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Patna

Bihar constables attack officers, probe ordered

 
Cops go on rampage after ailing womanconstable dies in Patna
More than 300 constables went on a rampage here damaging properties and attacking officers after a woman colleague who had been reportedly refused leave died early on Friday, leaving at least one officer in a serious condition.
 
Three police officers and two journalists were injured as the protesting trainee constables, including a large number of women, attacked and ransacked officers' quarters at the Patna Police Lines.
 
The constables complained that they were forced to put in long hours of work without being provided basic facilities. 
 
"We work without food, water and toilet facility. It is impossible to get leave even for genuine reasons," one of them told the media. Others echoed him.
 
They said the woman constable died due to sheer negligence and the "inhuman and authoritarian stance of her seniors". 
 
She reportedly had dengue and had sought leave. However, despite repeated requests, she was not granted leave, a constable complained.
 
Bihar Director General of Police K. S. Diwedi, who was in Delhi on Friday to attend a meeting, reacted sharply to the unrest in police force.
 
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Videos on social media showed policewomen rampaging through police stations, shattering LED television and furniture. 
 
When a senior officer, Mohammad Maslehuddin, tried to pacify them, they hit him with a baton on his head.
 
Deputy Superintendent Maslehuddin's family told IANS that he had been admitted to a private hospital and his condition was serious.
 
"He was first attacked in the office and beaten. When he tried to escape and reached his official quarter, they forcibly entered it and tried to kill him.
 
"However, his young daughter saved him by standing at the door and challenging the mob. The house was also ransacked," a family member said.
 
Diwedi said in New Delhi that such indiscipline would not be tolerated. 
 
"The protesters will be punished and trained to follow discipline."
 
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar asked Diwedi to submit a report at the earliest. A probe headed by Inspector General N. H. Khan has been ordered.
 
Additional Director General S. K. Singhal told the media that the situation had been brought under control.
 
IANS
 

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IWAI hands over its Kolkata Terminals to private company on supply, operate, maintain model

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The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) began its foray into Public Private Partnership (PPP) on Tuesday by handing over the operation and management of its terminals in Kolkata to Summit Alliance Port East Gateway (India) Pvt Ltd. (SAPEL) on a supply, operate and maintain (SOM) model.
 
The terminals GR Jetty-I & BISN and GR Jetty-II of Inland Water Transport (IWT) will be handed over to SAPEL for equipping, operating and managing on a revenue sharing model, an official press release said.
 
The operator will have the right to collect user fees from the users as per the tariff rates notified by IWAI. The contract will be valid for a period of 30 years, it said.
 
SAPEL was awarded the contract in August, 2017 under a revenue sharing arrangement of 61.70% to itself and 38.30 % to IWAI through a global tendering process for this work for the Garden Reach Terminal in Kolkata and Gaighat and Kalughat Terminal in Patna.  Being the first PPP project undertaken by IWAI under SOM model, the event paves the way for private investment in the development of IWT in India, the release said.
 
The IWT terminals GR Jetty-I & BISN and GR Jetty-II are spread over 30,409.64 square metres and 14,557 square metres, respectively, and have two permanent RCC jetties and one floating jetty besides a Roll on- Roll off terminal.
 
The transportation of trucks on vessels from BISN jetty to Sankrail on the bank and participation of private sector in operation and management of the facilities will improve the operational efficiency of the jetties, it said.
 
According to IWAI Chairman Shri Pravir Pandey, under the transactional structure worked out by International Finance Corporation (IFC), the operator will undertake the operations and maintenance services at both Kolkata and Patna clusters and invest in cargo handling equipment, container handling equipment and warehousing.
 
The operator will also provide labour, professionals, supervisory, and managerial personnel for performance of operations and maintenance services. The proposed project will facilitate a modal shift of up to 55% of the potential cargo in the catchment area to IWT mode.
 
The existing potential of anchor cargo is of 56,000 TEUs (to/from catchment area) during the base year and expected to grow to 250,000 TEUs over next 15 years. The current handling capacity of terminal is 1.6 MT which includes bulk and break - bulk cargo. The operator is expected to increase this capacity by three times in next five years.
 
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The development of both Kolkata and Patna terminals is being undertaken with a view to tap the huge potential of Nepal-bound containerised cargo on NW-1. While the available cargo upstream (for Nepal) at present is 44,000 TEU, the cargo potential downstream stands at 12,000 TEU.
 
Barging from Kolkata to Patna will lead to cost saving by approximately 24% and 4 % as compared to road and rail, respectively, when return cargo is available. Barging from Kolkata to Kathmandu will lead to cost savings by approximately 13% and 26% as compared to road and rail, respectively, when return cargo is available from around Patna.
 
A periodic and reliable barge shuttle service between the two terminals will cater to freight movement between Kolkata and Patna. Hinterland catchment area of Bihar and Nepal will also be served through this route.
 
The barge shuttle will act as a cargo feeder/evacuation channel of Kolkata port to the hinterland. Patna (Kalughat) terminal when ready, could act as an extended gate of Kolkata Port. The shuttle service could also act as a feeder or evacuation channel to Dhamra Port in future.
 
The Kolkata terminals will also facilitate domestic bound and EXIM cargo for North Eastern Region and Bangladesh even as it will prove advantageous for shippers plying on the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route. On 25 October, 2018, India and Bangladesh signed agreements to deepen their maritime relationship.
 
Kolaghat (West Bengal, India) and Chilmari (Bangladesh) were declared as new Ports of Call (PoC). Besides this, an agreement for the use of Mongla and Chattogram port (Bangladesh) for transiting goods to and from India and passenger and cruise vessels from Kolkata to Dhaka and Guwahati through the protocol route were also agreed on, the release added.
 
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Police officer killed in Bihar encounter

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A police officer was killed during an encounter with criminals in Bihar's Khagaria district, police said on Saturday.
 
"Pasraha Station House Office Ashish Kumar Singh was killed late Friday night in the encounter," Khagaria Superintendent of Police Minu Kumari said. 
 
Bihar Police Association President Mirtunjay Kumar has demanded a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the victim's family. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Girl students oppose molesters, thrashed

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Students of a residential school for girls in Bihar's Supaul district were thrashed when they tried to oppose a bid to sexually harass them, police said on Sunday.
 
The incident happened when a group of youths forcibly entered the Kasturba Awasiya Balika Vidyalay on Saturday evening with the intention of molesting the girls. 
 
In the ensuing fracas, 34 girls were injured and have been admitted to a hospital. 
 
"Action will be taken against the accused and security arrangements will be made at the school," District Magistrate Baidyanath Yadav said.
 
A case has been registered, said Vinay Kumar, a district official. The accused have been identified, but no arrests have been made as yet.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Cabinet nod for new domestic terminal, allied structures at Patna Airport

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the construction of a new domestic terminal building and other allied structures at Patna airport at an estimated cost of Rs 1,216.90 crore.
 
After construction of the new terminal building, the passenger handling capacity of the airport will go up to 4.5 million passengers per annum (MPPA) from the existing 0.7 MPPA, an official press release said.
 
The new terminal building will have an area of 65,155 sqm, including basement area of 18,650 sqm, with world-class passenger facilities, the release said.
 
With the construction of the new terminal, there will be an increase in economic activities in Patna region, which will create additional jobs, it said.
 
The project is a part of the package for Bihar announced by the Prime Minister.
 
Patna airport is one of the major airports in the Eastern Region. The existing terminal building is a timeworn double storied structure and is operating at four times of its capacity.
 
"The construction of the new domestic terminal building and other allied structures at the Patna airport has become inevitable as the traffic has increased at a tremendous rate in last few years," the release added.
 
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Muzaffarpur ex-Mayor, driver shot dead

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Former Muzaffarpur Mayor Samir Kumar and his driver were shot dead on Sunday night by unidentified assailants in the Bihar town, police said.
 
Samir and his driver, who was not identified immediately, were fatally shot by motorcycle-borne criminals armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.
 
The criminals hailed the former Mayor's SUV to a stop at the Banaras Chowk in Muzaffarpur. As they stopped, the assailants fired dozens of bullets at Samir and his driver and fled, a police official said.
 
The crime has created panic in Muzaffarpur. Police has registered a case.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Man hired for honour killing in Telangana arrested in Bihar

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A hired killer who allegedly murdered a young Dalit man in a case of honour killing in Telangana's Miryalguda town was arrested from Bihar's Samastipur district on Tuesday, police said.
 
Subhash Sharma, who was allegedly hired to murder Pranay Kumar, was taken into custody from Jagatsinhpur. 
 
Samastipur police officer Paritish Kumar said Sharma was arrested by a team of Telangana Police along with the local police. He was produced in a court and handed over to Telangana Police on transit remand. 
 
Pranay Kumar, 23, was hacked to death on Friday as he was coming out of a hospital along with his wife Amrutha Varshini, with whom he had an inter-caste marriage. 
 
They were in love since their school days and had married against the wishes of the girl's parents. Since then, he was facing threats to his life. 
 
Amrutha, who is five-months pregnant, blamed her father, Maruthi Rao, for the murder. 
 
Police earlier arrested Maruthi Rao, his brother Shravan Kumar and three others in the sensational case. 
 
Maruthi Rao allegedly paid Rs 10 lakh to the hired killer. He reportedly told police that 'honour' was more important for him than his daughter.
 
Calling her father a devil, Amrutha vowed never to go back to him. She said she would live with her slain husband's parents.
 
IANS
 

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Political strategist Prashant Kishor joins JD-U

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Election strategist Prashant Kishor on Sunday formally joined the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in the presence of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar ahead of the party's state executive meeting here.
 
JD-U spokesperson Sanjay Singh confirmed Kishor's joining.
 
"Now Prashant Kishor is a JD-U leader," Singh said.
 
Shortly after the announcement, Kishor tweeted: "Excited to start my new journey from Bihar!" 
 
The 41-year-old former UN official, who founded the Indian Political Action Committee (I-Pac), was tasked with running the JD-U's campaign during the 2015 Bihar polls after he parted ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 
 
After the success of the Grand Alliance, Nitish Kumar named Kishor as his adviser for planning and programme implementation with status  equivalent to a state Cabinet Minister. 
 
Last week, Kishor hinted at his political debut while addressing an event at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. 
 
Kishor had formulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi' election strategy in the 2014 elections.
 
IANS
 

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Elderly couple found dead in Patna

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A retired commissioner of Irrigation Department and his wife have been found dead in their house in the Bihar capital. Four people have been detained, police said on Friday.
 
Harender Prasad Singh, 88, and his second wife Sapna Das Gupta, 70, were found murdered late on Thursday in Dujra's Buddha colony here.
 
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said an investigation is on. Those detained include a maid servant, a caretaker of their house, and a driver. They are being interrogated.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Passengers of Chennai-Patna Ganga-Kaveri express robbed in UP

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Many passengers on board a Chennai-Patna express train were robbed off their jewellery and cash by armed dacoits in Uttar Pradesh's Chitrakoot district early on Monday, police said.
 
The dacoits barged into the coaches of the Ganga-Kaveri Express around 1.30 a.m. as the train was enroute to Patna in Bihar. Over a dozen passengers were also injured in the attack.
 
Dacoits blocked the rail tracks and stopped the train as it left the Manikpur railway station and was headed for Allahabad, a police officer said. 
 
"The dacoits raised the signal near the Panhai railway station and barged into two coaches, attacked and threatened clueless sleeping passengers," he added. 
 
According to the accounts given by the passengers to the police, there were a dozen armed men. They smashed glass panes of the two sleeper-class bogies and bashed up the people inside. 
 
The dacoits took more than an hour to carry out the attack. Police arrived after someone dialed the 100 emergency service.
 
District Magistrate and other senior officials including Deputy Inspector General Chitrakoot rushed to the site. A search operation is on.
 
"Teams led by the Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Jha, additional SP Balwant Chowdhary are combing the area," an official told IANS.
 
After almost two hours of the incident the train was allowed to proceed to Allahabad on its onward journey. 
 
IANS
 

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Two women inmates of Bihar shelter home die, two staff detained

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Two officials of a Patna shelter home were detained on Sunday for questioning after two women inmates died in a hospital, police said.
 
Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said that a Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the death of the two 'Aasra' inmates, aged 40 and 18, on Friday night at the Patna Medical College and Hospital.
 
The cause of the death was not immediately known.
 
Though shelter home officials said the two died at the hospital, the latter's officials on Sunday denied it and said that the inmates were "brought dead". 
 
Neither police nor the Bihar Social Welfare Department officials were told about the incident on Friday by the shelter home authorities.
 
A police team along with departmental officials visited the shelter home in the city's Rajiv Hagar area and questioned the staff. 
 
The two deaths at the Bihar shelter home have come after the revelations about the rape of at least 34 minor girls at a similar home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. The case came to light in July when the Social Welfare Department filed an FIR on the basis of a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
Twenty-four girls were rescued from a shelter home in Uttar Pradesh's Deoria last week after one of them told the police that they were being sexually abused.
 
IANS
 

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Lightning kills six in Bihar

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At least six people were killed and three injured as lightning struck parts of Bihar on Saturday, officials said.
 
According to the Bihar Disaster Management Authority, four people were killed in Munger district and two in Banka district.
 
According to officials, the victims were transplanting paddy saplings in farmlands when lightning struck.
 
"An ex-gratia of Rs four lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives in the lightning strikes has been announced," said an official.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Bihar Minister quits over husband's alleged links with shelter home rape accused

Bihar Social Welfare Minister Kumari Manju Verma. (File photo: IANS)
Bihar Social Welfare Minister Kumari Manju Verma. (File photo: IANS)
Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma on Wednesday resigned following allegations that a man accused of raping young girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur has links with her husband.
 
She resigned on being asked by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to put in her papers, according to an official in the Chief Minister's Office.
 
"Manju Verma visited Chief Minister's residence and had a meeting with Nitish Kumar for over 30 minutes. After that she resigned," said the official.
 
The Minister had been under attack from the opposition following revelation last month that Brajesh Thakur -- key accused in the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur -- had close links with her husband Chandeshwar Verma.
 
But, Manju Verma had refused to resign. Even Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had given her a clean chit earlier this week.
 
However, what seems to have gone against her is an admission by Brajesh Thakur on Wednesday that he used to talk to Chandeshwar Verma on telephone regularly.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the case, has reportedly retrieved the call details of Chandeshwar Verma, according to which he and Brajesh Thakur talked 17 times between January and May this year.
 
The CBI is looking into the call details record (CDR) of Brajesh Thakur's three mobile numbers he was using until his was arrest.
 
"Thanks to the CDR, there is clear evidence that Brajesh Thakur was in regular touch with Manju Verma's husband Chandrasekhar alias Chandeshwar Verma, whose whereabouts are not known so far," a senior police officer said.
 
The CBI team on Tuesday also questioned the driver of Brajesh Thakur, Raju Kumar, and scrutinised his mobile phone. Raju reportedly told the CBI probe team that Brajesh Thakur had close relations with Manju Verma's husband.
 
Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress leaders have alleged that Manju Verma's husband used to visit regularly the shelter home of Brajesh Thakur, where rape of 34 girls took place. They also alleged that both outgoing minister and her husband had involvement in the shelter home case.
 
The Muzaffarpur case came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
IANS
 

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BJP leader wants Bihar minister to go over Muzaffarpur horror

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Senior BJP leader and former Union Minister C. P. Thakur on Sunday demanded the resignation of Bihar Social Welfare Minister Manju Verna in connection with the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district.
 
"Manju Verma should resign taking moral responsibility for what happened in the shelter home being run under her department and resign," Thakur said.
 
Thakur is first BJP leader to demand the resignation of Manju Verma since the Muzaffarpur horror surfaced last month.
 
Thakur wondered how it was possible that such a crime happened and there was no information about it to the social welfare department.
 
"The Muzaffarpur incident is the result of lapses of the social welfare department," he said.
 
Thakur said when he was informed about the incident, he wanted to visit the shelter home. But the shocking case hit the headlines in the media.
 
Till now, only the RJD, Congress, HAM and Left parties have demanded the resignation of Manju Verma and the arrest of her husband for his alleged involvement in the case.
 
The CBI is investigating the multiple rapes in the shelter home.
 
The Muzaffarpur crime came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
IANS
 

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Bihar suspends six child protection unit officials

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The Bihar government has suspended six officials of a state child protection unit in the wake of the Opposition's demand for stringent action against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district, authorities said on Sunday.
 
The state's Social Welfare Department suspended the six Assistant Directors of the unit on grounds that they did not act despite being informed over the ill-treatment meted out to children at shelter homes.
 
The officers were from Muzaffarpur, Munger, Araria, Madhubani, Bhagalpur and Bhojpur districts.
 
The CBI is currently investigating case.
 
The horror came to light when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
IANS
 

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JD-U MLA's son's body found on rail track

 
JD(U) MLA Bima Bharti's son found dead on railway track
 
 
The body of the son of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MLA Bima Bharti was found on a railway track in the Bihar capital on Friday, police said. The legislator alleged it was a case of murder.
 
Deepak's body was recovered near the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in Patna after locals spotted it and alerted the police, Deputy Inspector General of Police B.N. Jha said. 
 
He said it was difficult to say whether it was a case of suicide, murder or accidental death.
 
"Only after post-mortem will the police be able to say anything on the cause of his death," he said. 
 
Bima Bharti, a legislator from Rupauli Assembly seat in Purnea district, alleged that her son had been murdered. 
 
"It is not suicide, it is murder. My son was killed," a weeping Bima Bharti told the media here. 
 
IANS
 

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Shutdown against Bihar shelter home rape hit rail, road traffic

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A shutdown called by the Left parties in Bihar on Thursday against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district has hit rail and road traffic, police said.
 
The state-wide shutdown is backed by opposition parties including the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) (RJD), Congress, Hindustani Swam Morcha, Samajwadi Party and Lokrantrik Janata Dal.
 
Left party workers and supporters blocked railway tracks thereby affecting over a dozen trains since early Thursday morning. 
 
According to reports reaching here, trains were stopped in Darbhanga, Madhubani, Jahanabad, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Patna and Bhojpur districts.
 
Protesters have also blocked several roads in Siwan, Bhojpur, Nawada, Patna, Arwal, Jagabad districts.
 
The case came to light earlier this year when the Bihar Social Welfare Department filed an FIR based on a social audit of the shelter home conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday took over the case following a recommendation by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
 
IANS
 

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CBI takes over Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case

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The CBI on Sunday took over the case of rapes in a shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur and filed an FIR to probe the crime in which at least 34 minor girls were victimised, the agency said.
 
The move comes a day after the Congress demanded a Supreme Court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the incident and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attention towards such crimes. 
 
A CBI official said the agency registered a case on the request of Bihar government and a further notification from Central government. 
 
Under pressure from opposition, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday recommended a CBI probe into the series of rapes that he described as "a heinous crime".
 
The agency official said: "The CBI has taken over the investigation of the FIR (First Information Report) of Mahila Police Station, Muzaffarpur registered on May 31 related to mental, physical and sexual exploitation of girl children residing at Children Home at Sahu Road in the town. 
 
"The case has been registered against officers and employees of Balika Grih Sahu Road, Muzaffarpur."
 
It is alleged that officials and employees of Girl's Children Home run by Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti had been mentally, physically and sexually exploiting girl children residing there, said the official. 
 
Muzaffarpur police chief Harpreet Kaur said that they will hand over the case files to the CBI team probing the case. 
 
The shelter home was sealed after the sexual abuse of girl inmates came to light during a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The report was submitted to the state Social Welfare Department, which directed officials to lodge a complaint.
 
A medical examination of 44 girls of the home revealed that 21 of them were raped. The district police has arrested some officials of the home.
 
IANS
 
 

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Gadkari reviews Namami Gange Projects in Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal

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Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari reviewed the projects under Namami Gange programme in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal here on Wednesday.
 
Even as significant progress is being made in Namami Gange projects in the three States, the Minister instructed contractors to speed up the work and complete projects by December 2018, an official press release said.
 
He also urged the officials of the Central and State governments to resolve all issues that are obstructing the work in any way.
 
The Minister said he himself, along with Minister of State Satya Pal Singh, will inspect the sites during the coming months and monitor the progress of the projects.
 
Against a projected sewage generation of 606 MLD for the year 2035, Bihar has 124 MLD of existing sewage treatment capacity. There are 19 ongoing STP projects in the state for 216 MLD. Projects of 201 MLD capacity are under tendering while projects for about 112 MLD capacity will soon be tendered.
 
Out of the 19 ongoing STP projects, 11 are in Patna (Beur, Saidpur, Karmalichak, Sadipur, Pahari, Digha, Kankarbagh sewerage zones), and the others are in Buxar, Mokama, Sultanganj, Barh, Hajipur, Begusarai Munger and Bhagalpur. Digha and Kankarbagh projects in Patna and the project in Bhagalpur are under Hybrid Annuity mode.
 
In Patna, while work is under progress to create 200 MLD STP capacity, projects to create an additional 150 MLD capacity are under tendering. The capital city generates 286 MLD of sewerage and has an existing treatment capacity of 109 MLD. All 33 drains in the city are also being tapped. Besides, work to create a sewer network of 707.5 km is under progress while projects to lay sewer line for another 438 km are under tendering.
 
In Bihar, projects in 15 towns on tributaries of Ganga are also being taken up. The tributaries are Koshi, Burhi Gandak, Gandak, Kiul, Sone, Baghmati, Mahananda. One project in Nauguchia on a tributary of Ganga was also reviewed in the meeting.
 
The Minister also reviewed the progress of 20 projects under Patna Riverfront Development (RFD) which is nearing completion. So far, 16 ghats, 4.8 km promenade and one building for audiovisual programmes have already been constructed under Patna RFD, the release said. 
 
The Minister also instructed officials to complete the remaining ghat/ crematoria work in Munger, Jamalpur, Sonepur, Hajipur and Buxar by August.
 
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The projected sewerage generation for Jharkhand for the year 2035 is 16MLD. The state has no STP capacity at present.  There are two ongoing projects in the state – Sahibganj and Rajmahal - to create 15.5 MLD STP capacity. These were reviewed by the Minister. The likely date of completion of Sahibganj project is December 2018. 
 
While the Minister asked the contractors to strictly adhere to the timelines, he directed the officials to resolve all issues impeding the progress while expressing his dissatisfaction over the delay in the Rajmahal project in Jharkhand. It was informed during the meeting that works on 4 ghats and 1 crematorium in Jharkhand has been completed out of total 9 projects.
 
The Union Minister appreciated the proposal of West Bengal officials to build crematoria for animals to prevent the disposal of their dead bodies of animals into the River Ganga and other water bodies. In West Bengal, the ongoing projects to create STP capacity of 80 MLD and under tendering projects for 204 MLD STP capacity were reviewed by the Minister. The work on 15 ghats and 4 crematoria are under progress and officials were instructed to complete it by December 2018.
 
During the meeting, minute details like issues of land acquisition, No Objection Certificates, Tree Cutting etc. were discussed at length with officials and contractors.
 
The Minister exhorted the officials to take up the issue of sewer house connections on priority. He suggested the officials speed up this work in coordination with local municipality officials and state governments simultaneously with the ongoing work of STPs and laying of sewer lines.
 
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Shelter home rapes: Patna HC takes suo motu cognisance

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The Patna High Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the rape of over 20 minor girls in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur and asked the state government to be ready with its explanation when the case comes up for hearing on Thursday.
 
The court took notice of media reports and fixed July 26 for further hearing in the case, a government lawyer said.
 
The sexual abuse came to light during a social audit by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
 
Last week, a medical examination of 44 inmates revealed that 21 were raped. 
 
IANS
 
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Jet Airways links Allahabad with Lucknow, Patna with Udan flights

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Full-service carrier Jet Airways has commenced services under UDAN, the Government's Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), by linking Allahabad with Lucknow and Patna.
 
Of the seven sectors that Jet Airways has been awarded in the second round of bidding under the UDAN scheme, the airline is launching five this week, including Lucknow-Allahabad-Lucknow, Patna-Allahabad-Patna, Nagpur-Allahabad-Nagpur, Indore-Allahabad-Indore, and Delhi–Nashik-Delhi.
 
A press release from the airline said services on the remaining two routes -- Lucknow–Bareilly–Lucknow and Delhi-Bareilly-Delhi -- are expected to be launched in the coming days, once necessary clearances and approvals have been received for the Bareilly airport.
 
Jet Airways will deploy its 72-seater ATR aircraft on the RCS routes that connect Allahabad with various other destinations in its network. Operating thrice a week, the new routes will offer Allahabad a 6 day/ week connectivity, complementing the existing connectivity to/from the city.
 
The new flights will offer two-way connections to Mumbai from Allahabad via Nagpur/Indore/Lucknow. Similarly, the flights offer two-way connections to Bengaluru from Allahabad via Indore/Patna. Guests also have the choice to connect to Pune and Ahmedabad from Allahabad, via Indore. Likewise, the flight will also connect to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Abu Dhabi from Allahabad via Lucknow, allowing guests to connect through Abu Dhabi over Lucknow to multiple international destinations in Europe, North America, Africa, Middle East and the Gulf, enhancing the global connectivity from India’s emerging metros, the release said.
 
Aside from Abu Dhabi – Jet Airways’ gateway in the Gulf and home of its strategic partner Etihad Airways, guests traveling to Europe and North America can also take advantage of the airline’s excellent connectivity to over 100 destinations in Europe and over 200 in North America, made available via its codeshare partnerships with leading airlines including Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic via its gateways at Amsterdam, Paris and London Heathrow, the release added.
 
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Paswan shown black flags in his constituency

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Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan was on Thursday shown black flags by protesters in his parliamentary constituency Hajipur in Bihar, police said.
 
Over two dozen protesters belonging to the Sanyukt Sangharsh Morcha waved black flags at the convoy of the Lok Janshakti Party supremo near a hotel in Hajipur, the district headquarters of Vaishali, where he was slated to address the media on the completion of four years of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government.
 
The protesters said they were expressing displeasure over Paswan's alleged neglect of Hajipur since 2014. 
 
"No development project has been started or new work undertaken in Hajipur," they claimed.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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All five convicts in Bodh Gaya blasts case get life

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An NIA court here on Friday awarded life imprisonment to all the five persons earlier convicted in the 2013 serial blasts that rocked Bodh Gaya's Mahabodhi temple, a lawyer said.
 
Judge Manoj Kumar Sinha, presiding over the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, had in May convicted Umer Siddiqui, Azharuddin Siddiqui, Hauser Ali, Mujibullah Ansari, and Imtitaz Ansari.
 
The life imprisonment is the maximum punishment that could be given in the case, NIA lawyer Lalan Kumar Sinha told reporters here. 
 
The NIA chargesheet had said that the blasts on July 7, 2013, were carried out with the motive to kill domestic and foreign pilgrims, especially Buddhists, at the temple to create terror. 
 
As many as 13 bombs were planted, out of which around 10 exploded. Three live bombs were defused later by security forces. Five persons, including two monks, were injured in the blasts. 
 
The Bodh Gaya temple is a Unesco World Heritage site, where the Buddha attained enlightenment around 2,500 years ago. 
 
IANS
 
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RJD wins Bihar's Jokihat Assembly seat by more than 41,000 votes

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The opposition RJD has wrested the Jokihat Assembly seat from the ruling JD-U in Bihar. RJD candidate Shahnawaz Alam won the seat by more than 41,000 votes, officials said on Thursday.
 
After trailing in the initial round of counting, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) established a comfortable lead after 24 rounds. 
 
The Jokikhat seat fell vacant following the resignation of JD-U MLA Sarfaraz Alam, who joined the RJD. Voting for the seat took place on Monday. 
 
The JD-U was backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while the RJD had the support of the Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) of former Chief Minister of Jitan Ram Manjhi. 
 
Jokihat is a Muslim-dominated Assembly constituency, considered stronghold of former Union Minister and Shahnawaz Alam's father Mohammad Taslimuddin, who died last year leading to a bye-election for the Araria Lok Sabha seat. 
 
This is the second time this year when the RJD contested polls in the absence of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who was jailed after being convicted in the fodder scam. At present Lalu Prasad is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mumbai after getting provisional bail. 
 
The RJD under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav,former deputy chief minister and younger son of Lalu Prasad, proved again that it has an edge over the JD-U of chief minister Nitish Kumar. 
 
Two months ago, RJD had defeated JD-U in bye-elections for the Jahanbad assembly seat and the Araria Lok Sabha seat. 
 
IANS
 
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Lightning, thunderstorms kill 19 in Bihar

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At least 19 people were killed due to lightning and thunderstorms in Bihar, officials said on Tuesday.
 
"The state government has ordered ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of those who lost their lives," Pratyaya Amrit, Principal Secretary of the Disaster Management Department said.
 
Five deaths were reported in Gaya and Aurangabad districts followed by four deaths in Munger, three in Katihar and two in Nawada. 
 
Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds uprooted trees, damaged houses and brought down power cables across the state on Monday. 
 
The downpour also brought down the temperature. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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