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Chhattisgarh

Modi appeals to left-wing extremists to shun violence, join mainstream

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made an emotional appeal to left-wing extremists to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream of development.

 
Violence does not have any future, peace does: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made an emotional appeal to left-wing extremists to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream of development.
 
Addressing a large public meeting at Dantewada in Chhattisgarh, one of the hotbeds of Naxalism in the country, Mr Modi urged all misguided youth to cast aside their weapons and spend a few days with children who have lost their parents to incidents of left-wing extremism.
 
He said those children would inspire such youth to lay down arms forever. "The shoulders of youth should now bear ploughs, rather than guns," he said.
 
Mr Modi, who had an extensive interaction with children of Dantewada earlier in the day, said that those children had both the dreams and the confidence to achieve them. He said those children and the state of Chhattisgarh needed an atmosphere of peace for their dreams to be realized. 
 
Mr Modi pointed out that Punjab had successfully overcome violence, and expressed confidence that Chhattisgarh too would be able to overcome left-wing extremism.
 
He said Chhattisgarh had the potential to emerge as one of the most developed states in India. He added that the investment of Rs. 24,000 crore that would flow into the region, as a result of the memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed at Dantewada today in his presence for projects in the railways and steel sectors, would bring about a big change in the lives of people. 
 
The Prime Minister said that employment for youth was the first and foremost requirement of all parts of India, and his Government was working to achieve that goal. He said India had successfully left behind its past of corruption and slow pace of development. He said the whole world had now recognized India to be one of the fastest growing economies. 
 
The Prime Minister, who had visited the Livelihood College before arriving for the public meeting, appreciated the initiatives for skill development being taken by the Government of Chhattisgarh. 
 
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Vishnudeo Sai were amongst those present on the occasion. 
 
The MoUs signed today in the presence of Mr Modi include one between the government of Chhattisgarh, NMDC, IRCON and SAIL for a 140 km rail line between Rowghat and Jagdalpur at an estimated project cost of Rs 2000 crore.
 
An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Steel, government of Chhattisgarh, SAIL and NMDC fo a 3 million ton Ultra Mega Steel Plant with an investment of approximately Rs. 18,000 crore. 
 
The third MoU was signed between the Chhattisgarh government and NMDC for a slurry pipeline and a 2 MTPA pellet plant at Nagarnar in Bastar district with an investment of Rs 4000 crore.
 
The fourth MoU was signed between the Chhattisgarh government and SAIL for setting up a 1 MTPA pellet plant at Dalli-Rajhara, Balod district with an investment of Rs. 826 crore. 
 
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Earlier, at his interaction with students at Education City at Jawanga n Dantewada, Mr Modi called for development of the innate sporting talent that exists among the tribal youth. 
 
He said tribal youth could excel in the global sports arena. He added that sports was important for children, because it led to the development of sportsman spirit in society. 
 
Responding to questions from students, the Prime Minister said life should not be measured on a scale of success or failure. Talking about his own experiences, he said he had faced failure often in life. However he added that one could learn more from failure, than from success. He said one should be clear about one's goals, and have a firm resolve, in order to achieve success. 
 
The Prime Minister also visited 'Saksham' - a school for specially-abled children - and interacted with students there. 
 
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Additional Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh posted to J&K

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B.V.R. Subramanyam, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) in Chattisgarh, was posted to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday following the imposition of Governor's Rule in the state
 
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared his posting on Tuesday evening.
 
Governor's Rule was imposed in the state on Wednesday with President Ram Nath Kovind approving the measure after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led state government which was immediately followed by the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
 
Subramanyam is an IAS officer of the 1987 batch. He has served as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's personal secretary from 2002 to 2007.
 
It was not immediately clear if he would be appointed as an advisor to Governor N.N. Vohra or as the chief secretary of the state.
 
IANS
 
 
 
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Modi to visit Chhattisgarh on Thursday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Chhattisgarh tomorrow when he will, among other engagemetns, dedicate the modernized and expanded Bhilai Steel Plant to the nation. 
 
The modernization includes installation of cutting-edge technologies for improvement in productivity, yield, quality, cost competitiveness, energy efficiency and environmental protection, an official press release said.
 
During the same event, Mr. Modi will lay the foundation stone for the permanent campus of IIT Bhilai. He will also unveil a plaque to mark the commencement of Phase 2 of BharatNet, which envisages connecting Gram Panchayats with underground optical fibre network.
 
The Prime Minister will inaugurate air services between Jagdalpur and Raipur. He will also distribute laptops, certificates and cheques to beneficiaries under various schemes. He will also address a public meeting.
 
Before arriving in Bhilai, the Prime Minister will visit Naya Raipur Smart City, where he will inaugurate the Integrated Command and Control Centre for the city, an official press release added.
 
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Former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi on life support

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Former Chief Minister of Chattisgarh Ajit Jogi is on life support and his condition is stable, senior doctors said at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram of Haryana.
 
The former IAS officer and first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh was brought to Medanta Hospital by an air ambulance on Wednesday after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
 
Earlier, the 72-year-old Chhattisgarh Janata Congress party chief was undergoing treatment at a Raipur hospital.
 
"Jogi's condition is stable and he is on ventilator support. The next bulletin will be shared at 10 a.m. on Thursday," Senior Medical Superintendent Dr. A.K. Dubey told IANS.
 
Jogi is being treated by a team of doctors led by Yatin Mehta.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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CRPF trooper killed, another injured in Chhattisgarh

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A CRPF trooper was killed and another injured when Maoists triggered a powerful blast when they targeted security personnel in a forested part of Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, officials said.
 
Sub-Inspector Rajesh Kumar Bind was killed when the improvised explosive device (IED) exploded around 7.45 a.m. between Pushwada and Tamilwada when the 206 Cobra Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force was on a routine operation. 
 
Constable Manik Pinri was injured, CRPF Deputy Inspector General M. Dinakaran told IANS. 
 
"The mortal remains of Rajesh Kumar were taken to the Ambedkar Hopital in Raipur for post-mortem while Pinri was admitted to Balaji Hospital," he said. 
 
The CRPF's 74 Battalion later recovered an IED from the site. 
 
In a similar IED blast on March 13 also in Sukma, nine CRPF personnel were killed and nearly 10 seriously injured when Maoists blew up a vehicle carrying troopers of the 212 Battalion of the CRPF. 
 
Two Chhattisgarh policemen were killed and six others injured in a gun battle with the Maoists at Bhejji in Sukma on February 18. 
 
IANS
 
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Maoist landmine kills seven security personnel in Chhattisgarh

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Seven security personnel were killed in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Sunday when a landmine planted by Maoists ripped through the vehicle they were travelling in.
 
According to officials, of the seven - three of the state police and four of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) - five died on the spot and two succumbed to their injuries in hospital. While four hailed from the state, two were from Uttar Pradesh and one from Bihar.
 
Additional Superintendent of Police, Naxals (Maoists) J.N. Baghel said that injured trooper Arjun Rajbhar was referred to Raipur and airlifted to the state capital and admitted to a private hospital, but died.
 
He identified the three state police personnel as Ramkumar Yadav and Shaligram Sinha of Kanker, Tikeshwar Dhruv of Dhamtari, while the CAF troopers were Vikram Yadav of the state's Kodegaon, Rajesh Singh of Bihar's Begusarai, Ravinath Patel of Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi and Rajbhar of Ghazipur. 
 
Earlier Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dantewada Range, P. Sundarraj had told IANS that six personnel were killed while one was seriously injured.
 
Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Bastar Range) Ratan Lal Dangi said a road was being built between Kirandul and Cholnar. 
 
"A joint team of Chhattisgarh Armed Force and district police personnel was travelling to Kirandul to provide security to the labourers and officials there."
 
The Maoists had reportedly planted a landmine in the Cholnar jungle area which exploded as the police vehicle drove over it, detonating with a deafening roar.
 
The powerful explosion shattered the jeep into many parts and left a 10-feet crater. The Maoists who were apparently watching from a distance took away the weapons including two AK-47s, two Insas and two SLR rifles.
 
Inspector General of Police, Bastar, Vivekanand Sinha told the media: "We have sounded a high alert in the area and launched a search operation for the Naxalites."
 
The blast took place two days before Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh is set to hold a public meeting in Dantewada. Officials said security would be further increased for the Chief Minister's meeting.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi condoled the deaths.
 
"Deeply anguished to know about the death of Chhattisgarh police personnel... My thoughts are with the bereaved families of the martyred police personnel," Rajnath Singh tweeted.
 
Calling the news "very sad", Gandhi tweeted: "My condolences to the families of those killed."
 
Maoists have been active in the Dantewada region for decades, running a state within a state. 
 
IANS
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Six security personnel killed in Maoist blast

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Six security personnel were killed and another was critically wounded on Sunday when Maoists detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district.
 
The deafening blast, on the Bacheli-Cholnar road, targeted a jeep in which seven security personnel were patrolling in a remote area, killing five of them instantly, Inspector General of Police (Bastar) Vivekanand Sinha told the media. 
 
A sixth person succumbed to his injuries later. The explosion was so powerful that the jeep was shattered into many parts.
 
The team was surveying a road being built between Kirandul and Cholnar when it was attacked. 
 
"We have sounded a high alert in the area and launched a search operation for the Naxalites," Sinha said, adding that the lone survivor would be taken to Raipur for better treatment.
 
The blast took place two days before Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh is set to hold a public meeting in Dantewada. Officials said security would be further increased for the Chief Minister's meeting.
 
IANS
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Judges being intimidated, as happens in Pakistan: Rahul

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday hit out at the Narendra Modi government, saying the Supreme Court judges had to go to people with their complaints -- a phenomenon that happened only in Pakistan and some African countries and now for the first time in India.
 
Gandhi, who was addressing "Jan Swaraj Sammelan" as part of the Congress preparations for assembly polls in Chhattisgarh later this year, accused the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP)-led central government of trying to create an atmosphere of fear across the country.
 
Gandhi targeted Modi government on a range of issues concerning farmers, women and the Dalits.
 
He cited the issues raised by four senior judges of the Supreme Court in January this year to target the Modi government and compared it to dictatorships.
 
"Usually, people go to the Supreme Court for justice. But for the first time in 70 years, we saw Supreme Court judges coming to the people complaining that they were being intimidated and they not being allowed to do their job," Gandhi said. 
 
"Something like this happened for the first time in a democratic country. It happens in dictatorships. It happened in Pakistan and Africa. But this happened for the first time in 70 years in India," he said.
 
The Congress President said both the Narendra Modi government and the BJP government states had failed to create job opportunities.
 
"They don't want Dalits, backward classes and women to fulfil their dreams," he said. 
 
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"The BJP claims that women are not in a position to stand as equals alongside men. The only job of women is to cook at home. Only job of the Dalits is to clean and sweep and not dream of a better future," Gandhi alleged. 
 
He said the Modi government did not waive off loans of farmers and alleged that it sought to snatch their land as also that of tribals. 
 
"Modiji considers the farmers a burden on the nation. We consider the farmers to be the backbone of our country. Our duty is to enhance the Panchayati Raj system to protect and restore their rights that the BJP is trying to deprive them of," he said.
 
"Water, forests and land rights belong to Adivasis and these should be handed over to them. They should be given the power to be self-sufficient. Every citizen of the country must be part of the progress of the country, be it a Dalit or an Adivsi," he noted.
 
Gandhi alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological patron of BJP, was trying to capture institutions.
 
"The ideals of Mahatma Gandhi are threatened everyday but the spirit of people of India will stand strong," he said.
 
If Congress won the 2019 Lok Sabha election, it would focus on education, healthcare, and employment. "We will work on education in government schools and make it more accessible," he added.
 
IANS
 
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All-round fear in country; Judges, media scared: Rahul

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Hitting out at the BJP-led central government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said an atmosphere of all-round fear prevailed in the country and even the Supreme Court Judges and the media are panicky.
 
Addressing panchayat representatives at Jan Swaraj Sammelan in Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Gandhi said: "Even Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and MPs cannot open their mouths before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
"Who is spreading this fear? Who is gaining from this atmosphere? Several BJP members of Parliament told me that no one can speak before Modi."
 
He said that the Indian Constitution was under "severe attack" and the current state of the judiciary was like that of Pakistan.
 
"Usually people go to the Supreme Court for justice. But for the first time in 70 years, we saw Supreme Court Judges coming to the people to complain that they are being intimidated and they are not being allowed to do their job," Gandhi said.
 
Such a thing, the Congress leader said, would normally happen in a dictatorship. 
 
"It happened in Pakistan and Africa. But this happened for the first time in 70 years in India," he said, referring to the Supreme Court Judges' press conference in January.
 
IANS
 
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Durg-Ferozpur Antyodaya Express flagged off

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A new weekly train, 22895/22896 Durg-Ferozpur-Durg Antyodaya Express, was flagged off by Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways and Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh yesterday.
 
Speaking on the occasion yesterday, Mr Gohain said the Antyodaya Express has been launched to ensure a comfortable journey to all the sections of the society as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
This train and all other Antyodaya Express trains running from different parts of the country have multiple facilities at affordable rates. He also expressed satisfaction that the Indian Railways have been working on several projects that will take care of all the sections of the society.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Raman Singh said the people of Chattisgarh will be immensely benefitted by this new Antyodaya train. Indian Railways and the State Government have been the fast-tracking development of Infrastructure creation project in PPP mode. Passenger amenities in Chattisgarh major stations have been increased significantly.
 
The Durg- Ferozpur Antoyodaya Express has 16 general coaches plus two power cars. 
 
The train No. 22895 departs from Durg on Sunday 7:10 and arrives at Ferozpur the next day at 13:00. Train No. 22896 departs from Ferozepur at 00:20 on Tuesday and arrives at Durg on Wednesday 06:30.
 
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Eight Maoists killed in Chhattisgarh gunfight

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Eight Maoists -- six of them women -- were killed in a joint operation by Chhattisgarh and Telangana security personnel near the inter-state boundary in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Friday, police said.
 
Chhattisgarh's Director General, Anti-Naxal (Maoist) Operations, D.M. Avasthi told reporters that the gunfight between the Maoists and the security forces which included Chattisgarh's DRG and STF, Telangana's elite Greyhounds and the Central Reserve Police Force's Cobra Battalion, took place in the Eyrmidi police station area.
 
The Indian Air Force also played a key role in recovering the bodies from the spot, he said, adding that the killed rebels were being identified.
 
According to Avasthi, a large haul of arms, ammunition and explosives recovered after the two-hour gunfight in the mountainous area.
 
IANS
 
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CRPF trooper killed in Chhattisgarh Maoist attack

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A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper has been killed during a gun battle between the security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, an official said on Saturday.
 
The gunfight took place on Friday night. The slain CRPF trooper has been identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Anil Kumar Maurya, who hailed from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
 
"The Maoists suddenly opened fire on a CRPF patrol party in Kistaram area. The exchange of fire continued for around half an hour," Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Bastar Range Sundar Raj P said.
 
Patrolling has been intensified in the area following the attack, the police officer said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Nine CRPF men killed in ambush by Maoists in Chhattisgarh

 
Nine CRPF personnel killed in Sukma attack
Nine men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and two others suffered injuries when suspected Maoists ambushed their Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV) with an improvised explosive device (IED) in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh today, official sources said.
 
The sources said those killed included an assistant sub-inspector, a head constable and seven constables.
 
Official sources said the Maoists targeted the vehicle with the blast and also resorted to firing. They said security forces had rushed reinforcements to the spot. Senior police officials had also reached the scene, they said.
 
The sources said the Maoists had targeted the 208CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) in the morning but were repulsed by the CRPF personnel.
 
Later, around 12.30 pm, the Maoists targeted another team of security forces from the 212 Battalion between Kistaram and Palodi. The MPV was blown away by the IED, they  said.
 
Helicopters were deployed to recover the bodies and to take the injured personnel to hospital, the sources said.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his condolences to the families of those killed in the attack.
 
"India salutes the brave @crpfindia personnel who were martyred in the attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the brave martyrs. The nation stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this hour of grief," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the blast was "deeply distressing". "I bow to each and every security personnel who attained martyrdom while serving the nation," he said.
 
"My heartfelt condolences to the families of those personnel who lost their lives in Sukma blast. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured jawans," he said on Twitter.
 
He also said he had spoken to the Director General of CRPF and asked him to leave for Chhattisgarh.
 
Sukma is one of the regions in Chhattisgarh that are worst-hit by Left-wing extremism (LWE).
 
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10 Maoists, one commando killed in gunbattle on Telangana-Chhattisgarh border

 
10 Maoists killed in encounter with security forces in Pujari Kanker
At least ten suspected Maoists were killed in a gunbattle between them and the police in Pujari Kander on the border between Telangana and Chhattisgarh early this morning.
 
The Maoists killed in the incident included six women, official source said.
 
A constable of the Greyhounds commando force of the Telangana Police was also killed in the incident. His body was recovered from the scene and flown to Bhadrachalam, they said. Three other police personnel suffered injuries and were airlifted to a hospital.
 
The sources said the encounter took place when a joint team of the Telangana and the Chhattisgarh Police began a combing operation in the area following a tip-off that Maoists were present there.
 
They surrounded the Maoists and asked them to surrender but were greeted, instead, with gunfire, after which the police retaliated, the sources said.
 
The incident has come about two and a half months after eight Maoists were killed in an encounter in the Mellamadugu forest in Tekulapalli mandal of Bhadradri Kothagudem district on December 14, 2017.
 
Additional police forces were rushed to the area and have launched combing operations.
 
Some automatic weapons and ammunition, a laptop computer, a scanner and about Rs. 40,000 in cash were recovered from the slain Maoists, the sources said.
 
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Cabinet okays proposal for constitution of tribunal on Mahanadi Water Disputes

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for constitution of a Tribunal under the Inter-State River Disputes Act, 1956 for adjudication of the dispute on the Mahanadi River Waters on a request from the State of Odisha.
 
The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilization of water resources in each State and the potential for future development, an official press release said.
 
As per provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and two other Members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court. Further, services of two Assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues will be provided to advise the Tribunal in its proceedings.
 
The release said the Tribunal is required to submit its report and decision within a period of three years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding two years due to unavoidable reasons.
 
"It is expected that with adjudication of dispute by the Tribunal, the long-pending dispute between States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river will come to a final settlement," the release said.
 
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4 CRPF personnel killed, one injured in firing by their colleague

 
CRPF jawan opens fire, kills four colleagues
A constable of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) posted in Naxalite-affected Chhattisgarh opened fire at his colleagues this evening after an argument, killing four of them and injuring one, official sources said.
 
Those killed in the incident included two sub-inspectors, an assistant sub-inspector and a constable, while another constable suffered injuries, the sources said.
 
The incident ocurred at the CRPF's Basaguda camp in Bijapur district of the state in the Bastar region.
 
The injured constable, who suffered serious injuries, was flown to state capital Raipur for medical treatment.
 
The contable who fired at his colleagues has been taken into custody for question. The sources said the cause of the fratricide is being investigated.
 
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Three-decade-old demand for an “Express” train in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh fulfilled

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Fulfilling a more than a three-decade-long demand of the people in Kirandul, Dantewada district for an Express train, the Indian Railways has extended the special train between Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh to Kirandul, a left-wing extremist affected area.
 
Minister of Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal in his recent tour to Chhattisgarh had promised to extend this train to Kirandul following a request from Chief Minister Raman Singh.  The train passes through Naxalite-affected areas including Dantewada with full security.
 
The inauguration of the extension of this train, No. 08152 Visakhapatnam–Jagdalpur to Kirandul, took place on November 20 by Chhattisgarh Education Minister Kedar Kashyap. Parliament Member from Bastar, Dinesh Kashyap and the local MLA and Mayor were present at the event, an official press release said.
 
The train will also connect the region to Delhi, Chennai, Howrah and other cities through Visakhapatnam.  It will be an overnight train for the convenience of the passengers.
 
At present, the 08511/08512 special express train is running in diverted route via Vizianagaram, Rayagada, Koraput as the Bridge No. 249 in the  Chimidipalli-Borraguhalu section in Kottavalasa-Kirandul Section of Waltair Division was damaged due to incessant rains leading to a boulder fall in September this year. This train will run in diverted route till further advice, the release added.
 
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Kovind attends Chhattisgarh Rajyotsava, says state has immense potential for development

President Ram Nath Kovind gracing the Rajya Alankaran Samaroh, at Rajyotsav Ground, at Naya Raipur, in Chhattisgarh on November 5, 2017.
President Ram Nath Kovind gracing the Rajya Alankaran Samaroh, at Rajyotsav Ground, at Naya Raipur, in Chhattisgarh on November 5, 2017.
President Ram Nath Kovind has said Chhattisgarh had immense potential for development, describing its forests, rivers and minerals as priceless natural resources.
 
"But the biggest assets are the honest and friendly people of Chhattisgarh," he said while addressing the Chhattisgarh Rajyotsava at Naya Raipur on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the formation of the state.
 
The President said that Chhattisgarh has done many things in the field of public welfare and development that have been praised throughout the country, and from which other states have learnt a lot. Chhattisgarh is the first state in the country to enact 'Food and Nutrition Security Act', he said.
 
Mr. Kovind said that, under the leadership of Chief Minister Raman Singh, commendable work had been done for Scheduled Tribes (STs), Scheduled Castes (SCs), the underprivileged, farmers, women, youth and other sections of society. 
 
He congratulated the Chhattisgarh administration and the people for this. He stated that the development of Chhattisgarh can be an example of development for the rest of the country.
 
Earlier in the day, the President paid tributes at the Shahidi Smarak Sthal in Raipur. Today, he will visit the Guru Ghasidas Jaitkham and attend the "bhoomi pujan" for a Saamudayik Bhavan at Girodhpuri in Chhattisgarh. 
 
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Kovind to visit Chhattisgarh on November 5-6

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President Ram Nath Kovind will pay an official visit to Chhattisgarh on November 5-6 -- his first trip to the state after assuming office as Head of State in July this year.
 
Mr. Kovind will begin his engagements tomorrow by paying tributes at Shahidi Smarak Sthal in Raipur.  Later in the day, he will grace and address the Chhattisgarh Rajyotsava in Naya Raipur. 
 
On Monday, the President will visit Guru Ghasidas Jaitkham and attend the Bhoomi Pujan for a Saamudayik Bhavan at Girodhpuri before returning to New Delhi, an official press release said.
 
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Rajnath reviews LWE situation in Chhattisgarh, assures help to state govt.

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting to review the Left-wing extremism (LWE) situation in Chhattisgarh here yesterday.
 
The meeting was attended by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh, the Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force and senior officers of the Union Home Ministry and the Chhattisgarh administration. 
 
An official press release said that, during the meeting, it was brought out that the declining trend of LWE violence contineud across the country. Thre was an overall reduction of 21% in incidents of violence over the corresponding period of last year, it said.
 
Left-wing extremists continued to remain under pressure with ever shrinking influence, both in terms of geographical spread and public support, it said. 
 
The release said the meeting discused security and development related measures required. Mr. Rajnath Singh assured Dr. Raman Singh of all possible support from the Centre to the State to achieve this objective.
 
Currently the Centre is providing security related assistance to the State which includes provision of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) battalions, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and Counter-Insurgency and Anti-Terrorism (CIAT) Schools.
 
In addition, 11 India Reserve battalions and two  Special India Reserve battalions have been sanctioned to the State. Funds have also been provided for fortification of 75 police stations and for capacity building of Special Forces under the Special Infrastructure Scheme. 
 
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The release said that, as part of the multi-pronged strategy to deal with LWE, the Central Government gives equal focus to development measures to bring LWE-affected districts at par with other areas. Towards this end, the Central Government has approved a Special Central Assistance Scheme for 35 worst-affected LWE districts with an annual outlay of Rs 1000 crore. Important development schemes include the Road Requirement Plan (RRP) Phase–I under which Chhattisgarh was sanctioned 1988 km of roads out of which 1351 km have been completed. Under the newly launched RRP-II, Chhattisgarh has been sanctioned a further 891 km of road. To improve mobile connectivity, 519 mobile towers have been installed in Phase-I. Another 1028 towers are being planned in Phase-II of the project. 
 
As part of efforts to enhance skill development, Chhattisgarh has been sanctioned nine ITIs and 14 Skill Development Centres. The initiatives taken to improve education infrastructure include approval of two Kendriya Vidyalayas at Bijapur and Sukma and three Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) at Bijapur, Narayanpur and Kondagaon. Jagdalpur Medical College has been approved for upgradation as Centre of Excellence at a cost of Rs. 200 crore under PMSSY. 
 
The Jagdalpur Airport has been included under the Regional Connectivity Scheme and work for making it operational is nearing completion. Financial inclusion initiatives include sanction of 707 post offices and opening of 108 ATMs and 81 bank branches in LWE-affected districts in the last two years, the release added.
 
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Progress of new urban missions in Chhattisgarh to be reviewed on Friday

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Progress of new urban missions launched during the last three years in Chhattisgarh will be reviewed at a high-level meeting here today.
 
Union Minister of Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, State Ministers, senior officials from central and state governments including National and State level mission directors will participate in the discussions on implementation issues and progress of different missions.
 
Five Urban Missions -- Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) and Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-NULM -- in Chhattisgarh will be reviewed in detail, an official press release said.
 
The release said that, in an initiative to ensure timely implementation of projects under new urban missions, Mr Naidu has undertaken such joint reviews with Chief Ministers in respective capital cities in 19 States that accounted for an investment of about Rs. 3 lakh crore approved under different missions out of the total investment of over Rs. 4 lakh crore so far approved. Chhattisgarh will be the 20th state where such a review will be held.
 
The States that were reviewed during the last three months are Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.
 
The progress of metro projects and heritage infrastructure development projects is also reviewed wherever they are being implemented.
 
These reviews are aimed at ensuring timely execution and completion of projects within the mission period, by 2019-20 except in the case of PMAY (Urban) under which all the eligible beneficiaries are to be enabled to own a house by 2022, the release added.
 
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25 CRPF men killed in encounter with Maoists in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh

In one of the deadliest attacks on security forces by Left-wing extremists in Chhattisgarh in recent years, as many as 25 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in an encounter with Maoists in the Sukma district of the state on Monday, official sources said.

 
25 CRPF men killed in encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh
In one of the deadliest attacks on security forces by Left-wing extremists in Chhattisgarh in recent years, as many as 25 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in an encounter with Maoists in the Sukma district of the state today, official sources said.
 
The encounter took place around 1230 hours in the Dronapal area within the limits of Chintagufa Police Station, they said.
 
The deceased men belonged to the 74th battalion of the CRPF and included an inspector rank officer, the sources said. The men were deployed for providing protection for road construction workers in the area.
 
According to various accounts, the CRPF men, numbering about 150, were attacked by more than 300 Maoists.
 
Reinforcements were rushed to the area and helicopters were deployed to  evacuate the injured to hospitals. Some of the injured were later flown to Raipur, the state capital.
 
Some Maoists were also reportedly shot dead by the CRPF men in the encounter, but this could not be immediately confirmed.
 
Chief Minister Raman Singh cut short a visit to Delhi and flew back to Raipur, where he visited the injured in hospital and later held an emergency meeting with the Chief Secretary and other senior officials, including the Director General of Police.
 
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Dr. Raman Singh also briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the incident.
 
In Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the attack as cowardly and deplorable, and said the Centre was monitoring the situation closely.
 
"We are proud of the valour of our @crpfindia personnel. The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain. Condolences to their families," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"May those injured in today's attack in Chhattisgarh recover at the earliest," he added.
 
This was the second such attack on CRPF men in Chhattisgarh in Sukma district in less than two months. On March 11, twelve CRPF personnel were killed and five others suffered injuries when Maoists ambushed them in the Bheji Police Station area of Sukma district.
 
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Film actor Akshay Kumar donates Rs. 1.08 crore to CRPF martyrs

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Popular Hindi film actor Akshay Kumar has donated a total sum of Rs. 1.08 crore to the families of the 12 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who were killed in ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on March 11.
 
A press release from the CRPF said the actor had donated a sum of Rs. 9 lakh for the next-of-kin of each of the 12 men.
 
The slain men were part of two companies of CRPF at Bheji in Sukma district, which were providing security cover for road construction on the Bheji-Gorkha-Injiram axis.
 
Around 0853 hours on that day, when the party reached a forested area close to Bankupara village, armed Left-wing extremists ambushed them with heavy firing and simultaneous use of IED blasts. Apart from the 12 men killed, two others suffered serious injuries. The Maoists also took away 13 weaposn and two wireless sets from the security forces personnel.
 
"This gesture of Akshay Kumar exhibits his patriotism and devotion towards the country in general and CRPF in particular," the release added.
 
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12 CRPF men killed in ambush by Maoists in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh

 
12 CRPF men killed in ambush by suspected Maoists
As many as 12 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and five others suffered injuries when suspected Maoists ambushed them in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh today, official sources said.
 
According to the sources, the Maoists attacked a road opening party of the CRPF around 9.10 am near Kotacheru in the limits of Bheji Police Station area, about 450 km from state capital Raipur.
 
Two Maoists were also killed in the counter attack by the security forces, the sources said.
 
Apart from opening fire, the Maoists also exploded a improved explosive device (IED) during the attack, they said. They looted some weapons and communication equipment from the dead CRPF personnel, who belonged to the 219 Battalion, the sources said.
 
While 11 of the men died on the spot, one person succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital, they said.  The injured were taken to the Government hospital in Raipur. Police reinforcements were rushed to the spot. 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of the CRPF personnel in the attack. "Saddened by the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. Tributes to the martyrs & condolences to their families. May the injured recover quickly," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
He said he had spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who will go to Sukma to take stock of the situation.
 
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Mr. Rajnath Singh said he was deeply pained to learn of the killing of CRPF personnel and conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. 
 
He said he had spoken to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh regarding the incident and that the state government was providing all possible medical assistance to the injured.
 
"The Centre is in direct communication with the state government. Those who perpetrated this incident in Sukma will be brought to justice," he said.
 
Congress President Sonia Gandhi strongly condemned the killing of the CRPF men and described it as a dastardly and cowardly act. Saluting the sacrifice of the CRPF men for their supreme and unforgettable sacrifices, Mrs Gandhi said that her thoughts and prayers were with the families of the victims. 
 
"India stands united in fight against the terrorism and the government should give a befitting reply to the forces spreading terror in India," she added.
 
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IAF carries out night casualty evacuation of accident victims in Chhattisgarh

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Helicopter pilots of the Indian Air Force (IAF) flew two persons, a 13-year-old girl and a woman, who were critically injured in a road accident in the Naxalite-affected district of Surguja in Chhattisgarh to state capital Raipur in the early hours of yesterday.
 
The two persons suffered the injuries in a head-on collision between a pick-up van and a tractor near Ambikapur on the night of February 5.
 
As many as five persons died in the accident while some others suffered injuries.
 
A press release from the Ministry of Defence said that around midnight that night, the Inspector General of Police, Surguja approached the Task Force Commander of IAF’s Anti Naxal Task Force (ANTF) based at Raipur, to airlift the casualties, which was approved by HQ, Central Air Command.
 
In the meantime, the pilots and ground staff of the Task Force had swung into action to get the Raipur civil airfield opened. One Mi-17V5 helicopter was readied, while another helicopter was kept on standby. 
 
Flying under the cover of darkness using night vision goggles (NVG), the pilots landed at Ambikapur. In view of the Naxalite threat, the state police provided the necessary sanitization and security cover around the landing area. 
 
The two critically injured passengers, along with a team of local doctors, were taken on board and evacuated to Raipur before sunrise on February 6, where they were promptly transferred into ambulances and rushed to the civil hospital, the release added.
 
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