Samajwadi Party workers take to the streets in Rampur

first_imgIn a show of solidarity for embattled senior Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, hundreds of party members took to the streets in Rampur on Thursday. They were responding to a call given by party president Akhilesh Yadav. He had appealed to the party cadre to support Mr. Khan and his MLA son Abdullah Azam in what he described as a “witch-hunt” by the Yogi Adityanath government.District borders sealedThe district administration responded by sealing the borders of the district. Mr. Abdullah and around 200 supporters were detained — the second time in two days for the legislator — for obstructing the work of officials on duty. “Section 144 was in place because of Kanwar Yatra and the upcoming Bakri Id. Those who tried to break the law were arrested,” said A.K. Singh, District Magistrate, Rampur. While Mr. Yadav termed the police action as “undemocratic”, Mr. Abdullah criticised the district administration for being selective in using Section 144. “When the BJP people burnt the effigy of my father, the administration didn’t take any action,” he said.On the charge of the administration targeting the Rampur MP because of political reasons, Mr. Singh said he was being investigated because of the cases filed against him. “Action will be taken only on the basis of evidence.”Twenty eight FIRs have been filed against Mr. Khan with charges of grabbing the land of farmers and madrasas for Mohammad Ali Jauhar University. The police have also charged him for stealing books and rare manuscripts from Aaliya Madrasa. Leaders detainedThe SP top brass is seeing the action as politically motivated. On Thursday, Dr S.T. Hasan, party MP from the neighbouring Moradabad and senior leader Dharmendra Yadav also tried to enter Rampur but were detained by the police. Masood Hasan, student leader and the Moradabad MP’s son who was leading a bunch of protesters, described the police action as “unconstitutional”. “Peaceful protest is our democratic right. The BJP government is trying to divert attention from Unnao case where its own partyman is involved in a heinous crime. The land issue is already in court and will be resolved in due course. As for books, our sources say the police had planted them in the university,” he alleged.By evening, the police allowed the leaders to go home and the protesters were waiting for further orders from the leadership.last_img read more

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Four killed, 3 injured in fire at ONGC plant

first_imgThree personnel of the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) fire and safety wing and the Residential Plant Supervisor of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were killed in a fire that broke out at the oil and gas processing plant in Uran, Navi Mumbai, early on Tuesday.The deceased have been identified as Residential Plant Supervisor C.N Rao (50), Capt. E. Nayaka (48), S.P. Kushwaha (36) and M.K. Paswan (33) of the CISF.Three other CISF Fire personnel also suffered burns and were hospitalised. Of these, one had minor injuries and was discharged, while constables Mahesh K.R. and Shindu Raj, are in hospital, but out of danger.At 6.47 a.m. the CISF control room informed the CISF fire station about the detection of naphtha gas leakage near the LPG plant. “Immediately fire tenders took all precautionary measures with Breathing Apparatus (BA) sets and were the first to respond to the fire. The three CISF fire fighters started looking for the source of leakage under the supervision of Mr. Rao. They detected the leakage and tried to close the main valve,” Lalit Jha, commander in-charge of the plant, CISF said.Mr. Jha said the team had managed to close the valve and were looking for any other leakage when a blast occurred killing all four. The explosion was followed by a fire. “While they perished, the team managed to save human lives and surrounding property worth crores of rupees only due to their alertness and dedication,” he said.Two vehicles, one of Mr. Rao and one used by CISF Special Task Force (STF), were also burnt.The CISF fire team along with fire tenders of ONGC, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MAHAGENCO) and Reliance managed to control the fire in the next four hours.Three other CISF Fire personnel also suffered burn injuries and were hospitalised. Of these, one had minor injuries and was discharged while fire constables Mahesh KR and Shindu Raj, are in hospital, but out of danger.Twenty fire tenders of all agencies were pressed into service. “Since chemicals were involved, we used foam to control the fire. The operation started by around 7.15 a.m. and was brought under control by around 11 a.m. The fire was concentrated within the plant,” Cidco fire officer Arvind Mandke said.Residents shiftedResidents from the neighbourhood of the ONGC plant were shifted to a school till noon as the smell of chemical caused discomfort to them.There is no impact on the processing as the gas has been diverted to Hazira plant in Gujarat.The ONGC shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange closed down 3.34% at ₹117.15 in a weak Mumbai market on Tuesday.CNG services hit in MumbaiCompressed natural gas (CNG) services in and around Mumbai were affected owing to the fire.“Gas supply to City Gate Station at Wadala has been severely affected,” said Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) in a statement.The MGL is ensuring that supply to its domestic piped natural gas (PNG) consumers is maintained on priority without any interruption.However, many CNG stations across Mumbai may not operate due to low pressure in the pipeline and industrial and commercial customers have been advised to switch to alternative fuel, the statement said.Gas supplies across the MGL’s network would normalise once the supply of natural gas from the ONGC is restored, it added.Bus, autos affected Gas supply to the city’s filling stations was cut off for a few hours but restored by 1 p.m. albeit under low pressure.In the coming days, the biggest hit could be felt by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking as CNG-run buses make up over half of its fleet of 3,200 buses. A senior BEST official said all bus depots were instructed in the morning to fill up as many buses as possible. “We are in constant touch with Mahanagar Gas regarding the issue and we’re monitoring the situation closely. While no bus operations were affected today, there could be some impact on services in the coming days if the supply is not restored,” Surendrakumar Bagde, BEST General Manager, said. At present the BEST has 1,777 buses that run on CNG.There are nearly 1.82 lakh registered auto rickshaws in Mumbai, a majority of which run on CNG. Leader of Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union, Thampi Kurien, said that through the day rickshaw drivers were waiting in queues at filling stations for hours. Mr. Kurien said while they have been in touch with Mahanagar Gas, no indication has been given as to when the supply would be restored.(With inputs from Raina Assainar and Ajeet Mahale)last_img read more

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No problem in Bihar NDA, we’ll get more than 200 seats: Nitish

first_imgBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday asserted that there was no problem in the Bihar NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and it would get much more than 200 seats in the October-November 2020 Assembly elections.“Those spreading rumours would get to know about it after the Assembly polls”, he said.Bihar has 243 Assembly seats.BJP MLC Sanjay Paswan had said that Mr. Kumar should quit his post for the BJP as he had been the Chief Minister for 15 years. “The BJP too should get at least one chance for its own Chief Minister”, he stated. This stoked speculation of a rift between the two allies.Apparently, to counter Mr. Paswan’s statement, Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted that Mr. Kumar was the “captain of NDA in Bihar and he would remain the captain”.On Friday, addressing the JD(U)’s State council at Ravindra Bhawan in Patna, Mr. Kumar said, “Koi gadbad nahi hai Bihar NDA mein…is baar 200 ke bahut aage jayenge” (there is no problem in the Bihar NDA. It would get much more than 200 seats in the coming Assembly polls). He also appealed to the party leaders to “focus on their work and not to take notice of who says what”.Mr. Kumar took on the media, saying he knew well who was of what ideology. “Kaun kis vichardhara ka hai, mujhe acchi tarah se malum hai”, he said. “You keep on writing against me and I’ll not get perturbed over it…I’ll keep doing my work”, he said.He also took a dig at the Opposition, saying “what they had been saying before the Lok Sabha poll against me and what happened to them, people know it better”. “How much seat they got?..you all have seen”, he said.Mr. Kumar congratulated senior party leader Basistha Narayan Singh for being elected the third time as the State party president. Mr. Singh has been the occupying the post since November 30, 2010.Other senior JD(U) leaders too congratulated Mr. Singh on the occasion.last_img read more

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IIT, IIM students expand scope of their scholarship scheme to Northeast

first_imgA group of students from the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management and the National Institutes of Technology have expanded the scope of their “career-shaping” examination and scholarship to urban centres in the Northeast.The group from these three institutes had started the “one nation, one exam” National Level Common Entrance Examination (NLCEE) for classes 9-12 this year. The first exam on March 31, conducted across 62 centres across India, had 22,000 students.“This time, we have included all tier 2 and tier 3 cities in the northeast as our examination centres for better penetration and opportunity to underprivileged students in geographically-challenged areas. We are also offering an additional scholarship of up to ₹ 60,000 to deserving students besides an opportunity to visit research and development centres such as the Indian Space Research Organisation and the IITs for 3-15 days,” NLCEE’s overall coordinator Ullas M.S., an NIT Karnataka product, told The Hindu.NLCEE was founded by Ravi Nishant who studied in IIT-Guwahati.Mr. Ullas said the group hired interns from different IITs and NITs to work together on the NLCEE project.“For the exam, there is no need for prerequisite preparation as it is not designed to test one’s technical skills in maths or science. It is meant to test one’s aptitude, creativity in problem-solving, and thinking outside the box,” he said.He said that the NLCEE team would conduct the exam in two phases. For the first, examination centres will operate in more than 100 cities in the country. Based on the results, the top 1,000 students would be selected for the second phase and rewarded according to the rank achieved.“In the second phase, we will shortlist 100 children, then provide significant educational exposure to the deserved by offering visits to the ISRO, the IITs, etc. It can make them motivated, get an overall idea about all kinds of educational streams or courses available, and then take the right decision for their further studies. The NLCEE shall pay all the expenses of the children’s living and transportation,” Mr. Ullas said.last_img read more

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Narada sting case: No video evidence of Mukul Roy accepting money does not prove anything, says arrested IPS officer

first_imgNarada tapes scandal: CBI takes Mirza to Roy’s house for face-to-face questioning Senior IPS officer S.M.H. Mirza, arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Narada sting case on Monday, broke his silence for the first time after the scam surfaced and said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mukul Roy’s statement that there is no video of him accepting money “does not prove anything”. ”The investigation will prove whether he has taken money or not,” Mr. Mirza told a television channel while being produced before a city court. The court, after hearing counsels representing both CBI and the IPS officer, remanded him to judicial custody till October 15. Also Read BJP leader Mukul Roy appears before CBI in Narada sting video case  Mr. Mirza said that there has been a “confrontation” as both Mr. Mirza and Mr. Roy were made to sit together and questioned by CBI officials. On Sunday, Mr. Mirza was taken to the central Kolkata apartment of Mr. Roy and asked to demonstrate how he handed over the money to Mr. Roy as claimed by him. The process was videographed as well.”Investigation will prove that. That he is not in the video does not prove anything… He (Mr. Roy) is seen speaking over telephone,” Mr. Mirza said when asked by a journalist that Mr. Roy has denied accepting any money from him.  The Narada news videos, shot in 2014 and made public ahead of 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, showed senior Trinamool Congress leaders accepting bundles of cash from journalist Mathew Samules who posed as a representative of a fictitious company, Impex Infrastructure. Also Read  In March 2017, a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court ordered the CBI to take over the Narada case. While Mr. Roy, one of the most influential Trinamool Congress leaders then, is not been seen accepting any cash in the purported videos, he could be heard telling the sting operative, “You talk to Mirza”. Mr. Mirza, who was posted as SP of Bardhaman, is seen accepting bundles of cash in the Narada video.  Mr. Roy was questioned by the CBI on September 28 and September 29. The CBI officers arrived at his residence to recreate how he allegedly handed over the money to Mr Roy.last_img read more

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VVPATs at all Haryana booths: EC

first_imgChief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Thursday said that in the upcoming Haryana Assembly elections voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) will be used at all polling booths along with the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).“The officers have been asked to strictly adhere to the laid-down procedures and standard operating procedures about use, storage and transportation of the machines in all the constituencies,” he said here, adding that EVMs with VVPATs will be used in all the 19,578 polling stations of the State.‘EVMs safe’Responding to a question, the CEC reiterated that the use of EVMs was safe.Mr. Arora said that the Commission has directed the Haryana Chief Secretary to ensure that the actions are taken as per the Commission’s policy regarding transfers of officers and efforts be made to complete assured minimum facilities at the polling stations. “Every effort will be made to ensure strict compliance with the model code of conduct and expenditure monitoring so that the parties and the voters can be assured of free and fair elections,” he said.last_img read more

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