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Hyderabad

Plea dismissed, Jagan to appear in CBI court in DA case

YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy (File Photo: IANS)
YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy (File Photo: IANS)
In a setback to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Special CBI Court here on Friday dismissed his petition for exemption from personal appearance before the court during the hearings of the alleged illegal assets case.
 
The court, which had reserved its order on his petition on October 18, pronounced it on Friday.
 
Jagan had sought the exemption from personal appearance in the court on the ground that he is holding a constitutional post and needs to attend several important programmes.
 
However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had opposed the Chief Minister's plea, saying there is a change only in personal capacity of the petitioner and not in the circumstances of the case. The federal agency had also argued that Jagan may influence the witnesses.
 
Jagan now has to be present in CBI court every Friday for hearing related to the cases filed against him in 2011.
 
He has not appeared in the court since he became Chief Minister in May as he was granted exemptions for the same on a week-by-week basis.
 
Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2017 had rejected Jagan's plea to exempt him from appearing in the Special Court. He had pleaded for exemption, citing his duties as a legislator and leader of opposition.
 
The high court, however, had ruled that he could apply for exemption on a week-by-week basis.
 
The CBI, in its counter affidavit, alleged that the petitioner approached the court with 'unclean hands and by suppressing material facts.'
 
It submitted to the court that the exemption from personal appearance would give him 'an unsolicited liberty to do whatever he wants and influence the witnesses behind the iron wall of political, money and muscle powers.'
 
Jagan sought exemption on various grounds including his new status as the Chief Minister, bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the poor financial condition of the state government.
 
"In all the 11 chargesheets, the petitioner stands accused in his individual capacity and as a representative of his privately owned companies, and therefore should attend the court as such," said the CBI.
 
"Any reference to the revenue and financial condition of the government of Andhra Pradesh is only an attempt to deviate the attention of the court from the real issues and therefore cannot be given any credence," it added.
 
"It is submitted that it is almost six years from date of filing of last chargesheet in the case, but the trial proceedings are yet to start. This is an indication that the accused has been able to procrastinate the proceedings on one pretext or other."
 
In what is called the 'quid-pro-quo' cases, Jagan was accused of getting investments into his businesses by firms and individuals in return for the undue favours by the government headed by his father Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy between 2004 and 2009.
 
However, the YSRCP leader denied all the charges and termed them as political vendetta.
 
The CBI arrested Jagan and sent him to jail on May 27, 2012. After 16 months in jail, he was granted bail.
 
IANS
 

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UNESCO designates 66 new Creative Cities including Hyderabad and Mumbai

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On the occasion of World Cities’ Day today, UNESCO designated 66 urban settlements, including Hyderabad and Mumbai in India, that will join the organization’s network of Creative Cities.
 
The network, which now numbers a total of 246 members, brings together cities that base their development on creativity, whether in music, arts and folk crafts, design, cinema, literature, digital arts or gastronomy.
 
UNESCO creative cities commit to placing the culture at the centre of their development strategies and to share their best practices.
 
“All over the world, these cities, each in its way, make culture the pillar, not an accessory, of their strategy,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
 
“This favours political and social innovation and is particularly important for the young generations,” he added.
 
On October 31, UNESCO and officials from 24 cities around the world celebrate World Cities Day mobilizing the Organization’s different urban networks which focus not only on culture but also on access, inclusion, global citizenship education, defence of rights, economics and employment, as well as climate change prevention and resilience.
 
The celebration, an occasion for “urban dialogues” will showcase exceptional cities that rely on innovation and collective intelligence to shape their future.
 
In the framework of a partnership between UNESCO and Netexplo Observatory, the celebration will also recognize ten cities which use state of the art technological innovation at the service of citizens to transform cities around the world sustainably.
 
Relying on a global network of 20 universities, ten cities will be honoured for their innovative use of digital technology in their socio-economic and environmental development.
 
While Hyderabad has been selected for gastronomy, Mumbai gets the honour for films. 
 
The other new members are: Afyonkarahisar (Turkey) – Gastronomy; Ambon (Indonesia) – Music; Angoulême (France) – Literature; Areguá (Paraguay) – Crafts and Folk Art; Arequipa (Peru) – Gastronomy; Asahikawa (Japan) – Design; Ayacucho (Peru) – Crafts and Folk Art;
 
Baku (Azerbaijan) – Design; Ballarat (Australia) – Crafts and Folk Art; Bandar Abbas (Iran [Islamic Republic of]) – Crafts and Folk Art; Bangkok (Thailand) – Design; Beirut (Lebanon) – Literature; Belo Horizonte (Brazil) – Gastronomy; Bendigo (Australia) – Gastronomy; Bergamo (Italy) – Gastronomy; Biella (Italy) – Crafts and Folk Art;
 
Caldas da Rainha (Portugal) – Crafts and Folk Art; Cebu City (Philippines) – Design; Essaouira (Morocco) – Music; Exeter (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Literature; Fortaleza (Brazil) – Design; Hanoi (Vietnam) – Design; Havana (Cuba) – Music;
 
Jinju (Republic of Korea) – Crafts and Folk Art; Kargopol (Russian Federation) – Crafts and Folk Art; Karlsruhe (Germany) – Media Arts; Kazan (Russian Federation) – Music; K?r?ehir (Turkey) – Music; Kuhmo (Finland) – Literature; Lahore (Pakistan) – Literature;
 
Leeuwarden (Netherlands) – Literature; Leiria (Portugal) – Music; Lliria (Spain) – Music; Mérida (Mexico) – Gastronomy; Metz (France) – Music; Muharraq (Bahrain) – Design; Mumbai (India) – Film; Nanjing (China) – Literature;
 
Odesa (Ukraine) – Literature; Overstrand Hermanus (South Africa) – Gastronomy; Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) – Music; Portoviejo (Ecuador) – Gastronomy; Potsdam (Germany) – Film; Querétaro (Mexico) – Design; Ramallah (Palestine) – Music; San José (Costa Rica) – Design; Sanandaj (Iran [Islamic Republic of]) – Music; Santiago de Cali (Colombia) – Media Arts;
 
Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) – Music; Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Film; Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) – Crafts and Folk Art; Slemani (Iraq) – Literature; Sukhothai (Thailand) – Crafts and Folk Art; Trinidad (Cuba) – Crafts and Folk Art;
 
Valladolid (Spain) – Film; Valledupar (Colombia) – Music; Valparaíso (Chile) – Music; Veszprém (Hungary) – Music; Viborg (Denmark) – Media Arts; Viljandi (Estonia) – Crafts and Folk Art; Vranje (Serbia) – Music; Wellington (New Zealand) – Film; Wonju (Republic of Korea) – Literature; Wroc?aw (Poland) – Literature; Yangzhou (China) – Gastronomy.
 
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On 26th day of strike, Telangana RTC staff vow to continue

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On the 26th day of their indefinite strike, employees of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) on Wednesday vowed to continue their struggle till all their demands are accepted by the government.
 
Leaders of striking employees, opposition parties and people's organizations came together on a common platform at the public meeting organized by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC employee unions at Saroornagar here.
 
Slamming the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) state government for its indifferent attitude towards the problems of the TSRTC, the leaders threatened to intensify the protest by organising a "million march" like the one organised during the movement to achieve statehood for Telangana.
 
The meeting was attended by a large number of striking employees and their family members from across the state. Tragedy struck the gathering when a driver, who had come from Karimnagar, died of cardiac arrest.
 
Three employees have committed suicide and six more have died of cardiac arrest during the last 20 days. JAC leaders said the fear of losing their jobs has pushed employees into depression.
 
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao had announced that over 48,000 employees have dismissed themselves from service by not joining duty before the expiry of the deadline set by the government. The employees have also not received salaries for September, adding to their hardship.
 
The speakers at the public meeting targeted the Chief Minister for not bothering to address TSRTC issues despite deaths of many employees.
 
They disputed Rao's claim that TSRTC is neck-deep in losses. JAC convenor Ashwathama Reddy and other leaders alleged that the government had pushed the TSRTC into losses by levying high taxes and not paying dues owed to the Corporation towards the subsidy given to various categories of commuters.
 
The politicians, including state Congress vice-president A. Revanth Reddy and BJP's G. Vivek alleged that Rao was trying to sell away the assets of TSRTC by privatizing it.
 
Chada Venkat Reddy of the Communist Party of India demanded that the Centre should intervene as thousands of employees were suffering due to the adamant attitude of the state government.
 
Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) leader M. Kodandaram said they would not hesitate to organize another "million march" to save the TSRTC.
 
On Wednesday, the Chief minister held a review meeting on the issue with top officials. They discussed various aspects of the case being heard by the Telangana High Court and the arguments to be put forward by the government when hearing resumes on November 1.
 
The court on Tuesday pulled up the government for not agreeing to provide Rs 47 crore to address the demands of the employees and end the deadlock when it has announced Rs 100 crore for one constituency.
 
Rao has announced Rs 100 crore assistance for the Huzurnagar Assembly constituency after the massive victory of the TRS in the by-elections last week.
 
The court admonished the officials for not placing all the facts and figures with regard to the arrears to be paid by the government to the TSRTC and directed them to submit all the details at the next hearing.
 
IANS
 

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IIT-Hyderabad student commits suicide

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A 20-year-old student of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Hyderabad allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday by jumping from the hostel building on the campus at Kandi in Sangareddy district near here, police said.
 
Siddharth Pichikala, a third-year student of computer science, jumped off the third floor of the hostel building around 3.30 a.m. He was taken to a private hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. The body was shifted to Gandhi Hospital for autopsy.
 
Siddharth, a resident of Hyderabad, had reportedly sent an email to his friends before committing suicide. He is said to have stated that he lags behind in studies and is afraid of failure in making a career.
 
Police have registered a case and taken up investigation.
 
This is the third suicide at the institute this year. In July, Mark Andrew Charles (20), a second-year Master's student from Uttar Pradesh, had committed suicide by hanging in his hostel room. He wrote in his suicide note that he may not get good marks and that there is no future for failures in the world.
 
In February, a third-year student, Anirudhya Mummaneni had ended his life by jumping off the hostel building.
 
IANS
 

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Part of Hyderabad's Nampally Sarai caves in

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A portion of a 100-year-old structure, built in the memory of the First World War Treaty, caved in here on Saturday, injuring two persons.
 
The roof of the second floor of Nampally Sarai, a heritage structure in the heart of the city, collapsed in the evening.
 
A few persons were present in the dilapidated building at the time of the accident. Police shifted two injured to the hospital.
 
Personnel of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) rushed to the scene and were removing the debris to find out if anyone was trapped under it.
 
Officials believe incessant rains during the last few days had further weakened the Sarai or the guesthouse.
 
Located near Nampally Railway Station, Nampally Sarai is one of the few remaining heritage structures in this historic city and fell on bad times due to negligence by authorities.
 
The sixth Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Pasha, the then ruler of Hyderabad State, had built Nampally Sarai in 1919 in memory of the First World War Treaty.
 
Then called Sullah Sarai and considered as the gateway of the old city, this two-storied building used to be abuzz with visitors to the city.
 
The balcony of the eastern portion of Sarai had collapsed in 1998 due to lack of maintenance.
 
A few years ago Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) took control of the Sarai from GHMC. HMR was planning to turn it into a parking area. However, due to opposition from concerned citizens and heritage activists, it put its plans on hold.
 
IANS
 

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Bodies of six drowned in Telangana canal pulled out

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The bodies of all six persons who drowned in the Left Canal of Nagarjuna Sagar Project in Telangana's Suryapet district on Friday night were pulled out on Saturday, police said.
 
All the bodies were stuck in the car, which fell into the canal. The vehicle was retrieved by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnal with the help of a crane.
 
The deceased were identified as Abdul Aziz (45), Rajesh (29), Santhosh Kumar (23), Pavan Kumar (23), Naresh (55) and Johnson (33).
 
The incident occurred on Friday night in Chakirala village of Nadigudem block when the person driving the car apparently lost control and the vehicle fell off the bridge into the canal.
 
All of them were employees of a private hospital in Hyderabad and were returning to the city after attending the wedding of their colleague in Suryapet district.
 
A group of five employees coming in another car were alerted by local residents about the accident.
 
Due to darkness and heavy flow of water, authorities could not take up rescue work. A team of the NDRF launched the search operation on Saturday morning with a boat and other equipments.
 
The car was spotted at about half a kilometre away from the bridge. District Collector Ameya Kumar supervised the search operations.
 
IANS
 

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Telangana IMS director arrested in multi-crore drugs scam

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Telangana's Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Friday arrested Insurance Medical Service (IMS) Director Devika Rani and five others in a multi-crore scam in the supply of medicines to dispensaries and hospitals under the Employees State Insurance Scheme (ESIS).
 
After simultaneous raids at 23 places in Hyderabad and Warangal, the ACB sleuths took Devika Rani into custody from her residence in Hyderabad and later shifted her to the ACB office for questioning. Five other officials and pharmacists were also taken into custody. The arrested are likely to be produced in a court later in the day.
 
The director and other officials allegedly caused losses to the government exchequer by purchasing medicines through special medical drug dispensing units instead of 'rate contract' firms during 2017-18.
 
IMS director allegedly diverted several crore rupees by purchasing drugs and surgical kits from unauthorised firms under the guise of an emergency. They are facing charges of making false indents, falsifying records and violating rules in purchasing medicines.
 
The anti-graft agency launched an inquiry into the scam following directions from the state government.
 
The Vigilance and Enforcement wing had earlier conducted a probe into the allegations that Devika did not follow the eligibility criteria in the selection of firms for supply of medicines. The probe found that the medicines were brought at exorbitant prices, in violation of the procurement procedures and e-tender process.
 
IANS
 

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Heavy rains continue to pound Hyderabad, normal life hit

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Heavy rains continued to pound Hyderabad for the second straight day on Wednesday, with the city recording the highest September rainfall in over 100 years, officials said.
 
Several parts of the city experienced heavy rainfall on Wednesday evening, bringing normal life to a grinding halt. Commuters were stranded in peak hour traffic as the thunderstorm resulted in inundation of the roads.
 
Long traffic snarls were seen in the Information Technology corridors of Hitec City and Gachibowli. Hundreds of techies returning from their offices were caught in the jam.
 
The traffic police had a tough time in controlling the situation. The police have advised the employees of IT companies to delay their departure from offices and follow staggered timings in view of the traffic jams.
 
As continuing rains flooded roads and low-lying areas, the emergency team of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) swung into action to clear the bottlenecks in stormwater drains.
 
Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy, spoke to Telangana Chief Secretary S. K. Joshi and GHMC Commissioner to enquire about the ground situation.
 
Kishan Reddy, who represents the Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency, also assured Centre's support in the deployment of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), as and when there is a requirement.
 
Earlier, the state's Urban Development and Municipal Administration Minister K. T. Rama Rao said that Hyderabad was witnessing the highest ever September rainfall. "We are witnessing the highest ever rainfall in September in over 100 years," he tweeted.
 
According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, the city is witnessing an unusual phenomenon as the rainfall received during September in normal rainfall years is less than July and August.
 
According to IMD data, Hyderabad received 7.5 cm rainfall on Tuesday, while some areas received up to 13.2 cm rainfall.
 
Y. K. Reddy, Director, IMD, Hyderabad, said that it was the third-highest rainfall in one day in September in 111 years. The highest was 15.32 cm recorded 1908 while the second highest was 9 cm in 2017.
 
IANS
 

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Former Andhra Speaker commits suicide, TDP blames YSRCP

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Former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao on Monday committed suicide at his residence here, triggering allegations by the TDP that harassment by the YSRCP government drove him to end his life.
 
A preliminary autopsy report confirmed that the senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and former minister had hanged himself.
 
Rao took his life by hanging with a cloth tied to the ceiling fan at his residence in posh Banjara Hills around 11 a.m.
 
Rao's daughter with the help of driver and security guard shifted him to Basvatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital, of which he was the founder chairman.
 
Doctors said Rao was unresponsive when brought to hospital around 11.35 a.m. They failed in their efforts to revive him and declared him dead at 12.39 p.m.
 
Police registered a case of death under suspicious circumstances and took up the investigations. Deputy Commissioner of Police A. R. Srinivas said the family members told the police that he was under mental stress.
 
Police shifted Rao's body to the government-run Osmania General Hospital, where a team of forensic experts conducted an autopsy.
 
The body was later shifted to NTR Trust Bhavan, the TDP headquarters here to enable the party leaders to pay their last respects.
 
The TDP blamed the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government for Rao's death. Its leaders termed this as a murder by the government. They said Rao was under tremendous mental pressure due to false cases booked against him.
 
TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu alleged that Rao took the extreme step as he was unable to bear the mental harassment. "I had never imagined that Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, who himself was a doctor, will take his own life in this manner," Naidu told reporters in Guntur.
 
Naidu later rushed to Hyderabad. He along with other leaders will escort the body to Narsaraopet in Guntur district on Tuesday morning.
 
However, the YSRCP rubbished the allegations by TDP. The ruling party suspect that differences in the family led to Rao's suicide.
 
Urban Development Minister Botsa Satyanarayana demanded that the Telangana government conduct a thorough probe into Rao's death. He wondered why a man, who was initially believed to have suffered cardiac arrest, was taken to a cancer hospital.
 
Meanwhile, police in Narsaraopet and surrounding areas imposed prohibitory orders as a precautionary measure to prevent outbreak of violence.
 
A physician by profession, Rao entered politics at the invitation of TDP founder N. T. Rama Rao in 1982. A senior leader from Guntur district, Rao served as a minister in the cabinets of Rama Rao and N. Chandrababu Naidu in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
 
He served as Assembly Speaker from 2014 to 2019. He was defeated in the recent Assembly elections.
 
Rao, a six time MLA, was aTDP strongman from the faction-ridden Palnadu of Guntur district. His rivals used to blame him for the political violence in the region.
 
A bomb blast at his house in Narsaraopet during 1999 elections had killed four of his supporters. He was then a minister in Chandrababu Naidu cabinet. The Congress party had accused him of storing bombs at his house but Rao had blamed Maoists for the blast.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had later given a clean chit to Rao in the case.
 
Rao was injured in the alleged attack by YSRCP workers at a polling station during the elections in April. The YSRCP had accused him of resorting to rigging.
 
Rao and his son Sivarama Krishna were last month booked by Andhra Pradesh Police for allegedly diverting the Assembly furniture to unauthorized premises. Some furniture was recovered from a motorbike showroom of Sivarama Krishna in Guntur.
 
IANS
 

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Ex-Andhra Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao commits suicide

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Former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao died allegedly after attempting to commit suicide at his house in Hyderabad on Monday. He was 72.
 
Police rushed to his house in posh Banjara Hills and launched the investigation as the news spread that Rao died at a private hospital.
 
Rao was taken to Basvatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital by his driver and gunman. The doctors have not yet announced the cause of the death.
 
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Buddha Venkanna alleged in Vijayawada that Rao ended his life due to mental harassment by YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government.
 
A senior TDP leader from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, Rao had served as a minister in the cabinets of N. T. Rama Rao and N. Chandrababu Naidu in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
 
He served as Assembly Speaker from 2014 to 2019. He was defeated in the recent Assembly elections.
 
Rao, a six time MLA, is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
 
IANS

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Microsoft CEO's father Yugandhar passes away

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Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar, a retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who served in the Prime Minister's Office and the Planning Commission, breathed his last at his residence in Banjara Hills here, family sources said.
 
An IAS officer of the 1962 batch, Yugandhar held many key positions both in undivided Andhra Pradesh and at the Centre. Known for his clean record, he was instrumental in implementation of many schemes designed for the poor and marginalized sections of the society.
 
He was the top bureaucrat in the Rural Development Ministry when P. V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister.
 
Yugandar, who is remembered by his contemporaries as an upright officer with strong left leaning, was a Planning Commission member during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-I government (2004-09).
 
The IAS official was also credited with pushing through guidelines which would institutionalise money flow for watershed development direct to districts from the Central government, bypassing states.
 
Yugandhar also served as Director of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration from 1988 to 1993.
 
Known for simplicity, Yugandar performed his son's marriage with his IAS batchmate K. R. Venugopal's daughter Anupama in a simple manner. He did not even invite then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao for the marriage.
 
When his son became Microsoft CEO in 2014, Yugandar and his family members sought to avoid media attention, saying they wished for privacy.
 
Yugandhar, who hailed from Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, did not forget his roots and worked for the development of his village Bukkapuram.
 
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao expressed his condolences over the demise of Yugandhar. Rao said Yugandhar was a sincere, honest officer who was known for his simplicity.
 
The Chief Minister also recalled the services rendered by Yugandhar. He conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family, especially Yugandhar's son.
 
IANS
 

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Telangana CM again expands cabinet, inducts son, nephew

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Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday expanded his cabinet with the induction of six ministers including his son K. T. Rama Rao and nephew T. Harish Rao.
 
The new ministers were administered the oaths of office and secrecy by Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan at a ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan at 4.14 p.m.
 
The four other ministers who took oath are P. Sabita Indra Reddy, Gangula Kamalakar, Puvvada Ajay and Satyavati Rathod.
 
Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao, his ministers, leaders of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), MPs, state legislators and senior officials attended the ceremony.
 
Interestingly, Soundararajan administered oath to the new ministers only a few hours after she was sworn in as the new Governor of the state.
 
Chandrasekhar Rao, who had no woman minister in his cabinet during the first term, inducted two women -- Sabita Indra Reddy and Satyavati Rathod -- today.
 
Three of the newly-inducted ministers had earlier served as ministers.
 
K. T. Rama Rao and Harish Rao were in the cabinet during the TRS' first term in power.
 
Sabitha was one of the 12 Congress MLAs who had defected to the TRS after the latter retained power. She had earlier served as minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
 
This is the second expansion in the state cabinet since the TRS swept back to power in the elections held in December last year.
 
With this expansion, the strength of the cabinet has gone up to 18, the maximum permitted by the rules.
 
Chandrasekhar Rao had taken oath as the Chief Minister for the second term on December 13. Home Minister Mehmood Ali had also taken oath with him.
 
KCR expanded his cabinet on February 19 by inducting 10 ministers.
 
IANS
 

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Body of Telangana student missing in London found

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The body of a 23-year-old student from Telangana, who was missing since August 22 in London, was found at a beach in Britain.
 
According to information reaching Ujwal Sriharsha's family in Khammam district on Tuesday, his body was identified by his father Uday Pratap.
 
The cause of the death is still not known.
 
Ujwal, who was pursuing his MS at Queen Mary University of London, went missing on August 22. His backpack was found at the top of cliffs at Beachy Head, Eastbourne, Sussex.
 
Police suspected that he may have ended his life but the family was not ready to believe this.
 
Uday Pratap, who is President of BJP's Khammam district unit, had earlier said Ujwal last spoke to his mother on August 21.
 
Ujwal, who graduated from BITS Pilani, Hyderabad, had gone to London last year and was doing MS in Artificial Intelligence.
 
IANS
 

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Telangana farmers fall at official's feet over land issue

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Two Telangana farmers were seen falling at the feet of an official, pleading him to do justice in a matter relating to their land, in a video which went viral on social media on Monday.
 
The elderly farmers are seen begging a revenue officer at Chevella in Ranga Reddy district to help them get back their 'pattadar' or land entitlement passbook which was taken away by authorities during a physical verification recently.
 
Unmoved by the farmers' plight, the officer is seen walking away.
 
Ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Working President K. T. Rama Rao reacted to the video and requested the Ranga Reddy District Collector to immediately investigate the matter.
 
"Individual rights & entitlements should not be at the mercy of any Govt official/public representative," tweeted Rama Rao, who is son of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
 
"As a permanent solution to land title related issues, Telangana Govt is set to bring in a new Revenue Act soon," he added.
 
The famers in the video were identified as Sattaiah and his brother Lingaiah. They alleged that their two-acre ancestral land was transferred in the name of another person after their 'pattadar' passbook was taken away.
 
They claimed that while the Collector and Mandal Revenue Officer (MRO) assured them that their land will be restored, the local officials were not only refusing to do the work but also threatening them.
 
"They are threatening to send us to jail," said Lingaiah.
 
IANS
 

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Sindhu walks ramp for designer Shriya Bhupal

Badminton star  P. V. Sindhu walking the ramp for designer Shriya Bhupal in Hyderabad on August 30, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Badminton star P. V. Sindhu walking the ramp for designer Shriya Bhupal in Hyderabad on August 30, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Fresh from her historic triumph at the BWF World Championships in Switzerland last Sunday, star shuttler P. V. Sindhu on Friday walked the ramp for designer Shriya Bhupal's first solo show here.
 
Turning showstopper for the designer whom she has known from her childhood, Sindhu launched Bhupal's latest autumn/winter collection named ‘Sanctuary', wearing a fuschia pink, off-shoulder blouse with an embellished, trailing skirt of the same colour with floral motifs.
 
"It was an amazing experience to win gold at the World Championships and I was pleasantly surprised to come back home and learn that Shriya was doing her first solo show in Hyderabad. We have known each other for years and naturally, I am happy to be a part of it. I am glad to be showcasing her amazing new collection as I have always loved her work," said Sindhu, who crushed Japan's Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in Basel last Sunday to become the first Indian shuttler to win gold at the World Championships. 
 
Launched under the label Shriya Som, the line-up is the designer's imagination of a hidden paradise -- lush with verdant textures and romantic florals. 
 
Bhupal said: "This is my very first show in my hometown Hyderabad. Sindhu and I have known each other since childhood. She graciously agreed to walk for my show and I am most grateful to her. She's done this on the back of her huge win at the World Championships and I can't think of a bigger role model and more inspirational woman to collaborate with for my first solo show."
 
'Sanctuary' comprises an array of pieces suited for bridal couture, occasion and festive wear. There are ready-to-wear pieces that feature surface embroideries and dimensional embellishments, in layers of pastel tones and sharp, solid contrasts. 
 
Dark and light, soft and vivid, layered and pleated, ‘Sanctuary' explores the idea of duality. The collection ranged from palette of colours ranging from pastels to earthy hues like merlot, fuchsia, midnight blues and ebony.
 
Shriya Som has also introduced a fresh bridal couture line this season which is a versatile fusion of traditional and contemporary styles.
 
IANS
 

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Fire breaks out in Telangana Express near Delhi; no casualties

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A major fire broke out in two coaches of the 12723 Hyderabad-New Delhi Telangana Express near Ballabhgarh in Haryana near here on Thursday, fire officials said. No injuries have been reported.
 
The blaze in the train was reported near the Asaoti station at around 7.43 a.m., following which several fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior railway official said.
 
The train had passed Asaoti station but it had to be stopped between Asaoti and Ballabgarh, about 36 km from here. Due to heavy smoke, movement on the track has also been stopped, the official added.
 
The fire broke out from the brake binding of the wheels of the 9th coach, the official said, adding that two coaches caught fire and both have been isolated now.
 
"All passengers were shifted to the front portion and the train departed at around 10.35 a.m. The services on the track have resumed," the officer added.
 
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Fire in Telangana Express; no casualties

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A fire broke out in the 12723 Hyderabad-New Delhi Telangana Express at a station in Haryana on Thursday, fire officials said. No injuries have been reported yet.
 
The blaze in the train was reported near Asaoti station around 7.43 a.m., following which several fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior railway official said
 
The train had passed Asaoti station but it had to be stopped between Asaoti and Ballabgarh. Due to heavy smoke, movement on the track has also been stopped, the official added.
 
The fire broke out from the brake binding of the wheels of the 9th coach, the official said.
 
IANS
 

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Three students die in Telangana school bus accident

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Three students were killed and five others injured when a bus of a private school overturned in Telangana's Rajanna Sircilla district on Wednesday, police said.
 
The accident occurred on the outskirts of Vemulawada when the bus was carrying students to the hostel.
 
Quoting witnesses, the police said the bus hit the median and overturned after the driver lost control of the vehicle.
 
A student of second class and another studying in 10th class died on the spot while another student succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
 
Rash driving is said have led to the accident. Police were investigating if the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
 
Parents and other family members of the students staged a protest, demanding action against the school management for its alleged negligence.
 
Health Minister Etela Rajender visited the hospital and called on the injured. He assured justice to the families of the victims.
 
IANS

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Amazon's biggest global campus launched in Hyderabad

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E-commerce giant Amazon on Wednesday opened its largest campus in the world in Hyderabad, reaffirming its long-term commitment to India.
 
The first owned office building of Amazon outside the United States, and its largest building globally, has come up at Nanakramguda in Gachibowli, an information technology cluster.
 
The campus, spread over 9.5 acres, can house more than 15,000 employees of Amazon's over 62,000 employee-base in India.
 
The 1.8 million square feet office space, built on three million sq ft of construction area, is Amazon's single largest building in the world in terms of area.
 
The edifice was inaugurated by Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali in the presence of Amazon Vice-President and global real estate and facilities director John Schoettler and Amazon India Senior Vice-President and country manager Amit Agarwal.
 
The company officials said hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in the campus but declined to give a figure.
 
Agarwal said Amazon had already announced $5 billion investment in India and another $500 million in food retail.
 
"Over last 15 years, we have invested significantly in India across 30 office spaces, the AWS (Amazon Web Services) APAC (Asia Pacific) region in Mumbai, 50 Fulfillment Centres in 13 states of India, as well as hundreds of delivery stations and sort centres, creating nearly 200,000 jobs in India," he said.
 
Amazon has made investments in India in Kindle and Prime Video, which is supporting many creators, actors, producers and writers in telling their stories, and also continues to make investments in its popular voice system device Alexa, which is taking artificial intelligence (AI) to the masses.
 
AWS launched two availability zones in Mumbai and also announced a third one. The global customer centre was also launched.
 
Agarwal said Amazon.in started six years Amazon had become the largest market place in India with about 200 million items available on its platform.
 
It has 50 warehouses that occupy 25 million cubic feet of space, which is largest space created for e-commerce in India. It employs almost two lakh people through logistics, warehousing and delivery stations in partner associations to serve customers.
 
Amazon.in has 500,000 sellers using the platform for their daily livelihood. It also has 50,000 stores in 25 states acting as pickup, delivery and assistance points for customers.
 
Agarwal also said that Amazon.in started exports services two years and the cumulative exports last year crossed $1 billion. 
 
"We are on course to cross $5 billion exports in next three years. If you take out petroleum and jewelry out this, it will be three per cent of India's total mercantile exports," he said.
 
Schoettler said the campus constructed in a short span of three years will have the largest employee base outside the US.
 
The total built-up area when spread out will span over 68 acres, equivalent approximately to 65 football fields. The campus contains over 2.5 times more steel than the Eiffel Tower, measured by weight.
 
He noted that the campus has inter-faith prayer rooms, mother's room, quiet rooms, showers, helipad and an all-day cafeteria. He said this was designed to facilitate inclusion and diversity.
 
Amazon already houses its largest India Fulfillment Centre in Hyderabad. Spread over four lakh square feet, it is located near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The company plans to expand it to 5.8 lakh sq ft next year.
 
Amazon now has 4 million sq ft office space at eight buildings in Hyderabad, excluding the Fulfillment Centre. It employs one-third of its India employee base in Hyderabad.
 
He said 4,500 employees from other buildings have already moved to the new campus. With leases of some buildings expiring, it plans to move more employees.
 
Amazon has 40 million sq ft office space in 300 locations across 40 countries
 
Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT, Industry and Commerce, Government of Telangana urged Amazon to promote textile and handicraft traditions of Telangana and take them to the global marketplace by creating a separate space on their platform.
 
Since Amazon was pioneering latest technologies in AI and Machine Learning (ML), he also wanted the company to become anchor partner in Telangana's Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.
 
IANS

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Golf: Rookie Gauri Karhade stuns field to win maiden title on Hero WPGT

Gauri Karhade
Gauri Karhade
Rookie Gauri Karhade playing only her sixth event as a pro on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour, stunned the front-runners, amateur Shreya Pal and the seasoned Gaurika Bishnoi, to land her first title on the circuit here on Saturday.
 
Despite the second-place finish, Gaurika Bishnoi, a highly consistent golfer, stays on top of the Hero WPG Tour Order of Merit and became the first golfer this year to cross Rs. 10 lakh in earnings. 
 
She now has won Rs. 10,49,700 and is trailed by Amandeep Drall with Rs. 8,63,533 and Neha Tripathi with Rs. 8,36,183. Ridhima Dilawari at Rs. 7,50,233 and Gursimar Badwal at Rs. 7,41,733 are fourth and fifth on the Order of Merit after 12 events.
 
Siddhi Kapoor (74) was seventh, while amateur Sneha (74) was eighth, Gursimar Badwal (75) ended ninth and Ishvari Prasanna (75) rounded off the Top  10. Ridhima Dilawari (74) finished a disappointing 11th.
 
Gauri, who turns 18 in October, has never finished above sixth on the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour. She stayed calm and held her nerve to shoot a final round of 73 for a total of two-under 214 and win the 12th Leg by one shot over Gaurika Bishnoi (75) and Afshan Fatima (70).
 
Gaurika was unable to find a single birdie on the final day. Afshan Fatima, who made a great charge on the front nine with a two-under 34, held the lead midway through the back nine but dropped crucial back-to-back bogeys on 15th and 16th to fall into a tie for second with Gaurika at one-under 215.
 
Ananya Datar (72) with one birdie on the  front nine to go against the sole bogey on back nine, ended sole fourth at even-par 216.
 
Overnight leader amateur Shreya Pal was unable to emulate her Hyderabad colleague, Sneha Singh, as she fell apart. She had birdies on first and 18th, but in between she dropped four bogeys and two double bogeys for a card of 78 and ended in a tie for fifth place with Amandeep Drall (71) at one-over 217.
 
Playing the final group, Shreya Pal began with a flourish on the first with a birdie. But she dropped three bogeys in the next four holes. Gauri, starting the final day two behind leader Shreya and one behind Gaurika, was steady and she parred the first five holes, as Gaurika also dropped a shot on second.
 
Then it was Gauri’s turn to make a mistake with a double bogey on the sixth, but Gaurika dropped a bogey on seventh and Shreya dropped a double bogey. That opened the door for Gauri. Meanwhile, Afshan was making a charge with three birdies against one bogey on the front nine.
 
After nine holes, it was still a very tight battle. Gaurika, who was four-under for two rounds, was still two-under after 45 holes. Four players, Shreya, Afshan, Gauri and Ananya Datar were at one-under after the front nine. 
 
On the back nine, Gauri and Afshan found birdies on 11th and Gaurika bogeyed to let Gauri and Afshan move into the lead with the two-shot swing. Gauri dropped a shot on 12th to fall back and Afshan was sole leader.
 
Gauri and Afshan both birdied the 14th at which stage Afshan was ahead at three-under and Gauri was two-under. Gaurika stayed at one-under. Shreya, now five-over for the day after a bogey on 12th, fell back to even par.
 
Then it was Afshan’s turn to make mistakes and she made two in a row on 15th and 16th that allowed Gauri to sneak ahead. She only had to stay calm and get her pars. She did just that. None of the three, including Gaurika, made birdies on the last two holes, leaving Gauri as the victor.
 
Gaurika, unable to find birdies the whole day, ended Tied-second with Afshan, who after a great 14 holes made crucial errors to throw away a chance.
 
Gauri, who started playing at the age of 10 and learnt her early lessons in Thane and Kharghar, has honed her skills at the Poona Golf Club and now resides in Mumbai.
 
After a fair amateur career, she turned pro in the middle of this year. Before today, her best result came last week at the Hyderabad Golf Club, where she was sixth. Before that her only Top-10 finish was Tied-10th in the 10th leg in Bengaluru.
 
A hard working teen, she has been showing promise and a win at this stage will go a long way in boosting her confidence.
 
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Amateur Shreya takes three-shot lead in 12th leg of Hero WPGT

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It was the turn of another local amateur Shreya Pal to  corner the spotlight as she carded five-under 67 to take the lead on the opening day of the 12th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Boulder Hills Golf and Country Club here on Wednesday.
 
Shreya was fifth last week in the 11th Leg, where her city mate Sneha Singh, also an amateur, won the title. Today Shreya went even better in terms of scores as she shot five-under 67 with six birdies against a sole bogey in the first round.
 
She opened a three-shot lead over Ananya Datar, who is also looking for her first win on the Tour. Ananya also had a fine birdie-birdie finish for a card of two-under 70, while Gauri Karhade birdied the 18th for a round of 71 to be third.
 
Gaurika Bishnoi and Sneha Singh were tied fourth with rounds of even par 72 each as the field demonstrated great strength.
 
Ishvari Prasanna was sixth with 73, while Siddhi Kapoor, Amandeep Drall and Afshan Fatima shot 74 each to be Tied-seventh. Neha Tripathi (75) completed the Top-10.
 
Shreya, who turns 17 next week, has been in good nick and has shown great potential. She finished runners-up at the TrueVisions International Junior event in Thailand after tying with Malaysian Liyana Durisic.
 
Last month she was the best Indian at Tied-13th in the Future Golf Champions event in the US, with excellent scores of 72-73-73. She has Top-10 finishes in four events on the IGU Tour earlier this year. Overall she has had six Top-10 finishes this year.
 
Ananya was bogey free at one-under for 11 holes before she bogeyed twice against three birdies to finish at 70. 
 
Sneha was once again prolific with birdies as she had six, but she also gave away four bogeys and a double bogey.
 
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President seeks report on suicides by Telangana students

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President Ram Nath Kovind has sought a report from the Telangana government on the suicides by 27 students over the alleged goof-up in the results of Intermediate examinations.
 
The Union Home Ministry has sent a letter to Telangana Chief Secretary S. K. Joshi, directing him to furnish a report.
 
Ashok Kumar Pal, Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, along with his letter dated August 7, also forwarded a letter received from the President's Secretariat.
 
The central official also marked a copy of his letter to BJP Telangana state unit President K. Laxman, who along with other party leaders had submitted a memorandum to Kovind last month, urging him to seek a report from the Telangana government.
 
The BJP delegation had also appealed to the President to examine the possibility of advising the Governor to order a judicial probe into the bungling by the education authorities.
 
It alleged that the students ended their lives due to the bungling by the Board of Intermediate Education in the results of intermediate (Classes 11 and 12) examinations.
 
Of the 9.43 lakh students who appeared in the exams, 5.6 lakh had cleared it. After the announcement of results in April, a goof-up by the authorities in evaluation of answer scripts and processing the results came to light, triggering a huge public outcry and massive protests by opposition parties and student bodies.
 
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao later announced free re-verification of answer sheets of all the failed students.
 
In May, the BIE announced results of re-verification of answer scripts of over 3.82 lakh students who had failed to obtain pass marks. Following this process, 1,137 students, who were earlier declared "failed", cleared the examinations.
 
According to the BIE, of the 23 students who committed suicide and three who attempted, re-verification of their answer scripts showed that there is no change from fail to pass.
 
The student bodies and NGOs claimed that 26 students had ended their lives. The BJP, however, put the number at 27.
 
IANS
 

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Golf: Hyderabad amateur Sneha wins 11th leg of Hero Women’s Pro Tour

Sneha Singh
Sneha Singh
Local teenaged amateur Sneha Singh staged a fine comeback as she rode a birdie blitz towards the end of the front nine and then played very steady golf on the back nine to win the 11th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour here on Friday.
 
The 15-year-old Hyderabad golfer, who is coached by her father Sanjay Singh, played gutsy golf for an even par 71.
 
Vani Kapoor showed some rust and dropped some crucial shots to card a disappointing six-over 77.  From being five ahead of Sneha, Vani finished one behind her in second place.
 
Gaurika Bishnoi (76) was third, while Ananya Datar (76) was fourth. Another talented amateur, Shreya Pal (74) was fifth. 
 
Sneha became the first amateur to win in 2019 and she emulated Ridhima Dilawari and Pranavi Urs, who won as amateurs in 2018. Diksha Dagar was also an amateur when she won the closing event of the 2017 season. Other amateurs to win on the Hero WPG Tour include Gurbani Singh, Aditi Ashok and Tvesa Malik in 2015 and Raksha Phadke and  Mehar Atwal in 2014.
 
Sneha started the final day five shots behind the leader Vani. She played in the group ahead of the leading trio, Vani Kapoor, Gaurika Bishnoi and Ananya Datar. 
 
By the time she ended, Sneha, who is familiar with this layout, set the clubhouse target of nine-over 222 and waited for the final group to come.
 
Sneha had a great front nine despite two double bogeys as she displayed tremendous tenacity to fight back. She birdied the second but double bogeyed the Par-3 fourth. She birdied the fifth but again double bogeyed the Par-5 sixth. At that stage she was two-over and six shots behind Vani.
 
Sneha, after turning in one-under added pars on the 10th and 11th. She bogeyed 12th to be even par for the day. Vani, playing one group behind was still one shot ahead till the 14th.
 
Over the last six holes, Sneha stayed calm and parred each of them, sometimes holing clutch putts. Vani, on the other hand, pulled two ahead with a birdie on Par-4 15th. She then dropped a shot on the 16th, but still held a one-shot lead. Then came the pressure and Vani double bogeyed the 17th, even as Sneha was on the 18th. As Vani double bogeyed, Sneha parred for a two-shot swing and sneaked ahead.
 
Vani, who had a roller coaster of a round, had three bogeys against one birdie on the front nine, followed by two birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey. Vani bogeyed fifth, seventh and ninth and her sole birdie on the front nine came on the eighth as she turned in two-over to see her lead cut from five to two shots.
 
Gaurika, who started two ahead of Sneha, dropped four shots on the front nine and fell behind. 
 
On the back nine, Vani once again had an up-and-down run. She dropped bogeys on 10th, 12th and 13th, but picked a birdie on 11th. After the first 12 holes, Vani was four-over for the day and eight-over for the tournament.
 
Vani needed a birdie on 18th to force a play-off but managed only par to finish with a card of six-over 77 and ended second in her first domestic outing this season.
 
Gauri Karhade, whose 71 was the day’s best card along with Sneha, was tied-sixth with Neha Tripathi (78) and Khushi Khanijau (76) was eighth. Siddhi Kapoor (75) and Gurjot Badwal (80) were tied for 10th, while Ridhima Dilawari and Afshan Fatima were tied-11th.
 
Gaurika Bishnoi stayed on top of the Hero Order of Merit, while Neha Tripathi, Amandeep Drall, Ridhima Dilawari and Gursimar Badwal occupied the second to fifth places.
 
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Vani Kapoor moves into lead in 11th leg of Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour

Vani Kapoor in action during the second round of the 11th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Hyderabad Golf Club on  August 8, 2019.
Vani Kapoor in action during the second round of the 11th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Hyderabad Golf Club on August 8, 2019.
Vani Kapoor moved into the sole lead despite a late double bogey in the second round of the 11th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour at the Hyderabad Golf Club on Thursday. 
 
The 25-year-old Delhi based golfer, who is playing her first domestic event this season, had three birdies against two bogeys and a double-bogey in her card of one-over 72.
 
Vani is now four-over 146, but three shots clear of her nearest rival Gaurika Bishnoi, who shot the day’s best and the week’s first par round of 71.
 
Gaurika, one of the only two players to have four birdies in the second round, birdied first, sixth, ninth and 17th, while dropping shots on second, seventh, 12th and 14th. Amateur Shreya Pal was the other player with four birdies, but she dropped numerous shots including a triple bogey on the par-4 18th for 76.
 
Ananya Datar overcame a rough front nine of five-over 40 with a one-under 35 in the back nine for a 75 that brought her to 151 and put her in shared third place with overnight leader, amateur Sneha Singh (78).
 
Sneha, the 15-year-old Hyderabad golfer who was outstanding on the first day, had a tough day despite three birdies. She had eight bogeys and one double bogey for seven-over 78 that saw her slip to Tied-third place.
 
Vani birdied the second, gave the gains back on the long Par-3 fourth and birdied the par-5 sixth as she turned in one-under. On the back nine, she dropped a shot on 12th but birdied the Par-3 16th. Just as it seemed she was set for a big lead, she dropped a double bogey on Par-5 17th to fall back to one-over for the day and finished at 72.
 
Neha Tripathi (77), Gurjot Badwal (78), amateur Shreya Pal (76) and Khushi Khanijau (75) occupied the fifth to eighth places. Siddhi Kapoor (78) was ninth, while three players, Suchitra Ramesh (78), Gauri Karhade (79) and Amandeep Drall (82) were Tied-tenth.
 
Ridhima Dilawari and Gursimar Badwal were among the five players tied at 13th with a total of 160.
 
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Teenaged amateur Sneha leads in 11th leg of Hero WPGT in Hyderabad

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Talented teenaged amateur Sneha Singh made good use of her local knowledge of the Hyderabad Golf Club layout amidst the picturesque Golconda Fort, by carding two-over 73 to take the first-round lead in the 11th Leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour on Wednesday. 
 
Sneha, who just turned 15 in June this year, had three birdies, one bogey and two double bogeys on the challenging but exciting course of the Hyderabad Golf Association. Sneha was chased by the experienced Vani Kapoor who, playing her first event in two months, shot three-over 74 despite starting the day with three bogeys in a row. Vani had two birdies, both on Par-3s, the 11th and 16th, while she dropped five bogeys.
 
Neha Tripathi and Gurjot Badwal shot 75 each, while Ridhima DIlawari, the only three-time winner this season, shot 76 as did Ananya Datar to be Tied-fifth. Gursimar Badwal, elder sister of Gurjot, and Amandeep Drall were Tied-seventh with 77 each while amateur Shreya Pal and Gaurika Bishnoi carded 78 each to complete the Top-10.
 
Sneha, an 11th standard student in a Hyderabad School, has been doing well in age-group competitions and finished in the Top-3 in the Hyderabad leg of the US Kids Golf Championships. Her father Sanjay Kumar, also a golfer, is also her coach and she is a regular at the course.
 
Vani, who was out due to injury for some weeks, showed some rust as she started the round with three bogeys in a row, but quickly recovered for a string of six pars followed by another bogey on the Par-5 10th. At that stage, she was four-over for the day. But a birdie on Par-3 11th, followed by a bogey on 13th and then another birdie on 16th meant she finished on 74 and was lying second.
 
Neha, the only player to be below par for the front nine, gave away five shots on the back nine, including a double bogey on the Par-5 12thand bogeys on 17th and 18th.
 
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