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Bihar

Tariq Anwar quits NCP, LS; unfortunate, says party

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In a jolt to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), one of its founding leaders, Tariq Anwar, on Friday quit the party and the Lok Sabha expressing disagreement with party chief Sharad Pawar who he said gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal.
 
"I have resigned from the NCP as well as the membership of Lok Sabha because I totally disagree with Sharad Pawar's statement in support of Modi on Rafale deal," he told the media here. 
 
"The Prime Minister is fully involved in the Rafale deal," said Anwar, a party general secretary, reacting to Pawar's television interview in which he said he did not think people doubt Modi's intentions on a personal level. 
 
Jolted by his move, the party said the decision was "unfortunate" while Pawar's daughter and party MP Supriya Sule said the NCP chief's comments on the Prime Minister and the Rafale deal have been misunderstood as he has actually demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the deal.
 
Anwar, 67, who was expelled from the Congress in 1999 along with Pawar and P. A. Sangma after they questioned the foreign origins of Sonia Gandhi, said he personally respected and honoured Pawar but felt his statement in support of Modi was unfortunate. 
 
"I do not agree with his statement and have resigned from the party and membership of Parliament," the MP from Katihar said.
 
Anwar told IANS that he was forced to take this decision to prove his moral stand in politics. "I am telling people one thing and cannot take another stand," he said. 
 
Anwar's resignation brings down the NCP's strength in the Lok Sabha to six.
 
Anwar, who has been a Lok Sabha member several times and in the Rajya Sabha once, said he will talk to his supporters before taking a move to join any party.
 
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Reacting to his resignation, NCP general secretary Praful Patel said Anwar's decision was sudden and unfortunate and felt it was not correct on his part to have exited in this manner without any discussion with the leadership.
 
He said he has noted that Anwar was angry over some remarks made by Pawar on the Rafale deal. 
 
"We are surprised but sad at the same time. We want to clarify that Anwar who was with the party since its birth and was a founder... you have left suddenly and in this fashion without any discussion with the leadership, it is not correct," he said.
 
Pawar's statement in an interview to a television channel was welcomed by BJP chief Amit Shah who praised him for "placing national interests above party politics".
 
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, Sule said it was "disappointing" that the issues raised by Pawar in the interview regarding the Rafale fighter jet deal were ignored.
 
"It's disappointing that people have not heard Pawar ... where he has clearly raised three questions: 1) what is the justification for a 300 percent price increase from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1,670 crore which potentially could be a significant loss to the exchequer?," said Sule, a Lok Sabha member and a daughter of Pawar.
 
"2) If such doubts have been raised and the government is so confident, then why are they shying from setting up a JPC? 3) When the BJP raised both price and specification issues during the Bofors allegations, then why are they hiding behind artificial justification of secrecy of agreements vis-a-vis both commercial price and offset agreements."
 
IANS
 

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Tariq Anwar quits NCP, LS after Pawar praises Modi

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Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) General Secretary Tariq Anwar on Friday quit the party and the Lok Sabha, expressing his disagreement with party chief Sharad Pawar who gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal.
 
"I have resigned from the NCP as well as the membership of Lok Sabha because I totally disagree with Sharad Pawar's statement in support of Modi on Rafale deal," he told the media here. 
 
"The Prime Minister is fully involved in the Rafale deal," he said, reacting to Pawar's television interview in which he had said he did not think people doubt Modi's intentions on a personal level. 
 
Pawar's statement was welcomed by BJP chief Amit Shah who praised him for "placing national interests above party politics".
 
Anwar, 67, who was expelled from the Congress in 1999 along with Pawar and P. A. Sangma after they questioned the foreign origins of Sonia Gandhi, said he personally respected and honoured Pawar but felt his statement in support of Modi was unfortunate. 
 
"I do not agree with his statement and have resigned from the party and membership of Parliament," the MP from Katihar said.
 
Anwar told IANS that he was forced to take this decision to prove his moral stand in politics. "I am telling people one thing and cannot take another stand," he said. 
 
Anwar, who has been a Lok Sabha member several times and in the Rajya Sabha once, said he will talk to his supporters before taking a move to join any party.
 
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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Satya Pal Malik named as new Governor of Bihar

Satya Pal Malik
Satya Pal Malik
Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik was today transferred and appointed as the new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
He will succeed Mr. N. N. Vohra, a retired IAS officer, who has been holding the position since June, 2008.
 
Mr. Malik, 72, a former Member of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, was appointed as the Governor of Bihar on September 30, 2017.
 
In  other appointments made today, the President named Mr. Lalji Tandon as the new Governor of Bihar, Mr. Satyadev Naryan Arya as the Governor of Haryana and Ms. Baby Rani Maurya as the Governor of Uttarakhand.
 
Mr. Ganga Prasad, Governor of Meghalaya, has been transferred and appointed as the Governor of Sikkim. Mr. Tathagata Roy, Governor of Tripura, has been shifted to Meghalaya, while Mr. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Haryana is transferred and appointed as the new Governor of Tripura.
 
Mr. Malik was a member of the 9th Lok Sabha, representing Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh in the Huse from 1989-91.
 
He served two terms in the Rajya Sabha, from 1980-86 and from 1986-1992. He was also a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly during 1974-77. 
 
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GAIL awards contract for purchase of pipes for Barauni-Guwahati Natural Gas pipeline

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Public sector natural gas major GAIL (India) Limited has awarded the first contract for the purchase fo 108 km of 24-innch diameter line pipes under the Barauni-Guwahati segement of the Jagdishpur-Haldia & Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL) project.
 
The contract for purchase of line pipes of 108 km was awarded to  Ratnamani at a total cost of Rs 125 crore, a press release from GAIL said.
 
Line pipe procurement activities for the rest of the 600 km trunk line upto Guwahati is at an advanced stage of tender process, it said.
 
The Barauni-Guwahati pipeline section, to be executed at a capital outlay of Rs 3,300 crore, is an integral part of the prestigious 3,405 km-long JHBDPL project, popularly known as ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’, executed by GAIL.
 
It envisages to connect eastern and north-eastern India to the existing natural gas grid. This project is planned to cover eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Assam.
 
"JHBDPL project is progressing in full swing and the first phase is scheduled for completion by December, 2018. The project will usher in industrial development in eastern part of India by supplying environmentally clean natural gas to fertilizer units, power plants, refineries, steel processing plants and other industries," the release said.
 
"It will also provide clean energy to households and transportation through the city gas distribution networks enroute the pipeline. City Gas Distribution projects have been commissioned at Varanasi, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack while project activities are under progress at other cities of eastern India," the release added.
 
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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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CCEA clears new four-lane bridge on Kosi river at Phulaut in Bihar

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a project for construction of a 6.930 km long four-lane bridge at Phulaut in Bihar. 
 
The CCEA also cleared the decks for rehabilitation and upgradation of the existing Birpur-Bihpur section of National Highway (NH)-106 in Bihar from km 106 to km 136 to two lanes with paved shoulder at a capital cost of Rs 1478.40 crore, an official press release said.
 
The construction period for the project is three years and is likely to be completed by June 2022, it said.
 
There is a 10 km-long missing link between Phulaut and Bihpur on NH-106 and falling in the catchment area of Kosi River. As such, presently, the traffic from Phulaut to Bihpur requires to take a detour of approximately 72 km. On the construction of the new bridge, the distance between Phulaut and Bihpur shall be reduced to only 12 km, the release said.
 
The construction of the new bridge will fill the existing 30 km-long gap between Udakishanganj and Bihpur of NH 106 in Bihar, which will provide through connectivity between Nepal/ North Bihar/ East-West Corridor (passing through NH- 57) and South Bihar/ Jharkhand/ Golden Quadrilateral (passing through NH -2), besides full utilization of NH-31, it said.
 
At present, the existing NH is having single/ intermediate lane configuration with poor road geometry, as a result of which the average speed on the highway is below 20 kmph. With the upgradation of the project, the travel speed would increase to the design speed of about 100 kmph, the release added.
 
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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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It's BJP-RSS vs rest of India, says Rahul

In a show of opposition unity against the ruling NDA, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday led a protest demonstration against the rape of 34 minors in a government-funded shelter home in Bihar, alleging that weaker sections were under attack by the Narendra Modi government and now it would be the BJP-RSS ideology versus the rest of India.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPI leader D Raja and others during the candle light march against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district; at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Aug 4, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPI leader D Raja and others during the candle light march against the rape of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district; at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Aug 4, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
In a show of opposition unity against the ruling NDA, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday led a protest demonstration against the rape of 34 minors in a government-funded shelter home in Bihar, alleging that weaker sections were under attack by the Narendra Modi government and now it would be the BJP-RSS ideology versus the rest of India.
 
"On the one side it is the RSS-BJP ideology and on the other the rest of India," Gandhi thundered in his brief address to the gathering of hundreds of people at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital that brought leaders of various parties including RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D. Raja and rebel JD-U leader Sharad Yadav on one platform.
 
"You see how the opposition stands united here. India stands united while the BJP and RSS stand on the other side. It will be more visible very soon. India is saying that whatever happened in the last four years was not good... There were attacks on the Indian culture. But when Indians make up their mind, no one stands a chance against them."
 
Gandhi said oppressed and weaker sections of the society were being assaulted openly in the country.
 
"Be it women, labourers, tribals, farmers, Dalits or minorities. Everyone is under the attack. But we are standing united here to tell them that we are with you, we are with the women of India."
 
The joint demonstration to protest against the rape of 34 minor girls in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur district was organized by Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav, who said "as a Bihari, I feel ashamed that there is complete lawlessness in Bihar" as minors, who needed shelter, were being raped "right under the nose of the government". 
 
The RJD jailed leader Lalu Prasad's son and former Deputy Chief Minister noted that the "heinous crime" was a sign of government's "failure" to protect women and oppressed.
 
"In 2013, Brajesh Thakur (the main accused) joined the JD-U. Nitish Kumar should clarify on this. The Chief Minister has even visited Thakur's residence. The public is watching. I want to ask the people, will they choose the leader who has maintained silence on this issue? The 'rakshas raj' (demon's rule) is back in Bihar."
 
He said there was no news of the victims who had now been shifted to another shelter home in Madhubani being run by an aide of one Sanjay Jha "who is a close aide of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar".
 
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Kejriwal alleged that "no action was taken" even when the Bihar government was alerted by some NGOs that all was not right.
 
"Children were being raped and government funds kept pouring in. Those who provide sanctuary to the accused are even bigger culprits... I want to warn them. Nirbhaya was raped and the UPA government was rocked. This time there are 40 such Nirbhayas (in Bihar)," the Aam Aadmi Party chief said.
 
Trinamool Congress' Dinesh Trivedi said it was shameful that "India's introduction is given in terms of incidents of rapes".
 
Yechury said there was no other remedy to this than capital punishment for the culprits. 
 
"The slogan has now changed to 'BJP se beti bachao'. I haven't seen such inhumanity ever before... All this anarchy which we are seeing today, cannot have happened without the shelter of the BJP... We have to remove these parties from power from Centre and state."
 
Raja said Nitish Kumar should not continue as the Bihar Chief Minister after the "horrific and barbaric" rape of minors in Muzaffarpur. 
 
"He has no moral right to continue. I also wish to question Prime Minister Narendra Modi about what is happening to our daughters. The Prime Minister should ask Nitish Kumar to act. It's a shame. The fight is for justice. The CPI is with Bihar and Tejashwi."
 
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.
 
NNN
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
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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
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
 
 
 
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Amit Shah in Bihar, breakfasts with Nitish

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BJP President Amit Shah arrived here on Thursday and met JD-U chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at breakfast.
 
Shah who is here to interact with party leaders and workers to design strategies leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, met the Janata Dal-United President soon after his arrival.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party President headed straight for the state guest house near Raj Bhawan, along with senior party leaders to break bread with Nitish Kumar, a key NDA ally.
 
Shah will again meet the Chief Minister at his official residence at dinner, when crucial discussion on 2019 general election seat sharing between the allies was expected.
 
A team of BJP leaders, including Union Ministers from Bihar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi earlier thronged the Patna airport with garlands to welcome Shah.
 
This is Shah's first visit after Nitish Kumar's JD-U joined the National Democratic Alliance in July 2017 after dumping the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress of the Grand Alliance.
 
Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for Shah's visit. The state capital has been turned into a fortress with thousands of security personnel deployed and traffic diversions in place.
 
The entire city has been flooded with colourful hoardings, banners, high rise gates and posters highlighting the achievements of four years of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
 
Shah will be holding a series of meetings and discussions with the party leaders and workers on preparations leading up to the 2019 general elections.
 
He will interact with 10,000 ground level party workers, who head the booths in the state. Besides, he will also meet the party's social media activists to discuss the digital campaign, a BJP leader said. 
 
IANS
 
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Andhra, Bihar seek special status, Modi assures on provisions at bifurcation time

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured states like Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, which have been demanding special status category, that the Centre is committed in "letter and spirit" to adhere to statutory provisions in place at the time of the bifurcation of states.
 
Briefing reporters here following the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, its Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the Prime Minister, who addressed the Chief Ministers, clarified the Central government's position on the claims of some states for special status.
 
His assurance came after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu raised his long-pending demand of special category status which was supported by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
 
"Some states did raise the issue of special status. The discussions were more focused on the statutory provisions that were in place at the time of the bifurcation of states and the Prime Minister said that the central government is committed in letter and spirit to adhere to those provisions," Rajiv Kumar said.
 
Earlier, Naidu raised issues related to bifurcation, agenda and other pressing needs of the state. 
 
"Received overwhelming support from Chief Ministers, officials and dignitaries at the 4th Governing Council meeting at @NITIAayog, where we discussed issues relating to the AP Reorganization Act, 2014," Naidu said in a tweet.
 
During his 20-minute speech, he also demanded the special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
 
Nitish Kumar also raised the demand for special status and supported Naidu's move.
 
On the issue of the minimum support price (MSP) for crops raised in Budget 2018-19 towards doubling farmers' incomes, the Vice Chairman described the MSP issue as "work-in progress".
 
"The details are being worked out and a bouquet of options will be offered to the states for them to meet the Prime Minister's promise of an increase of 1.5 times in the MSP," he said.
 
Rajiv Kumar said that the Prime Minister, who is also the Chairperson of the Niti Aayog -- the think-tank that replaced the erstwhile Planning Commission -- also directed that a committee be formed to look into farmers' issues.
 
It was also suggested at the discussions that states should also set up their own GDP targets which all add up to compose the national gross domestic product (GDP), he added.
 
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.
 
NNN
 
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Woman, daughter gangraped in Bihar

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A woman and her daughter were allegedly gangraped by nearly a dozen youths in Bihar's Gaya district, police said on Thursday.
 
"The police have detained 20 youths and are interrogating them to identify the main accused among them," Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police Rajeev Mishra told the media.
 
The incident took place on Wednesday night near Sondiha village.
 
"The youths forcibly stopped a local doctor travelling with his wife and daughter. The doctor's hands and legs were tied and he was left in a nearby field while his his wife and daughter were gangraped," the police said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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