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13 killed, 15 injured as terrorists open fire near Kokrajhar in Assam

At least 13 people were killed and more than 15 others suffered injuries when a group of terrorists opened fire at a crowded weekly market near Kokrajhar town in Assam on Friday afternoon.
 
13 kiled in terror attack at Kokrajhar in Assam
At least 13 people were killed and more than 15 others suffered injuries when a group of terrorists opened fire at a crowded weekly market near Kokrajhar town in Assam this afternoon.
 
Sources said the three or four masked gunmen, wearing Army-style fatigues, struck at Balajan Tiniali near the town, about 220 km west of Guwahati, around noon, leaving at least 12 civilians dead.
 
The gunmen arrived in an autorickshaw, hurled grenades and then opened fire indiscriminately in the market before fleeing from the scene.
 
Security forces managed to shoot down one of the militants and have launched a manhunt for the remaining men, who are believed to have escaped into a nearby forest.
 
The attack has taken the security forces as well as the Assam Government and the Centre by surprise. Media reports quoted top police officials as saying that they suspected the militants were part of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) faction.
 
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was in Delhi, told journalists that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Narendra Modi had been in touch with him and had promised all help from the Centre to tackle the situation. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met Mr. Sonowal to discuss the latest developments.
 
Condemning the attack, Mr. Sonowal said the state government was committed to ensuring protection of the lives and property of the people of Assam. He said the security forces would deal strictly with the situation.
 
He said the Director General of Police (DGP) of Assam and other senior officials were rushing to the scene of the incident.
 
Mr. Sonowal announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the attack and Rs. 1 lakh each for those who suffered injuries. He also appealed to the people of Assam to maintain peace and harmony. 
 
The Chief Minister said senior Minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma had left for Kokrajhar.
 
Reports said additional columns of the Army and teams of para-military forces had been moved to the area. Police officials said an AK-56 rifle and some grenades were recovered from the scene.
 
The injured persons were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment even as security forces cordoned off the area and launched a combing operation.
 
In Delhi, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju described the incident as "unfortunate" and said it had taken place at a time when peace was returning to the state. 
 
“This incident has given us a shock and it is unfortunate so many people have lost their lives," he said, adding that the elements behind the "dastardly" attack would have to be identified.
 
This is the first major incident of violence in Assam since Mr. Sonowal assumed office as the head of the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the stte on May 24 this year.
 
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1 dead, 14 hurt in twin blasts on Bangalore-Guwahati Express at Chennai station

A 24-year-old woman was killed and 14 others suffered injuries in twin blasts which occurred in two coaches of the 12509 Bangalore-Guwahati tri-weekly express train minutes after it pulled into the Chennai Central station on Thursday morning.
 
Chennai train blasts: 14 injured passengers stable
A 24-year-old woman was killed and 14 others suffered injuries in twin blasts which occurred in two coaches of the 12509 Bangalore-Guwahati tri-weekly express train minutes after it pulled into the Chennai Central station here this morning.
 
Southern Railway sources said two of the injured had suffered serious grievous injuries while the others had received minor injuries.
 
Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Mishra told reporters at the scene that the "minor intensity" blasts occurred in sleeper coaches S4 and S5 at about 7.15 am, some ten minutes after the train arrived on platform number 9.
 
Three coaches of the train -- S3, S4 and S5 -- were affected by the two explosions, the sources said.
 
The deceased passenger was identified as Ms Swati who was travelling from Bangalore to Vijayawada on her way to her home town of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, he said. Media reports said she was an employee of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
 
Sources said the blasts appeared to have been caused by some devices placed under seat 70 of coach S4 and seat 30 of coach S5.
 
Mr Mishra said the train was running slightly late and had arrived at the station at 7.05 am instead of its scheduled time of 5.45 am.
 
The injured were rushed immediately to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital near the station.
 
Minister of Railways Mallikarjun Kharge has sanctioned an ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh for the next-of-kin of the deceased passenger, Rs 25,000 for each of those with grievous injuries and Rs 5,000 for each of those with minor injuries.
 
Police officials, accompanied by dog squads and bomb disposal squads, rushed to the scene of the blasts immediately and platform number 9 was cordoned off.
 
The entire train was checked by the police and it later resumed its journey to Guwahati, Assam after the affected coaches were detached and replaced with new coaches.
 
Mr Mishra said the entire train was being checked and it would resume its journey to Guwahati, Assam an hour later after the two affected coaches are detached.
 
The Railways have set up a helpline at Chennai on telephone number 044-25357398 to provide information to relatives of the passengers of the affected train.
 
Operations on other platforms as well as on the nearby suburban section continued to remain normal, Mr Mishra added.
 
A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Hyderabad will reach Chennai later today to probe the incident.
 
Security was intensified at Chennai Central railway station after the incidents.
 
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Among the seriously injured passengers, one was identified as Sumantho Devnath (37, Male), while the other was an unidentified male.
 
Those with minor injuries were identified as follows:
 
1. Shaiful Haque – 27 years Male
2. Anjanedu– 29 years Male
3. Vimal Kumar Das – 43 years Male
4. Shagun Kumar Rai– 23 years Male
5. Altaf Khan – 17 years Male
6. Uma – 35 years Female
7. Jitendra Mohanto Deka – 58 years Male
8. Sari – 21 years Male
9. Murali – 27 years Male
10. Bijoy Kumar – 14 years Male
11. Sudanchand Debnath – 64 years Male
12. Surendra Varma– 31 years Male
 
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Boxing: Amit Panghal, Shiva Thapa enter semis at 2nd India Open

Amit Panghal in action at the Indian Open International Boxing Tournament in Guwahati, Assam on May 22, 2019.
Amit Panghal in action at the Indian Open International Boxing Tournament in Guwahati, Assam on May 22, 2019.
Asian Games gold medalist Amit Panghal (52kg) and Asian Championships bronze medalist Shiva Thapa (60kg) led 12 Indian pugilists into the semi-finals to confirm medals on the third day of the ongoing second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament at the  Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday. 
 
Former world youth champion Sachin Siwach’s dazzling performance was the highlight of the day as he knocked out the 2018 Asian Games silver medalist Rogen Siaga Ladon of Philippines 4-1 to make the last-four stage of 52kg.
 
Fresh from his Asian Championships gold medal, Panghal faced some early resistance from Thailand’s veteran Chakapong Chanpirom whom he was meeting for the very first time in his career. But the 23-year-old soon proved his mettle to earn a 5-0 win and march his way into the semi-finals.
 
“It was a tight bout. A lot of boxers have changed category from 49kg to 52kg like me. So it’s important to study each one carefully and chalk out separate strategies for each,” commented the victorious Amit after having changed his weight category from 49kg to 52kg with an eye on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
 
Amid deafening roars of support, local boy Shiva Thapa soared to a 5-0 win over Hellene Damien of Mauritius. Thapa, who became the first Indian to win medals from four consecutive Asian Championships just last month, started with a defensive attitude until he freed up from the second round to deliver the blows.
 
“Never have I contested against such a tall boxer before. So my strategy was to attack from inside and I am glad I could execute with perfection,” said Thapa after the win.
 
Kavinder  Bisht (56kg) continued his fine form after winning a gold at the GeeBee Boxing tournament and a silver at the Asian Championships this year. He held his nerves to stave off some stiff resistance from Mario Fernandez of Philippines and register a 3-2 win in a split decision. Mohammed Hussamuddin was not so lucky in the same category as he fell to a 2-3 defeat to Thailand’s former Asian champion Chatchai Decha Butdee in a hard-fought bout.
 
In 49kg, Asian Championships silver medalist Deepak outclassed Thailand’s Samak Saehan 4-1 to advance to the semi-finals.
 
Former World Championships bronze medalist Gaurav Bidhuri also progressed into the last-four stage of 56kg by dint of a commanding 5-0 win over Turkmenistan’s Bayramhan Permanov. In 52kg, Commonwealth Games champion Gaurav Solanki did not waste any time to assert his supremacy over Mauritius’s Louis Fleurot en route to a 5-0 win.
 
Last year’s India Open 60kg champion Manish Kaushik began the successful defence of his title with a 5-0 win over Thiwa Janthacumpa of Thailand. 2018 World Youth bronze medalist Ankit showed his maturity in his 5-0 demolition of Nepal’s Prakash Limbu Ijam.
 
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Boxing: Mary Kom, Nikhat Zareen to meet in semis at 2nd India Open

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Six-time world champion Mary Kom and Asian Championships bronze medallist Nikhat Zareen set up a semi-final showdown in 51kg at the second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament at the Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday. 
 
Manju Rani, Monika and Kalavani also entered the 48kg semi-finals to confirm five medals for India on the second day of India’s premier boxing tournament and bring India’s total medal tally to 15.
 
Nepal’s Mala Rai was no match for the London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom who wasted no time in progressing into the last four with a commanding 5-0 win. 
 
Strandja Cup gold medallist Nikhat too was equally impressive with her flurry of punches against compatriot Anamika and registered a comfortable 5-0 victory.
 
Strandja Cup silver medallist Manju Rani kept attacking her opponent, Cleo Claveras Tesara of Philippines, right from the start to earn a win by RSC (Referee Stop Contest) in Round 1 to move into the 48kg semi-finals. Monika was equally dominant in her quarter-final bout with Thailand’s Apaporn Intongsee to earn a 5-0 win.
 
Kalavani was deemed the winner by RSC in Round 2 over Bhutan’s Tandin Lhamo while Nitu did not enjoy the same fortunes and was blanked 0-5 by former world champion Josie Gabuco of Philippines.
 
Ten Indian boxers had already confirmed medals even before the start of the event with 6 in men and 4 in women being placed in the semi-finals because of the smaller size of the draw.
 
On the men’s side, Brijesh Yadav and Sanjay are already into the 81kg semi-finals and so are Naman Tanwar and Sanjeet in 91kg and Satish Kumar and Atul Thakur in +91kg. In women’s, Lovlina Borgohain and Anjali are already assured of medals in 69kg while Bhagyabati Kachari and Saweety Boora are through to the last-four in 75kg by virtue of a first-round bye.
 
Earlier in the day, four Indian men pugilists made it to the quarter-finals. Pawan Kumar made short work of reigning Youth Olympic champion Brian Agustin Arregui of Argentina 4-1 for a place in the 69kg quarter-finals.
 
Promising Indian boxer Dinesh Dagar, who upset 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist at the GeeBee Boxing tournament recently, continued his fine form to notch up a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Marjon Angcon Pianar of Philippines in the 69kg. In 60kg, Ankit proved too strong for Ryan Boy Empoc Moreno of Philippines whom he blanked 5-0.
 
In 75kg, Manjeet Panghal got a walkover into the last eight while Ashish lost 0-5 to Colin Louis Richarno.
 
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Arunachal Pradesh MLA, 10 others killed in militant ambush

National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Khonsa West Assembly constituency, Triong Aboh who was killed along with 10 others after suspected Naga militants fired at the vehicle they were travelling in, at Bogapani in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, on May 21, 2019. (File Photo: IANS)
National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Khonsa West Assembly constituency, Triong Aboh who was killed along with 10 others after suspected Naga militants fired at the vehicle they were travelling in, at Bogapani in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, on May 21, 2019. (File Photo: IANS)
At least 11 persons, including Arunachal Pradesh legislator Tirong Aboh, were killed in an ambush by suspected Naga militants in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, police said.
 
Police said that Aboh and his family members were travelling from Dibrugarh in Assam to Khonsa, when their vehicle was ambushed by suspected NSCN (IM) militants at Bogapani in Tirap district, located on Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
 
Aboh, a sitting National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Khonsa West constituency of the hill state, contested the recently held Assembly elections for a second term and received threats from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Issak and Muivah (NSCN-IM) militants over this.
 
The police confirmed that Aboh had died, but refused to divulge details of the other victims.
 
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju confirmed the number of killed to be 11 and condemned the incident.
 
"I'm shocked and saddened by the brutal attack and tragic killing of MLA Shri Tirong Aboh of Arunachal Pradesh, his family including 11 people. Strongest possible action will be taken against those responsible for such dastardly attack," Rijiju tweeted.
 
NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma expressed shock over the tragedy. "The NPP is extremely shocked and saddened by the news of the death of its MLA Shri Tirong Aboh (Arunachal Pradesh) and his family. We condemn the brutal attack and urge @rajnathsingh and @PMOIndia to take action against those responsible for such attack," Sangma tweeted.
 
"Extremely shocked by the unfortunate killing of Khonsa MLA Tirong Aboh and several others, by insurgents. Strongly condemn this barbarous act. Action will be initiated to hunt down the perpetrators. My heartfelt condolence & may souls of those departed rest in peace," Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted.
 
IANS
 

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Boxing: Sonia, Manisha, Sachin give home side a winning start at India Open

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World Championships silver medalist Sonia Lather (57kg), Asian Championships bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg) and former world youth champion Sachin Siwach (52kg) gave India a bright start as the second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament began here on Monday. 
 
2017 youth world champion Jyoti (51kg), 2018 world youth silver medallist Anamika (51kg) and Shashi Chopra (60kg) led the youth brigade to wins as all seven Indians emerged victorious on the opening day to move into the quarter-finals.
 
Sonia proved too strong for Nepal’s Chandra Kala Thapa and was declared a winner by unanimous decision to move into the 57kg quarter-finals. 
 
Manisha, who won the bronze in the continental event in 54kg, continued her good form to notch up a 4-1 win over Nesthy Alcayde Petecio of Philippines and join Lather in the last-eight.
 
Having impressed at the GeeBee Boxing tournament this year with a bronze, the lanky Sachin Siwach used his height and exuded confidence with his flurry of punches to secure a flawless 5-0 win over Argentina’s Ramon Nicanor Quiroga.
 
In 60kg, Preeti Beniwal boosted her medal-winning hopes with a commanding 5-0 win over Nepal’s Sangita Sunar. Among the rising stars, Jyoti put up a spirited display in her 4-1 win over Irish Ardiente Magno of Philippines while Anamika was deemed the winner by virtue of RSC (Referee Stop Contest) over Filipino Claudine Decena Veloso in Round 3.
 
Shashi Chopra, youth world champion in 2017 in 57kg, made a seamless transition to 60kg to start off with a one-sided 5-0 victory over Tandin Choden over Bhutan.
 
Thailand’s two-time Olympian and former Asian champion Chatchai Decha Butdee asserted his supremacy in 56kg with a dominant 5-0 victory over Nepal’s Surendra Rai.
 
On Day 2, some of the key bouts will feature Mary Kom, Nikhat Zareen in 51kg, local girl Ankusihta Boro (64kg) and Ankit (60kg), Ashish (64kg) and Pawan Kumar (69kg) in men.
 
Key Results:
 
Sonia Lather (57kg) def Chandra Kala Thapa (Nepal) 5-0
Manisha (57kg) def Nesthy Alcayde Petecio (Philippines) 4-1
Jyoti (51kg) def Irish Ardiente Magno (Philippines) 4-1
Anamika (51kg) def Claudine Decena Veloso (Philippines) RSC (Round 3)
Shashi Chopra (60kg) def Tandin Choden (Bhutan) 5-0
Preeti Beniwal (60kg) def Sangita Sunar (Nepal) 5-0
Sachin (52kg) def Ramon Nicanor Quiroga (Argentina) 5-0
Chatchai Decha Butdee (56kg) (Thailand) def Surendra Rai (Nepal) 5-0
 
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Indian pugilists confident of good show at India Open

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Indian pugilists have promised a good show as the second edition of the India Open kicks off at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here from Monday evening. 
 
As many as 16 countries are participating in this edition of the tournament In which about  200 boxers will vie for the podium. The preliminaries will be held on May 20 and 21 to be followed by the quarter-finals and semi-finals, culminating in the grand finale on May 24
 
Having trained rigorously on improving their attacking game, the India Open is a place where the country’s pugilists are ready to show their supremacy despite some stiff international competition.
 
"We have been training our boxers for the last few months in such a way that they understand the need to switch from defensive mode to offensive mode faster and make it effective as well,” said Santiago Nieva, India’s chief performance director.
 
“This has resulted in many of our boxers being attacking and aggressive-minded, yet they have been able to hold their ground when needed,” he added.
 
This approach resulted in India’s unprecedented success at the Asian Championships last month where the country had a rich haul of 13 medals while individual boxers have also benefitted from it.
 
Former World Championships bronze medallist Shiva Thapa, who had suffered a shocking semi-final loss to compatriot Manish Kaushik in 60kg at the India Open last year, agreed. The setback coupled with a few more unexpected losses made the 25-year-old introspect and work hard extensively with the coaches to change his game, which was rewarded with a bronze at the continental event this year.
 
“I have changed my game. Even in the last Asian Championships, I played much more freely. I am being more aggressive now. This is the style of boxing I have adopted now and our coaches, too, are helping me with my technique,” said Thapa.
 
The confidence of the Indian squad is bolstered as foreign boxers are now wary of India even before the start of the tournament as several teams have been thoroughly studying the Indian boxers.
 
Chatchai Decha Butdee, a two-time Olympian boxer from Thailand and former Asian champion considers the Indian challenge in 56kg to be tough. 
 
With the 2019 Asian Championships silver medallist Kavinder Bisht and 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin from India in the same category, his work is cut out.
 
“I have watched videos of Kavinder Singh Bisht to be aware of his style. I even watched his 56kg final at the Asian Championships in Bangkok this year. He definitely won’t be an easy opponent to deal with,” said the  Thai pugilist.
 
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Rain lashes Assam due to Fani impact

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Most parts of Assam witnessed incessant rains on Saturday due to the impact of cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian sub-continent in decades.
 
Following the rains, the state government has issued an alert to suspend ferry services between Jorhat and Majuli, Guwahati and North Guwahati, Dhubri and other places from Saturday to Sunday.
 
While flight services from Guwahati has been suspended till Saturday evening, the Northeast Frontier Railway has also cancelled several trains to Kolkata and Odisha. Similarly, trains from Kolkata and Odisha to Assam were also cancelled.
 
Weather experts at the Regional Meteorological Centre at Borjhar had warned of heavy rains accompanied by strong winds to lash the northeastern states on Saturday and Sunday.
 
Assam government had earlier warned the district administrations to remain alert ahead of Fani and deployed 40 companies of National Disaster Rescue Force at some vulnerable locations across the state.
 
As of Saturday, Fani has weakened into a "cyclonic storm leaving no more major threat" for West Bengal. It is situated at Shantipur in Nadia district about 60 km north of Kolkata, and is likely to enter Bangaldesh around Saturday noon.
 
The cyclone made landfall in Odisha on Friday morning.
 
IANS
 

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Assam on alert as Fani likely to hit on Saturday

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The Assam government has sounded an alert in all districts of the state following a warning that cyclone Fani will lash the state and other parts of the northeastern region for two days starting Saturday early hours.
 
The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) at Guwahati said that there will be heavy to very heavy rains in most of the northeastern states including Assam on April 4 and 5 and strong surface winds with speeds of up to 40 km per hour.
 
"Extremely severe cyclonic storm, Fani over west central Bay of Bengal has already hit coastal region of Odisha. It is very likely to impact Assam and other northeastern states on late Friday night or Saturday early morning. There will be heavy to very heavy rain accompanied by strong winds," said Sanjay O'Neill Shaw, Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) based in Guwahati.
 
Following the warning, the government has asked the district administration in all districts of the state to remain on alert during the cyclonic storm and to extend help to people in case of any eventuality.
 
The Assam government had on Thursday evacuated over 100 pilgrims from the state who had gone to Odisha. The government in coordination with the Eastern Railway had arranged three special trains to bring the pilgrims from Odisha to Kolkata.
 
Meanwhile, Assam and some other parts of the Northeast have been witnessing light to moderate rains since Friday morning. Officials of the Airport Authority of India at Guwahati also said that departure of most inbound and outbound flights from Guwahati and Kolkata have been cancelled from 3 p.m on Friday till 8 a.m on Saturday.
 
IANS

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Heat wave, deficit rain affect normal life in NE

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Normal life in the northeastern region has been affected due to heat wave in several areas and deficit pre-monsoon rains, officials said on Monday.
 
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the maximum temperature in several N-E states, especially Assam, Mizoram and Tripura, since the past one week is hovering between 35 degrees Celsius and 38 degrees Celsius -- two-five degrees above the normal for this time of the season.
 
The IMD, since March 1, also recorded 36 mm deficit pre-monsoon (March to May) rainfall in the seven N-E states, excluding Sikkim. 
 
The Arunachal Pradesh meteorological sub-division recorded highest 47 mm deficient pre-monsoon rainfall, followed by Assam and Meghalaya sub-division with 33 mm and Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura sub-division 28 mm.
 
Sikkim and adjoining areas have recorded 152 mm pre-monsoon rainfall since March 1.
 
IMD Director Dilip Saha said in view of deep depressions over the Indian Ocean and adjoining Bay of Bengal, and subsequent cyclone 'Fani', the heat wave had continued in the mountainous northeastern region.
 
"After the end of the cyclone's affect, the wind pattern is likely to change and the heat wave is expected to subside. We expect the situation to normalise within two-three days," Saha told IANS.
 
Agricultural officials in Assam, Mizoram and Tripura said various summer crops would be affected due to the deficit pre-monsoon rainfall. "If the rain does not occur in the next few days, the damage to the summer crops would be much larger," agricultural expert Samar Mitra told IANS.
 
The deficit in rainfall also resulted in water scarcity, including supply of drinking water.
 
Tripura Drinking Water and Sanitation Department Chief Engineer Baishapayan Chakraborty said the department had been providing drinking water through tankers in the scarcity-prone areas as well as remote, isolated hamlets and tribal areas.
 
"We are setting up deep tube wells in the areas where the level of ground water has gone down, mostly in the hilly areas," Chakraborty told IANS. 
 
The Health Departments in the region have been alerted and suggested to take precautionary measures besides organising special health camps to tackle the seasonal diseases.
 
IANS
 

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Badminton: Saina Nehwal, Sourabh Verma win men and women's National titles

File photo of Saina Nehwal
File photo of Saina Nehwal
In a  tense  battle  Saina Nehwal beat P V Sindhu 21-18, 21-15 to win her fourth title at the Yonex-Sunrise 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships 2018-19 here on Saturday.
 
 In men’s section, Sourabh Verma won his third Nationals title with a 21-18, 21-13 triumph over Asian junior champion Lakshya Sen.
 
The singles winners were awarded prize money of Rs. 3.25 lakh while the runners-up got Rs. 1.7 lakh. Each of the singles semi-finalists and the quarter-finalists got richer by Rs. 62,500 and Rs. 27,500 respectively.
 
The showdown between Saina and Sindhu, a repeat of their enthralling final from the previous edition, was undoubtedly the cynosure of all eyes at the packed stadium attended by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma among others.
 
Saina overcame an erratic start to slowly gain in confidence. After trailing 1-3, she drew level at 5-5 with husband Parupalli Kashyap egging her on. With not much to choose between the two, the hard-fought match continued to be even until 10-10. That was where Saina's brilliant movement and unwavering focus made a difference and the defending champion went up to 16-12.
 
Saina kept targeting the corners to keep Sindhu out of position and soon bagged the opening game.
 
A more aggressive approach from the tall Sindhu sent her up to 5-3 in the second game. The momentum soon swung Saina's way, who once more started restricting her opponent from playing her naturally attacking game.
 
With Sindhu's game collapsing into errors, a calm and steady Saina built a 12-9 advantage and soon extended it to 17-13 by pushing Sindhu to the backcourt and finding the opening for smashes. The persistent approach and her spectacular court coverage helped Saina wrap it up in 44 minutes.
 
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This was Saina’s fourth title after earlier triumphs in 2006, 2007 and 2017 while Sindhu had been looking to add to her 2011 and 2013 titles.
 
In men’s singles, Verma and Sen met in a repeat of their 2017 final. Even though Sen stormed out of the blocks, it was the patient Verma who once again mastered the younger player.
 
The 17-year-old made a fabulous start as he broke away from a 6-6 tie to race ahead to 11-6. Verma tried to prolong the rallies after that and took four points on the trot. After Sen smashed his way up to 15-13, his barrage of unforced errors cost him the lead and Verma's composure allowed him to go up to 18-16 and pocket the opening game.
 
Sen fought back to 4-4 from 0-3 down in the second game but once again could not do enough to make a dent in Sourabh’s confidence levels. The latter banked on his precision and control to surge to 11-7 before finishing in 44 minutes.
 
Verma thus tasted success at the Nationals for the third time following victories in 2011 and 2017. Sen had to remain content with a two-time runner-up show.
 
Having lost in the men’s doubles final with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in the last edition, Chirag Shetty made up for it this time in partnership with Pranaav Jerry Chopra. The second seeds upset the top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran 21-13, 22-20 to take the men’s doubles title.
 
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Modi to visit Guwahati, Itanagar and Agartala on Saturday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Guwahati in Assam, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Agartala in Tripura tomorrow as part of a one-day trip during which he will launch several development projects.
 
In Itanagar, he will unveil a series of development projects at IG Park in Itanagar. 
 
Among other things, he will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a greenfield airport at Hollongi. At present, the nearest airport to Itanagar is at Lilabari in Assam at a distance of 80 km.
 
The airport at Hollongi will reduce the distance by a fourth. In addition to providing better connectivity to the region, the airport will also unravel the tourism potential of the state. The airport will boost the economic growth of the region and will be strategically important to the nation. The airport will have various sustainability features like green belt along approach road to act as noise barrier, rain water harvesting, use of energy efficient equipment, and so on.
 
Modi will also lay the foundation stone of Sela Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh. It will provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang Valley for civilians as well as security forces throughout the year. The tunnel will reduce travel time to Tawang by an hour and boost tourism and related economic activities in the region.
 
A new dedicated DD Channel, for Arunachal Pradesh, DD Arun Prabha, will be launched by the Prime Minister. It will be the 24th channel operated by Doordarshan. 
 
He will also dedicate the 110 MW Pare Hydroelectric Plant in Arunachal Pradesh to the nation. The project, constructed by NEEPCO, will harness hydro power potential of the river Dikrong (tributary of Brahmaputra) and provide cheap hydro electric power to the North Eastern states, thereby improving power availability in the region, an official press release said.
 
Modi will also lay the foundation stone for a permanent campus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Jote, Arunachal Pradesh. It will cater to film students especially those from the North Eastern states. 
 
He will inaugurate the upgraded Tezu Airport in Arunachal Pradesh. The airport has been retrofitted and a new terminal constructed for making it fit for commercial operations under UDAN, the regional connectivity scheme.
 
As many as 50 health and wellness centers in Arunachal Pradesh will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister. He will also declare 100% household electrification in Arunachal Pradesh under Saubhagya Scheme.
 
From Itanagar, the Prime Minister will return to Guwahati, where he will  lay the foundation stone of the North East Gas Grid which will ensure uninterrupted availability of natural gas across the region and boost industrial growth in the region. The grid is part of Government’s plan to provide cheap and quality gas to the entire North East Region. He will lay foundation stone of City Gas Distribution Networks in Kamrup, Cacher, Hailakandi & Karimganj districts.
 
He will inaugurate Hollong Modular Gas Processing Plant in Tinsukia, Assam. The facility will deliver 15% of the total gas produced in Assam. He will also inaugurate LPG Capacity Augmentation of Mounted Storage Vessel in North Guwahati. 
 
The foundation stone of NRL Bio Refinery at Numaligarh and a 729 km gas pipeline from Barauni to Guwahati, passing through Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Assam, will be laid by him on the occasion.
 
The last leg of the Prime Minister's visit will be in Agartala.  He will dedicate to the nation the Garjee - Belonia Railway Line through unveiling of plaque at Swami Vivekananda Stadium here. The line will boost Tripura as the gateway to South and Southeast Asia. He will also inaugurate the new complex of Tripura Institute of Technology at Narsingarh.
 
He will unveil the statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, Agartala. Maharaja Bir Bikram is widely regarded as the creator of modern Tripura. He is credited with planning of Agartala city. Unveiling of his statue is in line with the Union Government’s policy of honouring the unsung heroes of India, who have contributed greatly to nation building, the release added.
 
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Assam: Ajmal apologises for abusing journalist, faces FIR

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A day after abusing a journalist, and threatening to "smash" his head, Lok Sabha member Moulana Badaruddin Ajmal expressed his apologies on Thursday, saying he respects media persons.
 
Ajmal, who represents Assam's Dhubri constituency, landed himself in a controversy on Wednesday over the episode.
 
Ajmal, who leads the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), faced condemnation from different sections over the incident. Several media organisations have threatened to file FIRs against him.
 
Apologising over the episode, Ajmal, who is also a perfume trader, wrote on Twitter: "Media is the fourth pillar of democracy and I have always respected media persons and everyone knows that. I have sincere regards for them. The Mankachar incident was an unintentional aberration and I sincerely apologize for that to all concerned."
 
Guwahati-based Digital Media Journalist Association of Assam (DiMJAA) has said it will file an FIR against Ajmal on Thursday.
 
Members of the media fraternity also staged a protest on Thursday at Dispur Press Club, wearing black badge.
 
The AIUDF chief got agitated on Wednesday when a journalist asked him if he will side with the party that comes to power in New Delhi.
 
He was addressing a press conference at Mankachar to honour the AIUDF leaders who won in the recently held rural polls in Assam.
 
Ajmal not only verbally abused the journalist but also asked him to get out of the venue. 
 
"I'll smash your head," he said, while snatching the boom of the journalist.
 
IANS
 

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Modi inaugurates Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge -- India's longest -- over Brahmaputra

A view of the Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2018
A view of the Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra in Assam, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's longest rail-cum-road bridge in Bogibeel over the Brahmaputra river, that connects Dhemaji and Dibrugarh in Assam, on Tuesday.
 
Later, Modi and his cavalcade took a ride on the bridge, stopping in the middle and waving at thousands of people waiting on either sides.
 
Built at an estimated cost of over Rs 5,000 crore, the bridge is expected to help over five million people living in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and significantly enhance India's defence capability by ensuring faster movement of troops and supplies to the eastern border with China.
 
The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by the then Prime Minister of H. D. Devegowda in 1997. The construction works started only in 2002 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.
 
The bridge, situated 17 km downstream of Dibrugarh spans the Brahmaputra river and connects the town in the south to Dhemaji to the river's north.
 
It is located just over 20 km away from the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and is thus expected to act as an alternative to the Kolia Bhomora Setu in Tezpur.
 
Earlier, on his arrival at the Mohanbari airport near Dibrugarh, Modi was received by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. He later left for Bogibeel in a helicopter.
 
The strategic 4.9 km rail-cum-road bridge, built by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), is the first fully welded steel bridge and the longest rail-cum-road bridge in India.
 
HCC constructed the entire 4.9 km-long superstructure, a press release from the company said.
 
"Bogibeel bridge will provide connectivity to nearly five million people residing in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The project boasts of multiple benefits such as strategic and speedier access for defence forces to the Indo-China border, seamless access for medical facilities to remote north-eastern states, and most importantly reducing by nearly 10 hours the transportation distance between NH-37 and NH-52, saving transportation cost, time and fuel," the release said.
 
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Mr. Arjun Dhawan, Director & Group Chief Executive Officer, HCC said, “HCC has time and again undertaken complex infrastructure projects that are benchmarks in India’s infrastructure journey. Bogibeel Bridge is an engineering masterpiece which has many technical firsts to its name. It is India’s first fully welded Warren truss girder type steel bridge. Not only has an incremental launching technique for superstructure erection been used for the first time in India, it is also the world’s longest incrementally launched steel bridge. HCC is proud to create such marvels for the nation.”
 
"The HCC team through its sheer determination and grit completed this project, as bridging the mighty Brahmaputra has always been a daunting task. The river is extremely difficult to bridge due to various reasons including its ferocious and unpredictable behaviour, high currents and turbulent waters, widespread erosion of the banks, short working period, high seismicity and the sheer remoteness of the area. With the width ranging from 1.2 km to 18 km, the Brahmaputra has been bridged only four times in the past; HCC holds the distinction of building two of these bridges and has now constructed the fifth," the release said.
 
The superstructure of the Bogibeel bridge has been constructed using special copper-bearing steel plates in order to reduce corrosion. Furthermore, due to excessive humidity in the area, a complex Corrosion Protection System specific to different components of the bridge has been implemented. To offer good stability to the heavy spans (1700 MT), seismic restrainers are provided. The bridge is designed to withstand earthquakes with magnitudes in excess of 7.0.
 
(With inputs from IANS)
 
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Kovind presents Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit and Colours to Air Defence College

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President Ram Nath Kovind presented Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Colours to Air Defence College here on Thursday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the President said the world looks at India differently today. It is seen as an eminent power, expected to play a prominent role in shaping the global paradigm with regards to international security, trade and commerce, and environmental protection. 
 
“India’s rise in the international order has many dimensions to it. And it draws heavily from the capabilities and valour of our Armed Forces, including our air warriors,” he added.
 
“I have just returned from a visit to Vietnam and Australia. I held discussions with the leaders of both these countries in different areas of mutual interest such as defence, international security, trade and culture. 
 
“The deliberations made one thing amply clear. That, the world looks at India differently today. India is seen as an eminent power, expected to play a prominent role in shaping the global paradigm with regards to international security, trade and commerce and environmental protection,” he said. 
 
“Though we remain firmly committed to peace, we are determined to use all our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation. Whenever an occasion demanded, our brave men and women in uniform have ensured that the nation has dealt with the security challenges forcefully and effectively," he said.
 
The 118 Helicopter Unit or “Challengers” was formed on November 22, 1971, in Chabua and was then equipped with Mi-8 aircraft. Whether flying the Mi-8 or the formidable Mi-17 helicopter today, the Unit has a remarkable operational record. 
 
It has also contributed to humanitarian assistance and relief operations during natural disasters. The motto of the Unit Aapatsu Mitram, which means-Friend in Distress, is indeed an apt one. 
 
“I am confident that Challengers will continue to excel and operate as a formidable force in the years to come,” Mr. Kovind said. 
 
The Air Defence College has achieved significant milestones in Air Defence training in the past 60 years. The college provides professional training not only to officers of Indian Air Force but also to sister services and officers from friendly countries. 
 
The flying element of the College played a vital role during the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars. Since its establishment, the college has distinguished itself by adopting a futuristic approach towards training. 
 
The College truly lives up to its motto “Rakshanepunyasya Shikhamahe”, which means ‘ Teach to Excel in Defence’.
 
“In recognition of their outstanding performance, I am pleased to award Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit and Colours to Air Defence College. I compliment the personnel and families of the Units, past and present, for their devotion and service to the nation. The Indian Air Force is a fine force known for its prowess and professionalism,” Mr Kovind added.
 
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Two killed as ULFA triggers blast in Assam

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Two persons were killed after suspected militants belonging to the anti-talks faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) triggered a blast in Assam's Sivsagar district on Thursday evening, police said.
 
Police said the blast took place at a hardware store belonging to one Kamal Agarwala. 
 
"While Agarwala was seriously injured in the blast, a customer who was present in the store died on the spot. Agarwala was rushed to a hospital immediately but he succumbed to his inuries," police said.
 
The police is investigating the matter and will detail "the exact nature of the blast after preliminary investigation", said Sivsagar Superintendent of Police Subodh Kumar Sonowal.
 
Locals said that Agarwala and his brother had earlier received an extortion demand from the anti-talk faction of ULFA militants.
 
The anti-talks ULFA faction had on November 1 shot at a group of Hindu Bengalis in Tinsukia district in which five persons were killed.
 
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal strongly condemned the act and said that miscreants responsible for the killing will not be spared.
 
The Chief Minister, who is in New Delhi, termed the incident as an act of cowardice. He said that the state police chief has been directed to take immediate measures to nab the culprits involved in the incident.
 
IANS
 

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ISL: Mumbai end NorthEast's unbeaten run

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Mumbai City FC are on a roll registering their third consecutive victory, this time a narrow 1-0 win to halt NorthEast United FC's unbeaten run in an Indian Super League (ISL) tie at the Indira Gandhi Athletic stadium here on Friday.
 
Arnold Issoko's fourth-minute goal was the difference between the two sides as Mumbai climbed to third on the table with 13 points from seven games, the same as FC Goa and Bengaluru FC who sit above them. NorthEast United are stuck at 11 points but have a game in hand.
 
Mumbai surged ahead with their first attack. NorthEast didn't clear their lines from a Paulo Machado corner and the ball once again fell for the Portuguese midfielder. His first time shot struck Issoko's chest and crossed the line despite goalkeeper Pawan Kumar's best efforts. 
 
The hosts responded to the setback by fashioning several chances. Bartholomew Ogbeche saw a header miss the far post after he got on the end of a cross from Redeem Tlang from the right before Federico Gallego had a chance to pull one back as they won a free kick on the edge of the box.
 
However, the Uruguayan's free kick sailed over the bar with Amrinder Singh hardly troubled.
 
Mumbai had a chance of their own when a move straight from the training ground saw Machado square the ball to Rafael Bastos from a free kick. The Brazilian's shot went inches wide of the far post.
 
Mumbai had a scare when Lalthathanga Khawlring's corner caught Amrinder by surprise and the ball clipped the crossbar on its way out.
 
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Three minutes after the restart, Ogbeche made a brilliant run down the left and crossed for Juan Mascia. However, the Uruguayan striker couldn't turn it home. 
 
Mumbai had a lot of chances to double their lead as the half wore on. 
 
In the 50th minute, Moudou Sougou had a brilliant opportunity to score when he was played onside and only had to beat the onrushing goalkeeper. The Senegalese striker saw his lobbed effort miss the target, much to the disappointment of Jorge Costa.
 
Sougou missed another chance just after the hour mark. Lucian Goian's long punt found Issoko who did well to get beyond his marker and release Sougou down the left who blasted his shot over.
 
The tale of wasted chances continued at the other end too as Ogbeche got on the end of a cross and found space to shoot but his effort went straight into the hands of Amrinder.
 
A mistake from Lucian then allowed Ogbeche to be in a one-on-one situation with Amrinder but the Nigerian striker slammed his effort into the goalkeeper. Off the rebound, Rowllin Borges' shot sailed over the bar.
 
Despite a late onslaught, the visitors held on to their slender lead as NorthEast fell to their first defeat in the season.
 
IANS
 

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Militants gun down 5 in Assam's Tinsukia

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Five persons were killed in Tinsukia district of Assam on Thursday evening when a group of unidentified assailants opened fire at a public place, police said.
 
The assailants are believed to be members of the anti-talks faction of militant outfit ULFA, according to the police.
 
More details are awaited.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Assam: Man commits suicide over Foreigners Tribunal notice

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A man committed suicide on Sunday in Assam's Udalguri district allegedly after a local Foreigners' Tribunal recently served a notice on him asking him to prove his Indian citizenship.
 
Police said Dipak Debnath was found hanging from a tree in the backyard of his house in Ghagra village.
 
"Preliminary investigation indicate it to be a suicide. His family told us that Debnath was depressed after receiving a notice from the Foreigners' Tribunal which termed him as a foreigner and asked him to prove his Indian citizenship," a police officer said.
 
Although the Foreigners' Tribunal served the notice to Debnath in July asking him to appear before it on July 12 to prove his Indian citizenship, Debnath received the notice only on July 29.
 
"The draft NRC was published by the Assam government on July 30 and it included the names of Debnath, his wife and two daughters. However, Debnath went to the Foreigners' Tribunal recently to respond to the notice and a Tribunal official demanded a huge bribe to settle his case," said Uttam Debnath, a nephew of the deceased.
 
"We believe he ended his life as he was not in a position to bribe the Tribunal officials. He was scared that he will be taken to detention camps and will be tortured," said Uttam.
 
The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on July 30 left out the names of 40,07,707 people due to various discrepancies in the documents submitted by the people.
 
IANS
 

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ISL: Jamshedpur squander chances against 10-man NorthEast United

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NorthEast United climbed back to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) after an eventful 1-1 draw against Jamshedpur FC at the India Gandhi Athletic stadium here on Thursday.
 
Bartholomew Obgeche (20th) gave the hosts early lead before Farukh Chaudhary cancelled out his strike in the 49th minute.
 
It was the Highlanders who created the first real opening in the game after Federico Gallego surged down the right flank. The Uruguayan squared the ball back for Ogbeche from the by-line but the Nigerian's rushed shot was some way off target.
 
The Nigerian would not be denied his goal minutes later after an error from Mario Arques. The Jamshedpur midfielder was dispossessed off the ball in his own box by Gallego before Ogbeche showed a brilliant first touch and then toe-poked the ball past a hapless Subrata Paul.
 
The visitors almost hit back immediately after Calvo's intended cross from the left-flank deceived Pawan Kumar before bouncing off the crossbar. At the other end, Ogbeche continued to look dangerous with his quick feet and physical prowess.
 
Ferrando's men began exerting a greater control on the ball as the half progressed but always seemed to run out of ideas in the final third.
 
Just seconds after Redeem Tlang had forced Subrata into an excellent save, the hosts shot themselves in the foot with Komorski picking up a red card at the stroke of half-time. The Croatian defender swung his elbow wildly towards Pablo Morgado's face and the referee had no hesitation in giving him the marching orders after consulting with the linesman.
 
Come the second period, Eelco Schattorie sacrificed Nikhil Kadam to bring on defender Gurwinder Singh. Cesar Ferrando, meanwhile, threw caution to the winds by taking off defender Pratik Chaudhari for Michael Soosairaj.
 
It took just four minutes for the visitors to make their man advantage count after Reagan Singh failed to clear the ball. Morgado stole the ball before delivering a delightful cross from the left to which Farukh applied a sumptuous first-time finish with his left foot, leaving Pawan Kumar no chance.
 
With the game meandering towards the 70th minute mark, Tim Cahill was finally brought on as Ferrando went for the kill. The visitors put bodies forward in numbers with balls being launched into the box constantly but the cutting edge was missing.
 
Soosairaj came closest to taking the lead for the visitors but the 10 men of NorthEast hung on dearly for a precious draw.
 
IANS
 

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Rohit, Kohli star as India thrash West Indies in 1st ODI

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Opener Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli scored blistering centuries to help India thrash the West Indies by eight wickets in the first One-Day International match here on Sunday.
 
India dominated with the bat through out the innings as Rohit remained unbeaten on 152 while Virat was dismissed for 140. On the other hand, West Indian bowlers struggled with the line and failed to take wickets.
 
Chasing a challenging score of 322, India lost Shikhar Dhawan with just 10 runs on the board. Dhawan (4) was clean bowled by Oshane Thomas in the second over of the innings.
 
But after that Rohit and Virat joined hands and hammered the West Indian bowlers all around the stadium. In the process, the duo completed their respective centuries.
 
Virat was stumped by wicket-keeper Shai Hope off Devendra Bishoo in the 33rd over when the score was 256, but by then India had almost grabbed the game.
 
The fall of wicket brought in Ambati Rayudu (22 not out) who played sensibly with Rohit and the duo guided India home comfortably.
 
Rohit played 117 balls and slammed 15 boundaries and eight sixes while Virat played 107 balls and slammed 21 boundaries and two sixes.
 
Earlier, a brilliant century by Shimron Hetmyer (106) and some useful contributions from Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach towards the end helped West Indies post 322/8.
 
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Hetmyer played 78 balls and slammed six boundaries and as many sixes before he was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja in the 39th over. 
 
Chandrapaul Hemraj and Marlon Samuels were the only disappointments for the West Indies as all other batters contributed and helped their team to get past the 300 run mark in their allotted 50 overs.
 
Put in to bat, West Indies started the proceedings on a positive note but pacer Mohammad Shami dismissed opener Hemraj (9) in the fifth over. But Powell and Shai Hope (32) together forged a 65-run partnership for the second wicket and took West indies past the 80-run mark. 
 
Just when things seemed good in the middle for the Windies, opener Powell (51) was dismissed by Khaleel Ahmed in the 15th over. In the next over, Samuels was also sent packing by Yuzvendra Chahal.
 
Hetmyer then arrived in the middle and stitched crucial partnerships with Rovman Powell and Jason Holder (38) before getting out in the 39th over.
 
Holder also played sensibly before getting out and towards the end, Bishoo and Roach forged a 44-run partnership for the ninth wicket to guide the West Indies to a challenging total.
 
For India Chahal took three wickets, while Shami and Jadeja took two wickets each.
 
Brief scores: 322/8 (Shimron Hetmyer 106, Kieran Powell 51; Yuzvendra Chahal 3/41) against India: 326/2 (Rohit Sharma 152 not out; Virat Kohl 140; Devendra Bishoo 1/72)
 
IANS
 

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Five killed, several injured in Assam road mishap

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At least five people, including two women, died and several others were injured when their bus fell into a water body on Saturday.
 
Police said the incident took place at a remote place called Mukalmua in Assam's Nalbari district.
 
"The bus was travelling from Guwahati to Nalbari. However, the bus driver lost control and it fell into a water body near Adabari in Mukalmua area," police said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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SpiceJet to connect Hyderabad with Bangkok from October 10

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet today said it would launch a daily direct flight from Hyderabad to Bangkok with effect from October 10.
 
From the same day, the airline will also introduce a daily direct flight from Hyderabad to Guwahati.
 
The announcement was made in the august presence of Mr. K. T. Rama Rao, Minister for Industry & Commerce, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, ITE&C, Mines, Handloom & Textiles, NRI Affairs, Government of Telangana. 
 
On the occasion, senior SpiceJet officials handed over the first ticket to Mr. Rama Rao, thereby marking the formal announcement of the launch of the new flight service.
 
Ms. Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet said, “We are delighted to launch our new flights from Hyderabad. Bangkok has always been one of the most preferred global destinations and the domestic addition reiterates our conviction in the potential of the north-eastern regions. We believe our consistent efforts to connect the regional markets will revolutionise air travel across the country offering convenience for business and leisure travelers alike.”
 
A press release from the airline said SpiceJet is the only Indian carrier to provide direct connectivity between Hyderabad and Bangkok.
 
"The new flights will provide convenience to the airline’s customers traveling from the city, besides enabling them to travel to a host of other cities both on SpiceJet’s domestic as well as international network via multiple direct and onward connections," the release added.
 
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NIA court awards death for 2, life term to 2 others in 2014 killings

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A special court of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday awarded death sentence to two and life imprisonment to two others in the mass killings triggered by terrorist outfit National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) in 2014.
 
A statement issued by the NIA said that while two accused, Bishnu Narzary alias N Berema and Ajoy Basumutary alias B Buhumbua, have been awarded death penalty, two others, Sanju Bordoloi alias Sibigiri and Nitul Daimary alias D Naihab, have been awarded life imprisonment.
 
Although the court had convicted the four in the case on August 29, the quantum of punishment was pronounced on Saturday.
 
On December 23, 2014, NDFB militants had indiscriminately fired upon villagers of Hatijuli Shantipur village in Sonitpur district of Assam killing six persons instantly and injuring two others.
 
The Assam government had handed over the case to the NIA which registered a case on December 30 the same year under various sections and the Arms Act.
 
A chargesheet was filed against the accused on July 22, 2015.
 
IANS
 

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Assam: Three dead, many missing as boat capsizes in Brahmaputra

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At least three persons, including two college-going girls, were killed and several others were missing after a boat capsized in the Brahmaputra in Assam on Wednesday.
 
The Kamrup Metro district administration confirmed that three bodies have been recovered and said that many people who were on board the machine boat were missing.
 
"The boat was on its way from Fancy Bazar Ghat in Guwahati to Madhyam Khanda in North Guwahati with around 40 passengers and 10 motorcycles on it. 
 
"However, near Aswaklanta island, the boat's engine failed. It later collided with some concrete poles underwater, which are part of a water supply project, and capsized," said a local, adding that while some passengers from the boat to swam to the shore, some others could not.
 
"We have rescued 15 people till now. Three bodies have been recovered. Our search is on to find out more survivors," said a spokesman for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
 
The Brahmaputra is in spate due to monsoon rains in the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh.
 
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal ordered an inquiry into the incident. The Additional Chief Secretary has been told to submit a report "at the earliest".
 
IANS
 

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