Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll: Security being stepped up for bypoll
Muzaffarnagar: Ahead of the May 28 Lok Sabha bypoll in Kairana, authorities have tightened security and are taking other steps to ensure a fair election, a police official has said. The district authorities have divided the Uttar Pradesh constituency into 14 zones and 143 sectors, the official said.
He said 51 companies of central paramilitary forces would be deployed for the poll. Out of these, 26 would be stationed in Shamli district and 25 in Saharanpur district, the official said. The Kairana Lok Sabha seat comprises five assembly segments: Nakur, Gangoh, Kairana, Thana Bhawan and Shamli.
The official said state boundaries touching Kairana would also be sealed ahead of the poll. The Lok Sabha constituency fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh, whose daughter Mriganka Singh is now the party’s candidate. She is fighting Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Tabassum Hasan, who is supported by the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. A bypoll will also be held for the Noorpur assembly constituency in the state on the same day.
Jammu and Kashmir: Massive forest fire breaks out in Rajouri
Rajouri (Jammu & Kashmir): A massive fire broke out in a forest in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri on Friday. Locals said that the situation was out of control as the fire was spreading rapidly, adding that even the officials were finding it difficult to contain the fire.
“Officials are working to control the fire, but it is difficult to do so as no fire tenders can reach here,” locals said. This comes merely two days after Indian Air Force helicopters doused a forest fire that broke out in Trikuta Hills of Katra district, using under-slung Bambi buckets. According to forest department officials, the soaring temperature and the lack of rainfall are the main reason behind the rise in the incidents of forest fire.
Jodhpur court grants interim bail to 3 in Bhanwari Devi case
Jodhpur: A Jodhpur court has granted interim bail for three days to the three main accused in the 2011 abduction and murder case of Bhanwari Devi in Rajasthan. The trial court granted bail to Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, Parasram Bishnoi and their sister Indira Bishnoi to allow them to attend a condolence meeting of their aunt at their ancestral Tilwasni village near Jodhpur.
The bail period begins today and the trio would have to return to the authorities by the evening of May 28. “All this period, they will remain under strict police watch,” the government counsel said. The case had grabbed headlines in 2011 after the name of then Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna had cropped up in connection with the killing of Bhanwari Devi.
Bhanwari Devi, posted as an auxiliary nurse midwife at a sub-centre in Jaliwada village, around 120 km from Jodhpur, had gone missing on September 1, 2011. She disappeared after a CD allegedly showing Maderna in compromising position with the 36-year-old nurse was aired by some television news channels.
The CBI had said Bhanwari Devi was allegedly abducted from Jodhpur’s Bilara area and killed. Her body was handed over to another gang which burnt it in a limestone quarry and dumped the remains in a canal, the agency alleged. Maderna, who represented Osian assembly constituency, was arrested on December 2, 2011 in Jodhpur by the CBI along with Parasram Bishnoi, brother of Malkhan Singh. Rajasthan Police arrested Indira Bishnoi from Madhya Pradesh in June last year.
Sikkim government issues advisory on Nipah virus
Gangtok: The Sikkim health department has issued an advisory urging the people of the state to take precaution against Nipah virus. “Though there is minimal possibility of Nipah virus in Sikkim, but the people need to take precaution,” it said in an advisory yesterday in the wake of Nipah outbreak in Kerala.
The symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, vomiting and fainting. Some may show symptoms of epilepsy. The symptoms may last 10-12 days followed by unconsciousness and death as a result of brain fever, the advisory said. It is advised to the people that they should not eat fruits and vegetables bitten by birds, bats and animals, wash their hands properly after contacting infected person and monitor fever cases with history of travel to the affected areas i.e. Kerala.
Vaishno Devi yatra remains suspended due to forest fire
Jammu: The annual pilgrimage to the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine remained suspended for a second consecutive day on Thursday following a forest fire, police said. Around 25,000 pilgrims were currently stranded at the Katra base camp for clearance to start the uphill trek to the shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. However, helicopter services have resumed.
“A huge forest fire broke out yesterday (Wednesday) in the Trikuta Hills,” a police official said. The fire department have deployed helicopters to douse the flames. Trenches were also dug to prevent the fire from spreading out. “The blaze has been contained to a large extent. For the safety of the pilgrims, the passage to the shrine will only be permitted after the blaze is completely put out,” the official added. Over two crore pilgrims visit the shrine every year.
Anti-Sterlite protest: Internet services temporarily suspended in Thoothukudi
Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu): Amid the ongoing anti-Sterlite protest, Internet services have been temporarily suspended in Thoothukudi. The services were suspended on Wednesday from 9 pm onwards and will remain so until further instruction is issued by the administration. One person was killed and three others injured earlier yesterday as fresh violence broke out in Anna Nagar, thus taking the death toll of the Sterlite protest incident to 12.
On Tuesday, 11 people were killed and over 65 got injured during protests against the construction of a new copper smelter by the Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi. The agitation turned violent after protesters were barred from marching up to the plant, due to which they began to pelt stones and toppled police vehicles. In retaliation, police officials resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas to disperse the crowd to contain the situation.
Unnao rape case: CBI takes BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in three-day custody
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday took Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in three-day custody in connection with the rape of a minor girl. A case has also been filed against Unnao MLA Sengar on charges of criminal conspiracy for falsely implicating the rape victim’s father.
The girl was allegedly raped by the BJP MLA at his residence on June 4, 2017, where she had gone to his house seeking a job. When the family complained, the victim’s father was instead booked by the police under the Arms Act on April 3 earlier this year and put into jail on April 5. He later died in a hospital, with the postmortem report mentioning serious injuries on his body.
BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh arrested for raping a woman on promise of job
A local BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh was arrested by police over rape charges on Tuesday. Kanhaiya Lal Mishra, who is a former president of the BJP’s Bhadohi district unit, was arrested for raping a 32-year-old woman in Varanasi.
According to woman, the incident occurred when Mishra called her to a lodge in Varanasi on the promise of job. Mishra, who is in his early 50’s, set up a meeting of the victim with a woman government officer at a lodge in Englishia Line.
The victim alleged that she was in touch with Mishra on the phone for a couple of months and since she was acquainted with Mishra, she agreed to go to the lodge. The victim also alleged that Mishra sexually assaulted her when she entered the room of the lodge. “She resisted and raised an alarm which drew other guests at the lodge to outside Mishra’s room. She also called the emergency police response system and the others informed Sigra police,” said a police officer.
After receiving the complaint, police rushed to the spot and took Mishra to police station. “A case was registered against Kanhaiya Lal Mishra under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code following a complaint by the woman and he was arrested,” said Inspector Satish Singh, the station officer of Sigra police station. He also informed that the woman was sent for medical examination.
Earlier, one of BJP’s MLA Kuldeep Sengar was arrested for allegedly raping a minor in Unnao. The case is under investigation by CBI at present. Now, the Mishra’s arrest is likely to create a situation of embarrassment for BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
AAP to support SP, RLD candidates in Uttar Pradesh bypolls
Lucknow: The AAP on Tuesday announced it will support the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) candidate in the Kairana parliamentary bypoll and the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate in Noorpur assembly constituency, voting for which will be held on May 28.
Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha member and national spokesman Sanjay Singh told IANS that his party had decided to throw its lot behind the opposition so as to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates as its divisive politics needed to be defeated. “We have decided that there has to be solidarity amongst the opposition parties on these two seats and hence this decision,” said Singh, who also is the in-charge of UP affairs.
Though AAP is a fringe player in the state, its decision is being seen as a boost to the opposition unity to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will seek a second term in the office in 2019. The Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Nishad Party have already thrown their lot behind the SP and RLD candidates.
Tamil Nadu: Sterlite Copper expresses sorrow over violence in Tuticorin
Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu): Sterlite Copper has released an official statement expressing sorrow and regret over the deaths that took place during the anti-Sterlite protest in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin on Tuesday. In a late night statement, Sterlite Cooper said it has appealed to the government and the authorities to ensure safety of its employees and the surrounding communities.
It added that the plant is currently non-operational as the company was awaiting approval for it. “It’s with great sorrow and regret that we witnessed today’s incidents around the protest today at Tuticorin. The company has appealed to government and authorities to ensure safety of our employees, facilities and surrounding communities. Sterlite Copper plant is non-operational as we await approval for the consent to operate,” the statement read.
The months-long protest of the locals, demanding the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin over pollution concerns, turned violent on Tuesday, resulting in the death of nine. More than 65 people have been injured in the clashes between agitated protestors and police officials. The protestors tried to gherao the collector’s office and torched vehicles inside the premise.
Police officials resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas to disperse the crowd to contain the tense situation. The Sterlite Copper plant and its proposed expansion in Tuticorin have invited several protests by locals and others who allege that the plant was polluting groundwater in their area.
Condemning the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-led State government for the unrest and the deaths, Kamal Hasaan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam blamed the government for the unrest in the state. The party in its statement said, “The peaceful protest by the people of Tuticorin against Sterlite, demanded justice was ignored by the Governments. Negligence of the Governments is the reason for all the unfortunate incidents. Citizens are not criminals. They are the ones who lose their lives, earlier due to Sterlite and now due to the Government’s orders.”