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PM Modi visits Vajpayee’s house, greets him on his birthday

Earlier, Modi hailed Vajpaye as a leader who distinguished himself in every role, while greeting him on his birthday. “Birthday greetings to our beloved Atalji. We salute this great personality who provided exceptional leadership to India at a crucial time,” the PM had tweeted earlier in the day.
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Congress wins Jharkhand Assembly by-election; says people have lost faith in NDA

The by-poll, held on December 14, was necessitated following disqualification of AJSU leader Kamal Kishore Bhagat after he was sentenced to jail for five years in connection with an attack on a doctor in 1993. Niru Shanti is his wife.

Congress party workers celebrate after their victory of Lohardaga Assemby by-election at Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi on Thursday.

PTI
The one-year-old BJP government in Jharkhand tasted its first defeat when its candidate Niru Shanti Bhagat lost to Congress aspirant Sukhdeo Bhagat by 23,228 votes in the Lohardaga Assembly by-election on Thursday. While Congress candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat, who is also the state PCC chief, polled 73,859 votes, Niru Shanti Bhagat of AJSU, an NDA constituent, bagged 50,571 votes. Former Jharkhand Minister Bandhu Tirkey of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) finished third with 16,551 votes, election commission officials said.The by-poll, held on December 14, was necessitated following disqualification of AJSU leader Kamal Kishore Bhagat after he was sentenced to jail for five years in connection with an attack on a doctor in 1993. Niru Shanti is his wife.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Secretary of Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) S R A Rizvi Chabban on Thursday expressed confidence that the victory of JPCC president Sukhdeo Bhagat in the Lohardaga (ST) Assembly by-election will help the party to improve its position in the state. In a statement issued, Chabban said the victory of Bhagat would help the party to improve its status in the state and also provide a right direction to the party.”The bypoll verdict has clearly indicated that the people of the state have lost faith in the one-year-old Raghubar Das-headed NDA government and want a change in the state,” he said.Taking a dig at former the Chief Minister Babulal Marandi-led Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), Chabban said the Lohardaga result was a lesson for the JVM(P), which was direction less in the state, and it should rethink about its future policies for its survival.

1.5 million children in India die due to diarrhoea: Report

The report says that by 2015, the figure of malnutrition should have dropped to 26% as per the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) but the country fell short of the goal by 7%.

Representational Image

Out of more than 35 million Indians who are affected by water-borne diseases annually, 1.5 million children die due to diarrhoea alone, a Centre for Science and Environment report revealed on Tuesday. The latest publication ‘Body Burden 2015- State of India’s Health’ which examines the linkage between environment and health quite comprehensively said that a number of public health catastrophes arising out of environmental reasons are staring the people of India in the face.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “The report informs that about 37.7 million Indians are affected by water-borne diseases annually. Around 1.5 million children die due to diarrhoea alone, and 73 million working days are lost due to water-borne illnesses each year. Estimates suggest India loses Rs 36,600 crore every year due to water-borne diseases,” CSE said.Referring to the connection between water and sanitation and malnutrition, the report says that by 2015, the figure of malnutrition should have dropped to 26% as per the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) but the country fell short of the goal by seven per cent. Notwithstanding the progress, CSE said that India still cannot answer why the malnutrition rate among its children is so high. “The world’s largest programme to tackle child malnutrition, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), has been in force in the country since 1975, much before any other country, save the US, introduced measures to tackle the problem,” points out the report. Noting that malnutrition is prevalent in comparatively richer states as well, the report indicates that higher income does not necessarily correlate with better health of children. “India loses over US $12 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies among its population. Malnutrition is not just about access to food. “Children who are constantly exposed to faecal microorganisms demonstrate Environmental Enteric Dysfunction or EED, where the gut becomes permeable and brings microbial products in contact with blood.” “This leads to activation of the immune system which down-regulates the growth factors in the body and leads to stunting. States like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand where more people defecate in open, have more malnourished children, comparatively,” it said.

13 killed in train-car collision in Jharkhand

“The bodies will be taken for postmortem and then the investigation will proceed,” Ramgarh Deputy Collector A. Dodde said.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
At least 13 people were killed when a Bolero car carrying them was rammed by a speeding Bhopal-Howrah train in Jharkhand.Among the dead, six were children, four women and three men, who were returning from a marriage function.The accident took place last night at the outer signal of Bhurkunda railway station, near Ramgarh.”The bodies will be taken for postmortem and then the investigation will proceed,” Ramgarh Deputy Collector A. Dodde said.The police and administration later reached the spot and cleared the track after recovering the dead bodies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later around midnight, the track was cleared and train could leave onward for Bhopal.

Amitabh Thakur seeks Rs 10,000 as expenses for providing documents in DA case

The disproportionate assets case was registered against him at Gomtinagar police station in Lucknow.
File Photo
PTI
Suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur on Tuesday demanded Rs 10,000 from the Uttar Pradesh Vigilance Establishment as expenses for providing the documents sought from him in the disproportionate assets case.In a letter to investigating officer Daddan Chaubey, Thakur said, “I have been asked for Income Tax returns for the period 1992-93 to 2015-16, details of the house and car loan taken from Allahabad Bank, Gonda, certain amounts deposited in Ballia in 2002 and Meerut in 2011 etc.”As most of these documents are not available with me and I will have to go to Gonda, Ballia, Meerut and Bokaro (Jharkhand), where my IT returns are filed, it will require money.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said although he is willing to provide all the required documents but it is also the duty of the Vigilance Establishment to provide him the expenses incurred in procuring these documents.”I need Rs 10,000 from the department to provide the necessary information,” he said.The disproportionate assets case was registered against him at Gomtinagar police station in Lucknow. Thakur was suspended by the state government after he had filed an FIR against Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav for allegedly threatening him.

Coal scam: JIPL director seeks summoning Manmohan Singh as defence witness

New Delhi: Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd (JIPL) director RS Rungta, an accused in a coal block allocation scam case, today moved an application before a special court seeking to summon former prime minister Manmohan Singh as a witness in his defence in the case.

Besides Singh, who was also the then minister of coal, Rungta also sought summoning of former minister of state for coal Dasari Narayan Rao as a witness in his defence in the case.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh. PTIFormer prime minister Manmohan Singh. PTI

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh. PTI

In his plea, Rungta also sought summoning of various documents and said that these two witnesses would depose about their genuineness.

Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar, however, told Rungta’s counsel to first argue on the relevancy of summoning Singh and Rao as witnesses in the case.

“In the facts and circumstances of the case, I first deem it appropriate to hear the counsel for the accused on the relevancy of summoning these witnesses in his defence. Put up for arguments on the plea on December 8,” the judge said.

Regarding Singh, the accused said, “he will prove the record of the coal ministry and the decision taken by him about constitution of screening committee and its functions and powers and would also prove the corresponding record of the Ministry of Coal.”

“Further, the two witnesses (Singh and Rao) named above may also be directed to be summoned to depose about genuineness of the documents being produced from their respective office (as they were holding at the relevant point of time),” the plea said.

Besides RS Rungta, the other two accused — JIPL and its director RC Rungta — also submitted their list of witnesses whom they want to examine in their defence and the court has fixed the case for recording of defence evidence on 19 December.

The case pertain to the allotment of North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand to Jharkhand Ispat Pvt Ltd allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents.

The court had on 21 November concluded recording of statements of accused in the case.

JIPL and both the Rungtas were earlier put on trial by the court which had framed charges against them for securing allotment of North Dhadu coal block in Jharkhand allegedly on the basis of false and forged documents.

The court had framed charges against the three accused for alleged offences punishable under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using a forged document as genuine) of the IPC.

All the accused had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that it had found in the probe that JIPL had “grossly misrepresented” a number of aspects before Ministry of Steel (MoS) and Ministry of Coal (MoC) to inflate their claim, thereby inducing MoC officers and the screening committee to allocate the coal block to
them.

The accused, however, has claimed innocence before the court and denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI.

In his plea seeking summoning of Singh and Rao as defence witnesses, Rungta said these witnesses had participated in the investigation of related cases with CBI officials.

He has also sought summoning of documents from Ministry of Coal and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

These documents include the record from the PMO for the period 2003-2005 “supervising the constitution of screening committee for the purposes of coal allocation by Ministry of Coal, reflecting the powers and duties of the screening committee and the manners in which its minutes would be drawn, signed and circulated amongst concerned ministries/constituent members.”

He claimed that these documents would reflect that there was no cheating, forgery on the part of the accused and the firm.

Regarding documents which he has sought to be summoned, the accused said these would explain that “filing of agenda form, making presentations etc for any particular coal block had no bearing with respect to the recommendation or approval of recommendation of the screening committee.”

PTI

Government asks 6 states to submit report on drought situation

The Ministry asked the governments of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to apprise the Centre about the number of drought-affected districts and whether drought has been declared in these areas or not.

The Government on Thursday asked six states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to immediately inform the Centre about drought-affected districts and submit memorandum seeking financial assistance.”In view of a sustained dry spell during the last Kharif season, as also in the early Rabi period in some part of the country, the Centre has asked the affected states to submit memorandum for drought assistance immediately”, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement. The Ministry asked the governments of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to apprise the Centre about the number of drought-affected districts and whether drought has been declared in these areas or not.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The states have also been asked to submit the financial memorandum for assistance from National Drought Relief Fund (NDRF), it added. The Ministry also said that on the receipt of these informations, the Central team will visit the states to take stock of the situation and assess the assistance required.So far, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have approached the Centre seeking financial assistance for drought relief work. The Central teams have visited three of them and is currently on tour of Maharashtra for assessing quantum of assistance required, the statement added.

BJP Diwali brawl: Here’s what Team Advani and Team Modi said to each other

The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi.

File Photo

The fireworks started early for the BJP as veterans Advani, MM Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha issued a statement criticising the party’s loss in Bihar. Full BJP brawl: Here’s what Team Advani and Team Modi said to each other ​The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi. To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible. It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the Party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The principal reason for the latest defeat is the way the Party has been emasculated in the last year. A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as the way the Party is being forced to kow-tow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed. This review must not be done by the very persons who have managed and who have been responsible for the campaign in Bihar. Reacting to this former BJP presidents, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari:We have read the statement issued by some senior Members of the Party. Obviously, all Party members are concerned with the results of the Assembly Elections in Bihar. The Party has won the Lok Sabha Election last year under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi. Thereafter, the Party had success in Assembly Elections of Jharkhand, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir. Recently, we have won the local elections in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andamans, Kerala and Assam.The results of Delhi and Bihar have been adverse against us. The Party’s Parliamentary Board had a detailed discussion yesterday on the results of the Bihar Assembly Elections. The Party will discuss this matter on various other forums including with senior leaders and attempt to overcome the shortcomings that led to the adverse verdict in Bihar. The Party has been very fortunate to have been led by Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shri L.K. Advani for decades. They had set a healthy precedent of the Party collectively taking up responsibility for victories and defeats. The Party would certainly welcome any guidance and suggestion of our seniors in this regard.

Bihar Elections 2015: Non-BJP Chief Ministers hail Nitish-Lalu’s victory, BJP CMs silent

No Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled state – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh etc. has as yet reacted to the verdict.

Non-BJP CMs hailed the Bihar election verdict

As the Mahagathbandhan led by Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Lalu Yadav’s RJD surged towards a certain victory in the Bihar elections, Chief Ministers from different states expressed their views on the outcome.West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee hailed the verdict:
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also praised the verdict and congratulated Nitish Kumar.
​Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah congratulated the Mahagathbandhan and the Congress leadership.
But he didn’t stop there.
PM Narendra Modi congratulated Nitish Kumar on his victory:
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who is set to return for a third term, acknowledged PM Narendra Modi’s call:
Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, who is from the Congress, also celebrated the verdict:
However, no Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled state – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, Goa, Madhya Pradesh etc. has as yet reacted to the verdict.

I haven’t got Nobel Prize because I am black: Baba Ramdev

Baba Ramdev

PTI
In a bizarre statement, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Friday claimed that he was denied a Nobel Prize because he is ‘black’.According to a ETV report, Ramdev during a yoga event in Ranchi stated that he would have been honoured with the Nobel Prize by now if it wasn’t for the colour of his skin.”If I would have been a fair-skinned person, the Nobel Prize would have been awarded to me till now for my work in the field of yoga. But, it has been denied to me because I am black”, Ramdev said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reportedly, this statement by the yoga guru came during an event in which Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das was also present.

Bihar poll results will have an effect on Centre: Former Jharkhand CM Babulal Marandi

Bihar is an important state and BJP has involved its entire cabinet for campaigning. Hence, the impact on the government was certain, in case the BJP-led coalition lost as predicted by majority of the post-poll surveys.

Babulal Marandi
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi on Thursday claimed that the outcome of the Bihar assembly poll would certainly have an impact on the Union Government, which has miserably failed to deliver on all front during its 17-month tenure.The outcome of the Bihar poll in favour of ‘Grand Alliance’ of JD(U), RJD and Congress will certainly have an impact on the Union Government, Marandi, who is also the President of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), told newsmen here tonight. Bihar is an important state and BJP has involved its entire cabinet for campaigning. Hence, the impact on the government was certain, in case the BJP-led coalition lost as predicted by majority of the post-poll surveys, Marandi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marandi regretted that the election campaigning in Bihar turned out to be at the lowest level ever including the language that too from a party like BJP. Marandi said he was once part of BJP and listened to the speeches of BJP senior leaders such as former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee, L K Advani etc, who had maintained the decorum of the campaigning. BJP had lost majority of the seats wherever Modi had campaigned in the last assembly polls in Jharkhand, he said, citing example of Jermundi in Dumka, Chaibasa in West Singhbhum, Chandwa in Latehar.Referring to the post-poll surveys regarding Bihar poll, Marandi expressed confidence that Nitish Kumar-headed dispensation of ‘Grand Alliance’ will be formed with a majority. Turning to Jharkhand, Marandi said while corruption in the state has shot up, the law and order situation was in bad shape during the last ten-month rule of Chief Minister Raghuvar Das.Criminal activities in the state has recorded increase by 35 per cent during the last ten month of Das regime, he alleged adding development was on reverse gear ever since the BJP government came to power. No work in the state would be done unless one would pay levy to the officials, Naxals, he alleged adding that the state was running on “manage system”.Marandi said three IAS officers were deputed on dual charge including in Jharkhand Bhawan in Delhi, which could be well managed by a officer of Deputy Collector rank. Similarly, assuring to provide employment to about 514 innocent persons mostly tribals, the senior most police officers had made them to surrender after branding them naxals in the state only to earn accolades but the government had forced to release them only after a lawyer had filed a PIL in Jharkhand High Court.Claiming that these are all instances of corruption, Marandi demanded a judicial enquiry by a sitting judge of Jharkhan High Court to punish the ‘guilty.’

PM Modi’s ‘failure’ to deliver result will cost NDA dearly in Bihar polls: Congress

Jharkhand Congress secretary S R A Rizvi said it was no secret that all political parties in the fray are trying to influence the voters on the basis of caste.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Government’s failure to deliver on all fronts during its 16-month rule will cost the NDA dearly in the Bihar Assembly polls, Jharkhand Congress secretary S R A Rizvi Chabban said on Friday.Expressing confidence that the secular grand alliance headed by Kumar will retain power in Bihar, Chabban said Kumar had strived to deliver in all front sincerely but could not achieve the desired result owing to lack of co-operation from the Union Government.The Congress leader said it was no secret that all political parties in the fray are trying to influence the voters on the basis of caste. Unfortunately, the prime minister, who had been propagating against caste-based politics, himself plunged into such politics by repeatedly referring himself as one who came from a backward caste and a tea seller, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chabban also expressed concern over the increasing incidents of communal violence and an atmosphere of intolerance in the country. Regretting that the issue of beef seemed to have grabbed the centre-stage in Bihar polls, Chabban said serious issues like unemployment, education and health have taken a back seat.Opposing the government’s interference as far as people’s eating and clothing habits were concerned, he supported those who have returned awards in protest against increasing intolerance in the country.”Majority of them (writers and scientists) are not part of mainstream politics nor they have any alternative way to protest against the government,” Chabban said.Asked that the country had witnessed serious incidents in the past such as Muzzafarnagar riots but none of them returned awards then, Chabban said it was like who will bell the cat first. When a writer gathered courage and came out in protest against the government, others followed the suit one after another, he added.

Geeta arrives home after 13 years in Pakistan | Reuters

NEW DELHI A deaf-mute Indian girl stranded in Pakistan for 13 years after wandering over one of the world’s most militarised borders arrived home on Monday but failed to recognise the family she has identified from photographs.

The story of Geeta, a Hindu woman in her early 20s, has captivated people in both countries at a time of heightened tension and border clashes between the nuclear-armed rivals.

“It doesn’t matter if we find her parents or not, she is a daughter of India and we will take care of her,” Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told a news conference.

Geeta was about 11 when she crossed from India into Pakistan. Exactly how is not clear but Geeta mimes an explosion and shows how she ducked and ran before being caught by armed men.

(Geeta in Pakistan | See pictures here)

At first, she was kept at a children’s home in Lahore, where she was given the Muslim name Fatima.

She would point at maps of India, especially to an area in the south of Jharkhand until she was able to finally communicate she was from India, not Pakistan.

Early on Monday, Geeta left the charity bound for the airport in the city of Karachi for a flight to New Delhi.

Wearing a traditional red outfit with her head covered by a loose scarf, she smiled and waved to television cameras after leaving the airport in New Delhi.

(Geeta comes home | See pictures here)

“Geeta stayed with us for 13 years. Now it’s time for her to go home,” said Faisal Edhi, son of the founder of Edhi Foundation, a Pakistani charity that looked after the girl.

She headed to meet a family from Bihar whom she says she recognised from photos sent by the Indian High Commission in Pakistan.

Swaraj said if a DNA test proves the family is not hers she will be sent to a temporary home run by a charity and the search for her parents would continue.

Hostilities have kept apart many families since majority-Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan became separate countries in 1947.

Geeta’s arrival came after Indian and Pakistani forces exchanged fire along a 100 km (60 mile) stretch of their frontier overnight, an Indian Border Security Force spokesman said.

Her story attracted much attention following the release this year of a film called “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, in which an Indian man finds a mute Pakistani girl and tries to reunite her with her family.

The scriptwriters were unaware of Geeta’s story but the movie led to a surge in interest.

(Additional reporting by Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi and Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar; Editing by Robert Birsel)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Have given no indication to Jitan Ram Manjhi that he will be Bihar CM: Amit Shah

Replying to a question that BJP’s campaign appeared to be marriage party without a groom, Amit Shah dismissed such an impression, saying on several occasions BJP fought elections on the basis of team work and elected its leader later with good results.
File Photo
PTI
BJP has not given any indication to its ally and mahadalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi that he will be its chief minister candidate if the party-led NDA wins the Bihar Assembly elections, party president Amit Shah said on Saturday.”Manjhi has the right to speak on behalf of his party. As far as BJP is concerned, we have not given any such indication nor have we decided on a name,” he told ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ show on India TV, according to a press release from the channel.He was replying to a question on Manjhi, a former chief minister who is heading Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular), claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in public indicated him as a possible chief minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Replying to a question that BJP’s campaign appeared to be marriage party without a groom, Shah dismissed such an impression, saying on several occasions BJP fought elections on the basis of team work and elected its leader later with good results. He gave the examples of Maharashtra and Jharkhand where nobody was projected as the chief ministerial candidate but party governments were formed and chief ministers were doing a good work.”We have very good and experienced leaders in Bihar who can give the state a good government,” he said.The release said Shah admitted the issue of development took a back seat when the issue of beef was raised in Bihar elections. He accused RJD supremo Lalu Prasad of raking up the issue.

Court dimisses Madhu Koda’s plea to summon Manmohan Singh

A special court on Friday dismissed a plea moved by former chief minister of Jharkhand Madhu Koda seeking to summon former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an accused in the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block allocation case.The bench headed by special judge Bharat Parashar rejected the plea stating that the court did not find sufficient evidence warranting summoning of Manmohan Singh as an accused in the present case. “The present application being devoid of any merits is hereby dismissed,” said the special judge. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides Singh, Koda had sought summoning of Anand Swaroop, then secretary (energy) and Jai Shankar Tiwari, then secretary (Mines and Geology) as additional accused in the case.Koda had claimed that Manmohan Singh was “aware of everything” in the process of allocating a coal block to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL), firms owned by Congress leader and industrialist Naveen Jindal.Koda had told the court that if there was any conspiracy in the allocation process, it could not have been done without the knowledge of Manmohan Singh who was also the coal minister then.” I may mention that the averments made in the present application while seeking summoning of Dr Manmohan Singh as an accused in his capacity as Prime Minister and on the other hand seeking summoning of Jai Shankar Tiwari and Anand Swaroop who were member of a sub-group which made recommendation for different coal blocks, are self-contradictory in nature.On the one hand, it has been alleged not only in the application itself but also during the course of arguments that the government of Jharkhand was merely a recommending authority and as the final approval was given by Prime Minister/Minister of Coal so Dr Manmohan Singh was liable to be summoned as an accused.However, at the same time the two officers of government of Jharkhand who were part of a sub-group to make only recommendation to the government of Jharkhand were sought to be summoned for having made the recommendation.Earlier, CBI had told the court that both Swaroop and Tiwari were important prosecution witnesses in the case and “rather it was Koda who had tinkered with recommendations”.The court had on September 28 reserved the order on Koda’s plea after the agency had opposed it saying that there was no evidence which even prima facie suggests that Singh was part of any conspiracy.CBI had registered a case under section 120-B, 420 of IPC and 13(1) (d) of PC Act against the accused in relation to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in the State of Jharkhand. CBI had alleged that Jindal group was shown favour by the Jharkhand government and that Jindal group firms had misrepresented facts to acquire the coal block in 2008.Out of the 15 charge sheeted accused persons five are juristic persons (companies) which include Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd, New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd and Soubhagya Media Ltd. The other accused include Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and Dasari Narayan Rao, the former minister of state for coal who too had supported the plea to summon Manmohan Singh.

Body of minor girl who was allegedly gangraped found in Jharkhand

Jamshedpur: Body of a class IV student has been found after she was allegedly gangraped and murdered by miscreants in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district, police said on Friday.

The girl had gone missing on Thursday after returning from school and her undressed body was found among bushes near Behda village this morning.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Her face was found to have been crushed with stones, Goilkera police station officer-in-charge Patras Nag said.

Prima facie it suggested that the girl was raped and murdered but the number of miscreants involved in the crime was yet to be established, he said.

The body of the victim girl, who was a student of St Paul’s School and lived with her paternal uncle.

The girl had gone to wash her clothes in a nearby ‘nullah’ soon after returning from the school yesterday but did not return home.

The family members searched for her but could not trace her till late last night. When they resumed the search this morning her brother spotted her clothes kept in a bucket and one of her slippers. Her body was found hid in the bush with her face crushed with stones, Nag added.

PTI

Coal scam: Major relief for Manmohan Singh, Special court dismisses plea to summon ex-PM as accused

The Special court on Friday dismissed ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda’s plea seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as accused in a coal scam case.

The Special court on Friday dismissed ex-Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda’s plea seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as accused in a coal scam case.Koda had on August 17, moved an application seeking to summon Singh as an accused along with Anand Swaroop, the then Secretary (Energy), and Jai Shankar Tiwari, the then Secretary(Mines and Geology), contending that CBI’s theory of conspiracy remains incomplete without the involvement of the then Prime Minister who was also holding the portfolio of Coal Minister. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Koda’s counsel had argued in the court that the then Prime Minister was “aware of everything” in the process of allocating a coal block to Naveen Jindal group firm and if there was any conspiracy to allocate the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand, it could not have been without the knowledge of Singh who was also the then coal minister.Koda, had said if there was any conspiracy to allocate the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to Jindal group firm, it could not have been without the knowledge of the then Prime Minister who was also the coal minister at that time.The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to two Jindal group companies, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL). Koda, Jindal and 13 others were chargesheeted by the CBI in the case earlier.Referring to the facts of the case and a Delhi High Court verdict, Koda said in his plea “it is clear that Dr Manmohan Singh as Coal Minister has allotted the coal block without public interest and there is sufficient evidence on record warranting this court to summon him for facing trial” if CBI’s contention was accepted that the allotment was illegal.

14-year-old domestic help abused, found unconscious in almirah in Gurgaon

The NGO officials said that the girl belonged to a tribal family from Gumla district in Jharkhand and was trafficked to Delhi by an uncle

Representational Image

A teenage girl from Jharkhand was found in an almirah in a businessman’s house in Gurgaon’s Krishna Colony on Wednesday during a rescue operation.The 14-year-old girl was allegedly working in the house as a domestic help and was constantly abused. The rescue operation was carried out by the NGO Shakti Vahini along with the local police. The NGO officials said that the girl belonged to a tribal family from Gumla district in Jharkhand and was trafficked to Delhi by an uncle. The officials also added that the girl was found with bruises and a deep cut on her back. The NGO members further stated that the gir;’s legs were swollen and she had marks near her eyes. She was soon taken to a Civil Hospital. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rishikant of Shakti Vahini said, “She was employed by the businessman’s family around seven months ago. She was taking care of the family’s twin children. When we first went inside the house at about 5.30 pm, the girl was nowhere to be seen. The police, during the first raid, could not find the girl. Later, the police received a similar complaint on the helpline number.The girl was found in an unconscious state,” a leading daily reported.The girl later said that she was only given two chapattis per day and was beaten several times with a wiper daily. In her statement to Child Welfare Committee, she also said that she was assaulted with knife too. According to sources, authorities are currently questioning the wife of the businessman as he is not in town.

Man in Naxal belt ‘received’ millions in Hong Kong through Bank of Baroda

The transfer of over Rs 6,000 crore to Hong Kong through a single Delhi-based branch of Bank of Baroda has benami actors not just in India, but spread across the globe.

A coal trader in the Naxal-affected mining town of Chaibasa in Jharkhand too figures as a benami owner of a Hong Kong-based company to which millions of dollars were sent through Bank of Baroda (BoB), according to documents accessed by dna.The transfer of over Rs 6,000 crore to Hong Kong through a single Delhi-based branch of Bank of Baroda has benami actors not just in India, but spread across the globe. Documents accessed by dna show that the web of money spins from a naxal town of Jharkhand to the bylanes of Nangloi in West Delhi to South Korean passport holders operating out of Mexico city to Nepalese citizens and residents of Hong Kong itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI had earlier found that the addresses of 59 companies – that have current account with the Bank of Baroda’s Delhi branch and through which close to a billion dollars were transferred to Hong Kong-based companies – were fake. One of the companies to which money was sent was Star Exim Limited. The money, which ran into several thousands of dollars, was meant for the import of rice and cashew to India. These were in reality never imported nor any invoices generated that proved the conduct of any tangible trade.Star Exim Limited has its address registered in one of the upscale suites in the famous Tsim Sha Tsui locality of Hong Kong’s famous Kowloon urban area. This bustling commercial and residential area is one of Hong Kong’s hottest tourist spots. But guess what? The owner of this company is a relatively obscure man who lives in the naxal-affected West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.Om Prakash Rungta, to whom millions of dollars were remitted in a space of a few months during 2014-15 mentions his address as Madhu Road in the mining town of Chaibasa in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district. Rungta’s address in records is the same as Fulchand Sanwarmall – a small coal trading company based in Chaibasa.Far from the glitz, glamour and high finance of Hong Kong’s Kowloon area, Chaibasa is a mining outpost in an Indian district notorious for its rogue miners and naxal violence. While Tsim Sha Tsui counts among the world’s heavily populated and exorbitantly priced property markets, Chaibasa is a town synonymous with what the Justice MB Shah Commission on iron ore mining called the ‘great Indian loot’ – an area where some of India’s biggest corporate houses have been accused of illegally extracting iron ore worth Rs 14,500 crore.Star Exim itself was incorporated in Hong Kong on August 1, 2014. This coincides with the start of the dubious high-value money transfers from the Bank of Baroda branch. Bank of Baroda in its internal audit report mentions that most of the transactions, totaling over Rs 6,000 crore, started on the same date as Star Exim was incorporated in Hong Kong, and continued for another year till August 12, 2015. The company had no business transactions to show in its books and was incorporated with a paid-up capital of $HK 10,000 (equivalent to around Rs 85,000).Before Chaibasa-based Rungta came to completely own Star Exim, to which millions of dollars were illegally transferred, another man by the name of Saurabh Modi was in charge. When the company was incorporated on August 1, 2014, Modi held all the 10,000 shares in the company. On August 14, 2014, Modi, mentioned as a West Bengal-based merchant in the documents, transferred all the shares in Rungta’s name and quit the company. dna tried to trace Modi in Bardhaman but could not do so.Meanwhile, there seems to be no doubt about the fact that Chaibasa-based Rungta was no more than a fake front – a benami in whose name a Hong Kong-based company was formed and millions of dollars transferred through the Delhi-based Bank of Baroda branch.Given the swanky Hong Kong address, Star Exim had no business activity to show even as its stated business purpose at the time of incorporation was to trade in goods in services.The plot further thickens when moving from the ‘benami’ Rungta in Jharkhand to his company Star Exim’s address in Hong Kong. Sitting at Star Exim’s Hong Kong address – Suite 1101, 11F, Supreme House, 2A Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon – is another Rungta. But this man’s name is Ashok Kumar Rungta. At the address is Ashok Kumar Rungta’s company, Krsna Group Limited. This company claims to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for providing services ranging from arranging trade finance, tax advisory and helping companies set up base in Hong Kong and other offshore jurisdictions.Krsna Group Limited counts among others its business partners as various ‘Indian and Chinese banks’. When contacted, Hong Kong-based Rungta did not clarify whether he was related in any way to Jharkhand-based Rungta. He said, “I am not involved in India in any way. I am a resident of Hong Kong and my business is completely based out of here.’Bank of Baroda’s internal audit found that none of the fake Delhi companies that remitted huge sums of money to Star Exim ever did any real business. Bank of Baroda has found that none of its officers ever obtained credit reports from Star Exim or other Hong Kong companies despite advance payments being routed for ‘imports of rice and cashew’.CBI investigators refused to comment on how they are likely to question persons in naxal-dominated areas, in whose name transactions have been done. With the money trail starting from the mining belt and naxal zones of India and ending in Hong Kong after passing through Delhi, CBI officers say their primary task is to not just probe the trail but also the persons or corporations to which the money sent to Hong Kong belonged.The controversy has also acquired political colours with the BJP accusing the Congress of raking up the scam to deliberately malign Bank of Baroda. It feels the Congress is accenting on the bank’s role rather than the businesspersons who sent the money abroad. The Congress, meanwhile, has claimed credit for bringing the bank’s internal audit into focus. Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “Even after the bank’s audit unraveled the scam, the finance ministry slept over the episode and did not order an investigation. What connections do these accounts have to the BJP? Will Modi, Jaitley and Amit Shah explain?”

Supreme Court sticks to its ruling on making Aadhaar non-mandatory

The bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar made it clear that all applications seeking “modification, clarification and relaxation” of its August 11 interim order will be heard by the constitution bench itself.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to modify its August 11 order that restricts the use of the Aadhaar card only to LPG and Public Distribution System schemes. With this other government bodies like the RBI, SEBI and some states cannot avail of the card for their social welfare schemes. The SC subsequently referred the issue to a constitution bench at least of five judges.The bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar made it clear that all applications seeking “modification, clarification and relaxation” of its August 11 interim order will be heard by the constitution bench itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, TRAI, Pension Fund Regulatory Authority and states like Gujarat and Jharkhand had recently moved the court and pleaded strongly for voluntary use of Aadhaar cards for providing benefits of various schemes, other than PDS and LPG, at the doorsteps of the aged and the weaker sections.However, the pleas for relaxation of the August 11 order restricting the use of Aadhaar cards for PDS scheme and LPG distribution scheme, was opposed by those petitioners on whose PILs the apex court had said these cards will not be mandatory for availing benefits of welfare schemes.Earlier, the Supreme Court, while terming Aadhaar as optional, had barred the authorities from sharing personal biometric data collected for enrolment under the scheme.It had also passed a slew of directions for the Centre till the matter was finally decided by a larger bench.The bench was hearing a batch of pleas against decisions of some states to make Aadhaar cards compulsory for a range of activities including payment of salary, provident fund disbursement, marriage and property registration.The Centre’s counsel is likely to mention as Thursday for urgent hearing of the case.—With inputs from Agencies

Bangladeshi terrorist involved in Burdhwan blast had acquired Aadhaar, Voter Card

New Delhi: Tarikul Islam, the Bangladeshi terrorist arrested in connection with Burdhwan blast, is believed to have acquired Aadhaar card and Voter Card to project himself as an Indian citizenship and avoid being arrested by the NIA, official sources said in New Delhi on Sunday.

Even after he was picked up by the NIA last week from Jharkhand, he had been maintaining that he was not involved in
the blast, they said.

However, after his finger prints matched with one of the crime scene preserved by the NIA, he started spilling some of the beans about his association with banned Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terror group, the sources said.

Representational image. Photo courtesy UIDAI

Representational image. Photo courtesy UIDAI

He claimed during interrogation that he had been jailed in Bangaldesh prison for five years where he met Sheikh Rahamatullah alias Sajid, the mastermind of JMB terror group, and his radicalisation process begun, the sources said.

This information has been shared with Bangladesh authorities to ascertain the veracity of his claim, they added.

He crossed over to India in 2012 for indoctrination of youth in West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar for recruiting them in the terror group with an aim of destalising Sheikh Hasina’s government in Bangladesh and enforce Sharia-based Islamic rule “through violent terrorist acts”.

For the purpose of establishing his credentials as an Indian, he claimed to have bribed local election and Aaadhaar card officials to procure the same, the sources said.

He also married an Indian girl who was minor at that time, they said, adding that the wedding was solemnised at Simulia madrasa in Burdwan, West Bengal where the terrorist training camps were organised by JMB.

The wife along with an eight-month old baby and his brother-in-law are missing from the day he was arrested from Jharkhand.

Islam, who was arrested from Ramgarh district of Jharkhand by a team of NIA and Anti-Terror Squad of Jharkhand police, carried a cash reward of Rs five lakh as he is alleged to be an important member of ‘Shoora’, the decision-making body of JMB. He is in the NIA custody till October nine.

NIA has already chargesheeted him for his alleged role in the Burdhwan blast which occurred in a house on 2 October, 2014, leaving two persons dead.

During investigation of the case, NIA claimed that Islam was a part of larger conspiracy of JMB to organise terror attacks in Bangladesh and in India and had been frequently entering India illegally, at different times since the year 2008-2009.

NIA took over the case from West Bengal police a few days after the explosion on October 2 when international links started emerging. Investigators have found that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were being fabricated in the house where the explosion took place and later smuggled to Bangladesh.

NIA has so far found that members of JMB has established a network in different places like Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda, Birbhum, Burdwan in West Bengal and Barpetta in Assam, Sahibganj and Pakur in Jharkhand.

In its charge sheet filed in March this year, NIA claimed to have busted an international conspiracy of JMB which wanted to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Sheikh Hasina “through violent terrorist acts and replace it with a hard-line Sharia based Islamic rule, which came to light after the accidental blast.”

PTI

In Maoist affected area of Bihar, PM Modi makes fresh appeal to Naxals to give up guns

Banka: Discard your guns and be part of the mainstream. Guns bring only destruction. This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to Maoists in Banka on Friday.

It was his first rally in the Maoist hotbed of Bihar. The district of Banka, a subdivision of Bhagalpur, lies adjacent to Jamui, one of the worst affected by Naxalism in the state. It is also included in the Red Corridor, as the region in the east of India where the Naxals are said to hold sway, is known.

Reiterating his previous stand on Left-wing extremism, the PM asserted, “On this day of Gandhi Jayanti, I urge you all in the name of Mahatma Gandhi, an apostle of peace, to discard your guns and join the mainstream. Let me tell the youth, who join the Maoists that you won’t be able to change your destiny by shedding blood of others and following the path of violence.”

Banka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves along with HAM(S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, RLSP supremo Upendra Kushwaha and other NDA leaders during an election rally in Banka on Friday. PTIBanka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves along with HAM(S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, RLSP supremo Upendra Kushwaha and other NDA leaders during an election rally in Banka on Friday. PTI

Banka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves along with HAM(S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, RLSP supremo Upendra Kushwaha and other NDA leaders during an election rally in Banka on Friday. PTI

“Bullets give birth only to destruction, whereas ballot gives birth to development. So, discard your guns and have faith on ballot and not bullet. Be a part of the development process. If Bihar doesn’t progress, the nation won’t develop. The need is to develop Bihar,” Modi said in his speech that lasted about 45 minutes.

The PM had made similar appeals to the Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand in the past as well.

Before the Maharashtra polls, the PM in a rally in Chandrapur on 10 October, 2014, had asked youngsters to shun guns and take up ploughs instead to transform their lives.

On 21 November, 2014, Modi in a public rally at Latehar in in Jharkhand had asked Maoists to give up their guns and to become part of the process of developing the country.

On 9 May this year, he became the first prime minister to visit Dantewada, a hotbed of Maoist activity in Chhattisgarh for the past three decades. There he had asked Naxals to allow peace in order to pave the way for development.

“The birth place of Naxal movement, Naxalbari, has already given up this violent means. Only plough on the shoulders and not guns can bring development. And this will bring everyone to the mainstream of the country. There is no future for violence. The future is only of peaceful means,” he had said.

The PM’s Friday rally, that saw nearly two-lakh people from Banka district and its neighbouring areas attend, was a high security zone with the presence of many fully armed men in uniform. From Bihar police personnel to special commandos—a large number of security personnel were deployed to ensure the safety and security of the VVIPs and the common man.

“Whenever our PM visited any Maoist-infested place, he always gave a strong message to the Left-wing extremists of that state, to give up guns. The government’s crackdown on Maoists has helped in reducing their menace in Bihar in comparison to the past,” a Central Paramilitary Force official said on condition of anonymity.

NIA arrests senior leader of Jamaat Ul Mujahideen Bangladesh

According to the probe agency, Islam was residing in village Islampur Momintola, in Sahebganj under an assumed identity of Raihan Shaikh. The agency claimed that Islam was known to have multiple aliases among which Sadiq was the most used one until he assumed his latest one.

A team of officials from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and ATS of Jharkhand state police on Tuesday arrested a person accused of being a senior leader of Jamaat Ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) an organisation officially banned by the government of Bangladesh in 2005. JMB has been accused of being involved. The accused, identified as Tarikul Islam, is said to be a resident of Sapai Nawabganj district, Raj Sahi division in Bangdesh. He had been living in West Bengal after getting married to a girl hailing from Jharkhand Sahebganj area. Islam, according to the agency, was arrested from then bordering area of Ranchi and Ramgarh district and will be produced in NIA Special Court on Wednesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the probe agency, Islam was residing in village Islampur Momintola, in Sahebganj under an assumed identity of Raihan Shaikh. The agency claimed that Islam was known to have multiple aliases among which Sadiq was the most used one until he assumed his latest one. “As per preliminary examination, his Bangladeshi name and address are Tarikul Islam. He was a key trainer in the terrorist training camps organised by JMB in India and he used to report to Sajid (since arrested in the case) of JMB about his activities. “NIA had submitted a charge sheet against Sadik on July 23, 2015 as an absconder for his involvement in the terrorist conspiracy. He had been absconding since the Burdwan blast on 2nd October, 2014 and carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh declared by NIA for any information leading to his arrest,” said a NIA spokesperson.In October last, a JMB module was busted in Bengal following a blast at an inconspicuous house in Burdwan district in which one person Sakil Gazi died on the spot and another person Sovan Mandal succumbed in hospital. Both of them were suspected to have terror links. NIA later found that the actual identity of Mondal was Karim Sheikh and he had misled West Bengal police about his identity.The probe agency has filed a charge sheet in Bardhaman blast case in March this year against 21 people in which the agency had claimed that JMB wanted to establish Sharia rule in Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi national arrested by NIA in connection with Burdwan blast

New Delhi: A Bangladeshi national, alleged to be a member of banned Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terror group and suspectedly involved in Burdwan blast of last year, was arrested by NIA and Jharkhand Police on Tuesday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The accused identified as Tarikul Islam alias Sadiq was arrested from Ramgarh district of Jharkhand by a team of NIA and Anti-Terror Squad of Jharkhand police, official sources said. He carried a cash reward of Rs five lakh.

Islam is alleged to be an important member of ‘Shoora’, the decision-making body of JMB.

NIA has already chargesheeted him for his alleged role in the Burdhwan blast which occurred in a house on 2 October last year, leaving two persons dead.

During investigation of the case, NIA claimed that Islam was a part of larger conspiracy of JMB to organise terror attacks in Bangladesh and in India and had been frequently entering India illegally, at different times since the year 2008-2009.

He is also alleged to have obtained false identity documents on assumed Indian identities, by submitting forged documents.

NIA also alleged that the probe showed that Islam along with other accused was an active member of JMB who attended terrorist training camp organized by senior members of the terror group.

The NIA took over the case from West Bengal police a few days after the explosion, when international links started surfacing.

Investigators have found that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were being fabricated in the house and later smuggled to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The NIA has so far found that members of the JMB terror group has established a network in different places like Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda, Birbhum, Burdwan in West Bengal and Barpetta in Assam, Sahibganj and Pakur in Jharkhand.

In its chargesheet filed in March this year, NIA alleged to have busted an international conspiracy of JMB terror group which wanted to establish Sharia rule in Bangladesh by overthrowing the democratically-elected government of Sheikh Hasina.

NIA had alleged that the accused were involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the existing democratic government in Bangladesh “through violent terrorist acts and replace it with a hard-line Sharia based Islamic rule, which came to light after the accidental blast.”

PTI

Hajj stampede: Number of Indians killed rises to 45, total death toll now 769

Mina: The number of Indians killed in a stampede at the Hajj rose to 45 on Monday as authorities identified 10 more bodies among the victims of the worst tragedy in 25 years to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Hajj Consulate in Jeddah on Monday said the deceased included three pilgrims from West Bengal and two each from Kerala and Jharkhand and one each from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Image courtesy: APImage courtesy: AP

Image courtesy: AP

Earlier, 13 more bodies were identified among the dead yesterday raising the death toll to 35.

Saudi authorities have put the total death toll from the stampede during Haj to 769. The number of injured stands at 934. At least 13 Indians were among those injured.

King Salman has ordered the formation of a committee to probe the deadly incident during the five-day pilgrimage in which around two million people from over 180 countries took part. From India, 1.5 lakh pilgrims performed Haj.

The stampede broke out after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina for symbolic stoning of the devil.

It was the second major accident this year for pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing over 100 people, including 11 Indians.

PTI

Mecca tragedy: Number of Indians dead in hajj stampede goes up to 35, tweets Sushma Swaraj

Mina: The death toll of Indian pilgrims in last week’s horrific stampede during Haj rose to 35 on Sunday as authorities identified 13 more bodies among the victims of the worst tragedy to hit the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted the updated toll. Earlier, seven more Indians were identified among the dead raising last night’s death toll from 22 to 29.

Hajj stampede. AFPHajj stampede. AFP

Hajj stampede. AFP

The 13 Indian pilgrims who were among the dead, taking the death toll to 35, have been identified by the Haj Consulate in Jeddah as Mansurul Haque (Jharkhand), Anvar Janha (UP), F A Muneer Veetil, Amina Beevi, Abdul Rahiman Asarithodi, P V Kunhimon and Moiuddin Abdul Kader (all from Kerala), Jaibun Nisha (Bihar), Nashima Khatoon (Jharkhand), Mohamed Younus Rahimbhai Mansuri (Gujarat), Bibi Ismail (Gujarat), Mehrunnisha Hanif (Gujarat), Muhammed Yusuf Sikandarmiyan Malik (Gujarat).

Saudi authorities have put the total death toll from the stampede during Haj to 769. The number of injured stands at 934. At least 13 Indians were among those injured.

King Salman has ordered the formation of a committee to probe the deadly incident during the five-day pilgrimage in which around two million people from over 180 countries took part. From India, 1.5 lakh pilgrims performed Haj.

Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam that should be performed at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim who is financially and physically capable.

The stampede broke out after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in Mina for symbolic stoning of the devil.

It was the second major accident this year for pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing over 100 people, including 11 Indians.

PTI

Manipur Governor Syed Ahmed passes away in Mumbai

Manipur Governor Syed Ahmed passed away at a private hospital here this morning, family sources said.

Manipur governor Syed Ahmed

Manipur Governor Syed Ahmed passed away at a private hospital here this morning, family sources said.Ahmed was suffering from cancer and admitted to Lilavati Hospital in suburban Bandra last week, they said. He was 73 and is survived by wife, one son and two daughters.He was sworn in as the Governor of Manipur on May 16, 2015. Ahmed, a former Congress leader from Maharashtra, was shifted to the north-eastern State from Jharkhand, where he was appointed Governor on August 26, 2011 when the UPA Government was in power at the Centre.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides dabbling in politics, where he started his career in Congress, Ahmed also had a flair for writing, especially in Urdu. Ahmed held two master’s degrees (in Hindi and English) and a doctorate in Urdu.He has written an autobiography ‘Pagdandi se Shahar Tak’. His other literary works included ‘Maktal se Manzil’, ‘Kafas se Chaman’ and ‘Jange-Azaadi Me Urdu Shayari’.Ahmed joined the Congress party in 1977. He was elected to the Maharashtra Assembly five times from the Nagpada constituency in Mumbai. He also served as a Minister in Maharashtra, where he held portfolios like Housing.Senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat condoled the death of Ahmed and said his demise was an irreparable loss to the party and the country.

Now, Vishwa Hindu Parishad demands beef ban in Jharkhand

Ranchi: The Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP) on Sunday criticised Jharkhand’s BJP-led government for failing to strictly implement the law against cow slaughter and demanded ban on beef in the state.

The demand came a day after clashes between two communities here after a piece of beef was found in a temple situated in Doranda locality on Friday night. Two people sustained bullet injuries during the clashes.

Representational image. Image courtesy: AFPRepresentational image. Image courtesy: AFP

Representational image. Image courtesy: AFP

“We demand ban on beef in the state. When cow slaughter was banned in 2005, present Chief Minister Raghubar Das was a minister. Now, Das is taking no step to implement the law,” Pramod Mishra, VHP’s Jharkhand head, told IANS.

He said: “We will write a letter to the President of India, the Prime Minister, the Governor and others to direct the state government to strictly follow the law against cow slaughter.”

“We also demand special task force and special court to arrest people involved in cow slaughter and conduct their trial in courts.”

Mishra said: “There is no mechanism to keep a watch on slaughter houses.”

IANS

Seven more Indians dead in Hajj stampede, death toll of Indians reaches 29

Mina: The death toll of Indian pilgrims in last week’s horrific stampede during Hajj on Sunday rose to 29 as authorities identified seven more bodies among the victims of the worst incident in 25 years to strike the annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Hajj Consulate in Jeddah identified the deceased as Mansurul Haque (Jharkhand), Anvar Janha (UP), F A Muneer Veetil, Amina Beevi, Abdul Rahiman Asarithodi, P V Kunhimon and Moiuddin Abdul Kader (all from Kerala).

Image courtesy: APImage courtesy: AP

Image courtesy: AP

Saudi authorities have put the total death toll from the stampede during Haj to 769. The number of injured stands at 934. At least 13 Indians were among those injured.

King Salman has ordered the formation of a committee to probe the deadly incident during the five-day pilgrimage in which around two million people from over 180  countries took part. From India, 1.5 lakh pilgrims performed Hajj.

The stampede broke out after two massive lines of pilgrims converged on each other from different directions at an intersection close to the five-storey Jamarat Bridge in
Mina for symbolic stoning of the devil.

This was the second major accident this year for pilgrims, after a construction crane collapsed on September 11 at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, killing over 100 people,  including 11 Indians.

PTI

dna Morning Must Read: From PM Modi’s interactions in Silicon Valley to latest in Nepal crisis and more

Here are top 5 stories for your morning read.

Picture Courtesy: PIB Twitter page
1. PM Modi meets tech giants, says we must ensure that technology is accessible, affordable, and adds valuePrime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day trip to Silicon Valley met “green” car maker Tesla Motors Inc Apple Inc’s CEO, Tim Cook and several other tech leaders.Among the people he met were Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, CISCO CEO John T Chambers, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Paul E Jacob and The Indus entrepreneurs president Venkatesh Shukla. Read More <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
2. Will establish link with China through road if blockade doesn’t end: NepalUpping the ante, Nepal said it is looking at establishing contacts with China through land route and with other countries through air if the blockade on India border does not end soon.Nepalese deputy PM and home minister, Bamdev Gautam told dna in an interview that it is keeping its options open and will not bow to any pressure. Read More
3. 14 encounters with naxalites after Bihar poll notification issuedSecurity forces have engaged in 14 encounters with Left Wing insurgent groups operating in areas near Bihar-Jharkhand border and apprehended 50 alleged Naxals since the 2015 assembly elections notification was released early this month. According to officials, following the election notification, Naxalite groups based in Southern Bihar and Jharkhand have called for a statewide boycott of the 2015 polls due in October. Read More 4. NDFB(S) ‘self-styled’ chief Rabi Basumatary arrestedIn what the security forces have called the “final push” launched on September 18 against the anti-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)(Songbijit), the Army, in a joint operation with the Sashastra Seema Bal and the Assam police on Friday arrested its chief Rabi Basumatary, alias Rongja Baja, along with his personal security officer from Kokrajhar district. Read More 5. Mumbaikars top list of holiday cancellation due to budget constraintsAccording to the latest survey by a major travel organising group, Mumbaikars top the list of holiday cancellation s due to budget constraints, followed by residents of Bengaluru, Chennai and other cities. The survey was commissioned by Kunoi-SOTC and conducted by consultancy firm Nielsen to understand the mindset and behaviour of the Indian travellers.The survey found that 92 per cent of Mumbai respondents were forced to cancel their holiday because of lack of funds, followed by Bengaluru (81 per cent) and Chennai (71 per cent). Read More

14 encounters with naxalites after Bihar poll notification issued

Security forces have engaged in 14 encounters with Left Wing insurgent groups operating in areas near Bihar-Jharkhand border and apprehended 50 alleged Naxals since the 2015 assembly elections notification was released early this month.According to officials, following the election notification, Naxalite groups based in Southern Bihar and Jharkhand have called for a statewide boycott of the 2015 polls due in October.Gauging the developments in the past two weeks and based on inputs from intelligence agencies, central government has further decided to increase security in Southern districts Bihar in order to produce a conducive environment for elections to be held.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Among the districts which will see an increase in deployment of security forces are Jamui, Jahanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya. A senior official of the Central Reserve Police Force while confirming the development stated that orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs have laid emphasis that a repetition of violence that was witnessed during the 2010 Bihar elections must not allowed this time around.In 2010, 10 officers of the security forces were killed in three improvised explosive device (IED) blasts that rocked Gaya and Sheohar districts of Bihar during the state elections.While six officers were killed when a police vehicle carrying them was blasted by Maoists in Shayampur Baitha area of Sheohar district, four members of the bomb disposal squad were were killed in two separate incidents while trying to defuse IEDs planted in Banke Bazaar and Dumaria areas of Gaya district.Official sources told dna that security arrangements this election will be more elaborate than the one in 2010. “The number of security officers will be more as compared to the previous elections,” the source said. The increase of deployment of personnel will be seen in the CRPF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Border Security Forces.”Ever since the elections were announced our forces have engaged in 14 encounters with Left Wing extremists. During various area domination exercises we have been able to recover 60 IED’s ,55 ammunition and seven arms. 50 persons with Naxalite links have also been apprehend and the operation will mostly likely not end till the elections are conducted without Naxal group disrupting them,” said a senior security official posted in the area.The official added that the four districts that will see a heavy deployment of forces have seen some of the worst phases of both Maoist and Naxalite movement.”Among the districts which continue to show signs of Naxalism are Jamui and Jahanabad. But the threat extends to both Gaya and Aurangabad where we have witnessed violent incidents in the past,” added the official.Jamui, where elections will be held in the first phase is the constituency of Lok Janshakti Party’s Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan. He was elected as member of 16th Lok Sabha after the 2014 general election from Hajipur constituency, while his son Chirag Paswan won from Jamui constituency. Aurangabad, which shares its border with Gaya district, has a predominant population from the landlord community, has also witnessed noticeable rise of Naxal movement.”We have received inputs of a movement against elections gaining momentum in these districts and necessary measure will be taken to counter the same,” said the official.

dna Must Read at 6 pm: Manmohan Singh’s birthday, beheading, Sania-Hingis and more

dna Must Reads at 6 pm

dna webdesk
Here are some of the top stories on dnaindia.com at 6 pm:1) Twitterati praises ex-PM Manmohan Singh on his birthday: Former PM Manmohan Singh turned 83 on Saturday. While PM Narendra Modi and other politicians have already wished him, Twitterati are still tweeting enthusiastically.2) CBI searches Virbhadra Singh’s premises, Congress angry: The CBI had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against Singh and his family members for allegedly amassing wealth of Rs 6.1 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income while serving as Union Minister of Steel in the UPA regime.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>3) Move over ISIS, beheading is at least 9000 years old: Researchers have unearthed a 9,000-year-old case of human decapitation in an archaeological site in Brazil.4) Prohibitory orders in Ranchi city after clashes, CM appeals for peace: Prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPc have been imposed in Ranchi city of Jharkhand following sporadic clashes between two communities at Manik Tola area under Doranda police station limits last night.5) Sania Mirza, Martina Hingis win Ghangzhou Open title: The Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis pair beat the Chinese pair of Shilin Xu-Xiaodi You 6-3, 6-1 to win the Guangzhou Open title on Saturday.

dna investigation: Law helps tainted firms to continue mining

Backed by a new law that has given them a fresh lease of life, it’s business as usual for miners accused of illegally extracting iron ore in a massive Rs.1 lakh crore scam

Mining giants who were accused of illegally siphoning off iron ore worth thousands of crores are back in business. And they are not flouting the law, but are actually being aided by it. Accused of massive violations in a scam worth Rs.1.5 lakh crore, the miners have been aided by the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2015, enacted on March 27, 2015, and touted as a masterpiece of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reform agenda. Section 8A (clause 5) of the bill, originally pushed as an ordinance, allows the red-flagged miners to continue mining till 2030. The bill calls this ‘deemed extension’. Those without captive mines have been allowed to mine till 2020.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> According to government sources, miners have been allowed to mine till 2030 because they have made “heavy investments” in the sector. Most of the severely indicted miners including the big names like Rungta Mines Pvt Ltd, Tata Steel Ltd, Kalinga Mining Corporation, Aryan Mining and Trading Corporation, Bonai Industrial Company stand to gain from the government’s new law. While the ban on mining continues in 11 of 17 mines in Jharkhand, it has resumed in Goa, Odisha and Karnataka. In a few days, Karnataka and Odisha will be auctioning 15 and six iron ore blocks respectively. However, the mines of the companies that allegedly extracted ore illegally for decades will continue to remain in the same hands. Of the 792 iron ore mines in the country, according to the Indian Bureau of Mines, 197 are working. Most of these are run by big miners accused of indiscriminate plunder, an official said. Illegal iron ore mining, as pointed out by the central government appointed MB Shah Commission, is a scam of scary proportions suffixed with enough zeroes to eclipse all scams in India’s history. It’s business as usual for the companies accused by the Shah Commission of rampant illegal mining without requisite clearances in India’s iron ore rich belts. There are also other indicted companies, including Sarda Mines, Sirrajuddin & Company and KJS Ahluwalia, in the queue seeking permission to mine again after getting necessary environmental clearances. “While amending the law, the government didn’t take the past track record of these companies into the account. They robbed the state exchequer and now instead of punishing them, they have been rewarded,” says Duskar Barik of the Keonjhar Integrated Rural Development & Training Institute (KIRDTI). The Shah Commission and the Supreme Court appointed Centrally-Empowered Committee (CEC) have accused these companies of serious violations including corruption, under-invoicing, evasion of taxes, export duties and illegal transfer of mining leases. “Punishing is a function of the government and it may come from either state or central government. But if you allow or permit illegality to go further forever then it would be tough to have democratic rule in government,” Justice Shah told dna. Calculating the loss The Shah Commission had estimated that unlawful extraction of iron ore and manganese totals a staggering Rs.59,203 crore in Odisha alone. Add the amount of iron ore plundered from states like Goa, Karnataka and Jharkhand and the scam tops Rs.1 lakh crore. According to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s conservative estimate, illegal mining in Goa cost the state over Rs 4,000 crore. The CEC had estimated that Karnataka had lost close to Rs.7,000 crore every year for a decade as miners continued to under-report iron ore extraction, paid pittance as royalties and brazenly avoided paying taxes to the government. In the states In Goa, where mining was resumed earlier this year, companies like Vedanta-owned Sesa Goa and VS Dempo are back to mining. Others like Salgaocar, Chowgule, Timblo have also been allowed to mine till 2020 without any restriction or penalties imposed on them. The Shah Commission had detailed how all these miners enriched themselves by exporting more iron ore, primarily to China, than they were showing as actual production. The report pegged the loss from the illegal exports between 2000 to 2010 at Rs.2,747 crore and suggested recovering this amount from the miners with an interest rate of 24 percent. The report also noted that none of the miners had paid royalty to the state government for the iron ore that they were exporting. This cost the state exchequer Rs.2,756 crore. The money is yet to be recovered from any of the companies and many have resorted to legal suits to avoid paying the amount. The Commission had also pointed out that these miners were producing far more than the limits imposed on them by their respective environmental clearances. The scale of the ‘big Indian loot’ in Odisha, which accounts for over a half of India’s iron ore production, is even bigger. Miners like Sarda, Tata, SAIL, NMDC, Rungta, KJS Ahluwalia and Usha Martin – have been accused of causing huge losses to the state through illegal mining. Many of these companies have taken the legal route against the decision to penalise them. Rattled by the Shah Commission report, Jharkhand shut down 12 of its 17 iron ore mines in 2014. One of them, Tata Steel, managed to get a reprieve from the Jharkhand High Court for its mine at Noamundi and resumed production earlier this year. It has been estimated that the scale of illegal mining in Jharkhand exceeds Rs.20,000 crore. Other companies like Rungta MIning Co and public sector behemoth Steel Authority of India (SAIL) still continue to mine in the Sarandha forests of Jharkhand. Rungta was allowed to quadruple its production under the previous UPA government despite the fact that it did not have necessary environment and forest clearances for its Ghatkuri mines in the pristine Sarandha forests of Jharkhand. The Shah Commission recommended recovering Rs.14,403 crore for illegal iron ore mining in addition to Rs.138 crore for illegal manganese mining in Jharkhand from a handful of companies in the state. In addition to Rungta, the Commission has also questioned the environment clearance given to brothers Naveen and Sajjan Jindal’s companies Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and JSW by former minister Jayanthi Natrajan in 2013. The CBI, which is probing the managements of both companies as well as officials of the environment ministry, is yet to to file a preliminary enquiry report or register FIRs. The CBI, it is learnt, suspects that the process of granting Stage 1 approvals to both Rungta Mining Ltd and JSPL in addition to Usha Martin Ltd were fraught with corruption. “It is disappointing that one goes scot-free despite being indicted by several inquires. The errant companies have been allowed to mine again without paying any penalties or fines imposed on them,” said Rabi Das, a petitioner in the SC who is credited with exposing the scam in Odisha. Emails to most of the companies mentioned in this article went unanswered.

MSG 2 screening: Protests by Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers hits rail, road traffic in Punjab

Six express/mail and 27 passenger trains in Ferozepur division were cancelled, causing inconvenience to commuters.

Representational Photo

Photo Courtesy: ANI Twitter
Supporters of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda sect blocked rail and road traffic at various places in Punjab for the second day today, demanding that cinema halls screen sect leader Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh’s film ‘MSG-2’. The protesters claimed that though no ban has been imposed on the film, still many owners of multiplexes and cinemas were not exhibiting it in the state, which had seen backlash by Sikhs against the sect leader’s first film in January.Tension prevailed due to protests by Dera followers in several parts of the state including Moga, Bathinda, Patiala, Ferozepur and Sangrur, keeping security personnel on their toes. Six express/mail and 27 passenger trains in Ferozepur division were cancelled, causing inconvenience to commuters, officials said. The film is a sequel to ‘MSG: The Messenger of God’ which was banned by Punjab government in January following protests by Sikhs. The state police had asked all District Police Chiefs to ascertain whether the release of the ‘MSG-2’ will pose any threat to law and order in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP-ruled Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh had yesterday decided to ban the screening of the film reportedly over “objectionable” dialogues against tribal communities. Despite incessant rains at some places in Punjab, the followers of Dera blocked continued protests today, officials said. A large posse of police has been deployed in the Bhatinda area, where protesters including women have been squatting on tracks since yesterday. Policemen have been called from seven neighbouring districts.Enraged over non-screening of MSG 2, the Dera followers held protest at several places in Ferozepur and blocked the Ferozepur-Fazilka GT Road. In Patiala, followers of Dera Sacha Sauda blocked the Patiala-Sangrur road.Many cinema owners have refrained from screening the movie fearing backlash from Sikh protesters. MSG-2 hit over 2000 screens across the country last Friday. The film’s overseas release is slated for next week.Meanwhile, followers of Dera Sacha Sauda who were sitting on dharna at several places, including on GT road and on Ludhiana-Delhi railway track near Dhandari railway station, cleared the places for vehicular and train traffic, officials said. During the blockade train and road traffic was diverted from alternative routes, officials said.

Dera Sacha Sauda followers protest against no ‘MSG-2’ screening in Punjab

Despite of no ban had been imposed on the film’s screening, still many owners of multiplexes and cinema owners were not exhibiting it.

Supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda blocked rail and road traffic at various places in Punjab for the second day today demanding screening of MSG-2 film starring Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim in cinema halls.The followers said no ban had been imposed on the film’s screening, but still many owners of multiplexes and cinema owners were not exhibiting it. The Sirsa-headquartered sect followers blocked rail and road traffic from Moga to Kotakpura, to Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Amritsar and Jalandhar, which remained suspended, putting a number of passengers to inconvenience, police said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Read: MSG-2: The Messenger Trailer will leave you speechlessThough the film MSG-2 has not been banned in the state, the state police had asked all District Police Chiefs to ascertain whether the release of the movie will pose any threat to law and order in the state. Despite incessant rains the followers of Dera blocked rain and road traffic by squatting on the roads and railway tracks, officials said.Many cinema owners have refrained from screening the movie fearing backlash from Sikh protesters as the Dera head had been at loggerheads with the community earlier for allegedly hurting their religious sentiments.Dera followers have declared that they would not lift their blockade unless the film MSG-2 was screened in theatres.Also read: Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh govt ban ‘MSG-2 The Messenger’Senior police officials of the Bathinda district said they were keeping a strict watch on the situation. Messenger of God 2 (MSG 2), a sequel of MSG, hit over 2000 screens across the country on 18th September, 2015. The film’s overseas release is slated for next week.

Water storage levels in 85 dams less compared to last year

Of the 91 important reservoirs monitored by CWC, the water storage level in six important reservoirs located in northern region is better when compared with the corresponding period of last year as on September 17.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
The water storage levels in 85 important reservoirs in the country, which is monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC), is less when compared with the corresponding period of last year.Of the 91 important reservoirs monitored by CWC, the water storage level in six important reservoirs located in northern region is better when compared with the corresponding period of last year as on September 17.According to a Ministry of Water Resources statement in New Delhi, there are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring in the eastern region – Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 11.35 BCM, which is 60 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The storage during corresponding period of last year was 77 per cent and average storage of last 10 years during corresponding period was 73 per cent of storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last 10 years during the corresponding period,” the statement said.As far as the water storage levels in western and southern regions, comprising 27 and 31 important reservoirs respectively, whose water levels are monitored by CWC, the storage during the current year is less than the storage of last year and is also less than the average storage of last 10 years.While the storage level in 12 important reservoirs located in the central region comprising – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh is less when compared with the corresponding period of last year, it is better than the average storage of last 10 years. The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country as on September 17 was 92.631 BCM, which is 59 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs.”This storage is 74 per cent of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 77 per cent of storage of average of last ten years,” it said.The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 BCM which is about 62 per cent of the total storage capacity of 253.388 BCM, which is estimated to have been created in the country. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, (Two combined project in both states) Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.Only Himachal Pradesh and Tripura have better storage than last year for corresponding period.

World Bank ranks Gujarat as best Indian state for ease of business

New Delhi – Gujarat, the state Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran for more than a decade, is India’s best place for conducting business, the World Bank said on Monday, in a report that ranks the country’s states in an effort to encourage them to cut red tape.

Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel. ReutersGujarat CM Anandiben Patel. Reuters

Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel. Reuters

The report, prepared with support from KPMG on the request of the Modi government, gains importance by coming before the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report, which ranks nations and is expected to be released next month.

Since taking charge in May 2014, Modi has set an ambitious target of improving by 2017 India’s national ranking from a woeful 142 of 189, below Pakistan and Iran, to the top 50.

Last year, India slipped two spots in the report, and was ranked lower than Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa – mainly because of delays in approvals for starting a business, tax payments, getting bank loans and property registration.

“The growth of business in India requires concerted action on several fronts – infrastructure, capital markets, trade facilitation and skills,” said Onno Ruhl, the World Bank’s India director. “The stark reality is that India remains a difficult place to do business.”

Monday’s report suggested that such steps as offering single-window clearances for administrative approvals, if followed by all states, could improve India’s global ranking.

It said that states — including the top five, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh — had implemented reforms in online tax payments, construction, permits, electricity connections and environmental clearances in a specified time.

However, the states should set up electronic courts, and reforms relating to labour laws, land allotment and property registrations, the report said.

“This is a defining moment for Rajasthan because improving our ease of doing business directly accelerates job creation for our youth,” said Vasundhara Raje, the chief minister of Rajasthan. The state was ranked sixth among 29 states.

Modi’s government has taken several pro-business steps, such as rolling back plans to tax foreign companies and allowing them to invest more in insurance, defence, banks and other sectors.

However, India’s decision to drop a plan for a goods and service tax because it lacks political support, and to roll back business-friendly amendments in the land bill, have annoyed many domestic and foreign investors.

Projected to grow at more than 7.5 percent in the 2015/16 fiscal year, India sees an opportunity to attract more investments, especially with economic growth slowing in China.

Total foreign direct investment inflows into Asia’s third largest economy touched $44.3 billion in the 2014/15 fiscal year ending March, up 23 percent compared with the previous year, data on Ministry of Commerce and Industry website showed.

Reuters

Saradha Scam: CBI arrests Kolkata-based businessman Ramesh Gandhi

This is not the first time that Gandhi has been arrested. He has earlier been arrested for coal and media related scams in West Bengal.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Kolkata-based businessman Ramesh Gandhi on Monday evening, in connection with the multi-crore rupee Saradha scam.Gandhi was arrested by CBI officials from his Tollygunge residence and was later taken to the CGO complex for questioning. He is likely to be produced before the court on Tuesday morning. According to sources in the CBI, he was arrested on charges of economic offences and conspiracy.On several occasions, Gandhi had been questioned by the same investigating agency in connection with the scam.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2008, Gandhi allegedly entered into a deal with former minister Matang Sinh for 80% stake in NE Bangla channel. The deal was signed to make major inroads in states like Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. Gandhi had been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on several occasions in connection with the Saradha Scam.This is not the first time that Gandhi has been arrested. He has earlier been arrested for coal and media related scams in West Bengal.

Coal Scam: Argument on Madhu Koda’s plea to summon Manmohan Singh tomorrow

Koda’s counsel had argued on Wednesday in the court that the then Prime Minister was “aware of everything” in the process of allocating a coal block to Naveen Jindal group firm.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Supreme Court-appointed special public prosecutor (SPP) on Thursday urged a special court to defer for Friday the arguments on a plea of ex-Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as accused in a coal scam case.SPP R S Cheema appeared before Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar and said due to some “personal difficulty”, he would not be able to argue on the plea today and the matter be deferred for Friday. CBI is also scheduled to argue tomorrow on a plea filed by ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta seeking dropping of proceedings against him on account of lack of sanction to prosecute him for the alleged offences in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”SPP R S Cheema has submitted that due to some personal difficulty, he will not be able to address arguments today in the afternoon…. Matter be now put up for tomorrow for reply by CBI,” the court noted in its order.Koda’s counsel had argued on Wednesday in the court that the then Prime Minister was “aware of everything” in the process of allocating a coal block to Naveen Jindal group firm and if there was any conspiracy to allocate the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand, it could not have been without the knowledge of Singh who was also the then coal minister.Koda has sought to summon Singh as an additional accused, along with Anand Swaroop, the then Secretary (Energy), and Jai Shankar Tiwari, then Secretary(Mines and Geology), alleging that CBI’s theory of conspiracy remains incomplete without the involvement of the then Prime Minister.The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block to two Jindal group firms Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL). Koda, Gupta, former MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal and 13 others were earlier chargesheeted by the CBI in the case.

Ranchi SSP injured, 2 killed in Naxalite attack in Jharkhand; Rajnath Singh takes stock of situation

According to ANI reports, a Maoist attack in Dulmi village on the border of Ranchi and Khunti districts has resulted in injuries to SSP Prabhat Kumar and two other policemen. A Naxal and a police driver were killed in the resulting operation.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
According to ANI reports, a Maoist attack in Dulmi village on the border of Ranchi and Khunti districts has resulted in injuries to SSP Prabhat Kumar and two other policemen. A Naxal and a police driver were killed in the resulting operation.”We received information of presence of Naxalite area commander Chandan along with 10 others on the Khunti-Ranchi border,” said Jharkhand DGP DK Pandey to ANI.The police operation resulted in the deaths of Chandan and a police driver, while the SSP was injured, added Pandey.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But Pandey confirmed that the SSP Prabhat Kumar was now out of danger.Home Minister Rajnath Singh reacted to the incident:

Coal scam returns to haunt Manmohan Singh, Madhu Koda files plea seeking to summon ex-PM

New Delhi: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda on Monday moved an application before a special court seeking summoning of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and two others as accused in a coal scam case in which CBI had chargesheeted industrialist Naveen Jindal and others.

Koda, who is also an accused in the case, sought summoning of Manmohan Singh, who was then holding the portfolio of the Coal Ministry, Anand Swarup who was then Secretary (Energy) and then Mines and Geology Secretary Jai Shankar Tiwari.

File photo. Image courtesy: PTIFile photo. Image courtesy: PTI

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

The copy of Koda’s application was supplied to the CBI and the court asked the agency to file its reply, if any on the plea.

However, Koda’s counsel asked for the arguments on the application be heard along with arguments on framing of charges in the case. The court then fixed August 28 for scrutiny of documents supplied to the accused by CBI along with its charge sheet.

The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand to two Jindal group companies, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd (GSIPL).

Besides Jindal, Koda, former Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and 11 others, including five firms, are accused in the case.

The other individual accused in the case are — Rajeev Jain, Director of Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Girish Kumar Suneja and Radha Krishna Saraf, directors of GSIPL, Suresh Singhal, director of New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, K Ramakrishna Prasad, Managing Director of Sowbhagya Media Ltd and chartered accountant Gyan Swaroop Garg.

Besides the ten accused, five firms — Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Gagan Infraenergy Ltd (formerly known as GSIPL), Sowbhagya Media Ltd and New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd — are also accused in the case.

The court had said prima facie offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating) of IPC read with section 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) (criminal misconduct by a public servant) of Prevention of Corruption Act were made out against all the 15 accused.

PTI

Two robbers lynched, two others thrashed by crowd

“The local people got information about this and hundreds of them ran towards the place to save the pilgrims. They surrounded the robbers, caught all of them, and thrashed them mercilessly. While two robbers died, two others have been seriously injured,” Kumar said.

Two robbers were lynched and two of their accomplices mercilessly thrashed after a group of people allegedly caught them looting ‘kanwariyas’ (devotees of Lord Shiva) in Gaya district of Bihar on Monday.Gaya Deputy Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) Satish Kumar said four armed men were robbing pilgrims going towards Baidyanath Dham in Deoghar in Jharkhand in the morning on the road near Bishunganj village.”The local people got information about this and hundreds of them ran towards the place to save the pilgrims. They surrounded the robbers, caught all of them, and thrashed them mercilessly. While two robbers died, two others have been seriously injured,” Kumar said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Of the two injured, one was rescued from the clutches of the mob by a police contingent and admitted to Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College in Gaya town where his condition is stated to be serious, the DSP said.The other injured robber managed to escape while being beaten up, and is currently holed up in the house of the head of Dhantir panchayat, which has been surrounded by people chasing him.”We are trying to rescue him from the clutches of the crowd and additional forces have been rushed to area. The two bodies have been recovered and sent for postmortem,” Kumar said.The police official added that as per little information gleaned out from the hospitalised robber, he and his accomplices had come to Bihar from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.The information is being verified and efforts are on to ascertain the identity of the two lynched persons.

Deoghar temple stampede: Jharkhand govt. suspends DC, SP

The stampede took place early this morning close to a temple of Goddess Durga, where thousands had lined up for a ritual.

Jharkhand stampede

Reuters
Deogarh District Deputy Commissioner Amit Kumar, Superintendent of Police P Murugan and two other Health department officials were placed under suspension, hours after 10 devotees were killed in a stampede in the temple town of Baidyanath Dham. “The DC and SP have been suspended with immediate effect due to negligence of duty,” Jharkhand Home Secretary N N Pandey said at a press conference here. The decision was taken by the state government after a high-level committee made an on-the-spot inquiry into the circumstances leading to the incident at Belabagan in the temple town, he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dumka Superintendent of Police Vipul Shukla has been transferred to Deogarh as SP and the Managing Director of Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam Limited, Rahul Purwar, has been sent as deputy commissioner. The two officials would remain there till the end of the month-long ‘Shravani Mela’, Pandey said. Another IPS officer Murari Lal Meena has also reached the temple town for supervision, he said. Stating that negligence was also found in the hospital administration in Deogarh, the Home secretary said Deogarh Civil Surgeon Diwakar Kamath and Regional Health Deputy Director Prasad were also placed under suspension with immediate effect. The government had earlier said a three-member committee headed by Pandey would inquire into the incident but later added another official to the team. Besides Pandey, the team consists of Additional Director General of Police (Operation) S N Pradhan, Secretary of Rural Works Department M R Meena and Director (Health Services) Dr Suman Mishra. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the incident and instructed Chief Minister Raghuwar Das over telephone to speed up the relief measures. “Pained at loss of lives due to the stampede in Jharkhand. My thoughts & prayers are with the families of the deceased in this hour of grief,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted. “I pray that the injured recover quickly. I spoke to CM Raghubar Das ji on the incident,” he added.

Centre rushes RAF personnel after 11 die in stampede in Jharkhand

The Centre is rushing Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel to Deoghar in Jharkhand for better crowd management after 11 people died due to a stampede near a temple.

Jharkhand stampede

Reuters
The Centre is rushing Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel to Deoghar in Jharkhand for better crowd management after 11 people died due to a stampede near a temple.Making a statement in Lok Sabha on the stampede, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he spoke to Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, who apprised him of the situation in Deoghar after the stampede and requested for additional RAF personnel.Singh said two RAF companies (around 200 personnel) are being sent to Deoghar for better crowd and security management in addition to the Central Armed Police Forces already deployed in the state.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Minister said the Chief Minister informed him that 11 people have lost their lives and Rs two lakh will be given to the families of each deceased as compensation while the injured will be given Rs 50,000.All injured will be given free treatment, he said.Singh condoled the loss of lives due to stampede and expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the stampede.Earlier, Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav of RJD and Nishikant Dubey of BJP raised the issue and said there were very little facilities for devotees at the Deogarh temple where thousands gather to offer prayers.Both of them demanded that the area should be developed and proper facilities should be offered to the pilgrims to prevent such incidents in future.Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has announced compensation of Rs two lakh to the kin of those killed in an early morning stampede.The injured would be given Rs 50,000, an official statement said.The chief minister is monitoring the situation after 11 devotees died and more than 30 others were injured in a stampede near Durga temple at Belabagan.

Pained at loss of lives, says PM Narendra Modi on Jharkhand stampede

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed grief at the loss of lives in the temple stampede at Jharkhand’s Deogarh district.

PM Narendra Modi. Image courtesy: ReutersPM Narendra Modi. Image courtesy: Reuters

PM Narendra Modi. Image courtesy: Reuters

Modi spoke to Chief Minister Raghubar Das about the incident which occurred in the temple town at around 4 AM leaving 11 people dead and over 30 injured.

“Pained at loss of lives due to the stampede in Jharkhand. My thoughts & prayers are with the families of the deceased in this hour of grief,” the PM said on twitter.

“I pray that the injured recover quickly. I spoke to CM Raghubar Das ji on the incident,” he said.

Das apprised Modi of the incident over phone, an official statement said in Ranchi.

Today is the second Monday of the auspicious Shravan month when thousands of devotees from across the country visit Deogarh to offer prayers.

PTI

Jharkhand stampede: BJP MP takes responsibility, calls for better arrangements

I take full responsibility of this. I find myself guilty.11 people have died. We all should be held responsible for not being able to make adequate arrangements. We will take lesson from this, Dubey said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Godda, Nishikant Dubey on Monday said that the administration can be held responsible for not being able to make adequate arrangements that led to a stampede at Durga temple in Belabagan area of Jharkhand’s Deoghar district on Monday morning.I take full responsibility of this. I find myself guilty.11 people have died. We all should be held responsible for not being able to make adequate arrangements. We will take lesson from this, Dubey told ANI.There is a strong need to create infrastructure and there should be a time slot for offering prayers and for crowd management. We would like to appeal to the centre and the state government to make a long term plan for the appropriate arrangements so that such incidents do not recur, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 11 ‘Kanwarias’ devotees, including one woman, were killed and 50 others injured in a stampede at Durga temple in Belabagan area of Jharkhand’s Deoghar district today.According to reports, the incident occurred around 4.30 a.m. at Belabagan, about three kilometers away from the main temple complex. The injured have been admitted to local government hospital in Deoghar.

Indian Railways to come out with goods train time table

A time table is being made so that freight operations will be easier and will improve the delivery schedule.

File Photo

Aiming at a paradigm shift in the freight operations, Indian Railway will come out with a Time Table for goods train movement, a first for the public transporter, to attract more loadings and improve the delivery schedule.Currently passenger trains get preference over the movement of freight trains on the busy tracks across the country which causes delay and uncertainty over the time schedule for delivery of goods. Goods trains are kept in loop lines to allow passenger trains to pass as most of the trunk lines face congestion, said Adesh Sharma, Managing Director of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DFCC is a Special Purpose Vehicle set up by railways to undertake planning and construction, maintenance and operation of the Dedicated Freight Corridors in the country. Currently DFCC is involved in construction of two corridors – the Western DFC (1504 km) and Eastern DFC (1856 km)- spanning a total length of about 3,360 km. The railways used to carry about 80% of total goods transported in the country but over time its share got reduced to 36%, with the rest shifting to roads. “Once the two corridors, which are being constructed for exclusive movement of goods trains, are operational then we will be able to shift goods transportation from the roads to rails as we will come out with a Time Table for freight operation,” Sharma said.The DFC is expected to be commissioned in phases from 2017-18 to 2019-20 and a small section of 56 km in Bihar in the Eastern Corridor is expected to be opened to traffic in the current fiscal. The movement of goods will be faster and we will ensure the goods reach within 20 hours from Delhi to Mumbai or Kolkata, once the two corridors become fully operational, he said.The Eastern Corridor, starting from Dankuni in West Bengal, will pass through the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to terminate at Ludhiana in Punjab. The Western Corridor connecting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), will traverse through the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Besides the Time Table, Sharma said a series of steps is being worked out to attract the loadings on the DFC. While the speed of goods train will go up to 100 km per hour as against the current speed of 25 km per hour, frequency of freight movement will also increase significantly.As per the plan, DFC stations will be equipped with modern systems and loco drivers will have Mobile Radio Train Communication System for constant communication with control room. The DFC network would attract setting up of Multimodal Logistics Parks along the corridor to facilitate value addition including packaging, retailing, labelling and transportation.

Going beyond mainstream media, PM Modi’s words to go multilingual

A project is now underway to post all that Prime Minister says, media releases and data online in 22 scheduled languages, to bridge the lingual gap and ensure a wider reach.

PM Modi

AFP
Each time prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted in an Indian language like Tamil on Pongal, Telugu on Bhogi or Assamese on Magh Bihu, he would have struck a chord somewhere in a remote corner of the country. Modi’s passion for lingual connect will be amplified with his speeches, statements and captions going multi-lingual soon. Taking the dissemination of information beyond the realm of the mainstream media, the Prime Minister’s Office is keen on ensuring it reaches everyone in their language and not just in English and Hindi, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A project is now underway to post all that Prime Minister says, media releases and data online in 22 scheduled languages, to bridge the lingual gap and ensure a wider reach. The decision was taken last month by the PMO, Information and broadcasting ministry and press information bureau (PIB). On July 23 and 24, PIB brass including Frank Noronha held a meeting with heads of the agency’s eight regional centres. Sources said the project would necessitate augmenting the budget and manpower besides finding language experts.The exercise, which would familiarise people in various parts of the country with the Prime Minister, is likely to begin with three languages. More languages will be added later, an official said. A decision is yet to be taken on whether the multilingual mode will be on the existing website or a new one will have to be created. The National Informatics Centre hosts all government websites. Modi had chosen to communicate directly with people using social media through his and the PMO’s tweets, departing from the conventional path of reaching out through the mainstream media. He also broke off from the tradition of taking the media, barring the public broadcaster and news agencies, on his foreign tours.Meanwhile, the BJP has also undertaken a plan to expand the reach of its inhouse publications by bringing them out in more languages to cover all states. At present there are 16 publications with a circulation of 24 lakh, but party president Amit Shah wants it to be increased three-fold within a year.While the “Kamal Sandesh”, a fortnightly with a circulation of 1.5 lakh, is published in English and Hindi, other publications in various languages are brought out under different names. Barring a few like Telangana, Jharkhand and north-eastern ones, the BJP has publications in most states.

Govt completing all formalities to bring back deaf-mute Indian woman Gita: Sushma Swaraj

Gita, 23, is believed to have mistakenly crossed into Pakistani territory as a child. She was 7-8 years old when she was found by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago from Lahore railway station, according to reports from Pakistan.

Sushma Swaraj

File Photo
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said government was completing all necessary formalities to bring back Gita, the deaf and mute Indian woman stuck in Pakistan for more than a decade after losing contact with her family. She said in the last few days, four families from Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have claimed Gita, who is in Karachi, to be their daughter. “We are completing the necessary formalities to bring Gita back to India,” Swaraj said in a tweet adding “I am requesting the Chief Ministers of these states to verify and report.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan TCA Raghavan and his wife on Tuesday had met Gita following a direction from Swaraj and assured her of locating her family as soon as possible. “Gita conveyed to Indian High Commissioner by gestures that they are seven brothers and sisters. “She also conveyed that she had visited a temple with her father. Then she wrote down ‘Vaishno Devi’,” Swaraj said.The External Affairs Minister also retweeted a drawing posted on tweeter by one Yusra Askari with a caption “Geeta’s drawing of home – number 193, that as per her is located near a fish pond, paddy fields and a maternity home.” “This should further help in locating Gita’s family,” Swaraj said.Gita, 23, is believed to have mistakenly crossed into Pakistani territory as a child. She was 7-8 years old when she was found by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago from Lahore railway station, according to reports from Pakistan.Salman Khan’s recent hit movie “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” is about a mute Pakistani girl who was reunited with her family after she lost contact with her mother while visiting India. Gita’s story found way to media after the Salman starer blockbuster. Pakistan’s human rights activist Ansar Burney had also raised Gita’s ordeal.

Ranchi: 5 women murdered on suspicion of practising witchcraft

Jharkhand accounted for 54 out of 160 cases of murders where women were branded witches and killed in 2013.

ANI
Five women were killed by locals at Kanjia village in Ranchi district for allegedly practising ‘witchcraft’ in yet another barbaric incident related to superstition in the tribal state.Superintendent of Police (Rural) Raj Kumar Lakra said a group of villagers used lathis and sharp edged weapons to kill the women at around midnight. They suspected the women of practising witchcraft, police said. The bodies were recovered on Saturday. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Photo ANIIn an interview to ANI, the daughter of one of the killed women said the following:Jharkhand accounted for 54 out of 160 cases of murders where women were branded witches and killed in 2013 and a total of 400 women have been murdered with the same motive since 2001 in the state. The National Crime Records Bureau has estimated 2,097 such murders between 2000 and 2012 in the country.

Greenpeace cautions bidders on 39 coal blocks ahead of auction

NGO Greenpeace India on Friday claimed that a significant number of coal blocks which would be up for auction later this month fall in ecologically critical areas due to which they are likely to face delays in securing clearances and “advised” the bidders to stay away from them.

NGO Greenpeace India on Friday claimed that a significant number of coal blocks which would be up for auction later this month fall in ecologically critical areas due to which they are likely to face delays in securing clearances and “advised” the bidders to stay away from them.The NGO, which has been mired in controversy of late over alleged violations of rules, alleged that by continuing to put forests up for mining, government is being “short-sighted” as it will harm the environment and at the same time mean higher risks for project developers as well.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Out of the 101 blocks earmarked for auctioned by the coal ministry this year, at least 39 are in ecologically critical areas, covering a total forest area of more than 10,500 hectares.”These blocks are likely to face significant delays in securing clearances, apart from the likelihood of legal challenges and opposition from affected communities,” the NGO which conducted a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis said in a statement and added that auction of another set of coal blocks is likely to take place between August 11-17.It said that the blocks were spread in eight different states including Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal.About 35 blocks are in tiger, leopard or elephant habitat and 20 are within 10 kilometres of a protected area or identified wildlife corridor.”Potential bidders are advised to stay away from at least these 39 identified blocks and to assess independently the forest, livelihoods and wildlife issues of the blocks they intend to bid on,” the NGO said.”By continuing to put good quality forests up for mining, the government is being short-sighted. This will harm the environment and will also mean higher risks for project developers, investors and shareholders as it will lead to more conflict, legal challenges and community opposition, as we saw in the case of the Mahan coal block in Singrauli,” said Nandikesh Sivalingam, a Greenpeace activist.Noting that the coal scam and the Supreme Court verdict presented a golden opportunity to make amends, he said that a transparent, scientifically rigorous inviolate forest policy was the right thing to do in order to rearrange coal mining in such a way that it had less impact on forests, tribal communities and wildlife.”At the same time, this would have ensured a greater certainty for investors and project developers but the Environment Ministry has showed it is unable or unwilling to protect some of India’s last remaining forests from mining,” said Sivalingam.

Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das attacks Lalu, Nitish; calls them arrogant

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Sunday described RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar as “arrogant leaders” and called for decimation of the JD(U) government in the coming Bihar Assembly polls to usher in development and good governance.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on Sunday described RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar as “arrogant leaders” and called for decimation of the JD(U) government in the coming Bihar Assembly polls to usher in development and good governance.”Both leaders – Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar – are arrogant and it is because of their collective arrogance, Bihar has slipped into a mess over the past 25 years,” Das said while addressing a congregation of ‘Teli Sahu Samaj’ at the Sri Krishna Memorial Hall here. “One arrogant leader’s politics is family-centric and aimed at ensuring as to how his sons and daughters somehow enter the state legislature, another pursues individual- centric politics aimed at promotion of himself alone for which he can do anything,” he said in a dig at Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar respectively.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”While one leader (Lalu) has not learnt any lesson from defeat of his wife (Rabri Devi) and daughter (Misa Bharti) in general elections last year and still nurtures ambition to send his sons and daughters to the state legislature, the other leader (Nitish) insulted the Dalits by removing his successor Jitan Ram Manjhi from the chief minister’s post to pursue his individual centric politics,” Das said. The Jharkhand Chief Minister tore into his Bihar counterpart describing him as an ambitious persons in addition to being arrogant saying he betrayed the huge mandate in favour of the NDA in the 2010 Assembly elections so that he could fulfil his burning ambition to become Prime Minister.”He (Nitish) must have thought if Narendra Modi can become the Prime Ministerial candidate, so could he and his this ambition led to parting ways with the NDA two years ago,” Das explained. Taking potshots at Kumar, he said the former resigned from the Chief Minister’s post following JD(U)’s drubbing in the general elections so that he could avoid receiving Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Bihar.However, he had to eat his own words when he had to receive the visiting Prime Minister at Patna airport recently, Das said sarcastically. The Jharkhand Chief Minister also slammed Nitish for insulting the Dalits by removing a Mahdalit chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi earlier this year and regain the post himself despite the fact that Manjhi was doing a great job.