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Chhattisgarh

Two Additional Judges of Chhattisgarh High Court get extension

Two Additional Judges of the Chhattisgarh High Court -- Mr Ghulam Minhajuddin and Mr Radhe Shyam Sharma -- have been given an extension, an official press release said here today.

According to it, the President has issued fresh notifications with regard to their appointment with effect from May 10, 2013.
 
As per the notification, Mr Minhajuddin will continue as Additional Judge till July 11, 2013. In the case of Mr Sharma, the appointment will continue till November 24, 2013, it added.
 
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Two Naxalites killed in encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh

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Two suspected Naxalites were killed in an encounter with troops of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the State Police near Kachora vilalge in Chhote Donger police station area in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh today.

A spokesman for the CRPF said that, based on a specific intelligence input, a joint special operation was carried out in the area from 0030 hours today by troops of 39 Battalion of the CRPF, 201 CoBRA and Stat Police.
 
At about 0530 hours, when the troops reached near Kachora village, a fierece encounter took place between the Naxalites and the security forces, he said.
 
According to him, the encounter lasted for nearly 20 minutes. When the firing stopped and the area was searched, two bodies of suspected Naxalites, in unform, were recovered from the site of the encounter.
 
The security forces also seized four guns, three hand grenades, four country-made hand grenades, four improvised explosive devices (IEDs), one Ak 47 magazine, one SLR magazine, 19 rounds of AK 47 ammunition and seven rounds of SLR ammunition, he said.
 
"The presence of more Naxal groups in the area in large number has been reported. Troops are searching the area," the spokesman added.
 
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Delhi Daredevils beat Pune Warriors by 15 runs

David Warner of Delhi Daredevils pulls a delivery to the boundary during their match in the Indian Premier League against Pune Warriors India at Raipur on April 28, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS
David Warner of Delhi Daredevils pulls a delivery to the boundary during their match in the Indian Premier League against Pune Warriors India at Raipur on April 28, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Delhi Daredevils defeated Pune Warriors by 15 runs in the 39th match of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur tonight.
 
Put in to bat first, Delhi made a competitive 164 for five from their 20 overs, powered by a superb unbeaten 51 by David Warner, a performance that got him the Man of the Match award.
 
They then restricted Pune Warriors to 149 for four wickets in their allotted 20 overs to register only their second win in nine outings in this season of the tournament so far and move up to the 8th position in the nine-team table.
 
Pune Warriors, who also have only two wins from their nine engagements so far, have swapped places with Delhi and sunk to the bottom of the table because of a lower net run rate.
 
After today's matches, two-time winners Chennai Super Kings are at the top of the table, followed by Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab, defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Pune Warriors.
 
Chasing 165 for a win, Pune Warriors got off to a good start with Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch putting on 76 for the first wicket in 10.1 overs. The duo played cleverly and always kept Pune's chase on track.
 
Uthappa was the fist to go, caught by Unmukt Chand off Irfan Pathan after he had made 37 off 33 balls with four fours.
 
In the same over, Pathan got rid of Finch also, caught behind by Kedar Jadhav. He too made 37 off 33 balls with five fours. 
 
The double strikes by Pathan reduced Pune from 76/0 to 78/2.
 
Yuvraj Singh (31) and Luke Wright (19) tried to repair the innings with their 50-run stand for the third wicket but the required run rate was mounting. Wright left in the 18th over, caught by Warner off Umesh Yadav. In the same over, the bowler also dismissed Yuvraj, caught by Ben Rohrer
 
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Yuvraj Singh made 31 off 24 balls with the help of four fours, while Wright conributed 19 with three boundaries.
 
Pune Warriors needed 35 from the last two overs, and though Steven Smith did go for some big hits, the target was a little too far. Smith remained unbeaten with 17 with two fours and a six. 
 
For Delhi, Pathan and Yadav took two wickets apiece.
 
Earlier, Daredevils lost skipper Mahela Jayawardene (12) in the fifth over, caught by Luke Wright off Ashok Dinda, with their total at 20. 
 
Opener Virender Sehwag and Unmukt Chand (17, 2x4) added 48 for the second wicket before the former left, caught behind by Robin Uthappa, again off Dinda. Sehwag made 28 off 26 balls with two sixes and two fours.
 
Chand followed him to the pavilion two balls later, in the next over, caught behind by Uthappa off Rahul Sharma to make it 68 for three in the 11th over. 
 
Warner and Ben Rohrer took the score to 96 before the latter departed in the 14th over, becoming Uthappa's third victim off the bowling of Abhishek Nayar.
 
That brought Kedar Jadhav to the middle and he and Warner added 63 for the fifth wicket. Jadhav was caught by Manhas to become Dinda's third victim in the 20th over. His 25 came off 19 balls and included two fours.
 
Warner's unbeaten 52 was made off just 25 balls and included four sixes and four fours.
 
For Pune Warriors, while Dinda took 3 for 31, Sharma and Nayar picked up a wicket each.
 
Scoreboard:
Delhi Daredevils
Mahela Jayawardene c Wright b Dinda 12
Virender Sehwag c Uthappa b Dinda 28
Unmukt Chand c Uthappa b Sharma 17
David Warner not out 51
Ben Rohrer c Uthappa b Nayar 13
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Kedar Jadhav c Manhas b Dinda 25
Irfan Pathan not out 4
Extras (lb 2, w 12) 14
Total (for five wickets in 20 overs) 164
Fall of wickets: 1-20 (Jayawardene, 4.1 overs), 2-68 (Sehwag, 9.6), 3-68 (Chand, 10.2), 4-96 (Rohrer, 13.5), 5-159 (Jadhav, 19.4)
Bowling:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-30-0
Kane Richardson 4-0-38-0
Ashok Dinda 4-0-31-3
Rahul Sharma 3-0-23-1
Luke Wright 1-0-16-0
Yuvraj Singh 2-0-9-0
Abhishek Nayar 2-0-15-1
 
Pune Warriors:
Robin Uthappa c Chand b Pathan 37
Aaaron Finch c Jadhav b Pathan 37
Yuvraj Singh c Rohrer b Yadav 31
Luke Wright c Warner b Yadav 19
Steve Smith not out 17
Mithun Manhas not out 2
Extras (lb 3, w 3) 6
Total (for four wickets in 20 overs) 149
Fall of wickets: 1-76 (Uthappa, 10.2 overs), 2-78 (Finch, 10.6), 3-128 (Wright, 17.3), 4-130 (Yuvraj Singh, 17.6)
Bowling:
Irfan Pathan 4-1-29-2
Umesh Yadav 4-0-24-2
Morne Morkel 4-0-36-0
Ashish Nehra 4-0-27-0
Shahbaz Nadeem 4-0-30-0
 
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Delhi Daredevils make 164/5 against Pune Warriors

David Warner of Delhi Daredevils pulls a delivery to the boundary during their match in the Indian Premier League against Pune Warriors India at Raipur on April 28, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS
David Warner of Delhi Daredevils pulls a delivery to the boundary during their match in the Indian Premier League against Pune Warriors India at Raipur on April 28, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS
David Warner scored a superb unbeaten 51 to steer Delhi Daredevils to 164 for five against Pune Warriors in the 39th match of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium here tonight.
 
Put in to bat first, Daredevils lost skipper Mahela Jayawardene (12) in the fifth over, caught by Luke Wright off Ashok Dinda, with the total at 20. 
 
Opener Virender Sehwag and Unmukt Chand (17, 2x4) added 48 for the second wicket before the former left, caught behind by Robin Uthappa, again off Dinda. Sehwag made 28 off 26 balls with two sixes and two fours.
 
Chand followed him to the pavilion two balls later, in the next over, caught behind by Uthappa off Rahul Sharma to make it 68 for three in the 11th over. 
 
Warner and Ben Rohrer took the score to 96 before the latter departed in the 14th over, becoming Uthappa's third victim off the bowling of Abhishek Nayar.
 
That brought Kedar Jadhav to the middle and he and Warner added 63 for the fifth wicket. Jadhav was caught by Manhas to become Dinda's third victim in the 20th over. His 25 came off 19 balls and included two fours.
 
Warner's unbeaten 51 was made off just 25 balls and included four sixes and four fours.
 
For Pune Warriors, while Dinda took 3 for 31, Sharma and Nayar picked up a wicket each.
 
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CCEA okays continuation of BGRF plans for Bihar, KBK districts, Bundelkhand

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a proposal to continue the special plan for Bihar in the remaining four years (2013-14 to 2016-17) of the Twelfth Five Year Plan with a total allocation of Rs.12,000 crore for the entire period.

The meeting also gave its nod for the continuation of the special plan for the KBK districts (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) of Odisha with an allocation of Rs.250 crore per annum in the remaining four years of the Plan.
 
It also decided to continue the special package for implementing drought mitigation strategies in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in the remaining four years of the Plan with a total allocation of Rs.4400 crore for the entire 12th Plan period. 
 
The total allocation for the Twelfth Plan period for all the three programmes is Rs.17,650 crore (Rs.12000 crore for the special plan for Bihar, Rs.1250 crore @ Rs.250 crore per annum for the special plan for the KBK districts of Odisha and Rs.4400 crore for the Bundelkhand Package). 
 
The District Component of the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF), which was approved for implementation till 2012-13, is being restructured for the remaining four years (2013-14 to 2016-17) of the Twelfth Plan. 
 
The implementation of the programmes is being done by state governments. The aim of the programme is to accelerate socio-economic development in the states concerned. The backward areas of the states covered under the state component of BRGF will be benefitted. All the 38 districts of Bihar, eight districts of the KBK region and 13 districts of the Bundelkhand region are covered. These programmes are continuing programmes and were under implementation during the Eleventh Five Year Plan also, an official press release said.
 
The BRGF, which aims to catalyze development in backward areas, was approved by the CCEA in August, 2006. 
 
In its present form, the BRGF has two components, namely district component covering 272 backward districts in 27 states (including 22 additional districts covered in 2012-13) and state component which includes the special plan for Bihar, the special plan for the KBK districts of Odisha and the special plan for West Bengal (covered in 2011-12) and Bundelkhand Package (covered in 2009-10). 
 
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Nine suspected Maoists killed in encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh

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At least nine suspected Maoists were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh today, official sources said.

They said the security forces had received intelligence inputs about the presence of Ramanna and other senior members of the Communist Party of India (CPI) (Maoist) around Puwarti and Duler in the Jagargunda police station area of Sukma district.
 
The officials said a joint "search and destroy offensive" was launched by troops of Greyhounds, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and elements of the Chhattisgarh police.
 
A CRPF spokesperson said the security forces were fired upon by the Maoists at about 0630 hours today.
 
"Troops retaliated effectively and, during the subsequent search, nine bodies of CPI Maoists along with eleven weapons have been recovered from the encounter site," he said.
 
The spokesperson said the security forces were still out in the area to carry out search operations. Additional forces have been rushed to the area to cut off the escape routes for the Maoists, he said.
 
According to him, the killed Maoists, five of whom were in uniform, included four men and five women.
 
The seized weapons included two INSAS rifles, four self-loading rifles, one carbine, two .303 rifles, a pistol and a .12 bore rifle, along with magazines and ammunition. Other items seized included memory cards, mobile telephones, SIM cards and cash worth Rs 19,600, he added.
 
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Judges appointed to Patna, Gauhati and Chhattisgarh High Courts

The President has appointed Mr Justice Vijayendra Nath, Mr Justice Shivaji Pandey and Mr  Justice Ashwani Kumar Singh, Additional Judges of the Patna High Court, as Judges of that High Court with effect from the date they assume charge of their office. 

An official press release said the President had also appointed Mr Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, Additional Judge of the Gauhati High Court, as Judge of that High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office. 
 
The President has also appointed Mr Pritinker Diwaker as an Additional Judge of the High Court of Chhattisgarh for a period of two years with effect from 31st March 2013. 
 
Mr Rangnath Chandrakar has also been appointed as an Additional Judge of the same High Court with effect from 31st March 2013 till 5th August 2014, the release added.
 
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CCEA okays new broad gauge line between Raigarh and Bhupdeopur in Chhattisgarh

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the construction of a new 63 km broad gauge line from Raigarh (Mand Colliery)  to Bhupdeopur Railway Station in Chhattisgarh at a cost of Rs.379.08 crore.

The project will be funded through a joint venture (JV) consisting of IRCON International Ltd. (a Railway PSU) and other stakeholders - South Eastern Coalfields Ltd.(SECL) and Government of Chhattisgarh. 
 
IRCON will spearhead the process of formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with 26 percent equity and the Government of Chhattisgarh will transfer Government land free of cost. The Government of Chhattisgarh will thus participate to the level of 10 percent in equity, either through capitalization of land or through cash contribution, and SECL will take the balance equity
 
The project is likely to be completed in the next five years during the 13th Plan period, an official press release said.
 
The Mand-Raigarh coal belt is a virgin coal field with reserves of mostly power grade coal and is strategically located to bridge the gap between demand and supply of Western India. The total geological reserve of the Mand-Raigarh coal field is estimated at around 16,000 million tonnes. 
 
The release said there was huge potential of coal reserves amenable for open cast mining and the area identified is considered a future prospect of sustained growth. 
 
At present, the coal field is connected by road and with the projected growth expected by the end of the 12th Plan period, it would not be possible to cater to bulk transportation by road only. 
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Keeping this growth potential in mind, rail connectivity is essentially required for this coal belt, the release added.
 
The CCEA also approved the construction of a new 121.70 km broad gauge line between Gevra Road and Pendra Road in Chhattisgarh at a cost of Rs.838.02 crore.
 
It will also be funded through a JV of IRCON International Ltd. and other stakeholders - South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. and Government of Chhattisgarh. 
 
The rail link is necessitated in view of the tremendous increase in anticipated traffic and development activities in this area. At present, the movement of coal traffic is being done through Gevra Road and Champa Branch line. Considering the additional traffic generated for coal from Sendurgarh, Hasdeo Arrand, Dipka, Gevra and Korba coal fields of SECL, this additional rail link is required for smooth movement of coal. This rail link will also facilitate serving the coal needs of Western Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab, the release added.
 
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Railways sign MoUs for doubling of Kirandul-Jagdalpur line, forged wheel unit at Rae Bareli

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The Ministry of Railways have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NMDC Limited, a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Steel for doubling the Jagdalpur-Kirandul section the Kottavalsa-Kirandul line of the East Coast Central Railway.

The Railways signed a separate MoU with RINL, another PSU under the Ministry of Steel, for setting up a forged wheel factory at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The MoUs were signed here yesterday in the presence of Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma and Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
 
An official press release said that, as per the provisions of the MoU, the doubling of the Jagdalpur - Kirandul section would augment the evacuation capacity of NMDC to meet the increased demand for iron ore from the Indian steel industry. 
 
Mr Verma said this would also transform the lives of the local tribal population in Bastar, Chhattisgarh and adjacent states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
 
He said the forged wheel factory would be a specialised unit catering to the need for special grade wheels for high speed trains. He said the establishment of the factory would increase industrial activity in the region and generate employment opportunities for youth of the state.
 
Mr Bansal said the proposed partnerships would provide the much needed impetus to investment in railway infrastructure and increase evacuation capacities from mines, plants and ports and freight traffic for the Railways. 
 
The Jagdalpur-Kirandul doubling project will be implemented by Indian Railways at a cost Rs.826 crores and it will be funded by NMDC with provisions for suitable returns through freight rebate. The Railways will additionally make necessary investment in wagons, locomotives, other maintenance facilities and deployment of staff. The new line is likely to create an additional traffic of upto 12 million tonne per annum (MTPA) in a phased manner. 
 
The forged wheel factory will have a capacity of producing 1,00,000 wheels every year. The factory, the biggest such plant in India will be completed within a schedule of 36 months at a cost of approximately Rs. 1000 crores and will generate 500 to 600 jobs. The raw material for the factory will be supplied by RINL’s plant in Vishakhapatnam in the form of continuous cast (CC) rounds. 
 
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President dedicates new integrated terminal of Swami Vivekananda Airport at Raipur

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President Pranab Mukherjee today dedicated to the nation the new integrated terminal building of Swami Vivekananda Airport at Raipur in Chhattisgarh.

Speaking on the occasion, he hoped the new terminal would not only support growth and prosperity of Chhattisgarh but also of the whole country as a whole.
 
He said that it is of critical importance that airports are built across India that conform to international standards and are safe, efficient, comfortable as well as convenient to passengers. 
 
He also said that airports serve as gateways to the country and are economic magnets which help further development and growth of the region where they are located. 
 
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President to visit Chhattisgarh on November 6-7

President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a two-day visit to Chhattisgarh from tomorrow, during which he will inaugurate the new Mantralaya complex of the state government at Raipur.

Mr Mukherjee will also participate in the closing ceremony of the Rajyotsav Celebrations of Government of Chhattisgarh on November 6.
 
The Governor of Chhattisgarh, Mr Shekhar Dutt, will host a state banquet for the President on the same day.
 
On November 7, Mr Mukherjee will visit Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama at Narayanpur where he will lay the foundation stones of two 500-seat hostels of the Tribal Welfare Department and an Industrial Training Institute building of Ramakrishna Mission Ashram. 
 
He will also inaugurate the new Integrated Terminal Building at Swami Vivekananda Airport, Raipur. 
 
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CRPF rescue two minor girls raped by Naxals in Chhattisgarh

Two minor girls, allegedly abducted and raped by suspected Naxalites, were rescued by security forces from the forests in Madded area of Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh today.

The girls, said to be around 11-12 years of age, were rescued by a joint squad of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and state police while they were out on patrol in the area.
 
According to police sources, the girls identified a Naxalite and his two accomplices who had raped them. They also said this practice was going for long.
 
The police said an ossification test was being done on the girls to confirm their age.
 
"Naxals come to their village and forcibly take them away. The Naxals force them to work in the bal-sangham and sexually exploit them. Naxals also threaten their parents of dire consequences when they object. The girls do not want to return to their village. Instead, they said they want to stay in balak ashrams and study. They had never been to school," the sources said.
 
According to them, the police have brought the girls to Bijapur and registered a case in the matter. They said medical examination by a lady doctor confirmed the girls were sexually exploited.
 
"Both the girls said there are many other girls who are being sexually exploited by Naxals. Their parents are threatened when they oppose. Naxals had forbidden girls from going to schools in villages," they said.
 
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Former RSS chief K Sudarshan passes away in Raipur

K S Sudarshan
K S Sudarshan

Former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief K Sudarshan passed away early this morning in Raipur after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

He was 81. He is survived by a brother.
 
The funeral will be held at 3 pm tomorrow  at Nagpur, where the headquarters of the RSS is located.
 
RSS sources said Mr Sudarshan had gone for a morning walk as usual today and was doing his usual course of Yogasana and Pranayama exercises, after returning, when he suffered the heart attack. He was bee ailing for some time, the sources said.
 
Born on June 18, 1931 at Raipur, Mr Sudarshan had started working as a "pracharak" (full-time worker) of the RSS in 1954. He became the Sarsanghachalak, or head of the organization, in 2000.
 
In 2009, he stepped aside because of receding health and advancing age and handed over responsibility to Mr Mohan Bhagwat, who is now the RSS chief.
 
Last month, he gave his friends and relatives some anxious moments when he went missing for some hours after losing his way during a morning walk in Mysore. He was later found taking rest under a tree after getting exhausted while on the walk.
 
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Achanakmar-Amarkantak added to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

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The Achanakmar-Amarkantak area in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh is among 20 new sites added to the World Network Biosphere Reserves by the  International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) at a meeting in Paris yesterday.

The network now includes 598 reserves in 117 countries. Biosphere Reserves were inscribed in Haiti, Kazakhstan, and Sao Tome and Principe for the first time this year, a press release from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said.
 
Biosphere Reserves are areas designated under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme to serve as places to test different approaches to integrated management of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine resources and biodiversity. Biosphere Reserves are thus sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development, the release said.

PM meets engineering students from Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with engineering students from Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh, in New Delhi on July 3, 2012.

Prime Minister  Manmohan Singh with engineering students from Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh, in New Delhi on July 3, 2012. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh is also seen.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with engineering students from Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh, in New Delhi on July 3, 2012. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh is also seen.

18 Naxalites killed, 6 CRPF men injured in encounter in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh

At least 18 Naxalites were killed and six men of the Central Reserve Police Force injured during a fierce encounter in the forests of Silger in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on Thursday night.

Security forces kill 18 Naxalites killed in encounter in Chhattisgarh

At least 18 Naxalites were killed and six men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) injured during a fierce encounter in the forests of Silger in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh last night.

A spokesman for the CRPF said the joint operation, involving personnel of the Chhattisgarh Police and the CRPF, was still continuing on the Bijapur-Dantewada axis.
 
He said forces were inducted from Jagargunda and Chintalnar in Dantewada district and Basaguda in Bijapur district to raid a major Naxalite stronghold at Silger, an area where security forces had never gone before.
 
The CRPF forces were led by a Deputy Inspector General and two Commandants of CoBRA, while the State Police was led by the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Sukma.
 
According to the spokesman, the Naxalites were taken by surprise near a village about three km from Basaguda and started heavy firing on the CRPF troops. The encounter, which started around midnight, was followed by heavy gunfire from the Naxalites' side.
 
"The CRPF and State Police forces retaliated and tried to counter the Naxal attack in a tactical manner," he said.
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In the initial burst of fire by the Naxalites, six CRPF personnel suffered series bullet injuries and two of them were said to be in a very critical condition. They have been evacuated by helicopter to Raipur, the state capital.
 
Two injured Naxalites who were apprehended from the spot were also evacuated by the same
helicopter to Raipur for medical treatment.
 
After the exchange of fire, which continued for a long time, searches were conducted, during which 16 bodies were recovered from the location, including those of a woman and two prominent Naxalites of the area, the spokesman added.
 
This is the first time that the CRPF has recovered so many bodies of Naxalites after an encounter.
 
It was near this area, close to Chintalnar, where Naxalites had carried out the biggest ever attack on security forces when they killed 75 CRPF men and a state police jawan in April 2010.
 
The spokesman said the deceased Naxalites included Nagesh, resident of Kotaguda and Somulu, resident of Korsaguda.
 
He said that some other forces, who had moved into the same area from another axis,  Chintalnar, were also ambushed by the naxals in the early hours of today. They, however, countered this ambush very effectively, he said.
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A fierce gun battle ensued. Detailed searches this morning revealed the bodies of two prominent Naxals of that area, Sodhi Gurla and Malkan Lachha. Factory made weapons, live rounds and improved explosive devices (IEDs) were also recovered from their possession.
 
Searches are continuing on the two different axis by the forces in a tactical manner, the spokesman added.
 
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16 Naxalites killed, 6 CRPF men injured in encounter in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh

At least 16 Naxalites were killed and six men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) injured during a fierce encounter in the forests of Silger in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh Thursday night, official sources said.

Map of Bijapur district
Map of Bijapur district

At least 16 Naxalites were killed and six men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) injured during a fierce encounter in the forests of Silger in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh last night, official sources said.

A spokesman for the CRPF said the joint operation, involving personnel of the Chhattisgarh Police and the CRPF, was still continuing on the Bijapur-Dantewada axis.
 
He said forces were inducted from Jagargunda and Chintalnar in Dantewada district and Basaguda in Bijapur district to raid a major Naxalite stronghold at Silger, an area where security forces had never gone before.
 
The CRPF forces were led by a Deputy Inspector General and two Commandants of CoBRA, while the State Police was led by the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Sukma.
 
According to the spokesman, the Naxalites were taken by surprise near a village about three km from Basaguda and started heavy firing on the CRPF troops. The encounter, which started around midnight, was followed by heavy gunfire from the Naxalites' side.
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"The CRPF and State Police forces retaliated and tried to counter the Naxal attack in a tactical manner," he said.
 
In the initial burst of fire by the Naxalites, six CRPF personnel suffered series bullet injuries and two of them were said to be in a very critical condition. They have been evacuated by helicopter to Raipur, the state capital.
 
Two injured Naxalites who were apprehended from the spot were also evacuated by the same
helicopter to Raipur for medical treatment.
 
After the exchange of fire, which continued for a long time, searches were conducted, during which 16 bodies were recovered from the location, including those of a woman and two prominent Naxalites of the area, the spokesman added.
 
This is the first time that the CRPF has recovered so many bodies of Naxalites after an encounter.
 
It was near this area, close to Chintalnar, where Naxalites had carried out the biggest ever attack on security forces when they killed 75 CRPF men and a state police jawan in April 2010.
 
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Chhattisgarh's annual plan for 2012-13 finalized at Rs 23,480 crore

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The annual plan for Chhattisgarh for 2012-13 was finalized at Rs 23,480 crore at a meeting between Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh here yesterday.

In his comments at the meeting on the plan performance of the State, Mr Ahluwalia said that Chhattisgarh had been following the right policy of inclusive development with focus on private participation in infrastructure development. 
 
He said this focus on inclusive growth should continue during the 12th Plan for achieving social targets. 
 
Mr Ahluwalia said States should bring to the notice of the Planning Commission obstacles in the way of implementation of flagship programmes of the Central Government. This, he said, would help it to make necessary corrections while formulating 12th Plan. 
 
He said energy, water and land were emerging as major constraints and there was need for greater attention to these sectors in the 12th Plan. He said the State needed to adopt a policy which would promote careful consumption in these areas.
 
While appreciating the State Government’s effort in improving human development index, it was pointed out that health indicators have shown substantial improvement but the recent deterioration in the child sex ratio is a matter of concern. Attention was also drawn to growing number of out of school children, large number of vacancies of teachers in schools and also large number of untrained teachers. It was also pointed out that nearly 70 per cent of private schools do not have separate toilets for girls. 
 
The Commission appreciated the State Government's efforts for the creation of appropriate industrial infrastructure by way of setting up of special economic zones and development of cluster based industrial units. It was pointed out that the Khadi Board was generating employment opportunities in rural areas and strengthening rural economy. Industrial investment should be encouraged in the mineral sector as the State has rich mineral endowment. Public private partnership in development of industrial infrastructure needs to be encouraged. It was suggested that State may introduce tele-medicine concept for improving quality of health services in small hospitals. 
 
Dr Singh said that, during the 12th Plan, the state would follow a policy of faster and more inclusive growth with 10 per cent growth target. Higher investments would be made in agriculture to improve productivity and income. Social sector spending would be further enhanced to reduce disparity inhuman development indicators and achieve millennium development goals, he said.
 
He said that, to ensure growth, the policy thrust would be on efficient and judicious use of natural resources; promotion of biodiversity conservation and use of renewable energy sources. Focus would also be on improving service delivery, particularly in social sector schemes. For this purpose, outcome-based monitoring and evaluation mechanism would introduced, he said.
 
The Chief Minister said that food grain allocation under PDS should be based on Tendulkar Committee report and not on the basis of poverty estimates of 1993-94. On education sector he said the State was spending more than the national average on education and wanted that the funding pattern of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) should be revised to 75:25 and 90:10 for IAP districts. He also requested that un-aided schools in Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) areas should be covered under mid- day meal scheme. He called for recognition of three year medical diploma course to make up for the shortage of doctors in rural areas. 
 
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CBI arrests three AICTE officials, three others in bribery case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested three experts of theAll India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) for allegedly accepting a bribeand three persons representing educational institutions in Chhattisgarh for allegedly giving the bribe.

On the basis of a complaint, the CBI had registered a case in which it was alleged that an expert committee of the Central Region of AICTE, Bhopal were camping at a hotel in Durg, Chhattisgarh for conducting annual inspection of private technical education institutions in the state.
 
According to the CBI, the AICTE officials entered into a criminal conspiracy with the owners/ representatives of the educational institutions and had allegedly received or were to receive illegal gratification from such private persons for giving favourable reports.
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Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon reaches home day after being freed by Maoists

Alex Paul Menon, the Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma in Chhattisgarh, who was freed by Maoists on Thursday afternoon after being held for 12 days in captivity, reached home on Friday morning.

Alex Paul Menon
Alex Paul Menon

Alex Paul Menon, the Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma in Chhattisgarh, who was freed by Maoists yesterday after being held for 12 days in captivity, reached home this morning.

The 32-year-old Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 2006 batch was released yesterday afternoon after mediators appointed by the Maoists and the state government had reached an agreement a few days ago.
 
Mr Menon was handed over by the Maoists to the two mediators nominated by them - Mr B D Sharma and Prof G Hargopal - at Tarmetla. The mediators then brought him to Chintalnar, where he spent the night at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp.
 
Scores of people from Sukma were present to greet him when the convoy of cars with Mr Menon reached his home. His mother-in-law did a traditional "aarti" before he stepped into his house.
 
In their initial demands, the Maoists had sought freedom for 17 of their colleagues in jail in exchange for the release of Menon. They also wanted an end to "Operation Greenhunt" launched by the security forces against them and the withdrawal of Central para-military forces from the state.
 
But sources said the agreement between the mediators did not mention the release of jailed Maoists. They said the state government had agreed to set up a high-powered committee to review the cases involving Maoists.
 
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The committee, which will include the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police as members and be headed by former Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Nirmala Buch, who was one of the government mediators, will become operational "within an hour" after the release of Menon, the sources said.
 
The agreement was approved by a Cabinet sub-committee headed by the Chief Minister.
 
Menon, the first Collector and District Magistrate of the newly-formed district, was taken hostage on April 21 by a group of armed Maoists while he was attending a "Gram Swaraj Abhiyan" -- a state government programme -- in a village. Two of his security guards were shot dead by the Maoists in the incident.
 
Gram Swaraj is a programme aimed at ensuring better coordination between people in the villages and the administration.
 
Menon is the second IAS officer to be kidnapped by the Maoists in recent times. In February last year, the left-wing extremists had abducted the Collector and District Magistrate of Malkangiri in neighbouring Odisha, R Vineel Krishna and held him hostage for eight days before freeing him after the state government agreed to several conditions laid down by them.
 
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Maoists release Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon after holding him hostage for 12 days

Alex Paul Menon, the Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma in Chhattisgarh who was abducted by a group of armed Maoists on April 21, was released on Thursday after 12 days in captivity.

Alex Paul Menon
Alex Paul Menon

Alex Paul Menon, the Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma in Chhattisgarh who was abducted by Maoists on April 21, was released today after 12 days in captivity.

The 32-year-old Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 2006 batch, was handed over by the rebels to the two mediators nominated by them -- B D Sharma and G Hargopal -- at Tarmetla.
 
They then brought him to Chintalnar, where he was mobbed by a huge crowd of mediapersons. "I am okay, I will speak after a day," he told them. "I am feeling relieved," he said in response to another question.
 
Menon thanked the mediators from both sides, the Chhattisgarh government, Chief Minister Raman Singh, the Chief Secretary, his seniors in the administration, his friends and family and others for the efforts made by them to get him released safely.
 
"I am tired and shattered...I want to meet my family at the earliest," he said later at the CRPF camp nearby.
 
Earlier, this morning, a Chhattisgarh government helicopter, carrying Mr Sharma and Mr  Hargopal, left state capital Raipur for Chintalnar, from where they travelled by a vehicle to Tarmetla, where the Maoists had agreed to release Mr Menon.
 
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Mr Sharma is a former Collector of the undivided Bastar district and an expert on tribal issues while Prof G Hargopal is a Hyderabad-based academician.
 
On April 30, Mr Sharma and Mr Hargopal and the mediators named by the state government -- former Chief Secretaries Nirmala Buch of Madhya Pradesh and S K MIshra of Chhattisgarh -- had reached an agreement on the release of Mr Menon.
 
In their initial demands, the Maoists had sought freedom for 17 of their colleagues in jail in exchange for the release of Menon. They also wanted an end to "Operation Greenhunt" launched by the security forces against them and the withdrawal of Central para-military forces from the state.
 
But sources said the agreement between the mediators did not mention the release of jailed Maoists. They said the state government had agreed to set up a high-powered committee to review the cases involving Maoists.
 
The committee, which will include the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police as members and be headed by Ms Buch, will become operational "within an hour" after the release of Menon, the sources said.
 
The agreement was approved by a Cabinet sub-committee headed by the Chief Minister.
 
Menon, the first Collector and District Magistrate of the newly-formed district, was taken hostage by a group of armed Maoists while he was attending a "Gram Swaraj Abhiyan" -- a state government programme -- in a village. Two of his security guards were shot dead by the Maoists in the incident.
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Gram Swaraj is a programme aimed at ensuring better coordination between people in the villages and the administration.
 
Menon is the second IAS officer to be kidnapped by the Maoists in recent times. In February last year, the left-wing extremists had abducted the Collector and District Magistrate of Malkangiri in neighbouring Odisha, R Vineel Krishna and held him hostage for eight days before freeing him after the state government agreed to several conditions laid down by them.
 
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Maoists likely to release abducted Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon on Thursday

Alex Paul Menon, the Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma in Chhattisgarh who was abducted by Maoists on April 21, is likely to be released later on Thursday, sources said.

Alex Paul Menon
Alex Paul Menon
Alex Paul Menon, the Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma in Chhattisgarh who was abducted by Maoists on April 21, is likely to be released later today, sources said.
 
A Chhattisgarh government helicopter, carrying the two mediators nominated by the Maoists, B D Sharma and G Hargopal, left state capital Raipur for Chintalnar, from where they will proceed by a vehicle to Tarmetla, where Menon's captors are expected to release him.
 
Mr Sharma, a former Collector of the undivided Bastar district and an expert on tribal issues, and Prof G Hargopal, a Hyderabad-based academician, declined to say anything on the issue to mediapersons before they left Raipur.
 
On April 30, Mr Sharma and Mr Hargopal and the mediators named by the state government -- former Chief Secretaries Nirmala Buch of Madhya Pradesh and S K MIshra of Chhattisgarh -- had reached an agreement on the release of Menon, 32, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 2006 batch.
 
In their initial demands, the Maoists had sought freedom for 17 of their colleagues in jail in exchange for the release of Menon. They also wanted an end to "Operation Greenhunt" launched by the security forces against them and the withdrawal of Central para-military forces from the state.
 
But sources said the agreement between the mediators did not mention the release of jailed Maoists. They said the state government had agreed to set up a high-powered committee to review the cases involving Maoists.
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The committee, which will include the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police as members and be headed by Ms Buch, will become operational "within an hour" after the release of Menon, the sources said.
 
The agreement was approved by a Cabinet sub-committee headed by the Chief Minister.
 
Menon, the first Collector and District Magistrate of the newly-formed district, was taken hostage by a group of Maoists while he was attending a "Gram Swaraj Abhiyan" -- a state government programme -- in a village. Two of his security guards were shot dead by the Maoists in the incident.
 
Gram Swaraj is a programme aimed at ensuring better coordination between people in the villages and the administration.
 
Menon is the second IAS officer to be kidnapped by the Maoists in recent times. In February last year, the left-wing extremists had abducted the Collector and District Magistrate of Malkangiri in neighbouring Odisha, R Vineel Krishna and held him hostage for eight days before freeing him after the state government agreed to several conditions laid down by them.
 
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Maoists may release abducted Sukma Collector in 48 hours

Alex Paul Menon
Alex Paul Menon

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said last night that he was hopeful that the Maoists would release abducted Sukma Collector and District Magistrate Alex Paul Menon within 48 hours.

Mr Singh told journalists in Raipur that mediators representing the Government and the negotiators named by the Maoists had reached an agreement under which the official, who was taken hostage on April 21, would be released within 48 hours.
 
The Maoists had earlier sought freedom for 17 of their colleagues in jail in exchange for the release of Menon, 32, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 2006 batch.
 
They also wanted an end to "Operation Greenhunt" launched by the security forces against them and the withdrawal of Central para-military forces from the state.
 
But sources said the agreement between the mediators did not mention the release of jailed Maoists. They said the state government had agreed to set up a three-member high-powered committee to review the cases involving Maoists.
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The committee, which will include the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police as members, will become operational "within an hour" after the release of Menon, the sources said.
 
The agreement was approved by a Cabinet sub-committee headed by the Chief Minister.
 
The Chhattisgarh government had named former Chief Secretaries Nirmala Buch of Madhya Pradesh and S K Mishra of Chhattisgarh as its mediators for talks with the negotiators nominated by the Maoists.
 
The Maoists' mediators are B D Sharma, a former Collector of the undivided Bastar district and an expert on tribal issues, and Prof G Hargopal.
 
Menon, the first Collector and District Magistrate of the newly-formed district, was taken hostage by a group of Maoists while he was attending a "Gram Swaraj Abhiyan" -- a state government programme -- in a village. Two of his security guards were shot dead by the Maoists in the incident.
 
Gram Swaraj is a programme aimed at ensuring better coordination between people in the villages and the administration.
 
Menon is the second IAS officer to be kidnapped by the Maoists in recent times. In February last year, the left-wing extremists had abducted the Collector and District Magistrate of Malkangiri in neighbouring Odisha, R Vineel Krishna and held him hostage for eight days before freeing him after the state government agreed to several conditions laid down by them.
 
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CBI arrests top Income Tax official in Raipur on bribery charges

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The Central Bureau of Investigation today said it had arrested a Joint Commissioner of Income Tax at Raipur in Chhattisgarh for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 15 lakh from local businessmen.

The agency said it had also arrested three others for allegedly offering the bribe to him.
 
The official, P W Athalye and his team had conducted a survey on April 16 at the factory and office premises of four businessmen who run a company engaged in road construction, transport and manufacturing of spong iron.
 
It was alleged that three persons acted as middlemen for the accused officials of the Income Tax Department for negotiating/arranging and delivering illegal gratification to them in collusion with the businessmen.
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Maoists demand release of 9 more associates for abducted Sukma Collector's freedom

Alex Paul Menon
Alex Paul Menon
Even as mediators began another round of talks today to secure the freedom of Alex Paul Menon, the Collector and District Magistrate of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh who was abducted by Maoists last Saturday, the rebels have reportedly come up with a new demand for the release of nine more of their associates.
 
Earlier, the Maoists were learnt to have sought the release of eight of their colleagues, an end to the "Operation Greenhunt" by security forces against them and the withdrawal of Central para-military forces from the state in exchange for the freedom of the 32-year-old Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.
 
Media reports from Sukma said the Maoists had sent a fresh list of demands with the names of nine more of their associates, whom they want freed from prison.
 
Yesterday, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader and former MLA Manish Kunjam, who was rushed by the Chhattisgarh government to deliver medicines for Menon, had said that the official was safe and in good health.
 
Speaking to reporters after his return to Sukma yesterday, Kunjam said he had gone for two tasks: to deliver the medicines for Menon, who is said to be a patient of asthma, and to enquire about his health.
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"I have carried out both these tasks," he said, but, despite persistent queries, declined to say whether he had actually met Menon.
 
The Chhattisgarh government has named former Chief Secretaries Nirmala Buch of Madhya Pradesh and S K Mishra of Chhattisgarh as its mediators for talks with the negotiators nominated by the Maoists.
 
The Maoists had initially named three mediators to negotiate on their behalf, but one of them, senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, said he would talk to the Maoists only after they released the 32-year-old Menon. He appealed to the Maoists to release Menon unharmed and unconditionally.
 
"In my view kidnapping a civilian officer and holding him as a hostage is not right. Maoists should release the officer unconditionally. Most of the demands of the Maoists are justified, but I cannot negotiate with the Maoists in this situation," he had told mediapesons.
 
The others named by the Maoists are B D Sharma, a former Collector of the undivided Bastar district and an expert on tribal issues, and Kunjam, the former MLA from Konta district.
 
The state government had rushed medicines through Kunjam after the Maoists had issued a statement on Tuesday morning saying that Menon was in a bad state.
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Kunjam had declined to participate in the mediation process but had volunteered to carry medicines to the kidnapped officer. Menon's wife Asha had earlier said that he was carrying medicines for only two days with him.
 
The Maoists had later nominated Prof G Hargopal as one of their negotiators.
 
Menon, the first Collector and District Magistrate of the newly-formed district, was taken hostage by a group of Maoists on Saturday. He is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 2006 batch.
 
Two of Menon's security guards were shot dead by the Maoists who waylaid his vehicle near Keralapal area in the district when he was on his way back to the district headquarters after attending a "Gram Swaraj Abhiyan" - a state government-run programme - in a village.
 
Gram Swaraj is a programme aimed at ensuring better coordination between people in the villages and the administration.
 
Menon's wife Asha issued an appeal on Saturday to the Naxalites, urging them to release her husband. She pointed out that they were married only a few months ago and he had always worked for the welfare of the people of the area.
 
Menon is the second IAS officer to be kidnapped by the Maoists in recent times. In February last year, the left-wing extremists had abducted the Collector and District Magistrate of Malkangiri in neighbouring Odisha, R Vineel Krishna and held him hostage for eight days before freeing him after the state government agreed to several conditions laid down by them.
 
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