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CPI(M) to hold plenum in Bengal from Sunday after 37 years

The plenum is being held at a time when Marxists, who had lost power in the state after 34 years, are trying to revitalise the party organisation in the state. The CPI(M) plenum was last held in West Bengal in 1978 at Salkia in Howrah district.

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Weekly train between Tirupati and Shirdi flagged off

Today’s inaugural train left Tirupati at 4.30 pm and would reach Sainagar Shirdi at 9 pm tomorrow, railway officials said.

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Be wary of that imported scotch being offered for cheap! It may be fake

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Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai.

Tempted by that offer of a bottle of premium scotch claimed to be sourced from a “duty-free” shop and being offered at a hefty discount for your New Year bash? Do not fall prey to the lure as there are chances that this bottle may be a cheap brand of liquor being passed off as the original.”With December 31 round the corner, bootleggers and counterfeiters are cashing in on the increased demand for liquor by trying to pass off duplicate liquor as the original brew for cheaper by claiming that it has been sourced from duty-free shops. For instance, a bottle of high-end whiskey which costs Rs 5,000 in a wine shop may be sold for around Rs 2,500 by these people with the bottle containing mid-range liquor,” said a senior state excise department official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier this month, the state excise flying squad raided a building in Andheri (West) and arrested six people involved in manufacturing and sale of duplicate Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). They also seized bottles of premium whiskey brands and raw material.The prime target of these rackets, which make a killing due to the margins involved, is the neo-rich class which seeks to shift from low quality liquor to premium brands but is unable to distinguish between original and duplicate versions.Liquor smugglers also try to cash in on the higher demand for liquor by bringing in duty-evaded alcohol from neighbouring states Goa and Daman, which have liberal excise duty regimes than Maharashtra, leading to cheaper goods.The flying squad also intercepted 500 boxes of duty-evaded IMFL and beer, which were brought into Maharashtra from Goa and Madhya Pradesh, and arrested two people. The stash, which is worth Rs18 lakh, includes 350 boxes of whiskey and 150 boxes of a popular brand of strong beer.Sources said a huge racket involved in this business exists in and around Mumbai. The kingpins and foot soldiers of this illegal business rent premises on a temporary basis in Bandra, Santa Cruz, Khar, Vile Parle, Andheri and Goregaon and prepare duplicate liquor.These counterfeiters purchase empty bottles from bhangar (scrap) shops or order original-looking replicas of bottles and caps from other countries which are then brought to Maharashtra via neighbouring states.Though it is mandatory for all retail outlets to smash bottles of premium imported brands, like scotch and single malts, and deface or remove labels from empty IMFL bottles to prevent their misuse, it is difficult to ensure that individual consumers followed suit.”It is necessary for people to purchase liquor from authorised wine shops because there are chances that bootleggers may be bottling cheap quality alcohol in bottles of premium brands and passing them off as originals. Such liquor may also be harmful for health,” said a senior state excise official.

Vyapam scam: Madhya Pradesh HC grants bail to former minister Laxmikant Sharma

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Sharma, a former Technical Education Minister, who has been lodged in Bhopal jail since June 2014, is likely to walk free tomorrow after the prison authorities complete the legal formalities for his release.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday granted bail to former state minister Laxmikant Sharma, an accused in the 2012 scam of police constable recruitment examination, conducted by Vyapam (MP Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal).Sharma, a former Technical Education Minister, who has been lodged in Bhopal jail since June 2014, is likely to walk free tomorrow after the prison authorities complete the legal formalities for his release.A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice K K Trivedi granted bail to Sharma after his counsel told the court that other accused in the police constable recruitment test conducted by Vyapam in 2012 had got bail.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Counsel Anil Khare, Bhaskar Pandey and Praveen Verma said that their client was not the kingpin of the case. Sharma has only been accused of mediating in the case, they argued. CBI, the prosecution agency in Vypam scam, opposed the former minister’s bail stating that if he was released, he would influence the ongoing probe in the massive racket. The bench, after hearing the defence and the prosecution, directed that Sharma should be released on bail after he furnishes a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh.Earlier, the high court had granted bail to Sharma in some other scam relating to recruitment tests which were conducted by Vyapam.

Shah Rukh Khan a patriot, go watch ‘Dilwale’: MP home minister Babulal Gaur

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Earlier, BJP general secretary and former Madhya Pradesh Minister Kailash Vijaywargiya had strongly criticised Shah Rukh Khan for his comments on intolerance.
File Photo

Even as right-wing activists staged protests against Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Dilwale in various parts of the state today, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur said that the actor was a patriot.”Yes, he is a nice man and a patriot,” Gaur told reporters when asked about the protests. He further said the film was “very good” and the people should watch it.Earlier, BJP general secretary and former Madhya Pradesh Minister Kailash Vijaywargiya had strongly criticised Shah Rukh Khan for his comments on intolerance.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The release of “Dilwale” was marred by protests in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and other parts of the state. The protesters have taken exception to Khan’s comments a few weeks ago where he had expressed concern over rising intolerance in the country amid a raging debate on the issue.

CBI raids: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan condemns Arvind Kejriwal’s language

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AAP activists burnt effigies of Union Government at Indore, Gwalior, Rewa, Jabalpur, Guna, Vidisha, Sagar, Ujjain and Raghogarh among other places, a party release said.

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Madhya Pradesh Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday staged protests against the Centre over CBI’s raid at the office of the Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal even as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan decried the language used by Kejriwal against the Prime Minister.AAP activists burnt effigies of Union Government at Indore, Gwalior, Rewa, Jabalpur, Guna, Vidisha, Sagar, Ujjain and Raghogarh among other places, a party release said. AAP national spokesperson and state coordinator Alok Agrawal termed the raid as “vendetta politics”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, CM Chouhan, reacting to Kejriwal’s statement, tweeted without naming anyone that “we may have difference of opinion but maintaining decorum & mutual respect are pillars of democracy. Sanctity of language is 1st requisite.The office of Delhi Chief Minister’s principal secretary was today raided by CBI in a corruption case following which a furious Kejriwal lambasted the Centre and termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “coward” and “psychopath”.

SpiceJet’s Mumbai-Jabalpur flight crash-lands, passengers safe

According to reports the flight landed off the runway and hit a boar. The plane has suffered a tyre burst.

SpiceJet’s Mumbai-Jabalpur flight has crash landed at Dumna airport in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, say media reports. According to reports the flight landed off the runway and hit a boar. The plane has suffered a tyre burst.All 49 passengers have been evacuated and safe. No injuries have been reported.

Opposition in Rajya Sabha cautions government on anti-graft bill

Participating in the discussion for consideration and passing of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment)Bill, 2013, Naresh Agrawal (SP) suggested that the government was bringing such anti-corruption bills in a “haste” alleging it was seeking to deflect attention from its “failure” in bringing back black money and called for a “reconsideration” of the measure

Opposition in Rajya Sabha on Thursday advocated caution on an anti-graft bill with a Samajwadi Party member saying the new law instead of checking the menace will increase corruption and make elected representatives more vulnerable.Participating in the discussion for consideration and passing of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment)Bill, 2013, Naresh Agrawal (SP) suggested that the government was bringing such anti-corruption bills in a “haste” alleging it was seeking to deflect attention from its “failure” in bringing back black money and called for a “reconsideration” of the measure. Holding that mere enactment of laws cannot check corruption, he cited instances of the situation after enactment of tough laws on violence against women after the Nirbhaya gang rape case and asked whether cases of women atrocities have stopped after that.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The anti-corruption amendment bill is aimed at enhancing penalty for graft to a maximum of seven years from five years now, among other new provisions to check the menace. Agarwal rued that while MPs can lose their membership in corruption cases after this bill, prior permission will be required for action against any officer of and above the Joint Secretary level.”Once this law comes into force, cops can put behind bars anybody they want. It is not good giving so much powers to the police. The membership of MPs can go but you are protecting officers. You will have to take prior permission to start prosecution against them. You want to protect officers at the level of Joint Secretary,” Agrawal said.Citing instances or “legalised commission” for defence deals in some foreign countries, he highlighted complexities of implementing the new anti-graft law in India. While asserting that corruption has to be fought tooth and nail, the SP member said that there is a need to work with a “practical” approach. Flagging similar concerns, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said while everyone was committed to fight corruption, “such a law should not be made, which make all of us helpless. … There is a need to think about it. We are committed to check corruption but it should not be a case that the one who is committed to it, does not survive”.KC Tyagi (JD-U) said he considered the measure “a good bill brought in haste”. Agrawal said “nowadays an atmosphere is being created that politicians are the most dishonest people in the country. If there is a talk of increasing the salary of MPs, it leads to a huge uproar in the whole country.”What is not taken note is that as an MP has to meet the needs of his constituency and its people, which bureacrats do not have to do, he said. “Such bills will promote corruption. Bills are being framed to by-pass (issues). What will happen to old laws dealing with corruption. Will all of them go away? Remove those laws first and then bring the new law. Please read this bill again,” the SP member said.Agrawal also found it “contradictory” that the government and wondered why two “contradictory” bills have been listed for passage, including the Whistleblowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and said while the first bill prescribes punishment to bribe givers, the second awards those informing about bribe demands.K C Tyagi (JD-U) said he considered the measure “a good bill brought in a haste” and rued that while MPs have to lose their membership over such issues, there are dozens of secretaries, who served in corporate houses after their government service, which gives rise to suspicions about some quid pro quo.He also demanded that a law be enacted to ensure that no Chief Justice holds any post at least for ten years after retirement. Tyagi also faulted Congress for making a former Chief Election Commissione (CEC) a Rajya Sabha member and said “if any CEC picks up a government post or becomes a member of some party after retirement, his role must have been questionable”.In this context, he also referred to the on-going CBI probe against a former CBI Director. He also made a strong pitch for curtailing the whopping rise in poll expenditure, Tyagi said that as long this is not done, efforts to check corruption will not bear fruit. Minister of State in PMO Jitender Singh said he endorsed the view of the opposition members. “It is not the elimination of corruption. It is the incorruptibility, which has to be the target.”He said that while the point of the Opposition is well taken “but still we need to have a mechanism” and pointed out that the bill has already gone to the Standing Committee.Shantaram Naik (Cong) attacked the NDA government on the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh. He alleged that despite the involvement of about 3,000 persons in the Vyavsyik Pariksha Mandal Scam in Madhya Pradesh, with 1,850 in jail and about 50 persons dying in “mysterious circumstances”, the government has refused to use provisions of prevention of Corruption Act 1988 against state leadership.Naik, said the government has also refused to take cognizance of the fact that the name of Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and his wife figured in the scam. Similarly, there was a “revenue loss of 600 crores due to undue favours” shown to a private tobacco (Gutka) company, he claimed. He also alleged the existence of a Rs 36,000 crore scam in public distribution in Chhattisgarh, where government raided 36 offices of Civil Supplies Department and about 12 Civil Supplies officers were arrested.He suggested that the provisions regarding attachment of property recovered, in disproportionate assets cases, as also proceeds of bribery should be effectively implemented. Naik said the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 was enacted during Rajiv Gandhi’s time and in the course of implementation a number of politicians including members of Congress Party suffered jail sentences.”When charges were levelled against Union Ministers and a Chief Minister of State during UPA regime, they were made to resign by Congress leadership, but in NDA rule corrupt are protected all throughout,” he said.Mansukh Lal Mandavia (BJP) called for a uniform law to deal with corruption. “Corruption is fuelled by black money and strong action needs to be taken against it,” he said, adding that the Prime Minister was committed to bringing back black money.

Tamil Nadu: Major Road caves in as fresh rains batter Chennai; schools remain shut

Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination. Traffic in some parts, including the busy Velachery area, moved at a slow pace following inundation.

Image courtesy: ANI | Road caves in at Madhya Kailash signal.

Fresh rains battered many parts of Tamil Nadu and disrupted normal life, submerging pockets of Chennai under water on Tuesday.A section of a major road near the Madhya Kailash signal also caved in as heavy rain pounded the city last night.Several low-lying areas and roads were inundated and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destination. Traffic in some parts, including the busy Velachery area, moved at a slow pace following inundation.Authorities declared a holiday for schools in Chennai, which witnessed heavy downpour last night.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rain also continued to lash many other parts of the state including Tiruchirappalli, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur.A report from Erode said vegetable wholesale traders and retail dealers were affected as they could not transport the produce from villages to town areas.The met office has forecasted scattered to heavy rainfall on Tuesday in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu following a trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, closer to Sri Lanka.The toll in rain-related incidents since the onset of the northeast monsoon last month rose to 122 on Sunday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier instructed the immediate release of financial assistance of nearly Rs. 940 crore to deal with the flood situation in rain- battered Tamil Nadu, hours after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote to him for funds to sustain relief work.(With agency inputs)

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan hails wife and seniors as he completes 10 years in office

Recalling BJP patriarchs Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, Chouhan said that he has got immense love of the party.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his wife pose for a photograph with Geeta, a deaf and mute woman who has returned India from Pakistan, at a programme in Indore on Sunday.

PTI
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who completed 10 years in office on Sunday, thanked his wife Sadhana and others for helping him to achieve this rare feat. Chouhan broke the record held by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who ruled the state for two consecutive terms from 1993-2003.”On this occasion I want to thank my party, senior leaders for their guidance and my wife (Sadhana), from bottom of my heart for their contribution without which I couldn’t have succeeded. We (my wife and me) both are so integral that my opponents attacking me sometimes end up targeting my wife too,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”BJP was the best political party in the world. I give all the credit of the feat to my party. It (BJP) has got midas touch. In place of me, if the party would have picked up someone else, he too could have also completed 10 years in the office, ” he said.Recalling BJP patriarchs Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, he said that he has got immense love of the party.”Due to senior leader’s guidance and cultural values, I could reach this point,” he added.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi rang me up and congratulated me today. This has inspired me to work more in future. Party chief Amit Shah too has blessed me over phone,” Chouhan said.Union Minister Narendra Tomar said Chouhan had launched several schemes for public welfare and some of them have been replicated in other states. While describing Chouhan as “upright” and one “pursuing wise policy with a good intent”, Tomar said MP was buzzing with development activities under his leadership.BJP organisational general secretary Ram Lal said the party puts the country first and thereafter party and self.”We think about ourselves at last. This approach has resulted in discipline in the party, which is marching ahead”, he added.Among others, the function was attended by a battery of senior leaders including BJP vice president Prabhat Jha.

Intolerance debate: India is liberal enough to allow ‘fake and manufactured dissent’ too, says Arun Jaitley

He was asked if the government was open to a debate on the issue of intolerance in Parliament

Arun Jaitley

The government is open to a debate on intolerance in Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday, emphasising India was liberal enough to not only allow dissent but also “manufactured and fake dissent.”Taking Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi head-on over his comments on BJP’s governance model, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Atal Bihari Vajpayee had risen through the ranks to the nation’s highest job unlike Congress model which favour dynasties and family rules. “Not in the least because there is nothing that the government has to hide. After all India is proud of its liberal traditions and we should continue to remain proud of that,” he told a private news channel.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was asked if the government was open to a debate on the issue of intolerance in Parliament. “And therefore if somebody raises an issue, it certainly must be responded to and Parliament is the best forum where it can best be responded to,” he said. Stating that the issue of intolerance was a “manufactured protest” and a “manufactured dissent”, he said, “India is a liberal country. India should be a liberal country. Nobody should face or feel unsafe in India. If anybody feels unsafe and indicates to the government that he is so feeling, it is our duty to protect such a person.””We don’t want this impression to go through. I believe that India is so liberal that it not only allows dissent, it also allows a manufactured and fake dissent. And that is what we have been seeing in the last few days,” he said.He said during the Delhi Assembly elections, suddenly the issue of attacks on Churches was raised. “And finally independent police investigation showed not a single Church was attacked for political reasons. They were cases of theft or vandalism by culprits who were arrested and are being prosecuted. But it was made into a political issue.” “I think just as a trivial issue wasted the last session of Parliament and even when on last day it was debated, people realised it was much a do about nothing, let this also be debated and we will realise how liberal this country is,” he said expressing government willingness for a debate on the issue of intolerance in Parliament.Contrasting Indian democracy with the West, Jaitley said one should see the expressions being used in the television debate among the Presidential candidates in the US and the language used in Germany, France or other European countries in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. “We are proud to be Indians because our public discourse even in the face of intolerance acts like terrorism or global terrorism has been a very civilised and matured one. And thats how India should be,” he said. Jaitley said that BJP functions as a democratic party and “Indian democracy must start recognising merit as a criteria of leadership and not families or dynasties”. A large number of political parties, including Congress, have got too used to the idea of a family running the show, he said, adding that these families run the parties and governments and people acceptable to them become leaders of the government or leaders in the party.”Vajpayee’s model and Modi’s model is entirely different (from Congress’s model). There is a cross-section of developing leadership who are all leaders in their own right, who are part of Modi’s government. “Our chief ministers are strong, they are not rubber-stamp (CMs), they are not nominated by the Centre. Shivraj Singh Chouhan (of Madhya Pradesh) got elected on his own merit, Devendra Fadnavis (in Maharashtra) got elected on his own merit, Vasundhara Raje (in Rajasthan) rules on her own merit and there were many people from amongst whom Modi emerged as first among equals,” he said.Jaitley said ministers in the Modi government enjoy a lot of freedom in framing policies. “I can tell you as a minister in his government, the kind of freedom I have to frame policies, I doubt if finance ministers in Congress government had that freedom. They were really bound by what a family decided, what a national advisory committee next to the family decided. They were sulking because they were not allowed to pursue their own policies and that was one of the perils of the UPA model,” he claimed.Jaitley said both Modi and Vajpayee started as ordinary party workers and climbed the ladder to the highest position. “They weren’t born within a family. They didn’t rise” because of birth in a particular family, but they “became natural leaders of party”.

Bypolls: BJP loses Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat, opens account in Manipur

Former union minister and Congress candidate Kantilal Bhuria defeated BJP’s Nirmala Bhuria by over 88 thousand votes here. The BJP, however, retained the Dewas legislative assembly seat, with Gayatri Raje of BJP defeating JP Shastri of the Congress by over 30 thousand votes in this segment.

The Congress has snatched the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat from the BJP in by-elections in Madhya Pradesh, the result for which was declared on Tuesday.Former union minister and Congress candidate Kantilal Bhuria defeated BJP’s Nirmala Bhuria by over 88 thousand votes here. The BJP, however, retained the Dewas legislative assembly seat, with Gayatri Raje of BJP defeating JP Shastri of the Congress by over 30 thousand votes in this segment.The counting of votes took place for by-elections for Lok Sabha and legislative assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In Telangana, Telanagana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) retained the Warangal Lok Sabha seat in the bypolls with a thumping majority. TRS candidate P Dayakar defeated his nearest Congress rival and former union minister Sarvey Satyanarayana by a record majority of 4 lakh 59 thousand and 92 votes.In Manipur, however, the BJP opened its account in the state assembly by winning bypolls in two constituencies. ‘Thangmeiband and Thongju in Manipur’ while the Congress and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) won assembly by-elections in Mizoram and Meghalaya, respectively.The Congress emerged victorious in the Aizawl North-III Assembly seat, while the HSPDP retained the Nongstoin Assembly seat in Meghalaya.Elections were held on November 21 for two Lok Sabha and five assembly seats in these states.

Rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar Project displaced: Did three govts lie to the Supreme Court?

Bhopal: Have the Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments hoodwinked the Supreme Court and the nation on the rehabilitation of the people displaced by the construction of dams on Narmada?

A panel of four retired judges called the ‘Independent People’s Tribunal on SSP’, which was on a fact-finding mission into the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP)-affected area of the Narmada valley since September, has exposed the fallacy of the three governments’ claim about complete rehabilitation of affected people.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

While exposing gross violation of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award and Judgements of the Supreme Court, the panel has expressed grave concern at the possible displacement of about 2.5 lakh people and “mass violation of the constitutional right to life, destruction of livelihoods, as also wiping out of an entire culture and civilization.”

Firstpost had last year reported anomalies in the claims of the governments. The Madhya Pradesh government had set apart Rs 5.51 crore to provide emergency relief to people in the submergence area of the dams. The National Alliance for People’s movement (NAPM) had then questioned the need to spend so much if all evictees were already rehabilitated as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti had also glossed over the issue, saying the Social Justice ministry’s reports show the rehabilitation had been completed. Critics had disputed Bharti’s claim and demanded that these reports be made public.

According to Alok Agrawal of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), contingency funds were earmarked in the past too. Last year they were disputed after the government claimed all evictees have been rehabilitated.

The controversy gained currency after Narmada Control Authority (NCA) allowed the Gujarat government to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in that state from 121.92 metres to 138.62 metres by installing gates on it. The Madhya Pradesh High Court later stayed the operation of the order that came less than a month of Modi government’s ascent last year.

The deficient flow in the river led to another question on whether a taller Sardar Sarovar dam could slake the parched fields of Gujarat or meet the power generation needs of Madhya Pradesh in the event of a sluggish monsoon? Was the government driven by just political greed?

Now the four-member panel endorses the view that NCA’s permission to increase height of the might be legally untenable. Justice (retired) VD Gyani (MP High Court) said the findings would be placed before the Supreme Court soon. The other members of the panel of are Justice PC Jain (Rajasthan), Justice Nag Mohan Das (Karnataka) and Justice NK Mody (MP).

During their field visit on 11 September and representations made by affected people from three states and the organisations working for them, the judges found enough evidence that rehabilitation and resettlement of people affected by the 121.92 metres height was nowhere close to complete.

At least 33 villages in Maharashtra and 193 villages and a town (Dharampuri) in MP were yet to be completely rehabilitated.

“Children are still going to same schools and people are casting votes in the same booths from years in the villages that the MP government has claimed have been completely shifted and resettled. What does that prove?” Justice Gyani said. Due to faulty assessment of backwater levels over 15,000 families that would be affected by the raised height of the dam have not even been recognised project-affected families (PAFs).

Justice Gyani said increasing in the height of the dam would affect thousands of the people and should not be allowed before the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) of all affected people was completed by the three state governments.

Medha Patkar of the NBA says, “Our demand is the withdrawal of permission for further construction and installation of a gate of SSP till all the affected families are rehabilitated and resettled according to norms,” she said. Representatives of various state government agencies concerned including the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) did not attend the tribunal despite invitation, according the NBA.

Justice Rajinder Sachchar, who was present during the media briefing over the panel’s observations earlier this week, said those who once considered SSP as the 8th Wonder of the world are disillusioned by it. Even the media has underexposed the limitations of the project and the cover up by the governments, he said.

The governments of the three states have so far maintained a studied silence on the issue.

81 cities across states to invest over Rs 5700 crore in water, sewerage system

Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation launched in July seeks to ensure coverage of all urban households with water supply and sewerage connections.

Representational Image of untreated sewage in a river

Eighty-one cities in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Mizoram will invest over Rs 5700 crore to enhance basic infrastructure including water supply and sewerage connections.The investments will be made under Atal Mission for Rejuventation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) action plans for the current year. An inter-ministerial apex committee headed by Urban Development Secretary Madhusudan Prasad has approved state annual action plans (SAAP) of these five states which account for 81 mission cities to undertake investment of Rs 5,748 cr for improving drinking water supply and sewerage system.Central assistance will be provided to an extent of Rs 2,440 cr while the rest would be contributed by state governments and urban local bodies, said a senior UD Ministry official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With about half of the urban households in these 81 cities not having water supply and sewerage connections, Rs 4,290 cr of the total approved outlay would go into providing household water supply connections and enhancing water supply in 53 cities.While Rs 1,133 cr would be spent on providing sewerage connections in 41 cities, Rs 92 cr would be invested in storm water drainage projects in 14 cities, Rs 80 crore for promoting non-motorised public transport in 22 and Rs 113 cr for providing parks and green spaces in 76 mission cities.State annual action plans of each state is formulated by integrating Service Level Improvement Plans (SLIP) of each AMRUT city in respective state. SLIP of each mission city is evolved after a detailed analysis of gaps in basic infrastructure.Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation launched in July seeks to ensure coverage of all urban households with water supply and sewerage connections besides ensuring water supply at 135 litres per capita per day on priority.In these five states, extent of coverage of urban households with water supply connections ranged from 6% in Chaas (Jharkhand) to 59% in Balasore (Odisha). Only 7 cities in Madhya Pradesh – Chindwara, Khandwa, Mandsaur, Khargone, Neemuch, Betul and Dewas, the coverage is between 59% and 74%.

Age remark: BJP issues clarification, says Amit Shah’s comments ‘distorted’ by media

BJP on Saturday night clarified that party president Amit Shah never stated in his address in Madhya Pradesh that people should leave politics after attaining 60 years of age, saying his comments are being “distorted” and quoted out of context by the media.

File photo

BJP on Saturday night clarified that party president Amit Shah never stated in his address in Madhya Pradesh that people should leave politics after attaining 60 years of age, saying his comments are being “distorted” and quoted out of context by the media.The party came out with the clarification after reports quoted Shah as having stated at a function in Chitrakoot that leaders over 60 years of age must quit politics.”Shah’s comments on noted social worker Nanaji Deshmukh’s personality, work and philosophy are being distorted and quoted out of context by media,” the statement said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shah never said in his address that anybody should leave politics after 60 years, it said.”The BJP president was only discussing Nanaji’s personality and how he served the society throughout his life and was associated with different sections of the society in Chitrakoot till the end,” the statement said.”To quote Shah in a wrong context is not only unfair but also factually erroneous,” it added.

Non-fulfilment of OROP promise blot on Centre’s head: Jyotiraditya Scindia

“Jawans are facing troubles at the Centre while farmers were facing problems in the state during the BJP rule,” Scindia said.

Congress leader and former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday criticised the ruling BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for “not fulfilling” its promise of One Rank One Pension (OROP) and termed it as a blot on its head. Scindia, who is the party’s Chief whip in the Lok Sabha also criticised the Madhya Pradesh government for farmers woes. “The non-fulfilment of promise of OROP is a blot on the head of the Centre. Jawans are facing troubles at the Centre while farmers were facing problems in the state during the BJP rule,” Scindia said addressing a rally in Petlawad where an explosion killed 89 people recently.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He was in Petlawad to campaign for Congress candidate and former Union Minister, Kantilal Bhuria for the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha by-poll slated for November 21. Referring to September 12 Petlawad explosion, Scindia said that even after 12 hours of the blast, not a single Minister reached the spot to provide relief to the people. Besides, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan also reached there 20 hours after the incident. The Congress leader further alleged that Chouhan arrived at the spot as he was aware that by-poll was going to be held in the constituency soon and people will not forgive him if he failed to do so. He also alleged that the prime accused of the Petlawad blast, Rajendra Kasawa is absconding even after 60 days of the explosion and it appears that the BJP government is “protecting” him.Referring to multi-layered Vyapam scam, he alleged the real accused were moving scott free. “The one who is able but poor is not getting jobs while the one who is a duffer but rich, got it as he had paid money for it,” Scindia alleged in an apparent reference to the Vyapam scam. He also criticised the Centre for rising inflation and said staple food, pulses has become so costly that the common man was unable to buy it.Referring to farmers, he remarked that while they are suffering, both Chief Minister and the Prime Minister are busy on foreign tours while referring to Chouhan’s Japan visit and Modi’s UK tour. Speaking about the Land Acquisition bill that was introduced by the BJP-led NDA government “to favour industrialists”, he said that the government was forced to backtrack on the issue because of stiff opposition from Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The Congress leaders also observed two-minute

After Bihar, Congress confident of doing well in Madhya Pradesh by-polls

Alliance route has struck gold for a beleaguered Congress in Bihar polls, where the party entered into alliance with RJD and JD(U). Congress has won 27 out of the 41 seats it contested in Bihar.

Following the results of Bihar Assembly polls where the Congress substantially improved its tally, the party on Tuesday expressed confidence of putting up a good show in the November 21 by-polls in Ratlam Lok Sabha seat and Dewas assembly segment.”The BJP has been wiped out of Bihar and the results have boosted party cadre’s morale in Madhya Pradesh. We are going to do well in Ratlam besides Dewas,” Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Narendra Saluja told PTI.Alliance route has struck gold for a beleaguered Congress in Bihar polls, where the party entered into alliance with RJD and JD(U). Congress has won 27 out of the 41 seats it contested in Bihar. This is against just four seats it secured in the 2010 polls in which it had contested all the 243 seats. In the last assembly polls in Bihar, 216 party candidates had forfeited their deposits.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, BJP’s National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that the Assembly elections result will not have any impact on these by-elections.”In the state, BJP has a strong leadership of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh and good base. People have confidence in it and his leadership. And hence the Bihar poll outcome will not have any impact on these by-polls,” the former MP Minister said.The BJP-led grouping was trounced by the Grand Alliance in Bihar comprising JD(U), RJD and Congress.

Aaj Tak stringer fired after video reveals attempt to tutor child for news video

Days after a video showing Madhya Pradesh minister Kusum Mehdele kicking a boy in the head while he asked her for a rupee, another video has surfaced, this time showing a man with news channel Aaj Tak‘s mic coaching the child what to say in front of the camera following the incident.

Screengrab from the video. YouTubeScreengrab from the video. YouTube

Screengrab from the video. YouTube

The video, which is doing rounds on social media, shows the man tutoring the child to ask the minister to pay for his education as he was mistreated.

Reacting to the video, the news channel’s managing editor Rahul Kanwal tweeted out a statement saying the man in the video holding the mic is neither a reporter or a stringer for the network.

The person seen in this footage holding our mike ID is neither an AajTak reporter nor our stringer. The stringer acted out of his brief by involving his son in recording the clip in question. AajTak also wants to make clear that since the said clip did not meet our standards of due diligence, it was not aired on the channel. The contract of the stringer, Ravindra Vyas, has been terminated with immediate effect. AajTak firmly believes in setting the highest standards of work ethic for its employees and even non-employee associates like stringers. Whenever an act of misdemeanour is reported or noticed, swift and decisive action is taken.

But not everyone seems to be convinced. Although the statement says the person in question is not a “reporter nor our stringer”, but then goes on to say, “Ravindra Vyas, has been terminated with immediate effect”.

What appears to have happened is that the man in the video is likely the son of Ravindra Vyas, who has been a stringer for the network and had access to an AajTak mic. As a result, AajTak has decided to terminate his contract.

Here is the video in the question:

BJP leader pulls Shah Rukh Khan tweet

A senior politician from India’s ruling BJP retracts a tweet suggesting actor Shah Rukh Khan’s “soul is in Pakistan” amid outrage on social media.

Ken-Betwa river linking project will hamper tigers in Panna, says former director of Project Tiger

Veteran conservationist and former director of Project Tiger Hemendra Singh Panwar has critiqued the ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project for the impacts it will have on tigers and Ken River’s biodiversity in a strong letter written to the environment ministry. Hitting out at the project’s environment impact assessment (EIA) report and DPR, Panwar has termed it ‘deficient, inconsistent and misleading’.

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Veteran conservationist and former director of Project Tiger Hemendra Singh Panwar has critiqued the ambitious Ken-Betwa river linking project for the impacts it will have on tigers and Ken River’s biodiversity in a strong letter written to the environment ministry. Hitting out at the project’s environment impact assessment (EIA) report and DPR, Panwar has termed it ‘deficient, inconsistent and misleading’.Panwar recently sent the letter to the expert appraisal committee of the environment ministry, which considered the project for environmental clearance on October 26, and he also spoke to dna on his concerns about Panna Tiger Reserve’s (PTR) wildlife and Ken River.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The primary purpose of the river-link project, proposed during NDA-I, is to irrigate 6.35 lakh hectares of land and divert water from Ken, Madhya Pradesh to Betwa in Uttar Pradesh. It involves construction of a dam that will submerge forest inside Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) and will also divide the contiguous tiger habitat. The project has faced stiff opposition from conservationists, hydrologists and even R Sreenivasa Murthy, PTR’s former director, had opposed the project before his contentious transfer to Kuno wildlife sanctuary.In his letter, Panwar, who was also the first field director of Kanha national park, has said, “My professional conscience impels me to make this submission, challenged as it is by the reliance on half-truths and misinformation by the project proponents to justify environmental and wildlife clearances for Ken-Betwa River Linking Project (KBLP) from the State and Union governments.” He adds, “Inconsistency and suppression of information mark this EIA report. Information on land is misleading and report suppresses that two protected areas are impacted.”In his critique of the EIA, Panwar has elucidated how the endangered population of vultures found along the 30-km long Ken River gorge will be threatened by the project. “Near 400 live nests and a rock nesting vulture population of around 1000, give an invaluable ecosystem attribute to PTR. This entire length of gorge will be submerged and with it the crucial vulture habitat”, Panwar has said.While speaking to dna about on the project’s viability, Panwar said, “When you examine the hydrological impact of river linking and the project’s impact on Ken river’s biodiversity, tigers, vultures and other fauna, major doubts arise on the project’s viability.”Panwar went on to add, “Panna had already lost its tigers in the past. This project will bifurcate their habitat, hampering movement of tigers and their prey. The habitat is also important for water security of the neighbouring areas, which will ironically be under threat due to river-linking”.As a way to compensate for the habitat loss of PTR Uttar Pradesh government decided to include Ranipur and Mahavir Swami wildlife sanctuaries as satellite core of Panna, while Madhya Pradesh government agreed to convert 60 sq.kms of PTR’s buffer area into core zone.Panwar though said that this is not adequate. “This is good independently as a conservation measure but not as compensation.” The ace conservationist has thus asked the environment ministry to reconsider the deficiencies in the EIA before granting it environmental and wildlife clearance.

dna Must Reads for the night: From Roger Federer beating Rafael Nadal to Congress members meeting President over growing intolerance and more

Here is the curated list of stories for the night.

Here is the curated list of stories for the night.1. Growing Intolerance: Sonia and Rahul Gandhi to meet President to express concernCongress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi are expected meet President Pranab Mukherjee this week to bring his attention towards growing intolerance in the country, sources said. Read more here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. End of an era: Hero MotoCorp patriarch Brijmohan Lall Munjal dies after brief illnessHero MotoCorp patriarch and doyen of Indian two-wheeler industry, Brijmohan Lall Munjal, passed away on Sunday evening after a brief illness. He was 92.Munjal passed away at a private hospital in South Delhi, according to family sources. He is survived by three sons and one daughter. The cremation will be done tomorrow. Read more here.3. Acche Din? BJP minister from MP kicks child beggar for a rupeeA Madhya Pradesh minister Kusum Medhele was on Sunday caught on camera kicking a child beggar on the streets of Panna distict. The shocking incident took place on Madhya Pradesh foundation day when the minister, Kusum Medhele was going to a bus stand for cleanliness drive. Read more here.4. India and Pakistan must resolve their issues to revive cricket, says Sunil GavaskarPakistan Cricket Board is awaiting a response from their counterparts — Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – for a proposed series in December-January to be played in United Arab Emirates.Gavaskar, popular across the borders for his superlative batting, said the mistrust between the two countries should be removed. “I think to solve any problem people need to talk, unless you talk to each other there is no solution of problems so that is the first step,” Gavaskar told AFP on the sidelines of the third and final Test between Pakistan and England in Sharjah. Read more here.5. Blast from past: Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal after three years to win Basel titleRoger Federer got the better of old foe Rafael Nadal for the first time in more than three years to win a seventh Basel title 6-3 5-7 6-3 on Sunday.Top seed Federer, whose rivalry with Nadal is one of the most storied in tennis history, had not beaten the Spaniard since he won a semi-final at Indian Wells in 2012 and had lost their last five meetings. Read more here.

Acche Din? BJP minister from MP kicks child beggar for a rupee

When the child went to the minister for Re 1, the minister kicked him away.

She said that as a minister, she should have helped the child, but instead of that she committed an inhuman act.

A Madhya Pradesh minister Kusum Medhele was on Sunday caught on camera kicking a child beggar on the streets of Panna distict. The shocking incident took place on Madhya Pradesh foundation day when the minister, Kusum Medhele was going to a bus stand for cleanliness drive.When the child went to the minister for Re 1, the minister kicked him away. The guards too started beating the child.
According to a news channel, the minister has received flak from the Opposition and child rights activists. Jaya Singh, a Child Rights and You (CRY) activist also demanded the minister’s resignation. She said that as a minister, she should have helped the child, but instead of that she committed an inhuman act.

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan reaches out to distressed farmers via radio programme

Taking a cue from Prime Minister’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took to radio to reach out to farmers across the state in their hour of crisis following extensive damage to their crops due to erratic monsoon this year.

Taking a cue from Prime Minister’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan took to radio to reach out to farmers across the state in their hour of crisis following extensive damage to their crops due to erratic monsoon this year.The Chief Minister appealed farmers “to be patient, not to lose hope and be courageous” to face difficulties while informing them that the government will be convening a special session of the State Assembly in the first week of November for getting House approval for disbursing enhanced relief to them.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chouhan was responding to queries of farmers through a live phone-in programme at the All India Radio in Bhopal on Wednesday.The Chief Minister assured state government’s full support to farmers.He said that a year has been lost but all is not. The state government is taking every possible measure to help the farmers overcome the crisis, an official of the Public Relation Department said today.Immediate steps have been taken to provide relief like distribution of aid, ensuring crop insurance amount, providing seeds and fertilizers for the rabi crop, zero per cent interest loans, helping farmers to organize marriage ceremony of daughters, deferring loan recovery, Chouhan said.Giving credit to peasants for bringing glory to Madhya Pradesh, he said that it is due to their hard work that the state’s agriculture growth rate continues to be average 20% for the last four consecutive years.The Chief Minister reiterated his resolve to make agriculture a profitable business. He said that irrigation is vital for the growth of farm sector. It has been increased to 36 lakh hectare and will soon be increased to 50 lakh hectare.

Bankruptcy law to be introduced in Parliament this Winter Session: Government

It can be noted that due to string of corruption allegations against Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh chief ministers, the opposition did not allow Parliament to function during the Monsoon Session and the entire session was a washout.
File Photo
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Government on Tuesday said the Bankruptcy law will be introduced in Parliament this Winter Session, while the passage of the GST Bill will remain on the top of agenda, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said.”Our plan is to introduce the Bankruptcy law in the Winter Session but as you know our number one priority continues to be the GST. But right after the GST, the next in line is the Bankruptcy law,” Sinha said.It can be noted that due to string of corruption allegations against Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh chief ministers, the opposition did not allow Parliament to function during the Monsoon Session and the entire session was a washout.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress, which is the main opposition and which had drafted the key GST Bill, is also against the NDA version of the bill saying many key provisions of the original bill have been altered. Since the government does not have majority in the Rajya Sabha, it needs to get the opposition on its side to pass the GST Bill that involves amending the Constitution.On this, Sinha said the government is already in talks with the Opposition as Parliament session is round the corner.”We are always in discussions with all parties to ensure that Parliament functions smoothly and that important legislations such as the GST and Bankruptcy laws are passed,” the Minister added.Describing the Rs 6,100-crore Bank of Baroda scam as a one of the events, he said the scam originated misusing the circular trading mechanism to take advantage of duty drawbacks.”Compliance in all of our banks is excellent and we are obviously tightening that further. State Bank of India is going to be providing a very high quality set of benchmarks for all banks. Of course, the RBI has stepped up its vigilance, so has the financial intelligence unit,” he said.

CBI reaches out to students affected by Vyapam scam to further probe

Students from colleges of Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were contacted by officials of the agency.

In a bid to further their probe in to Vyapam scam, Central Bureau of Investigation has ‘reached out’ to students who have been affected by the massive education and recruitment fraud that involves several senior politicians, businessmen and officials of the Madhya Pradesh government. According to sources in the agency, the students were contacted by CBI earlier this week. The contacted students include both arrested and currently on bail, expelled, currently in judicial custody and those whose admission process got halted once the scam surfaced. “There are many students who were involved and affected by the alleged scam. The agency has been taking over the FIR’s lodged by the Madhya Pradesh Police and simultaneously preparing a list of students that could be contacted for furthering the probe. These students can put more light on areas that have not been explored during the probe,” a source said without specifying how many students have been contacted so far.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students from colleges of Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh were contacted by officials of the agency. Cases of malpractice in Vyapam scam had been reported since 1995, and the first FIR was found in 2000, but the full scale of the scam came to light in 2013 when Indore police arrested 20 people from various city hotels, who had allegedly come to MP to impersonate local candidates in the PMT exam scheduled on July 7 that year.Documents accessed by dna show that how MP police’s raid on Indore’s Hotel Partik on July 7, 2013 had brought them face to face with a student who identified himself as Rishikesh Tyagi. As police had intelligence that the said student was an impersonator appearing for the PMT exam instead of the original candidate, it took only one question to blow of the lid from the massive scam. The student, when asked his father’s name and date of birth, could not answer his interrogators after he had said that he was as a resident of Bhind, Madhya Pradesh, and provided the police with an identity card.During the questioning, he confessed he was Ramashankar from Gonad district in Uttar Pradesh, masquerading as a student from MP. Over the next two years 2,000 persons were arrested by the MP government constituted special task force.Several of the arrested persons included impersonators also called as ‘scorers’ who belonged from Kanpur, Etawah, Jhansi, Sahranpur and other places in UP. Many ‘scorers’ came from Rajasthan and Bihar, too and middlemen, who had contacts in governments, offered them anything between Rs1.5 lakh-2 lakh. The probe agency now is looking into both the middlemen and contact persons who are yet to be arrested.According to agency sources, these scorers were brought from their hometown to MP by second rung middlemen who would also make them stay in private accommodations instead of hotels. The agency is looking into who the private homes belong to and what kind of an arrangement existed between their owners and these middlemen. Up to Rs2 lak was offered to ‘scorer’ Several of the arrested persons included impersonators also called as ‘scorers’ who belonged from Kanpur, Etawah, Jhansi, Sahranpur and other places in UP. Many ‘scorers’ came from Rajasthan and Bihar, too and middlemen, who had contacts in governments, offered them anything between Rs1.5 lakh-2 lakh. The probe agency now is looking into both the middlemen and contact persons who are yet to be arrested.

‘Larger forces’ at play in Vyapam scam: Congress

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturday said larger forces were at play in the Vyapam scam.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Saturday said larger forces were at play in the Vyapam scam.”It is the most amazing, shocking, multi-states death case. Never before so many deaths have occurred in one case. We were happy that after the Supreme Court intervened, there was a dramatic and sudden drop in deaths, and that tells its own story” Singhvi told ANI.”It is clear indication of a larger conspiracy. It is a clear indication of the larger forces at work because you cannot have so many deaths in so many states of unconnected people related to one big scam,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Vyapam scam has once again come into the news after a retired bureaucrat, who was an observer for two recruitment tests in the scam, was found dead in Odisha.The body of retired Indian Forest Services (IFS) officer Vijay Bahadur has been found on a railway track in Jharsuguda.All Vyapam scam related cases were recently handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Supreme Court has observed that mysterious deaths related to the scandal have “suddenly stopped” after the central agency started its probe.The Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in Madhya Pradesh.In September, the Supreme Court had directed the CBI to take over all the 72 Vyapam scam cases which are pending trial at various courts in Madhya Pradesh.Over 40 people linked to the scam have died under mysterious circumstances since 2013, the year when the scandal was first reported.

Madhya Pradesh: Students to be allowed to take engineering exams in Hindi

After deciding to make available medical syllabus books in Hindi, the Madhya Pradesh Technical Education Department has decided to conduct examination of engineering papers too in Hindi.

After deciding to make available medical syllabus books in Hindi, the Madhya Pradesh Technical Education Department has decided to conduct examination of engineering papers too in Hindi.The MP Technical Education Department has decided to make papers of engineering in Hindi along with English in technical colleges affiliated to the state’s Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) from next session, a Public Relations Department official said on Thursday.”Students can write the papers either in English or Hindi as per their choice. This was stated by Higher and Technical Education Minister Umashankar Gupta at a meeting of officers of private universities on Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) at RGPV here on Wednesday,” the official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gupta said the implementation of CBCS in all private universities should be considered and that the government and private universities should share their best practices.He also launched e-thesis/dissertation submission system and directed to upload on website old research papers.RGPV vice-chancellor Piyush Trivedi informed that through CBCS, students will be free to choose courses as per their talent and academic capacities.CBCS maintains coordination of courses with liberalisation and globalisation. It provides mobility to students to continue their studies in any institution throughout the world by transferring their credits.Besides offering choice of courses to students, CBCS also gives autonomy to institutions in selection of courses.They would be free to continue old pattern also. Students of all categories will benefit from this system ensuring open learning atmosphere on the choice of students, he added.

Soon Madhya Pradesh students will be given option to take engineering exams in Hindi

Bhopal: After deciding to make available medical syllabus books in Hindi, the Madhya Pradesh Technical Education Department has decided to conduct examination of engineering papers too in Hindi.

The government urged UPSC to postpone the civil services preliminary exams. AFPThe government urged UPSC to postpone the civil services preliminary exams. AFP

 AFP.

The MP Technical Education Department has decided to make papers of engineering in Hindi along with English in technical colleges affiliated to the state’s Rajiv Gandhi
Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV) from next session, a Public Relations Department official said today.

“Students can write the papers either in English or Hindi as per their choice. This was stated by Higher and Technical Education Minister Umashankar Gupta at a meeting of
officers of private universities on Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) at RGPV here yesterday,” the official said.

Gupta said the implementation of CBCS in all private universities should be considered and that the government and private universities should share their best practices.
He also launched e-thesis/dissertation submission system and directed to upload on website old research papers.

RGPV vice-chancellor Piyush Trivedi informed that through CBCS, students will be free to choose courses as per their talent and academic capacities.

CBCS maintains coordination of courses with liberalisation and globalisation. It provides mobility to students to continue their studies in any institution throughout the world by transferring their credits.

Besides offering choice of courses to students, CBCS also gives autonomy to institutions in selection of courses.They would be free to continue old pattern also.

Students of all categories will benefit from this system ensuring open learning atmosphere on the choice of students, he added.

PTI

India witnessed religiously motivated killings, riots and forced conversion: US report on International Religious Freedom 2014

In the India section of the Congressional mandated annual report released by Secretary of State John Kerry today, the State Department said that some government officials made discriminatory statements against religious minorities.

India witnessed religiously motivated killings, arrests, riots and coerced religious conversions and the police in some cases failed to respond effectively to communal violence, according to the US State Department report on International Religious Freedom 2014.In the India section of the Congressional mandated annual report released by Secretary of State John Kerry today, the State Department said that some government officials made discriminatory statements against religious minorities. “There were reports of religiously motivated killings, arrests, coerced religious conversions, religiously motivated riots and actions restricting the right of individuals to change religious beliefs,” said the report.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It said that in some cases, local police failed to respond effectively to communal violence, including attacks against religious minorities, although local officials used broad authorities to deploy police and security forces to control outbreaks of religiously motivated violence. The local nongovernmental organisation (NGO) Act Now for Harmony and Democracy reported more than 800 religiously- motivated attacks from May through the end of the year 2014.Citing Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Niranjan Jyoti’s remarks at an election rally in Delhi, it said government officials reportedly made discriminatory statements against members of religious minorities. “After her remarks stirred several days of heated national condemnation and disrupted proceedings of parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in parliament that he ‘strongly disapproved of the remarks’ and ‘we should avoid using such language’. Jyoti subsequently expressed regret for her remark,” the report said. The State Department said there is restriction on free expression on basis of religion in India.Authorities continued to enforce laws designed to protect “religious sentiments” which, according to observers, at times had the effect of limiting free expression related to religion, the report said. The State Department rued that hundreds of legal cases remained pending from violence during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots.The Nanavati-Mehta Commission on the 2002 riots ultimately released its Final Report on November 18. Some NGOs called into question the impartiality of the findings. Court cases related to the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Odisha continued, resulting in convictions for persons responsible for the public rape of a nun during the riots. Displaced Kashmiri Hindu Pandits continued to seek redress for crimes committed against them and their houses of worship by Kashmiri insurgents in the 1990s, it said. The State Department said some human rights NGOs and religious minority groups expressed concern over what they perceived as laws and government practises favouring Hinduism over other faiths, while some Hindu groups expressed concern over laws and government practises that they perceived as favouring minority religious communities. Some human rights and religious minority groups said state-level “anti-conversion” laws were designed to impede conversion from Hinduism, while not restricting conversion to Hinduism, according to the report.Police arrested Christians and Muslims for alleged “coerced conversion” of Hindus, the report said, adding that conversion of Hindus to Christianity occasionally resulted in assaults and arrests of Christians.The report mentioned the arrest of five Christians in Madhya Pradesh in March on charges of “coerced conversion” of Hindus to Christianity after they reportedly showed a movie about Jesus to a gathering of persons in their home. It also referred to Agra incident, saying that in December Hindu groups Bajrang Dal and Dharma Jagran Samamvay Vibhag announced that they had converted 57 families (approximately 200-250 people) to Hinduism.Muslims attending the event subsequently stated they were unaware that it was a conversion ceremony, it added. Noting that there are operative “anti-conversion” laws in 6 of the 29 states: Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, it said authorities describe these laws as measures to protect vulnerable individuals from being induced to change their faith.For example, the Gujarat law proscribes religious conversions through “allurement, force, or fraud,” it added. It also noted that during September and October last year certain Hindu groups mounted a propaganda campaign accusing Muslims of engaging in a “love jihad,” which they claimed involved a coordinated strategy by the Islamic community for Muslim men to marry women from other faiths in order to convert them to Islam.”In December Hindu groups, including the VHP, Bajrang Dal, and Hindu Sena, led demonstrations throughout the country against the Bollywood movie PK, due to its ‘objectionable’ portrayal of Hindu gods and goddesses,” the report said. “Protestors burned posters of the movie, burned effigies of the movie’s star, Aamir Khan, smashed windows and ticket booths at theaters, and called for the movie to be banned,” the report added.

How these Dalit and tribal women from rural Madhya Pradesh are making themselves heard

In 2008, a few Dalit women from a village in Dabhora block in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh were denied their basic right to fetch water by local goons. The prevailing apathy in the country’s system meant their pleas to the local police and administration went unheeded.

Women from Bahini Darbar with the newsletter (Image source: Milaap)

In 2008, a few Dalit women from a village in Dabhora block in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh were denied their basic right to fetch water by local goons. The prevailing apathy in the country’s system meant their pleas to the local police and administration went unheeded.Cornered into fending for themselves, the women instead of blaming the existing system, took the matter in their own hands. They started Bahini Darbar, a 10-page newsletter, which covers the issues of Dalits and tribals in Rewa. The monthly, handwritten in Bagheli, also educates locals of their rights. Copies of the handwritten newsletter are then distributed among locals for Rs 10 each.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the last seven years, Bahini Darbar has grown leaps and bounds with the number of women running it increasing from 15 to 35 and the newsletter reaching 700 villages in Dabhora block. All this was achieved by the women without having access to a printing press. The women have turned a centuries-old malaise of casteism into an opportunity and are leading a movement of literacy and empowerment.A few Bahini Darbar copies
The mouthpiece has filled in the vacuum created by the mainstream media which habitually fails to cover such grave issues in the country.With the Bahini Darbar going from strength to strength, they could very well bring a revolution in the rural Rewa and bring balance in socio-economic power equation. Could Bahini Darbar replicate the success of Khabar Lahariya? They certainly can. Conviction and a copier machine was all they had to reach this far.Also read: How these woman journalists in rural Uttar Pradesh are inspiring changeThe group is now trying to pool in funds to educate more women and reach out to more locals. Here is how they are crowdfunding for Bahini Darbar.

Hardik Patel takes dig at PM Narendra Modi over Gujarat ‘development model’

“Many farmers have ended their lives in Gujarat in the last two months,” he said.

“Talented youths are not getting opportunity to become engineers and doctors in Gujarat,” he said.

In a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Patel quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel on Sunday said Modi became the PM of the country by eulogising the Gujarat model of development, although the state was no different from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. “By eulogising the Gujarat model of development, one has become the Prime Minister of the country. But the fact is that the state (Gujarat) is like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh,” he said. “Many farmers have ended their lives in Gujarat in the last two months. Talented youths are not getting opportunity to become engineers and doctors in Gujarat,” he said, adding that although the state is considered prosperous, it can boast of only a few wealthy people.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the PM’s recent visit to the Facebook campus in the US, where he broke down and got emotional while talking about the sacrifices his mother made as he grew up, Hardik said the PM should take his mother along with him. “The man who claims of having 56-inches chest breaks down remembering his mother. If he remembers his mother so much on foreign soil, why doesn’t he take her with him?” Talking about the Patidar quota issue, he said the community has 14 per cent reservation in Madhya Pradesh, while it was 27 per cent in other states. “Does Madhya Pradesh lie in Pakistan? In some districts of MP, Patidars are not reaping the benefits of reservation. Are these districts in China?” he asked in a lighter vein.He said that no member of his community has become a Rajya Sabha member after Independence and recalled that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who belonged to his community, held the country together. He said 80 per cent Patidars were with BJP. “If Patidars do not get respect, lotus will not bloom in the country in future (BJP will not come to power),” he said.

Govt does not have info on definition of ‘Hindu’, reveals RTI query

Gaur had sought to know the definition of the word Hindu in the light of the Indian Constitution and the law.

Gaut also wanted to know why Hindus were considered to be a majority community.
Amit Bandre

Union Home Ministry does not know the definition of the word ‘Hindu’. In reply to an RTI query by Neemuch resident Chandrashekhar Gaur, the ministry said it does not know the definition of the word Hindu. “To my query under RTI about the meaning and definition of the word Hindu in the light of the Indian Constitution and the law, the Home Ministry in its reply on July 31 said the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) doesn’t have information regarding it,” said Gaur, a resident of Neemuch district in Madhya Pradesh. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gaur had also sought to know on what grounds a community was considered Hindu, and why Hindus were considered to be a majority community. The government’s reply was baffling, he said. “If the government doesn’t know the meaning and definition of the word Hindu, on what basis did it enact the Hindu Marriage Act?” he questioned.

In Gaya, the glass ceiling breaks: Women to supervise seven booths in phase 2 of Bihar polls

Gaya: Come 16 October — the date of the second phase of polling — Bihar will witness women power in seven of its polling stations in Gaya. Until now, it was a rare sight to have women election officers in the state. The glass ceiling is set to break.

For the first time in the state, the district administration will have seven polling stations in Gaya fully managed and administered by women staff — right from polling officials to security personnel.

District Magistrate, Gaya, Sanjay Kumar Agarwal told Firstpost, “During elections, Bihar witnesses a curfew-like situation and there’s a fear psychosis among the voters, especially women. As a result, women were excluded from the poll process, unlike in other states where women act as polling officers. But, now to break this practice, we’ve decided to have seven polling stations where everything will be managed exclusively by women staff.”

Women poll officers gear up ahead of the Bihar election. Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

Women poll officers gear up ahead of the Bihar election. Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

“The Election Commission has not only given permission for this initiative, but has also appreciated it as a step towards empowering women. We’ve spoken with the Bihar police and central security forces to provide women constables and sub-inspectors to guard the booths,” added Agarwal.

The district administration has identified seven polling stations at Mahavir Inter College and Madhya Vidyalaya in Gaya town which will act as model polling stations with special facilities like a supply of drinking water, overhead sheds and seating arrangements for the voters. To encourage people to vote, the first-time voters will be felicitated with certificates.

Parul Priya, senior deputy collector and nodal officer of this initiative, said, “We’ve roped in 50 women from the education, banking, government and administration sectors for this project, and are providing them with proper training. This is a unique experiment conceived by the district magistrate. No doubt, it’s a tough job, but women have volunteered their services. They are even ready to go to highly-sensitive booths. Initially, we have assigned them to safe areas.”

Gaya is one of the highly sensitive districts of Bihar due to the active presence of the Naxals who have already given a poll boycott call.

“I’m a government employee at the e-Samadhan project and when I found out about this experiment, I volunteered my services,” said Monika (22).

Anand Rupanjali (44), acting principal of Murarpur Government School, said, “I was brought up and educated in Goa. I never saw such discrimination against women in the electoral process both in Goa and Madhya Pradesh (where I’m from), as I have seen in Bihar. This initiative will break this glass ceiling one day.”

A group of 50 enthusiastic women could be seen undergoing intensive training under the nodal officer at the District Collectorate and on the field, to understand the nuances of the polling process. They will function as presiding officers to poll assistants.

Nilofer Nahid (46), an Urdu teacher in a middle school in Gaya town said, “We’ve been motivated so well by the DM and nodal officer that we no longer have the fear and inhibition that we had earlier. Our husbands have also encouraged us for this new role.”

Another member, Priyanka Kumari (25), a Union Bank of India employee, enthusiastically remarked, “It’s a matter of great pride for us to be a part of the electoral process. All of a sudden we’ve become icons of women empowerment in the state.”

“This initiative has become an example of women empowerment in Bihar and in due course, more women will join the electoral process,” added Saira Bano (49), a government school teacher.

Shashi Prabha was quick to add, “Yeh shakti rupa nari kaho kahan kab haari hai? (when and where has the woman, an embodiment of power, ever lost?)”

SC expresses satisfaction with CBI probe into Vyapam scam

New Delhi: In a pat for the CBI, the Supreme Court on Friday appreciated the investigation it is undertaking into the Vyapam cases – involving irregularities in admission and recruitment in Madhya Pradesh – even as Congress leader Digvijaya Singh told the court that in last four months the investigating agency has made no arrests.

The words of appreciation for the work done by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came from the bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice SA Bobde and Justice Amitava Roy as it perused the status report on the investigation done by the investigating agency so far.

The report was given in a sealed cover.

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

Noting that “so many people have been examined and so many things have happened”, Chief Justice Dattu said: “We are satisfied with the progress you have made.”

Appearing for Digvijaya Singh, senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that though CBI took over the investigations four months back but so far no one has been arrested. “I don’t see any action on the ground.”

Telling Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar about the court’s satisfaction with the work done by the investigating agency, Chief Justice Dattu observed that “Kapil Sibal is not satisfied”.

In his application, Digvijaya Singh has sought direction that all complaints relating to Vyapam admission and recruitment scan made by the public at large on or before 9 July, 2015, be handed over to the CBI.

Besides that, he has also sought that all the status reports relating to investigations by the SIT/STF filed before the Madhya Pradesh High Court also be handed over to the CBI.

Digvijaya Singh has also sought direction to high court to handover the pen drive and truth lab report to CBI for its consideration.

Meanwhile Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi apprised the court about the steps being taken by the government to add more people to augment the strength of the CBI and fill the existing vacancies.

Giving more time to CBI, the court directed the listing of the matter on 23 November.

IANS

Bengaluru: Call centre employee gang-raped

The woman, who is from Madhya Pradesh, was waiting for transport to return home at around 10 PM when the duo stopped their vehicle and offered to drop her to her destination, police said.

A call centre woman employee was allegedly gang-raped by two men in South-East Bengaluru.”A woman in her twenties, an employee with a call centre here, was gang-raped on the night of October 3 by two persons in South-East Bengaluru,” City Police Commissioner N S Megharikh told reporters here.The woman, who is from Madhya Pradesh, was waiting for transport to return home at around 10 PM when the duo stopped their vehicle and offered to drop her to her destination, police said.They took her to a deserted spot, raped her and then dropped her back in Madiwala area in South East Bengaluru, police said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The woman called up her friends, who arrived at the spot and immediately took her to nearby St John’s Hospital, where doctors called police, police said, adding that they have recorded her statement.The woman was discharged yesterday, they said, adding that a special team has been formed under Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East) Rohini Katoch Sepat to trace the duo.CCTV footage at major traffic junctions in the locality was being examined to find out the vehicle, police said.The woman’s statement was recorded by a judicial magistrate yesterday, they said.

Kiren Rijiju defends govt action against Greenpeace, accuses NGO of inciting people

The action came after Greenpeace India supported protests against coal mines in the Mahan forests in Madhya Pradesh, which resulted in a court withdrawing permits for Essar and Hindalco to develop the project.

he Union Minister of State for Home said the government has not put any restriction on genuine NGOs involved in charity and development works.

Defending crackdown on Greenpeace, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said those violating rules and conducting themselves in wrong ways would face punitive action. “Protest is a right of everyone in a democracy. But if anyone violates rules and work in wrong ways, we will take action,” he said.Rijiju accused Greenpeace India of inciting people against industrial projects saying such activities of an NGO violates the rules of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act under which it was registered. “Any NGO which is registered under the FCRA should follow rules. No one should violate laws, else action will follow,” he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Minister of State for Home said the government has not put any restriction on genuine NGOs involved in charity and development works. On September 3, the Home Ministry’s foreigners division, which reports to Rijiju, had cancelled the Greenpeace India’s registration under the FCRA alleging that the NGO was working against the country’s economic progress.The action came after Greenpeace India supported protests against coal mines in the Mahan forests in Madhya Pradesh, which resulted in a court withdrawing permits for Essar and Hindalco to develop the project.The government had cited alleged violation of norms by the NGO by opening five accounts to use foreign donations without informing the authorities concerned. While suspending its registration under the FCRA, government had also said the NGO under-reported and repeatedly mentioned inaccurate amounts of its foreign contributions. Greenpeace had termed the government action as an attempt to “silence campaigns” and said it will not be deterred.

BJP, JD (U) caught in the war of stats

While JD (U) attributes it to the charisma and work culture of chief minister Nitish Kumar, the BJP reminds that it happened because the health ministry was headed by their man Ashwani Kumar Choubey.

The poll-bound Bihar is witnessing an interesting battle between the former allies – BJP and JD (U). Both the parties now arch rivals, who ruled the state together for eight long years, are vying to take credit for development indicators, and most visible of them — the biggest fall in child mortality ratio.While JD (U) attributes it to the charisma and work culture of chief minister Nitish Kumar, the BJP reminds that it happened because the health ministry was headed by their man Ashwani Kumar Choubey.Choubey, now an MP from Buxar, takes pride that the number of children dying before their first birthday has declined in Bihar by 33 per cent over the last 10 years, reducing from 66 per 1,000 live births in 2000-02 to 42 in 2013, bringing it closer to national average of 40. But JD (U) leader K C Tiyagi counters, questioning that if the trend was because of the BJP, then why other BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh remain the worst places to be born in India? The MP continues to have mortality figures at 54, Rajasthan 47 and Chhattisgarh 48 per 1,000 births.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A document prepared by BJP claims credit for growth, increase in incomes and agricultural output due to its presence in alliance till June 2013. It states that Bihar’s economy grew at the rate of 15.05 % in 2012-13 and after the split it fell down to 8.82% in 2013-14. It further says that agriculture GDP has also declined by 11.58% from Rs 32,694 crore to Rs 28,908 crore. The document further says that there is an increase of 31% in debt and it has doubled in the last five years. But the JD (U) has countered it, saying in 2005-06, when Nitish Kumar took over, the debt was 51.5%, but it was reduced to 26% in 2014-15.The BJP document has also mentioned alarming crime figures, making a case that the state was returning to ‘jungle raj’ an euphemism for the reign of RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is now an ally of Nitish Kumar. “There was 21% rise in rape cases and 16% in kidnappings in 2014 over 2013, and incidents of theft have also increased by 35%,” the document said.Also it has stated that there has been substantial increase in the number of riots. Quoiting official figures from Bihar Police, it claimed that while there were 97,688 cases of riot in 2011, as many as 13,566 cases were reported in 2014. But the JD (U) document has countered this, saying the police have defined petty quarrels involving five or more persons as riots. “Out of 13,566 cases of rioting, only 61 come under communal category in 2014 against 63 in 2013, which is less than 10% of the total cases reported,” the JD (U) counter document stated.

Madhya Pradesh: Tiger carcass seized; two suspected poachers arrested

A tiger carcass has been seized and two poachers suspected to be connected to an international gang engaged in selling off tiger body parts abroad have been arrested.

Representational Image

A tiger carcass has been seized and two poachers suspected to be connected to an international gang engaged in selling off tiger body parts abroad have been arrested.”We have arrested Anil Rai (24) and Balakram Uike (40) on the charge of poaching a tiger reportedly with the help of an electric trap in the buffer zone of Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR),” Seoni Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Sanjay Shukla said in Seoni on Tuesday.”On late September 27 night, we exhumed the carcass minutes after detaining the poachers, living in the buffer zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve. They had buried the tiger some 15 to 20 days ago,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are looking for the mastermind behind the local poaching gang who is absconding. We are trying hard to arrest him and we anticipate that he will spill the beans regarding the modus operandi of his gang,” Pench Tiger Reserve Deputy Director Kiran Bisen told PTI.”We are keeping a close watch on his residence,” she said.When asked about unconfirmed reports that two to three more tigers have been poached in and around PTR in the recent past, she said, “We too have got such information. We are looking into it seriously from all angles.”About the local gang connection with some international gang, Kiran said that it is possible as the tiger parts have takers in foreign lands.According to sources close to investigators, two accused have told the forest department officials of killing one more tiger in the recent past. However, the forest officials are tight-lipped about it.

Excise informers striking deal with bootleggers too?

Dept’s cut-off as reward is a maximum of Rs 1,000, even if the information had lead to a recovery running into crores

File pic of Malvani victims’ kin in protest

A maximum of Rs 1,000. This is what an informer gets as reward for tipping off the state excise department, even if the recovered stash of hooch or smuggled in IMFL (India made foreign liquor) run into crores. This paltry compensation, excise officials admit, inhibits their ability to expand their network of informers. A strong informer network will help in ground-level intelligence collection on hooch rackets like the one that wreaked havoc in Malvani, which claimed over 100 lives recently. “Unlike the police, the excise department has few provisions for granting prizes to informers… According to the rules framed in 1976, the department can grant cash prizes of Rs 500 to informers. This may have been a princely sum then, but means little today. The maximum we now gift is Rs 1,000, irrespective of whether he/she has spent money on gathering or parting with the information,” noted a senior state excise official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Another official said at times, members of the raiding team contributed money as ‘baksheesh’ (prize) for the informer. “We have to take care to retain a good informer with inside knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the system. They can lead us to a major racket. After all, one good informer is equivalent to 50 officers,” the official noted, adding these people were either part of or related to the illicit trade. He complained it was not unusual to get calls from informers late at night asking for money. “We have to keep them in good humour,” the official admitted. He added that at times, some unscrupulous informers, unable to extract a promise of a substantial reward from officials, later go in for bigger deal with smugglers or bootleggers. A senior official has sought that the government formulate a scheme to reward informers on lines of the police. In cases of narcotics seizures, informers and even officers are awarded a certain percentage of the seizure. “We can at least have a system where informers get a reward based on the net excise duty saved by the seizure, or a fixed cash amount higher than what is given today,” the official noted. The official said they had eight staffers – including one inspector and two sub-inspectors for around 125 licences – making it difficult for them to track offences like bootlegging, smuggling and duplication apart from routine work like inspection of licences with this skeletal strength. “It’s therefore better that the police lead the crackdown against illicit hooch and bootlegging,” he said. Of the around 3,600 officials and staff in the department, around half – mainly sub-inspectors – are based at manufactories for supervision. Up to 1974, the department had no punitive powers like the police, which were later granted to inspectors and subsequently to sub-inspectors in 1991. Maharashtra follows a policy of discouraging liquor consumption through high prices and low sales and has one of the highest excise duty regimes in India. However, neighbouring states and union territories like Goa and Daman have comparatively liberal policies and the cheaper costs of liquor there lead to a huge incentive for smugglers and bootleggers to smuggle in the brew to Maharashtra. With neighbouring Gujarat under prohibition, Maharashtra has also become a transit point for transporting liquor from states like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh to the dry state.

Raid at Virbhadra Singh’s residence: Govt using CBI against opposition leaders, alleges Congress

Making a stinging attack on the Prime Minister, the senior Congress leader alleged that while Modi is meeting world leaders in the US as leader of the world’s largest democracy, but domestically his government is behaving in the worst possible manner against the opposition.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Congress on Saturday reacted sharply to CBI raids against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, alleging that the Narendra Modi government was targetting opposition leaders by using the CBI against them.Claiming that the way things are happening was unprecedented, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad wondered, “is it a democracy or dictatorship or whether emergency has been declared and people are still not aware of it as …. an FIR is filed in the night and immediately there is a raid in the morning.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Be it Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati or Mamata Banerjee if you do not fall in line and cooperate in Parliament, the CBI is ready,” the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha told reporters.”The intention is to paralyse the fourth estate and the opposition by browbeating them,” he said.Also read: CBI files Disproportionate Assets case against Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh, carries out raidsMaking a stinging attack on the Prime Minister, the senior Congress leader alleged that while Modi is meeting world leaders in the US as leader of the world’s largest democracy, but domestically his government is behaving in the worst possible manner against the opposition.”Perhaps, there will be no other example anywhere in the world where the government targeted a six-term chief minister with a good image. CBI filed a case against him late last night and raided his residence when he was proceeding to the marriage of his daughter,” he said.Azad said that registration of a disproportionate assets case and the raids were “very unfortunate and highly vindictive” given the fact that an Income Tax case of the chief minister was pending with the IT tribunal and it has not given its verdict so far.Besides, Azad claimed that in a PIL in the matter in Delhi High Court, the CBI has said that no case has been made out against the chief minister.Taking the battle to the ruling party’s court, Azad wondered why the Prime Minister had not initiated similar action earlier against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in the Lalit Modi row and the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the Vyapam scam.Similarly, he asked why a case has not been registered and raids conducted against Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in the wake of the Rs 36,000 crore PDS scam and why a similar action has not been taken in the Chikki and Tender scams in Maharashtra.Azad said the judiciary’s role is crucial in such a situation as bureaucracy, journalists and TV channels and the opposition are being targeted. Azad’s reaction came close on the heels of a D A case against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and CBI raids at 11 places in the state, including at his residence in Shimla, and in Delhi.

Sanjay Nirupam urges old guard of Congress to fall in line

The larger subtext of infighting between the party leaders is that many of the old guard are not comfortable with Rahul Gandhi as the head of the party.

Sanjay Nirupam

Amidst report of friction between the old guard of Congress and the new turks, because of the party’s slump to a historic low in the last election, senior leader Sanjay Nirupam has now spoken out on the issue. Nirupam said that in many state units, the president of the unit was not getting a free hand to run the party owing to obstruction from the old guard. According to the Mumbai Congress chief, it is the young turks that have to finally drive forward the party and hence the old leadership shouldn’t be an impediment to their growth. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab, Congress has promoted relatively young leadership to the top echelons which has led to much heartburn among its older leaders. But, according to Nirupam, this is only natural and the likes of Ajay Maken, Sachin Pilot and Pratap Bajwa deserve their time in the sun for their hardwork over the years. Nirupam was quoted as saying, “The tussle is a matter of concern among the Congress rank and file nationally. It has to end”. The larger subtext of infighting between the party leaders is that many of the old guard are not comfortable with Rahul Gandhi as the head of the party. Hence many of the younger ones, considered proteges of Congress VP, are facing stern opposition. There has been a lot of speculation about when Rahul Gandhi will formally take over the mantle of the party, but many believe that the simmering dissent has delayed his coronation. Nirupam though believes that it is high time that Congress got its act together to fight against BJP.

Vyapam scam: CBI carries out search at 40 places in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh

The Supreme Court handed over the Vyapam cases to the CBI on July 9. Over 40 people linked with the scam have died under mysterious circumstances or committed suicide since the investigation began.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) teams carried out Vyapam scam searches at around forty places in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. The searches were conducted in Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Rewa, Jabalpur, Lucknow and Allahabad. The CBI had earlier written to the Bhopal Central Jail authorities, seeking permission to interrogate former Madhya Pradesh Minister Laxmikant Sharma in connection with the alleged role in Vyapam scam. The CBI had also sought permission to interrogate Sharma’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) O.P. Shukla and local Congress leader Sanjeev Saxena. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in Madhya Pradesh. The Supreme Court handed over the Vyapam cases to the CBI on July 9. Over 40 people linked with the scam have died under mysterious circumstances or committed suicide since the investigation began.

Vyapam scam: ED quizzes accused Jagdish Sagar for information about his property

Sagar, who was arrested in connection with 2013 Vyapam scam, was brought from Bhopal jail amidst tight security to the ED’s sub-zonal office, where sleuths quizzed him for four hours, the ED official said.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Wednesday interrogated Jagdish Sagar, an accused in Vyapam scam, and reportedly managed to get more information about his ‘ill-gotten’ property which was allegedly amassed through his involvement in the Vyapam scam, a top ED official said.Sagar, who was arrested in connection with 2013 Vyapam scam, was brought from Bhopal jail amidst tight security to the ED’s sub-zonal office, where sleuths quizzed him for four hours, the ED official said.”We have received information about some properties owned by him. We suspect that he amassed this property through the black money he had minted in the Vyapam scam,” the ED official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the ED had grilled Sagar on August 26 last year after it attached his movable and immovable properties worth Rs 3.34 crore, the ED official said. Besides Sagar, ED has investigated Vyapam’s former examination controller Pankaj Trivedi and nine others under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).According to the MP police, Sagar, who had allegedly colluded with Trivedi, had allegedly taken huge bribes from many students to admitting them fraudulently to government medical colleges across Madhya Pradesh.

MP tragedy: Man falls into pothole in road, workers bury him alive

In an astonishing incidence of negligence, construction workers buried alive a man after he accidentally slipped into a pothole at an under-construction road in Madhya Pradesh’s Katni district.

According to a report by The Times of India, workers filled the pothole with molten bituminous material and ran a dumper over it, with the man trapped underneath.

Image courtesy: ANIImage courtesy: ANI

Image courtesy: ANI

The incident is said to have come to light after some people noticed the man’s arm sticking out of the road.

The man who died after being trapped in the pothole was reportedly identified as Latori Barman.

The TOI report quotes the district collector of Katni, where the incident took place, as saying that the man’s kin will be given Rs 50,000 as compensation.

The driver of the dumper and a labourer, who filled the pothole without noting the man trapped inside, have been arrested, according to ANI.

CNN-IBN quoted the Madhya Pradesh PWD minister Sartaj Singh as saying that the man was in an inebriated state and was not visible during the night time.

The news portal OneIndia has reported that the body has been exhumed and sent for a post-mortem examination.

Only days earlier, a 25-year-old women died and her husband suffered injuries after they fell on the road while trying to avoid a pothole, the Indian Express reported. The police have registered a case of negligence against the husband, according to an NDTV report.

VHP to expand its free health service programme to Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: After a number of northern states, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is set to expand its free health service programme to Kerala as part of plans to strengthen its base in the state.

The initiative, titled ‘India Health Line’ (IHL), envisaged to connect poor and deserving patients with specialist doctors and provide them free treatment, will be launched in the state after the civic body elections in November, VHP state President S J R Kumar said.

AFP imageAFP image

AFP image

VHP has already initiated talks with a number of specialist doctors in the state in this regard and formed a panel of 1,000 doctors who have shown interest in partnering with the initiative, he said.

The programme had already been launched in states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Maharashtra and the outfit had plans to expand it throughout the country.

“Specialist health care is something which is still inaccessible for a larger section of people. Our objective is to identify the needy and deserving among them and connect them with doctors and provide them free health care,” Kumar told PTI.

He said the programme would be implemented in four-phases in all 14 districts of the state.

“We have a national toll free number for the programme and a call centre at Ahmedabad. Patients will be given this number and they can directly contact it,” he said.

“Our volunteers will get in touch with the patient, enquire about their health condition and fix an appointment with their nearest doctor, who is included in our panel,” he said.

The outfit also plans to appoint ‘health ambassadors’ in every district after giving them training in checkinganaemia, blood pressure, cholesterol and so on and conduct health camps in villages.

“We are also planning to ensure the distribution of generic medicines to the poor and needy and enter into tie-up with super speciality hospitals to help them get free consultation of speciality doctors in the coming phases of the programme,” he said.

Kumar said VHP had no political agenda behind this free health care initiative.

“VHP is not at all a political party. So we do not have any particular political agenda behind this scheme. It is one of our number of social service schemes implemented across the country,” the leader added.

PTI

Jhabua blast accused Rajendra Kasawa arrested: Report

After detaining his family members, police have reportedly arrested the prime accused of an explosion in Petlawad town in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district.

After detaining his family members, police have reportedly arrested the prime accused of an explosion in Petlawad town in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district. According to a report in a leading daily, accused Rajendra Kaswa has been arrested from Maharashtra. The report also said that the police are neither accepting nor denying Kaswa’s arrest.Kasawa has been booked for keeping gelatin sticks in his house, which resulted in the explosion. All residences and godowns of Kasawa have been sealed.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast that took place in the building of Rajendra Kasawa, who has a licence to use explosive material for digging wells in rocky areas. Kasawa had stored the explosive material, including gelatin sticks, in huge quantity in the residential building, which also houses two shops, and is situated close to the busy Sethia Restaurant in new bus stand area, a police official said.A day ago, police had taken into custody Narendra and Phoolchand, two brothers of Kasawa and handed them over to Jhabua Police. They also seized 69 detonators, two batteries and a large number of gelatin sticks from the residence of Narendra in Petlawad. The explosive materials were allegedly illegally stocked by him for carrying out mining activities.Meanwhile, Kasawa’s wife, son and daughter were released on Tuesday by the police after being interrogated.

MoEF defers green clearance for Ken-Betwa river link

A detailed wildlife conservation and management plant is also to be submitted to the panel.

The Ken-Betwa river link project has a significant environment and wildlife impact as it passes right through the Panna Tiger Reserve

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s controversial Ken-Betwa river link project is likely to face difficulties and delays as the environment ministry has deferred environment clearance for the project. An expert panel of the environment ministry appraising the project noted that the river-link will significantly affect the Panna Tiger Reserve and thus all aspects of the project will have to be studied more carefully.The primary purpose of the river-link project is to irrigate 6.35 lakh hectares of land and divert water from Ken, Madhya Pradesh to Betwa in Uttar Pradesh. But, the project has a significant environment and wildlife impact as it passes right through the Panna Tiger Reserve, where tigers had vanished in 2009 and the reserve was re-populated with great effort. Contrary to the claims of National Water Development Agency (NWDA) which states that only 41.4 sq km of Panna will be submerged, independent conservationists peg the submergence area at 92 sq km.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After appraising the details of the project, the environment ministry’s expert panel asked the Madhya Pradesh government for information and studies that they thought was not presented completely. The panel stressed that the project will impact the habitat of tigers, other wildlife and thus a study was needed on loss of habitat, migratory paths for wildlife, including birds. It has also asked for more details on the impact of animal distribution, especially on tigers.Since the project falls within the Panna Reserve, the panel had asked the Madhya Pradesh status of the National Board for Wildlife clearance about the recommendations made by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.A detailed wildlife conservation and management plant is also to be submitted to the panel. The panel also touched upon the critical issue of micro climatic change that the project is likely to bring about due to the submergence of 9,000 hectares of mixed, dry deciduous teak forest. It specifically asked the project proponents to clarify the impact on micro-climatic conditions.As the project affects tigers, ghariyals and a thriving river ecology, it has faced stiff opposition and representations were also made to the expert panel. About seven representations were received from various non-profit organizations. The panel has asked the NWDA and Madhya Pradesh government to respond to these objections.Meanwhile, as reported by dna in June, four sanctuaries are proposed to be added to Panna in lieu of the area submerged. The Uttar Pradesh government has agreed to include Ranipur and Mahavir Swami wildlife sanctuaries as satellite core of Panna while Madhya Pradesh has agreed to convert 60 sq.kms of buffer area of the tiger reserve into core area.

Potholes, speed breakers claimed 11,000 lives last year in India, says study

Indian roads are increasingly becoming unsafe and deadly as over 11,000 people were killed by potholes and speed breakers last year alone, a new study revealed.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

According to a Times Of India article, the government recorded deaths caused by potholes, speed breakers and humps on roads and found that about 11,400 people died with the Uttar Pradesh with witnessing the highest number of casualties.

“The detailed age profile of road accident victims for calendar year 2014 reveals that the age group of 15-34 years accounted for 53.8% of the total road accident fatalities, followed by the age group of 35-64 years accounting for a share of (35.7%),” the report says.

Almost 12 percent of the fatalities took place in 50 cities with population over a million each. National capital Delhi leads with 1,671 deaths and Chennai close behind at 1,118 in this category, the study found.

In 2014, the number of road accidents also rose with the figure jumping from 4.86 lakh in 2013 to 4.89 lakh. Not only that but fatalities have also gone up by 1.5 percent.

Thirteen states of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana account for about 83.2 percent of the deaths.

Sadly in India, a person was killed in a road accident every four minutes – 141,000 in 2014. Despite this, less than a third of the 2.6 million cars sold each year have airbags in this cost-conscious market, reports Reuters

Jhabua blast: Shivraj Chouhan orders dismissal of erring officials

Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered the dismissal of officials responsible for deriliction of duty in the Petlawad town blast case and the transfer of the entire staff of the area police station.

After the chief minister ordered the removal of the sub-divisional magistrate and sub-divisional police officer in the case, authorities have got busy in taking action against the erring officials.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Meanwhile, Chouhan will on Monday again meet with the families of people killed in the blast near the new bus stand at Petlawad town, which killed 88 people and injured more than 100 others.

The chief minister met the survivors on Sunday, during which he had to face protests from angry people who demanded action against erring officials.

IANS

Jhabua explosion: Shivraj Chouhan announces reward for main accused Rajendra Kasawa’s arrest

Jhabua: Madhya Pradesh government on Sunday announced a reward of Rs one lakh on information leading to the arrest of Rajendra Kasawa, the absconding accused who had stored explosives for mining work in a building which triggered off a series of blasts killing 89 people at Petlawad town in Jhabua.

“Anybody who passes information to law-enforcers to facilitate the arrest of Kasawa, will be rewarded with Rs 1 lakh,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.

The blast site in Madhya Pradesh. PTIThe blast site in Madhya Pradesh. PTI

The blast site in Madhya Pradesh. PTI

Kasawa was booked under relevant sections of IPC and Explosive Substances Act on Sunday. Police have carried out searches at some places to arrest Kasawa.

After the explosion yesterday, Kasawa and his family members fled from their residence.

Meanwhile, Chouhan said family members of the deceased will get aide of Rs 5 lakh instead of Rs 2 lakh as promised earlier.

He also said employment will be given to the kin of the deceased.

“I will return tomorrow to Petlawad and meet the family members of the deceased at 17 remaining places,” he added.

According to sources, Chouhan, who faced angry protest near the blast site on Sunday, was advised against the night stay in Petlawad due to public anger over the incident.

On Saturday, 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town in Jhabua district.

PTI

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu calls emergency meeting to review safety measures

The meeting is also expected to discuss an action plan and implementation strategy to make rail travel safer for passengers, sources said today.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Taking serious note of a spate of train accidents recently, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has called an emergency meeting of general managers of all 17 Zones here on Tuesday to review safety measures. The meeting is also expected to discuss an action plan and implementation strategy to make rail travel safer for passengers, sources said today.”Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has expressed his displeasure over the series of train mishaps recently. He has convened a meeting all general managers of 17 zonal Railways on September 15 to review safety related issues,” sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prabhu along with his junior minister Manoj Sinha and full Railway Board will address the meeting, they said adding, “The Minister has been emphasising on zero accident mission and giving top priority to safety.”Meanwhile, Prabhu, who was on week-long tour to Japan and South Korea returned to the capital today, sources said. Of late, Railways safety record has come under question with spate of train accidents.Two British nationals were killed and 10 others injured on Saturday when three coaches of a toy train that was carrying a group of tourists from Britain derailed near Parwanoo between the Kalka and Taksal station. Earlier the same day, two passengers were killed and seven others injured when nine coaches of Mumbai bound Duranto Express from Secunderabad derailed near Kalaburgi in Karnataka on Saturday wee hours.Late last month, a speeding granite-laden truck rammed into Bangalore-Nanded Express train after breaking the closed gate at a level crossing in Anantapur district on August 24 killing six persons and injuring two.On August 4, 29 people were killed when two express trains passing each other derailed while crossing a railway bridge struck by flash floods in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh, sending 17 bogies and one engine tumbling into a rain-swollen river.

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan puts cash reward on Jhabua blast accused Rajendra Kasawa

Jhabua: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced a reward of Rs one lakh on the head of Rajendra Kasawa, the absconding accused, who stored a huge pile of explosives for mining work in a building which triggered off a series of explosions killing 89 people and injuring over 100 at Petlawad town in Jhabua.

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

“Anybody who passes information to law-enforcers to facilitate the arrest of Kasawa, will be rewarded with Rs 1 lakh, Chouhan said.

Kasawa was on Saturday booked under relevant sections of IPC and Explosive Substances Act. Police have carried out searches at some places to arrest Kasawa.

After the explosion on Saturday, Kasawa and his family members fled from their residence.

Meanwhile, Chouhan said family members of the deceased will get aide of Rs 5 lakh instead of Rs 2 lakh as promised earlier.

He also said employment will be given to the kin of the deceased.

“I will return tomorrow to Petlawad and meet the family members of the deceased at 17 remaining places,” he added.

According to sources, Chouhan, who faced angry protest near the blast site today, was advised against the night stay in Petlawad due to public anger over the incident.

On Saturday, 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town in Jhabua district.

PTI

Jhabua blast: MP police register case against building owner, 90 killed so far

The Madhya Pradesh police have now registered a case against the owner of the building in Jhabua district in Madhya Pradesh where a blast killed 90 people, reports CNN-IBN.

PTI had reported that nearly 100 people were also injured on Saturday after the massive blast took place ripping through a crowded area.

Meanwhile NDTV reported that the blast occured because of gelatin sticks were stored in the godown and not because of a cylinder.

The blast occurred at 8.30 am, completely destroying at least two buildings– one in which explosive material for digging wells was stored and an adjacent restaurant, and damaging several houses, officials said.

Deadly cylinder blast at Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh. PTIDeadly cylinder blast at Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh. PTI

Deadly cylinder blast at Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh. PTI

NDTV reports that the owner is on the run and that the site of the blast has been sealed by the police.

The explosion took place in the building of Rajendra Kasawa who has a licence to use explosive material for digging wells in rocky areas.

Kasawa stored the explosive material including gelatin sticks in huge quantity in the residential building having two shops in it and situated close to the busy Sethia Restaurant in new bus stand area, a police official said.

In the vicinity of the restaurant, a large number of daily wage labourers were sitting when the explosion occurred.

Besides many persons were there inside the restaurant which is a major eatery in the area, an eyewitness said.

One of the injured, Narsingh (42), said body parts were strewn in the area after the blast.

“We have seen them flying and falling on the ground. Vehicles specially two-wheelers were badly damaged and lying on the road,” he said.

Due to the impact of the explosion, the double-story house in which explosive material were stored collapsed trapping a number of persons, he said.

State Home Minister Babulal Gaur said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident.

Expressing anguish over the loss of lives, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.

“We have performed autopsy so far on 60 bodies. Rest are lying in the premises for post-mortem,” chief medical officer Arun Sharma said.

Among the victims were a large number of labourers who were waiting in area for their daily work. Besides some people going to Gujarat were also standing near the hotel for tea and snacks and majority of them were either killed or injured in the blast, a police official said.

“Initially we heard the sound of crackers from a house that also has two shops on the ground floor. Later, when someone opened its shutter, a huge explosion took place forcing people to run for cover,” Balram, an injured labourer, told PTI in Jhabua district hospital.

“Only those people survived who ran away from the spot but they too suffered injuries,” Narsingh said and claimed nearly 150 people were injured.

A large number of people were also trapped in the retuarant located in an adjacent three-storey building, he said.

Earlier, police had said that the explosion was caused by a cooking gas cylinder kept in the hotel restaurant.

Nearly 100 people were injured in the explosion, a police official said.

“I am in constant touch with officials. The incident is sad and has left me shaken. The reasons for the blast will be investigated,” the chief minister said.

Senior officials from Jhabua including superintendent of police GG Pandey besides State Tribal Welfare Minister Antar Singh Arya had rushed to the spot.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was dispatched to help in the salvage operations.

“A team equipped with gadgets to operate in collapsed structures has been sent to the accident site in Jhabua from Vadodara in Gujarat. The team will assist local administration in retrieval operations,” NDRF director general OP Singh told PTI in Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives.

“Extremely pained at the loss of lives due to the cylinder blast in Jhabua. My deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. I wish all those injured a speedy recovery. MP Govt. is monitoring the situation closely,” Modi said.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed distress.

“Offering her deepest condolences to families of deceased Sonia Gandhi hoped that immediate treatment and adequate relief was being provided,” the ANI reported.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has expressed deep condolences to the families of those killed in the incident.

“I have just received the information. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is visiting the site. My condolence with the affected families. It was a very unfortunate mishap,” he said.

With PTI inputs

Jhabua blast: Congress targets CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan; accuses him of ‘misuse of power’

The state police have booked Rajendra Kasawa and a manhunt to arrest him is on for storing a huge pile of explosives for mining work in a building which triggered off a series of explosions killing 89 people and injuring over 100 at Petlawad town there.

Damaged motorcycles lying near a collapsed restaurant where a cooking gas cylinder exploded in Petlawad town in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.

AFP photo
Alleging that deadly blast in Jhabua occurred as a local BJP leader was allowed to store explosives in a busy area against the rules, Congress today came down heavily on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for “complete abuse and misuse of power”.Asking the Chief Minister what action he has taken against the culprits, it alleged that Madhya Pradesh under his rule is turning into a “multi-killings and multi-deaths state” and cited the Vyapam scam.”We have no words strong enough to express our anger, frustration and deep sadness over around 100 deaths in Jhabua. This has very serious ramifications. How did it happen? The district head of BJP’s Vyapar Mandal (traders’ body) is running an explosive factory in the heart of the busy town. Would he be allowed to do so by the local authorities if he had not been a BJP leader?,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He added after “ignoring” deaths in Vyapam scam, this killing of around 100 persons has happened under Chouhan’s rule and asked him to stop alleged “political patronage” in such cases.The state police have booked Rajendra Kasawa and a manhunt to arrest him is on for storing a huge pile of explosives for mining work in a building which triggered off a series of explosions killing 89 people and injuring over 100 at Petlawad town there.Congress communication department chief Randeep Surjewala said it was a case of criminal negligence and said Chouhan’s actions will be a test of his governance.”Blast in Jhabua is the most gruesome incident of murder of unsuspecting people due to criminal negligence! “Will Shivraj Chauhan wake up and order registration of case of murder by negligence and judicial inquiry by a sitting High court judge or protect the suspect because he is reportedly an office bearer of BJP? Therein lies the test of governance,” he tweeted.Madya Pradesh Congress chief Arun Yadav said on Twitter.”The house in which all the explosives were stacked was of a local BJP leader. Therefore no outrage. The guy is absconding and no case yet. As per the preliminary reports, there was no cylinder explosion. It actually happened in the godown itself where the explosives were stored. The administration relaxed the strict laws related to storage of explosives because the accused is a BJP leader. Shame!”In another tweet, he alleged, “The prime accused BJP leader Rajendra Kasawa used the rented space 2 illegally store the explosives. He took it in the name of storing seeds.” Singhvi asked the Chief Minister what action he had taken in the matter.”What action you have taken against the administration, which allowed this. What action have you taken against the District President of your Vyapar Mandal. Is it not a complete abuse and misuse of political power?,” he asked.

Jhabua blast could be due to RDX: Congress

On Saturday, 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town in Jhabua district.

PTI photo
Senior Congress leader Mohan Prakash on Sunday claimed that the blast in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district that left 89 people dead could be due to RDX or an even more powerful explosive.”It cannot be believed that the blast was due to a cylinder explosion. It was an explosive more powerful than RDX as four houses with multiple floors were completely reduced to rubble. The explosion could be due to RDX or an even more powerful explosive,” Prakash said on Sunday. He demanded that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday, 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town in Jhabua district.

Jhabua blasts: Accused won’t be spared, says CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Condemning the unfortunate incident, Chauhan further said: I am not in a hurry to go back as yesterday was the saddest day of my life. I will discuss this incident with every people. I will visit every family who were affected by this blast.

RNA
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said that the people responsible for the massive explosion in Jhabua, in which 89 people have lost their lives and over 150 injured, will not be spared.The people responsible for the blast in Jhabua will not be spared. I have ordered for the magisterial inquiry over the entire incident, which will be monitored by the High Court judge. Will leave no stone unturned in punishing the accused, Chouhan told media here.Condemning the unfortunate incident, Chouhan further said: I am not in a hurry to go back as yesterday was the saddest day of my life. I will discuss this incident with every people. I will visit every family who were affected by this blast.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>I can’t be away from the family of the deceased in this situation. Rs 2 lakh is not the limit; even if Rs 10 lakh is required for the family of the injured people, we will give, he added.Generally the government thinks that their job is over after giving the cheque, but we will also make sure about their (victims) employment and living conditions. I have come here for this purpose only, he continued.A massive blast triggered by mining explosives ripped through a packed restaurant in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district yesterday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed pain over the loss of lives in the explosion.

Jhabua blast: Shivraj Chouhan, cabinet colleague heckled on their way to site

Jhabua (MP): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Cabinet colleague Antar Singh Arya were allegedly heckled on Sunday while they were en route to the site at Petlawad town where a massive blast caused by mining explosives left 89 people dead.

Chouhan and Arya were stopped at the new bus stand square close to the tragedy site by angry protesters, including Congressmen, who came out on the roads in large numbers shouting slogans against the state government and district administration, alleging that it had not taken appropriate steps to prevent the tragedy, eyewitnesses said.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFPShivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

The locals said the huge pile of explosives should not have been stored in a building at a public place, according to the law.

They demanded stern action against the concerned officials for the lapse.

The protesters also shouted slogans demanding the sacking of District Collector Aruna Gupta and also allegedly manhandled the area’s Sub-Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) AR Khan, who tried the clear the way for the Chief Minister.

Gauging the public anger, Chouhan and Arya squatted on the ground after being gheraoed and gave a patient hearing to the protesters for more than 15 minutes before leaving for the mishap site, the eyewitnesses said.

Earlier, Chouhan and Arya, who is the district guardian minister, visited the injured persons at the Petlawad community health centre.

At least 89 people were killed and nearly 100 injured yesterday after a massive blast caused by mining explosives stored in a building ripped through a crowded area in Petlawad town here.

The blast completely destroyed at least two buildings — one in which explosive material for digging wells was stored and an adjacent restaurant, and damaging several houses, officials said.

The CM had yesterday ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.

PTI

VIDEO: India restaurant blast kills dozens

At least 89 people have been killed in a powerful explosion that tore through a restaurant in Petlawad in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, officials say.

Jhabua cylinder blast: MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to order judicial inquiry

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said that a judicial inquiry will be ordered into the gas cylinder blast at Jhabua, which has killed at least 89 people and injured 100 so far.

MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

dna Research & Archives
Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said that a judicial inquiry will be ordered into the gas cylinder blast at Jhabua, which has killed at least 89 people and injured 100 so far.”This is a serious incident. We have decided to conduct (sic) a judicial inquiry into this incident”, said Chouhan.”It is a saddening incident. Bodies of 76 people have been identified. 50 injured are being treated in various hospitals,” he added. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chouhan also stated that rescue work in the area was now complete.The Madhya Pradesh Government had earlier ordered an investigation into the gas explosion, which took place at a restaurant in Jhabua district early this morning.Talking to the media, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babu Lal Gaur had said that a probe has been ordered into the incident. “The announcement of financial assistance will be made once the investigation is complete,” he said.The blast occurred at 8:30 am, completely destroying at least two buildings– one in which explosive material for digging wells was stored and an adjacent restaurant, and damaging several houses, officials said.”89 people have been killed in the explosion,” Block Medical Officer Urmila Choyal told PTI. The explosion took place in the building of Rajendra Kasawa who has a licence to use explosive material for digging wells in rocky areas.

Restaurant blast in India kills 82

At least 82 people have been killed in an explosion that tore through a restaurant at breakfast in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, officials say.

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