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Bihar

SC upholds death sentence of man for raping, killing child


The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence awarded to a man for raping and killing an eight-year-old child in Bihar.


A bench comprising Justices Harjit Singh Bedi and Chandramouli Kumar Prasad while dismissing the appeal of Mohammed Mannan alias Abdul Mannan noted, "when we test the present case bearing in mind what has been observed, we are of the opinion that the case in hand falls in the category of the rarest of the rare cases.


"Appellant is a matured man aged about 43 years. He held a position of trust and misused the same in calculative and pre-planned manner.


"He sent the girl aged about seven years to buy betel and few minutes thereafter in order to execute his diabolical and grotesque desire proceeded towards the shop where she was sent.


"The girl aged about seven years was of thin built and four feet of height and such a child was incapable of arousing lust in normal situation.


"Appellant had won the trust of the child and she did not understand the desire of the appellant which would be evident from the fact that while she was being taken away by the appellant no protest was made and innocent child was made prey of the appellant's lust," the court said.


Justice Prasad writing the 18 page judgement for the bench further noted, "the post-mortem report shows various injuries on the face, nails and body of the child.


"These injuries show the gruesome manner in which she was subjected to rape. The victim is an innocent child who did not provide even an excuse, much less a provocation for murder.


"Such cruelty towards a young child is appalling. The appellant had stooped so low as to unleash his monstrous self on the innocent, helpless and defenceless child.


"This act no doubt had invited extreme indignation of the community and shocked the collective conscience of the society.


"Their expectation from the authority conferred with the power to adjudicate, is to inflict the death sentence which is natural and logical.


"We are of the opinion that appellant is a menace to the society and shall continue to be so and he cannot be reformed.


"We have no manner of doubt that the case in hand falls in the category of the rarest of the rare cases and the trial court had correctly inflicted the death sentence which had likely been confirmed by the Patna High Court," the court said.


The appellant was a mason and had committed the crime on September 28,2004 in Bihar.


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Patna court issues production warrant against Hasan Ali Khan


Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) S P Singh today issued a warrant against Pune-based businessman Hasan Ali Khan, facing money-laundering charges, for production in his court here in connection with issuance of passport from the Patna office adopting fraudulent means.


While issuing the production warrant, the CJM directed the Superintendent of New Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai, to produce Khan in Patna court by April 30.


According to the charges, a passport was issued in 1997 to Khan by the Regional Passport Office, Patna. The inquiry which was carried out later revealed that Khan had suppressed and concealed facts while filing details required for issuance of the passport.


The matter came to light when the Ministry of Finance of Government of India detected the irregularities as well as suppression of facts for issuance of passport.


Later, a case was lodged by a zonal pasport officer in Kotwali police station in Patna against Khan charging him with offence liable to be punished under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Passport Act.


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Police sub-inspector crushed to death by Patna-Puri Express


A police sub-inspector attached to the special branch was knocked down by the speeding Patna-Puri Express train near Fatuha station on Patna-Mokama section of East Central railway today.


Police said here that the train ran over sub-inspector Ramakant Jha near Fatuha station, killing him on the spot. His body was sent for post-mortem examination.


"The deceased policeman was deputed in Biharsharif," police said adding, the matter was being investigated.


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IFC, Gates Foundation helping to improve Health Payments System in Bihar


The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation today said they were working with the government of Bihar to find ways to make government payments to health workers and health beneficiaries more efficient, transparent, and timely.


Government officials, health practitioners, banks and service providers discussed the findings of a statewide study of the payment processes associated with state health programmes.


The study recommends that health records be maintained in a centralized system called the Health Operations Payment Engine (HOPE). Such a system would provide a variety of benefits—not only to health workers and beneficiaries but also to the state, a press release from IFC said here today.


For example, to help achieve the objectives of health programmes, the state would be able to compute incentive payments according to programme guidelines. The HOPE system would also provide an integrated platform that would allow payment service providers and banks to credit incentive payments directly into the accounts of beneficiaries, health workers, and private health care providers.


"Efficient, transparent, and accountable payment mechanisms are needed to enforce programme guidelines, specifically ones relating to phased payments for beneficiaries," Mr P.K. Pradhan, Special Secretary and Mission Director of India’s National Rural Health Mission, said.


"IFC’s proposed solution, HOPE, should be taken beyond Bihar to other Indian states," Mr Pradhan said.


Ms Jennifer Isern, IFC’s Head of Financial Sector Advisory for South Asia said, "With this proposed solution that will ensure timely, accurate payments, IFC hopes to bring much-needed health support closer to those who need it most. Our diagnostic in Bihar identified key opportunities to improve health payments that could be expanded across India."


The study, conducted over three weeks in five state districts, was led jointly by IFC, the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, and Bihar’s State Health Society. It included interviews and focus-group discussions with more than 285 people including health officials at the state, district and block levels, health workers, health programme beneficiaries, private providers, technical experts, development organizations, and financial service providers.


IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries, with new investments worth a record $ 18 billion in fiscal 2010, the release added.


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Maoists blow up school building, mobile tower in Gaya


Two different groups of activists belonging to the proscribed CPI (Maoist) blew up a school building and a mobile telephone tower under different police stations in this district today.


Superintendent of Police Ratnamani Sanjiv said here that an armed group of Naxalites attacked Khajuria middle school and blew up its building by triggering an explosion in the Banke Bazar police station limits. A large portion of the school building was damaged in the attack.


Mr Sanjiv said that, in a separate incident, another group of ultras blew up a mobile phone tower at Lutiya Bazar in Imamganj police station area in the district.


The rebels managed to escape from the spot after engineering the disruptive activities at Khajuria and Lutiya Bazar. Raids were being carried out to nab them, he added.


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Six Naxals killed in encounter with police in Motihari in Bihar


Six Naxalites were killed while three policemen sustained injuries in a fierce encounter at Kesaria in East Champaran district, police said today.


They said a joint team of Special Auxiliary Police (SAP) and local police conducted a raid late last night at a hide-out under Kesaria police station area when reports were received that the rebels were taking shelter and planning to engineer disruptive activities.


As soon as police reached near the hide-out, the ultras opened fire triggering a fierce encounter, police said.


Six Naxalites were killed on the spot while three policemen sustained injuries in the shoot-out that lasted several hours, they added.


The bodies were recovered from the spot today, police said, adding the injured policemen had been admitted to a local hospital.


During the combing operation, ten Naxalites were arrested from Kesaria police station area. Five rifles and eight guns were recovered from those arrested. A large number of live cartridges were also seized during the search operation, police further added.


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Shahabuddin gets three years jail term in kidnapping case


A local court today awarded three years rigorous imprisonment to former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammad Shahabuddin in connection with the kidnapping of an official of the Animal Husbandry department in Bihar.


First class Judicial Magistrate Amit Kumar Dixit sentenced Shahabuddin to three years of rigorous imprisonment after he was found guilty of kidnapping the officer Raj Narayan Singh.


The court also slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on Shahabuddin, failing which he would have to spend six months more behind the bars.


According to the charges, on instruction from Shahabuddin, his associates had kidnapped Singh from Mufassil police station area in Siwan district on April 12, 1990. Later, he was rescued by the police.


Shahabuddin is presently serving life-term in Siwan jail in connection with the kidnapping of a CPI(ML) leader. Several other criminal cases are also pending against him.


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Two killed, 10 injured in Bihar road accident


Two people were killed and 10 others injured when the jeep carrying them hit a stationary truck near Garha School in Runnisaidpur police station area in this district of Bihar today.


Police said the incident occurred when the driver of the jeep, bound for Muzaffarpur, reportedly lost control over the wheel. The two were killed on the spot.


The injured had been admitted to a local hospital where the condition of the two was stated to be critical, police added.


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Eight of a marriage party killed in Bihar road accident


At least eight members of a marriage party were killed and 15 suffered injuries when a bus carrying them fell into a river near Chetiya bridge in the Kochadhaman police station area of this district of Bihar today.


Police said the bus fell into the river when the driver lost control over it. While eight people were killed on the spot, 15 were injured.


All the injured had been admitted to a local hospital where the condition of three was stated to be critical, police said, adding rescue and relief operations were on under the supervision of a team comprising senior officers of the district administration and police officials.


The bodies had been sent for post-mortem examination, police added.


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Seven-year-old crushed to death in Kishanganj


A seven-year-boy was crushed to death by a tractor near Deksara on the Gachhpara-Kishanganj road in Kishanganj town of Bihar on Sunday morning.


The minor was crossing the road when he was knocked down by the tractor and killed on the spot.


Kishanganj SHO Pratap Singh told UNI that driver of the vehicle, Paigambar Ali, had been arrested on the charge of negligent driving.


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Sri Lankan tourist killed in road accident in Bihar


A tourist from Sri Lanka was killed and 13 others were injured when a bus carrying them to Bodh Gaya met with an accident near Sonvarsa village in Barauli police station area here today.


Superintendent of Police K S Anupam said here that the bus carrying 45 Sri Lankan Buddhist prilgrims from Kushinagar of Uttar Pradesh to Bodh Gaya fell into a roadside ditch as the driver lost control over his vehicle.


One of the tourists, Kalawati Devi, was killed on the spot in the accident. The injured have been admitted to the local Sadar Hospital where condition of two was reported to be serious.


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Nitish Kumar for interlinking of rivers in Bihar


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed officers and engineers in the state government to take steps for interlinking of rivers in the state which would help in mitigating the miseries caused by both droughts and floods.


At a high-level meeting of the state Water Resources Department here yesterday, Mr Kumar told the engineers and officers concerned to take steps in this regard.


"The state government will try to make available the funds required for the ambitious project," he said.


The Chief Minister said such a mega project would help in better utilisation of the state's vast water resources.


Mr Kumar said Bihar would have to utilise all its resources to the optimum level for attaining the status of a developed state by the year 2015.


No laxity by the officers and concerned engineers would be tolerated by the state government in this regard, he warned.


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Bihar's annual plan for 2011-12 finalised at Rs 24,000 crores

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar meeting Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to finalise the annual plan for the state for 2011-12 in New Delhi on February 15, 2011.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar meeting Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to finalise the annual plan for the state for 2011-12 in New Delhi on February 15, 2011.

The annual plan size for 2011-12 for Bihar was finalised at Rs 24,000 crore at a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and state Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here today.

In his comments on the Plan performance of the state, Mr. Ahluwalia appreciated the efforts of the state government to expedite development process.

While appreciating the state's performance in the human development index, he pointed out that sectors like power needed focused attention and efforts should be made to reduce losses.

He said the state's performance in the agriculture sector was good and efforts to popularize public/private partnership were encouraging.

Mr Ahluwalia appreciated the pioneering work done by the state in introducing biometrics to reduce pilferage and improve transparency in various government schemes. He said the Planning Commission would welcome it if Bihar could play a role model in the introduction of the Aadhar, or unique identification (UID), numbers in the implementation of social sector programmes.

He urged the state government to evolve a policy that aimed at optimum tapping of the state's tourist potential, given its rich cultural legacy and the fact that the state is dotted with places of tourism interest.

He also urged the state to formulate a detailed action plan, involving experts from within and outside the state, to expand science and technology activities.

Mr Ahluwalia said the state needed to improve pace and meet targets st as far as monitorable targets for the Eleventh Five Year Plan were concerned, particularly in the selected backward districts.

He also drew the attention to the poverty level in the state, which was much higher than the national average, both in rural and urban areas. The literacy level was also low as compared to the all-India level. He underlined the fact that female literacy in the state was far below the national average.

Mr Kumar said the state government would continue its focus on infrastructure development and the social sector. He said nearly 35 per cent of the outlay would go to social services, while 24 per cent would be earmarked for improving transport in the state.

The Chief Minister said efforts were on to improve the investment climate and accelerate the pace of infrastructure development by encouraging public-private partnership in both physical and social infrastructure development.

He said that the initiatives taken by the state government had shown results and Central Government should help to bring the state on par with more developed states.

He said some of social sector programmes needed a review of guidelines to make them implementable and requested the Planning Commission to look into this aspect.

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Fire kills three, injures two in Patna


Three people were burnt alive and two others suffered burn injuries in an accidental fire that broke out in a thatched house in Domtoli locality under Jakkanpur police station area here last night.


According to police, the fire broke out from a lamp. Soon after, the entire dwelling was in flames, leading to the tragedy.


The injured have been admitted to the Patna Medical College and Hospital, police added.


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Bihar-UTI BPL scheme for girl child receives 9.28 lakh applications

The Bihar Government's "Mukha Mantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana" for the girl child has received as many as 9.28 lakh applications from below poverty line (BPL) families.

Under this scheme, the state governmnent donates Rs 2000 each on the birth of the first two baby girls in BPL families.


The Bihar Government had launched the scheme in 2009 in association with the UTI Mutual Fund with the aim to ensure the right place for a girl child in society by guaranteeing her safety and security, improve the sex ratio and encourage the registration of birth.


The money, instead of being paid directly to the beneficiary families, is invested by the state government in UTI Chidren's Career Balanced Plan-Growth Option. On completion of 18 years, the amount equal to the maturity value will be paid to the girl child.


The Bihar government has till date invested Rs 134 crore in the scheme, a press release from UTI said here today.


According to it, the project has brought about a change in the mindset of the poor regarding a girl child. It has also increased the awareness regarding the necessity of registering births.


It said that, according to Bihar government statistics, the number of births registered in 2007 was 7.15 lakhs vis-à-vis 10.4 lakhs in 2010.


UTI Mutual Fund is a SEBI registered mutual fund whose sponsors are State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Life Insurance Corporation of India.


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Advocates to abstain from courts in Bihar for two days


The functioning of all civil courts in Bihar and the Patna High Court will remain paralysed for two days from January 31 as advocates have decided to remain abstain from their professional work in the courts to protest against the running of evening courts in Bihar.


A decision to this effect was taken by members of Bihar State Bar Council in its meeting held under the chairmanship of its president Rajendra Prasad Singh.


During the meeting, members voiced their serious concern over the fact that continuation of evening courts in the state was posing serious threats to life of litigants and advocates as they were facing troubles in returning to their homes in the night after the court hours due to law and order problems, particularly in naxalite affected areas.


"The members are of the view that inspite of written representation of the Bar Council and face to face interaction with Chief Justice of Patna High Court, no information was received regarding withdrawal of notification of running evening courts in Bihar," Mr Singh said,


He said the Bar Council had no option but to give call to lawyers of state of Bihar to abstain from court work on January 31 and February 1.


"If no outcome or communication is received from Patna High Court regarding withdrawal of notification of continuation of evening courts in the state, then bar council may take further harsh decision in this matter," Mr Singh warned.


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SC pulls up Bihar courts on framing charges, examining accused

The Supreme Court has pulled up trial courts in Bihar for their casual approach in framing of charges in criminal cases and also in examining an accused under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) during trial.

A bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha, in their judgement yesterday, also strongly disapproved the tendency among the people to falsely implicate innocent members of family of an accused to settle scores with the offender.

The Supreme Court, while acquitting Sajjan Sharma in a murder case, noted "we are constraint to say that this is not an isolated case but it is almost stereotype."

"It is our experience that in criminal trials in Bihar, no proper attention is paid to the framing of charges and the examination of the accused under Section 313 CrPC, the two very important stages in a criminal trial.

"The framing of the charges and the examination of the accused are mostly done in the most unmindful and mechanical manner.

"We wish that the Patna High Court should take note of the neglectful way in which some of the courts in the state appear to be conducting trials of serious offences and take corrective steps," the bench said.

Justice Alam, writing a 14-page judgement for the bench, also noted with concern that in this country, even while correctly naming the accused in cases of serious offences, it is endemic that some other innocent persons or even such of the members of the family of the accused who might not be present at the time of commission of offence are also roped in in falsely-implicated charges.

The appellant Sajjan Sharma was convicted in a murder case and was sentenced to life imprisonment. His appeal was dismissed by the Patna High Court despite the fact that he was not named in the FIR and his name was added after a lapse of 15 or 20 days after the incident which occurred on November 24, 1994 and charges were not framed against him under Section 148, 149 without which it cannot be proved that he was a member of the unlawful assembly.

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Nitish Kumar orders CBI inquiry into Keshri murder case


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today ordered an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Purnea Raj Kishore Keshri.


Official sources said here that Mr Kumar issued a direction in this regard after demands from various poltical parties to this effect.


Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had also written a letter to the Chief Minister requesting him to hand over the case to CBI in the wake of certain elements trying to make baseless allegation against the slain BJP leader in an attempt at character assassination.


Keshri was stabbed to death by a woman at his residence in Purnea a few days ago triggering a spate of demands for CBI inquiry into the case.


Those advocating the CBI inquiry into the case had alleged that some ruling party members were involved in the case and that the Bihar police was not in a position to do justice in the case.


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RJD demands CBI probe into Keshri murder case, seeks Modi's removal

The Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) today demanded a thorough inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the murder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Purnea Rajkishore Keshri and sought the removal of Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi till the inquiry was over.

State RJD president Ramchandra Purvey, spokesman Shakeel Ahmad Khan and principal general secretary Ram Kripal Yadav told mediapersons here that "the Bihar government should hand over the Keshri murder case to CBI to ensure impartial investigation as several leaders of the ruling party are involved in the case and the Bihar police are not in a position to do justice to a case of such nature."


"Mr Modi should be removed from the post till completion of the inquiry," the RJD leaders said, adding that his recent statements appearing in the media indicated that he was trying to influence the investigation of the the case to save some leaders of the ruling party.


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Two killed in fire in Banka district of Bihar

Two people, including a child, were charred to death when a fire engulfed their hut at Basdiha village under Shambhuganj police station area in this district of south-east Bihar late last night.

Police said here today that some villagers were basking near a bonfire last night and left the place without dousing it completely. The fire getting strength from westerly winds caught the nearyby hut.


"An old man and a child sleeping in the hut were charred to death," police said, adding six other members of the family suffered serious burn injuries. They had been admitted to a local hospital where the condition of two was stated to be critical, police said.


Senior officers of the district administration had rushed to the spot and provided required financial assistance to the families of the victims in accordance with the rules, police added.


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CCEA enhances allocation for Special Plan for Bihar

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a proposal to enhance the allocation for the Special Plan for Bihar from the current level of Rs.1000 crore to Rs.2000 crore in 2010-11 and to the extent of Rs.1468 crore in 2011-12, based on the enhanced level of cost of Rs.8753 crore of all the projects.


An official press release said Central Government agencies were involved in the implementation of these projects.


The aim of the programme is to accelerate socio-economic development in Bihar. Through the special plan for Bihar, infrastructure particularly power, roads, and irrigation is being put in place, it said.

The special plan for Bihar is currently being funded under the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) with an annual allocation of Rs.1000 crore on 100% grant basis during the XI five year plan period.


The total cost of all the projects approved for funding under the Special Plan for Bihar was Rs.5568 crore at the time of approval of the BRGF in August, 2006. This cost has now increased to Rs.8753 crore. Against this cost, an amount of Rs.5285 crore has been released till the end of 2009-10 leaving the balance amount of Rs.3468 crore to be released during 2010-11 and 2011-12.


The BRGF, which aims to catalyze development in backward areas, was approved by the CCEA in August, 2006. The BRGF has two components - District Component covering 250 backward districts in 27 States and State Component which includes Special Plan for Bihar.


The Special Pla for Bihar includes the Million Shallow Tubewell Programme (MSTP) now replaced by Bihar Ground Water Irrigation Scheme (BGWIS), Restoration of Eastern Gandak Canal, Integrated Watershed Development Programme, Rail-cum-Road Bridge, Strengthening of Sub-Transmission System (Phase-I and Phase-II), Renovation and Modernisation of Barauni and Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Stations, Development of State Highways and Integrated Community Based Forest Management.


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Bihar BJP MLA Keshri stabbed to death by woman in Purnea

BJP MLA Raj Kishore Keshri was stabbed to death at his residence in Purnea on Tuesday by a woman who had earlier accused him of sexual harassment.
Rupam Pathak, who had allegedly attacked BJP MLA Raj Kishore Keshri with a knife leading to his death, in Purnea on January 4, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Rupam Pathak, who had allegedly attacked BJP MLA Raj Kishore Keshri with a knife leading to his death, in Purnea on January 4, 2011. UNI PHOTO

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and the MLA from the Purnea Assembly constituency Raj Kishore Keshri was stabbed to death at his residence in Purnea today by a woman who had earlier accused him of sexual harassment.

State Additional Director General of Police P K Thakur told journalists that the woman, Rupam Pathak attacked the MLA with a knife and stabbed him. He died instantaneously from injuries he suffered in his spleen, the official said.

According to him, the woman had apparently hidden the knife with a shawl she was wearing. She came to the Sipahi Tola house of the four-time MLA when he was meeting visitors, and asked to see him alone. The attack took place when she was talking to him at a little distance away from the others on the premises, Mr Thakur said.

The woman, who was later manhandled by supporters of the MLA, had been arrested. 

BJP MLA Raj Kishore Keshri who was fatally stabbed by a woman in Purnea on January 4, 2011. UNI PHOTO
BJP MLA Raj Kishore Kesri who was fatally stabbed by a woman in Purnia on January 4, 2011. UNI PHOTO

"She is being interrogated. It was revealed that the MLA had allegedly outraged her modesty a year ago and the woman acted in vengeance," a UNI report quoted Bihar Director General of Police Neelmani as saying.

The woman had lodged a complaint of sexual harassment against Mr Keshri about six months ago.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar directed Mr Neelmani to review the security arrangements for MLAs.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the funeral of the MLA would take place tomorrow after the arrival of his son and other family members from Delhi.

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Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's mother passes away in Patna


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's mother Parmeshwari Devi died after a cardiac arrest in Patna today, the United News of India (UNI) reported.


She was 96. She is survived by two sons and three daughters.


Ms Parmeshwari Devi was ailing for the past many days and breathed her last at the 1, Anne Marg residence of the Chief Minister.


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Uday Narayan Chaudhary elected Speaker of Bihar Assembly

Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Uday Narayan Chaudhary was today unanimously re-elected as the Speaker of the newly-elected Bihar Legislative Assembly.


Proposals were submitted from the ruling alliance, consisting of the JD (U) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Opposition, favouring the candidature of Mr Chaudhary as the Speaker. No other nomination was made.


The ruling alliance has 206 seats in the Assembly. Mr Chaudhary, who was elected on the JD(U) ticket from Imamganj, was also Speaker of the 14th Legislative Assembly that was dissolved on November 24.


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