police official in Durg said. The police later arrested seven youth Congress workers in connection with the incident, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong hits out at BJP over cow deaths in Chhattisgarh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress today charged the BJP with ignoring the death of several cows at a cowshed run by a party leader in Chhattisgarh and asked whether Chief Minister Raman Singh would impose death penalty on “one of their own” as he had sought earlier. At least 27 cows had died at a government-aided cow shelter in Durg district of Chhattisgarhrun by one Harish Verma, who was arrested yesterday, local police had said. Referring to the Chief Minister’s comments earlier this year, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said ‘gauraksha’ (cow protection) has been reduced to killing of innocents, mostly of minority community. “If this is the new definition of gauraksha, I suppose everybody should ignore this terrible event (of cows death in Chhattisgarh)…because double standards is the definition of the BJP,” Singhvi told reporters here. The Congress leader said “if I recollect, no less than death penalty was demanded more than once by the chief minister of Chhattisgarh.” “We will hang those who kill cows,” the Chief Minister had said in April this year, a day after BJP-ruled Gujarat passed a stringent law, making cow slaughter punishable with a life term. Singhvi said the BJP government will not act against “their own” in this case because “double standards is the definition of the BJP”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Chhattisgarh: 27 cows die at gau shala run by BJP leader; probe ordered

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 27 cows have died in the last three days at a government-aided private shelter run by a local BJP leader in Durg district of Chhattisgarh, authorities said, adding a case has been filed and a probe initiated to ascertain the cause of the deaths.The Chhattisgarh Rajya Gau Sewa Aayog, which filed a complaint with the police, has alleged that lack of proper facilities at the ‘gaushala’ were responsible for the deaths.However, Harish Verma, the cow shed owner who belongs to the BJP and holds the post of vice president in Jamul Municipality, claimed that the cows died due to collapse of a boundary wall on August 15.”In the last three days, 27 cows were reported to have died of unknown reasons in the gaushala of Rajpur. Around 500 bovines were housed in the government-aided shelter home. Soon after getting the news of the incident, a team of veterinary doctors was sent to the spot,” Durg Additional Collector Sanjay Agrawal said.He said the exact cause of the deaths was yet to be ascertained as the blood samples of the carcasses of the cows have been sent to laboratories and reports are awaited.”A case was registered today against Harish Verma in connection with the death of the cows at his ‘gaushala’ in Rajpur village under Dhamdha police station limits,” Durg Superintendent of Police Amresh Mishra told PTI.A complaint in this regard was filed by the Chhattisgarh Rajya Gau Sewa Aayog alleging the lack of management and proper facilities at the facility, he said.”The matter is being investigated and Verma will be interrogated soon,” Mishra added.Meanwhile, Verma claimed that the cows died after the boundary wall of his gaushala crashed on them.”On August 15, several cows were injured in the Gaushala after the boundary wall collapsed due to heavy rains.Thereafter, 26 of them succumbed to injuries while treatment of some other cows is underway,” he said.Verma alleged that he was not receiving the grant from the Gau Sewa Ayog even after repeated requests.The main opposition Congress has alleged around 300 cows have died in Verma’s shelter home in the past three days.”According to local villagers, around 300 cows have died of starvation and lack proper care as they were not fed properly in the ‘gaushala’,” state Congress spokesperson RP Singh said and demanded a high-level probe into the matter.

Naveen to decide on advancement of Odisha assembly polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Biju Janata Dal today said that its president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will decide whether to advance the assembly polls if the Centre goes for early general elections next year. “We had earlier advanced elections in Odisha in 2004. The next assembly elections is due in 2019. Our party president and chief minister will take a decision on advancement of the (next) assembly polls,” BJD vice-president and senior minister S N Patro told reporters. Patro said this while replying a query on whether the state’s BJD government will agree to go for advancement of assembly elections, if the Centre decides to hold early polls along with a few state elections in November-December 2018. Certain states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Chhattisgarh are going to polls in November-December 2018. Barring Mizoram, BJP is in power in the three other states. BJD, which is in power in Odisha since 2000, had advanced the assembly polls slated for 2005 and held it along with Lok Sabha election in 2004. AICC general secretary in-charge of Odisha B K Hariprasad said, “We are ready to face elections any time. We do not welcome such proposal, but if elections are held early, the Congress will face the challenge.” BJP Legislature Party Leader K V Singhdeo said that his party would welcome a proposal to advance the elections for the state assembly.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Raman Singh flags off 5,000 mtr marathon in Raipur; hails development in the state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Monday flagged off a 5,000 meter marathon in Raipur. While addressing a crowd, Singh said, ?We are one day ahead to celebrate the 70th Independence Day. I feel so proud to be a citizen of this country. Also, after completing 5,000 days as the head of the state, I would like to thank my supporters and family for giving me this honour. The event was a big success and happy to see so many people who have participated. I?m also happy to see the development that has taken place in the state during my 5,000 days as Chief Minister?. Further hailing the government, Singh stated that Chhattisgarh has grown in these 5,000 days with with Center?s support. ?Chhattisgarh has completed an uninterrupted 5,000 days in the Naxal-hit state riding on welfare schemes and infrastructural development. At least 14 lakh families were benefited from Ujjwala Yojana, which will be extended to 35 Lakh families and 11 Lakh families were benefited from Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The power generation capacity as well as telecommunication facilities have increased in the state,? he said. Singh further said that the government is doing its best to work for the tribal?s and forest dwellers in the state, while adding that the Forest Department in Chhattisgarh and the state government are planning to invest Rs. 8 crore every year on the forests. He also pointed to the fact that such development in the state was unheard of before 2003.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cops bust Naxal camp in Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police today busted a naxal camp operational in the Abuzhmad area at the border of this district and Chhattisgarh following an encounter.Police seized some guns and naxal material from the spot.Notably, police found some horses in the camp, which indicates the presence of a senior cadre in the area, an official said.The skirmish occurred around 2 pm at the border of Gadchiroli and Narayanpur districts in the Abujhmad area, considered a bastion of the ultras, between the Anti-Naxal Squad of the police and naxlaites, he said.”The ultras fled the spot after realising that the police are closing in on them,” the senior official said.During the search of the area, the police located the camp and seized three bharmar guns.”Police also found six horses, items of daily use, and some naxal literature. Mostly, senior cadres use horses in the Abuzhmad forest area. The presence of horses indicates that a very senior Maoist like Bhupati might be operating in this area,” the official added.

Mumbai, Aug 13 (PTI) Following are the top stories

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>from the western region at 2100 hrs. BCM 1 BIZ-TRAVEL-BUSINESS-LEISURE Mumbai: With more and more Indian professionals travelling on business purpose, a report reveals that these trips are being extended for leisure, a trend which is slowly blurring lines between business and leisure travel. BES10 MH-NAXAL CAMP BUSTED Gadchiroli: Police bust a naxal camp in Abuzhmad area on the border of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. BES 11 GJ-DRUG-ARREST Ahmedabad: Narcotics Control Bureau arrests two more persons in connection with Rs 3,500 crore heroin haul off Gujarat coast. BCM5 MH-CAG-ARREARS Mumbai: CAG pulls up Maharashtra government for slow progress in recovery of taxes and arrears amounting to over Rs one lakh crore for FY 2015-16.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sukma: Two Maoists killed in encounter with security forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An exchange of fire took place near Sukma?s Kista Ram village in Chhattisgarh between Maoists and a joint team of Special Task Force (STF) and District Reserve Guard (DRG).”The dead bodies of two Maoists were recovered along with one pistol, one Bharmar gun and other item,” said Superintendents of Police (SP) Abhishek Meena.Further details are awaited.

Duty of every institution to help disabled persons: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is the duty of every institution to extend a helping hand to disabled persons, the Supreme Court today said. The observation by the apex court came while hearing a thalassaemia patient’s plea claiming that she falls under the category of persons with benchmark disability as prescribed under the provisions of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar directed the Chhattisgarh government to constitute a medical board to ascertain whether the petitioner, Sruchi Rathore, would fall under the the ambit of the Act. “It is directed that the State of Chhattisgarh shall instruct the competent authorities to constitute the requisite medical board within two days and the petitioner shall be examined on August 16, 2017. “The result of her examination shall be produced before this Court on August 18, 2017. It has to be borne in mind that it is the duty of every institution to extend helping hand in its command to the disabled persons. In case the petitioner passes the benchmark as per the 2016 Act, her case may be considered,” the bench said. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that her case should be considered as a person with disability for the purpose of admission to any medical stream. He also contended that under the Act, five per cent of the seats for the persons with benchmark disability, someone with not less than 40 per cent disability, are required to be reserved. The bench said that the “statutory command” of five per cent reservation for benchmark disability, “has to be followed in letter and spirit”. Thalassaemia, an inherited blood disorder, falls under the category of benchmark disability subsequent to the 2016 amended Act. The other newly added types of benchmark disability include mental illnesses, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, speech and language disability, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities, including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinsons disease.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJD demands setting up of tribunal to resolve Mahanadi dispute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJD members in Lok Sabha today demanded the immediate setting up of a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute with neighbouring Chhattisgarh. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Bhartruhari Mahtab said the tribunal to resolve the disputes was yet to be formed even though the Supreme Court had favoured it. Terming the issue as “very serious”, agitated BJD MPs came into the aisles but did not enter the well demanding a response from the government on setting up of the tribunal. Mahtab also asked the Centre to direct the Chhattisgarh government to stop construction of projects on the upstream of Mahanadi, saying these were seriously affecting flow of the river. Chhattisgarh government has already rejected Odisha government’s demand to stop construction work. “The Centre must set up the tribunal immediately,” said Mahtab.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Loco pilots honoured for averting train mishap

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two loco pilots were honoured by East Coast Railway (ECoR) as a possible train mishap was averted due to their alertness and prompt action. B Jagadeesh, loco-pilot and K V Krishna, assistant loco pilot of Bacheli Station in Chhattisgarh under Waltair Railway Division while performing duties on July 30, 2017 in a goods train from Jagadalpur to Koraput observed some fish plates & coil spring kept on the track by miscreants at Khadapa Station Yard in Koraput District of Odisha, ECoR said in a release today. They immediately stopped the train and averted a possible major disaster and loss to railway property. Three fish plates and one coil spring were removed from the railway track for train operations after they reported the matter. Due to the alertness, sincere, vigilant and prompt action of both the Loco-Pilots to avoid the possible mishap, General Manager, East Coast Railway Umesh Singh felicitated them with cash award, it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ramdas Athawale lands in soup for ‘advising’ transgenders to not wear sarees @ 7/31/2017 9:56:16 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Despite batting strongly for the Transgender Bill, Union Minister Ramdas Athwale has landed in a soup for a particular comment that has not gone down well with the community. Speaking at an event, Athawale advised transgenders to not wear sarees. ?They are not men or women. Hence, they shouldn?t wear sarees,? he said, however, immediately clarifying that he was just advising them and that they have the freedom to wear whatever they want. Speaking to ANI, Vidya Rajput of the Third Gender Welfare Board, Chhattisgarh, said that nobody can question the rights of the transgender community. She said, ?I don?t understand that how can a person in his position question my rights. The constitution gives me the choice to wear or not wear a saree. It is my personal choice.? She stressed that a person of Athawale?s stature, especially the ones with a following, shouldn?t comment on the rights of the minority, adding that such comments have affected the lives of the transgenders for a long time ?He should have thought it through before saying anything like this in public?, she added. Ironically, Athawale had earlier assured that the Centre would make efforts to soon pass the Transgender Bill, which seeks to empower the community by providing them a separate identity. He was speaking at a national workshop on ‘Developing Modules for Sensitising Transgender People and Stakeholders’, organised at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ramdas Athawale lands in soup for ‘advising’ transgenders to not wear sarees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Despite batting strongly for the Transgender Bill, Union Minister Ramdas Athwale has landed in a soup for a particular comment that has not gone down well with the community. Speaking at an event, Athawale advised transgenders to not wear sarees. ?They are not men or women. Hence, they shouldn?t wear sarees,? he said, however, immediately clarifying that he was just advising them and that they have the freedom to wear whatever they want. Speaking to ANI, Vidya Rajput of the Third Gender Welfare Board, Chhattisgarh, said that nobody can question the rights of the transgender community. She said, ?I don?t understand that how can a person in his position question my rights. The constitution gives me the choice to wear or not wear a saree. It is my personal choice.? She stressed that a person of Athawale?s stature, especially the ones with a following, shouldn?t comment on the rights of the minority, adding that such comments have affected the lives of the transgenders for a long time ?He should have thought it through before saying anything like this in public?, she added. Ironically, Athawale had earlier assured that the Centre would make efforts to soon pass the Transgender Bill, which seeks to empower the community by providing them a separate identity. He was speaking at a national workshop on ‘Developing Modules for Sensitising Transgender People and Stakeholders’, organised at the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Calling cows ‘gau mata’ isn’t enough; we must treat them well: Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on Sunday asserted that calling cows Gau Mata is not enough, we must see how we treat them.Addressing a workshop regarding cow protection in Raipur, Raman Singh said, “Had we kept cows at home, people need not have carried them on trucks. We call cows ‘Gau Mata’ but we must see how we treat them.”Singh further said from now onwards we will inspect cow sheds and top-ten cowsheds will be provided with extra Rs 10 Lakh every year.”We will deploy 10 ambulances to cater to cows and will initiate this from ten districts first, “Chhattisgarh CM.The Chief Minister concluded saying that the suggestions obtained today will soon be implemented

Raman Singh is involved in ‘Panama’, but no action against him-Rahul

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday hit out at the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and said Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and his family?s name is also involved in the Panama Papers, but no action has been taken against them. ?Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had to resign as his name was in Panama papers, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and his family?s name was also in it, but no action has been taken against them,? said Gandhi while addressing a rally here. Rahul said the prime minister makes tall claims to curb corruption in the country, but cannot see corruption of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister. He even targeted Prime Minister Modi for November 8, 2016, decision of demonetisation and said demonetization created a chaos in the country, leading to loss to the small scale businessmen and framers. ?I met small sector businessmen of the state, they asked me for help. They said that BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) have destroyed them, first they brought demonetization and now they have introduced GST (Goods and Services Tax),? he said. He alleged that since the the NDA government came to power at the Centre, unrest has started in several states, including in Jammu and Kashmir. The Congress leader even accused the NDA government of changing the rules of Chhattisgarh as per its convenience and benefit. ?We want you (tribals) to get benefit of your land and forest not anyone else. We want to protect the right of the people. Why the prime minister is trying to snatch the land of the people? He is doing so that he can give the land, mines to industrialists,? Gandhi alleged. Earlier on Friday, Rahul hit out at the BJP and alleged that the saffron party has time and again lied to the people of Chhattisgarh and used them for their benefits just to come to power. ?Just to come to power, the BJP plotted scams in Chhattisgarh, killed the tribal people, closed the small-scale industries, and killed the Dalits. They didn?t spare anyone. They did all these things just to come to power,? Gandhi said, while addressing a gathering of party workers and leaders in Bastar. Gandhi said that BJP leaders speak so ‘loudly’ that even their lies seem to be the truth. Chhattisgarh will go on polls to elect members from the 90 constituencies in the state next year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rahul, on 2-day Chhattisgarh visit, gives pep talk to Congmen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today accused the BJP of “running after power” and asked his party workers to strengthen the organisation ahead of next year’s Assembly polls. Gandhi, who arrived here on a two-day visit to Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, addressed the party workers and asked them to strengthen the Congress ahead of the 2018 state Assembly polls. Earlier, he was welcomed at the airstrip by state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly T S Singhdeo among other party leaders. From there, Gandhi proceeded to the Ganpati Resort, where he addressed Congress leaders and workers from Bastar. Besides, he had a separate interaction with the workers of the Youth Congress and the party’s women’s wing. Addressing the closed-door gathering, Gandhi slammed the BJP and egged on the Congressmen to defeat the saffron party with the “power of truth”. “They (BJP) keep on telling lies in a way that they appear to be true to the people. All of them tell the same lie again and again to secure power. The truth is, they are running after power and have nothing to do with the truth,” a senior party leader quoted Gandhi as saying. Referring to the Congress workers as an “army of truth” Gandhi, according to the leader, said, “Only truth can beat lies and you are going to do this.” Launching a scathing attack on the ruling BJP in Chhattisgarh, the 47-year-old Amethi MP accused it of involvement in scams and committing atrocities on Dalits and tribals for the sake of remaining in power. Later in the evening, he met senior party leaders and office-bearers at the Circuit House here. Tomorrow, the Congress vice-president is scheduled to address a workshop of party workers. Later in the day, he is also scheduled to address a public rally.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP plotted scams, killed tribal people and Dalits: Rahul Gandhi in Chhattisgarh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday, saying that the saffron party has time and again lied to the people of Chhattisgarh and used them for their benefits just to come to power.’Just to come to power, the BJP plotted scams in Chhattisgarh, killed the tribal people, closed the small-scale industries, and killed the Dalits. They didn’t spare anyone. They did all these thing just to come to power,’ Gandhi said, while addressing a gathering of party workers and leaders here.Gandhi said that BJP leaders speak so ‘loudly’ that even their lies seem to be the truth.’They lie every time. But the people don’t need to be scared of these lies, because at the end only truth triumphs and for that, the people have to make effort,’ he said. ‘Chhattisgarh will go on polls to elect members from the 90 constituencies in the state next year. The comments come in the backdrop of the recent political drama that unfolded in Bihar in recent days, wherein Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stepped down, only to take the oath the next day, this time in forming an alliance with the BJP.The Congress has been, since then, criticising the BJP for disrespecting the mandate in the state that was “against the saffron party.”

Chattisgarh: Police jawan injured in IED blast in Dantewada

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police jawan was injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) laid by Naxals exploded in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.A team of security personnel led by Dantewada’s Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap was patrolling in Katekalyan area on Thursday night when the IED exploded, a senior police official said.As the policemen was cordoning off the road between Metapal and Gatam villages, they found a Naxal banner in support of the ‘martyrdom week’, he said. Constable Laxmaih was trying to remove the banner when the pressure IED planted behind it exploded, leaving him injured, the official said.The injured jawan, belonging to the district force and deputed as follow guard of the Dantewada SP, sustained minor splinter injuries on his hand, he said. He was immediately rushed to a local hospital where his condition was said to be stable, he said.Maoists are oberving a ‘martyrdom week’ from today to August 3. Security has been beefed up in forests of all the seven districts of Bastar division – Dantewada, Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kondagaon, Sukma and Kanker in view of Maoist week, the official said.Notably, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi is also scheduled to undertake a two-day visit of Bastar from Friday during which he will attend a series of programmes. Hence, the patrolling has been intensified in the district and its bordering areas, the official said.The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) observes the martyrdom week every year to remember its leaders who died in various operations conducted by the security forces.The IEDs planted randomly in forests and places, where frequent de-mining operations are not feasible, pose a big challenge in the counter-insurgency operations in Bastar division, a senior police official earlier said.At least 1,232 IEDs have been recovered by security forces in different pockets of Bastar from 2010 to June 30 this year, as per the figures of the state police department.

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