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Chhattisgarh

Rajnath says Centre committed to tackling LWE through multi-pronged strategy

Will provide all help to security forces: Rajnath
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reiterated that the Central government was firmly committed to tackle left-wing extremism (LWE) in the country and was implementing a multi-pronged strategy towards this end.
 
"This includes implementation of security related measures, development related measures and ensuring rights and entitlements of tribals and other weaker sections of the society," he said in a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha today.
 
The statement came two days after as many as 14 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) -- two officers and 12 constables -- were killed and 14 others suffered injuries in an ambush by Naxalites near Kasalpur village in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on December 1.
 
Mr Singh said that, as a result of the implementation of the Centre's strategy, the morale of the Maoists had weakened. 
 
"The number of surrenders of Maoists cadres has increased substantially in the current year. The LWE violence has also been declining since 2011 and this trend continues in the current year also. It is our firm commitment to provide every possible assistance to the security forces and we will continue the operations till this problem is fully eradicated," he said.
 
He also clarified that whenever state governments asked for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) for maintaining peace, tackling extremism, natural calamities, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) normally makes forces available after due consideration. 
 
"CAPFs always act as per the directions of the state governments, maintaining coordination. We are also taking all possible measures to increase the capability of the state governments," he said.
 
Providing details of the operations being carried out by the state police and the CAPFs in the LWE-affected states, he said that, on the basis of intelligence inputs about the movement of CPI (Maoist) cadres, the CRPF had launched a massive multi-phased operation on November 16 in the Chintagufa area of Sukma district.
 
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He said that as many as 2253 CRPF personnel and 224 state police personnel -- a total of 2477 personnel -- had participated in the operations.
 
He said that, during the first and second phase of this operation on November 17 and November 21, there had been several encounters between the security forces and the Maoists.
 
"On the basis of information received from various sources which include intelligence and media sources, there have been reports of killings of 12 Maoists on 21.11.2014. However, this is yet to be confirmed. During this multi- phase operation, a few security forces personnel were injured who had been treated," he said.
 
Mr Singh said the third phase of the operation was started on November 27. After combing operations in the densely forested area, the troops of the 223 Battalon and 206 CoBRA Battalion were returning to their camps when they were ambushed by Maoists.
 
The attack took place at 10.30 am on Monday. The troops retaliated and responded to the ambush in the encounter that ensued and lasted for around three hours. As soon as the encounter started, other CRPF parties present nearby rushed  for reinforcements.
 
Mr Singh said the injured personnel were brought to the base camp at Chintagufa and then sent to Jagdalpur and state capital Raipur on December 2 by two Mi-17 helicopters for treatment. 
 
Mr Singh had visited Raipur yesterday for an assessment of the situation. The Director General of the CRPF and other senior officers are camping in the area.
 
The December 1 ambush was one of the worst attacks carried out by Maoists in Chhattisgarh in the past seven months.
 
On March 11 this year, at least 20 security personnel, including 15 men of the CRPF and five state policemen, were killed in an ambush by Maoists in Sukma district.
 
On May 25 last year, Maoists had attacked a convoy of cars of Congress leaders in the district, in which 28 people were killed and about 30 others suffered injuries.
 
Those killed in that incident included state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who had launched the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites and Congress MLA Uday Mudaliar. 
 
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who was among those who suffered injuries in the incident, succumbed to his injuries later.
 
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Mukherjee condemns attack by Naxalites on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh

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President Pranab Mukherjee today strongly condemned the attack by left-wing extremists on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh yesterday, in whch 13 men -- two officers and11 constables -- were killed.
 
“I am shocked and dismayed to learn about the tragic attack by left wing extremists on security personnel in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh yesterday in which a number of persons belonging to CRPF have lost their lives and suffered injuries," he said in a message to Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon.
 
"I condemn this act of violence on our security forces in the strongest of terms and call upon authorities concerned to spare no efforts in bringing the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible. 
 
"In this moment of grief, I offer my heartfelt condolences to the grieving families of the victims. I call upon the State Government and other agencies to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured, whom I wish speedy recovery," he added.
 
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Modi condemns Naxal attack on CRPF men in Chhattisgarh

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condemned the ambush by Naxalites on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh earlier in the day, in which 13 CRPF men -- two officers and 11 constables -- were killed.
 
“Words are not enough to condemn the brutal and inhuman attack by anti-national elements in Sukma, Chhattisgarh," he said in a statement.
 
"I salute the courageous CRPF personnel who have been martyred today. Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their loved ones," he said.
 
Mr Modi said he had spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in this regard.
 
"We are monitoring the situation closely," he added.
 
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13 CRPF personnel killed in Naxalite attack in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh

13 CRPF personnel killed in an ambush by Naxals in Chhattisgarh
At least 13 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in an ambush by Naxalites in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh today, official sources said.
 
Senior police officials said those killed included two officers - a deputy commandant and an assistant commandant -- and 11 constables.
 
Other sources said that about 13 other CRPF personnel suffered injuries in the attack, which took place at a spot about 450 km from state capital Raipur.
 
The CRPF men were returning after conducting an operation in the area when they were ambushed, the sources said.
 
Reinforcements have been rushed to the spot, including the Superintendent of Police of the district, and there was adequate back-up support for the men caught in the ambush.
 
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Prashant Kumar Mishra appointed as Judge of Chhattisgarh High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, Additional Judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court, to be a Judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court.
 
An official press release said that the appointment would be with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office. 
 
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Adani Power to acquire Avantha's Korba West Power project in Chhattisgarh

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Adani Power Limited (APL), a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd, today said it had executed a binding term sheet for acquisition of 100% shares of Korba West Power Co. Ltd. (KWPCL) from Avantha Power & Infrastructure Limited (APIL).
 
KWPCL owns a completed 600 MW coal based power plant at Korba and an expansion phase in progress.
 
Confirming the deal, APIL said in a statement that KWPCL was valued in excess of Rs 4200 crore.
 
Adani Power is India’s largest private sector power generation company with a current operational capacity of 9,240 MW, comprising of 4,620 MW at Mundra in Gujarat, 3,300 MW at Tiroda in Maharashtra and 1,320 MW at Kawai in Rajasthan. 
 
With the acquisition of 1200 MW Udupi power plant which is due for completion shortly and with KWPCL now, the installed base of APL will increase to 11,040 MW, getting Adani Power closer to its goal of achieving 20,000 MW of capacity by 2020, a press release from the company said.
 
“This is the time for consolidation in the Indian power sector; and as a leading private power producer, Adani Power, has taken the lead in acquiring power assets which are strategic fit to group businesses and potentially at the lowest end of the cost curve. This acquisition consolidates our pan-Indian presence and further re-affirms our belief in the reforms processes under way in the power and coal mining sectors," Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani said.
 
"The acquisition of KWPCL expands our footprint in India particularly in the coal mining belt of India and we are bullish of expanding our presence further in the country. We are committed towards contributing towards India’s growth and confident of achieving our target of generating 20,000 MW by 2020,” he said.
 
The release said Adani Power would endeavour to expand the capacity of KWPCL expeditiously, leveraging its project execution capabilities. 
 
"Adani Power is also committed to seize further opportunities for capacity addition and provide much needed energy security of India," the release said.
 
Macquarie Capital was the sole adviser to the transaction, it added.
 
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Sterilization deaths: Rahul Gandhi accuses Chhattisgarh govt. of cover-up

Rahul Gandhi meets families of Bilaspur sterilization camp victims
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today met the families of the 13 young women who died of complications arising out of botched tubectomies conducted at two separate sterilization camps on November 8 and 10 in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh and later accused the state government of attempting to cover up the tragedy.
 
Mr Gandhi travelled to Amsena village to meet the families of two of the victims and later also met several of the 100-odd women still undergoing treatment in the Apollo Hospital and the CIMS in Bilaspur.
 
"I feel very sad after hearing their stories," he told newspersons later. "When the mother suffers any illness, her entire family suffers. Here, in Chhattisgarh, several families have lost their mothers."
 
"The truth is that that is not just a case of negligence. Here, corruption has a role, spurious medicines have a role," he said.
 
He said the state government had refused to take responsibility for the tragedy and was, in fact, attempting to cover it up, with officials burning entire lots of medicines and so on.
 
He said there was a need for a thorough investigation into the tragedy so that the truth could be established and the guilty punished. "Clearly, there was something amiss," he said.
 
"The state government is responsible, the state health minister is responsible for this loss," he said.
 
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Death toll in botched sterilisations rises to 13, details of second camp emerge

Eight women die after mass sterilisation in Chhattisgarh
The death toll in botched tubectomies carried out at two separate sterilisation camps in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh rose to 13 today, even as close to a hundred women continued to be under treatment for complications arising from the surgeries.
 
Bilaspur Divisional Commissioner Sonmani Bora told NetIndian over the telephone that the number of deaths in the first camp, conducted on Saturday, had gone up to 12 so far, while one person has died from amongst those who underwent surgery at the second camp, held two days later, at a nearby village.
 
About 73 people from the first camp and 27 from the second are undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Bilaspur, with the more serious cases being treated at the Apollo Hospital there.
 
Official sources said all efforts were being made to ensure that there were enough doctors and equipment at the hospital, including ventilators and monitors, to handle the rush of patients.
 
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Mr Bora talked to the top executives of the Apollo Group of Hospitals, who assured them that every effort would be made to provide the best possible treatment to the women.
 
A team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) reached Bilaspur this morning and examined all the serious patients and discussed the treatment being given to them by the local doctors.
 
The Bilaspur administration has also sought help from neighbouring districts, while the Chief Minister said all possible assistance, including doctors and equipment, would be sent to Bilaspur at the earliest.
 
Meanwhile, the Bilaspur police today placed Dr R K Gupta, who had conducted the surgeries at the first camp, under arrest after finding him in a nearby district, Mr Bora said.
 
The district authorities, including health officials, meanwhile, are gathering more information about the second camp, after women who underwent surgeries have complained of similar symptoms as those operated upon at the first camp.
 
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Meanwhile, protesters took to the streets in Chhattisgarh, demanding action against those responsible for the tragedy.
 
While the cause of the deaths will be clear only after the findings of an inquiry committee appointed by the state government, there were indications that poor hygienic conditions, infected instruments and the quality of a drug used could be contributory factors. The state government today banned the use of the particular batch of the drug in question, sources said.
 
Most of the women who underwent the tubectomies were under the age of 32, the sources said.
 
Dr Raman Singh held a high-level meeting in Raipur today to take stock o the situation. He also spoke to the doctors from AIIMS who met him after meeting the patients.
 
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued a notice to the Chhattisgarh government, calling for a report on the incident within two weeks.
 
The Commission said it had taken cognizance of media reports about the tragedy, alleging more than 83 women were operated within six hours using infected surgical tools.
 
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Eight women die, 73 hospitalised after mass sterilization camp in Chhattisgarh

Eight women die after mass sterilisation in Chhattisgarh
As many as eight women have died about 73 others have been hospitalised for treatment after undergoing tubectomy at a mass sterilization camp at Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh last Saturday, official sources said.
 
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters here that the eight women had died during treatment or while being shifted to a hospital.
 
He said the condition of the 73 women who were being treated for complications arising out of the surgery had improved after they were admitted to four different hospitals in Bilaspur.
 
Dr Singh said he had ordered the suspension of four top health officials and the registration of a first information report (FIR) against Dr R K Gupta, the surgeon who had performed the surgeries at the free family planning camp.
 
The Chief Minister said it was extremely unfortunate that such a tragedy had struck an important national programme.
 
According to reports reaching here, as many as 83 women had undergone surgery at the camp in a period of five hours at the government-run Nemi Chand Hospital at Pendari in Bilaspur, about 100 km from here. The reports said all the surgeries were carried out by Dr Gupta and an assistant.
 
On Monday, the women started complaining of pain and fever and were rushed to hospital. By late evening, eight of them died, and there were loud protests by relatives of the women outside the hospitals. According to reports, the women had symptoms like vomiting and drop in their pulse rates.
 
The state government has appointed a three-member committee to investigate the tragedy.
 
Dr Singh announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakhs to the next of kin of those who died in the tragedy and Rs 50,000 to those who have been hospitalised. He also said the state government would provide those in hospital with the best possible treatment and meet all the costs involved.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Dr Singh on the tragedy and expressed his concern. He asked the Chief Minister to ensure a thorough investigation into the incident and action in the matter.
 
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GMR synchronizes first 685MW unit of Chhattisgarh supercritical thermal power plant

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The first 685 MW unit of GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited’s (GCEL) 1370 MW supercritical coal-based thermal power plant at Raikheda in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh was synchronized with the grid on October 2.
 
A press release from the GMR Group said that GCEL is its first supercritical coal-based thermal power plant. 
 
The unit used fuel oil to achieve the first synchronization. The project has been implemented on multiple packages concept by Doosan of Korea. Work on commissioning GCEL’s second unit of 685 MW is in progress, the release said.
 
Since 2013, the GMR Group has commissioned two coal-based thermal power plants – the 2x300 MW GMR’s EMCO Energy Limited at Warora in Maharashtra and three units of the 4x350 MW GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited at Kamlalanga in Odisha, it said.
 
The GMR group had signed the MoU with the Government of Chhattisgarh for the power plant in 2008 and received Environment Clearance and Consent to Establish in 2011. 
 
Apart from Chhattisgarh, GCEL will cater to the power needs of various states in the country, the release said.
 
Mr. G.M. Rao, Group Chairman of the GMR Group said, “The GCEL plant incorporates advanced supercritical technologies that optimize fuel and water usage and support our commitment to environmental sustainability. GCEL is also making substantial efforts so that the quality of life of individuals residing in neighboring communities is enriched by its educational, health care, livelihood and grassroots infrastructure development focused CSR interventions.”
 
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BHEL bags Rs 359 crore order for plant power distribution package from NMDC

Logo of BHEL.
Logo of BHEL.
The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had won a Rs 359 crore contract from NMDC Limited for a plant power distribution system package for its 3 MTPA integrated steel plant at Nagarnar in Chhattisgarh.
 
A press release from BHEL said this was the second package contract bagged by the company from NMDC Limited for the same steel plant.
 
The company is already executing a raw material handling package at the project. 
 
"With this, the customer has reposed confidence in BHEL’s proven technological excellence and capability to execute such projects," the release said.
 
The present order envisages design, engineering, supply, erection and commissioning of the complete power distribution system on turnkey basis. The system will supply power through 33kV GIS based sub-stations to the shops of the steel plant.
 
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BJP suffers setback in UP, loses ground in Gujarat, Rajasthan in bye-elections

Four months after it swept to power at the Centre with an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party suffered a setback in Uttar Pradesh and lost ground in Rajasthan and Gujarat as counting of votes got underway in bye-elections in ten states on Tuesday.

 
By-polls: Counting begins for 3 LS, 33 assembly seats
Four months after it swept to power at the Centre with an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a setback in Uttar Pradesh and lost ground in Rajasthan and Gujarat as counting of votes got underway in bye-elections in ten states today.
 
In all, polling was held on September 13 for three Lok Sabha seats and 33 Assembly seats in the bye-elections, which were seen as a major test of the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which completed 100 days in office recently.
 
The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh won eight of the 11 Assembly seats for which bye-elections were held, while the BJP had to rest content with just three. The BJP and its ally Apna Dal had earlier held all 11 seats.
 
The seats won by the SP in Uttar Pradesh were Bijnor, Thakurdwara, Nighasan, Hamirpur, Charkhari, Sirathu and Rohaniya, while the BJP won Saharanpur Nagar, Noida and Lucknow East.
 
The SP’s candidate, Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, also won from the Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency in the state.
 
These results are significant because the BJP, riding on a Modi wave, had won as many as 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh in the April-May Parliamentary elections. The BJP and its ally Apna Dal held all 11 Assembly seats for which bye-elections were held.
 
In Rajasthan, where the BJP had made a clean sweep in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress won three of the four seats in the bye-elections -- Surajgarh, Weir (SC) and Nasirabad, while the BJP had to remain content with one, Kota South.
 
Similarly, in Gujarat, where Mr Modi was the Chief Minister for more than 12 years before becoming Prime Minister and where the BJP had won all 26 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress managed to win three of the nine Assembly seats in the bye-elections.
 
The Congress won Deesa, Khambhalia and Mangrol, while the BJP retained Maninagar, Tankara, Talaja, Anand, Matar and Limkheda. All nine seats were earlier held by the BJP.
 
The BJP also won the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, with its candidate and deputy mayor Ranjanben Bhatt winning by a huge margin of more than 3.29 lakh votes.
The BJP made its debut in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly when its candidate Samik Bhattacharya  won the Basirhat Dakshin seat today. The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) won the other seat, Chowranghee, for which bye-elections were held.
 
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In Telangana, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi's K Prabhakar Reddy won the Medak Lok Sabha seat.
 
In Tripura, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) won the lone assembly seat, Manu, for which bye-elections were held.
 
In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) won the Nandigama Assembly seat.
 
In Sikkim, an independent candidate, Rup Narayan Chamling, won the Rangang-Yangang Assembly seat.
 
In Assam, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) won the Jamunamukh Assembly seat, while the BJP was leading in Silchar and the Congress in Lakhipur.
 
Counting of votes began in all the constituencies this morning and all the results are expected by this evening.
 
The bye-elections have assumed added significance because they took place about a month before crucial Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, where Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a strong bid to wrest power.
 
Vadodara was one of the two seats won by Mr Modi in the April-May Lok Sabha elections. He had resigned from there after deciding to retain Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the other seat from where he had won.
 
Similarly, Mainpuri was vacated by Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who retained Azamgarh, also in Uttar Pradesh.
 
Medak had fallen vacant when Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader K Chandrashekara Rao resigned to take over as the first Chief Minister of Telangana after it was carved out as India's 29th state out of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Polling was also held for two seats in West Bengal and one in Chhattisgarh.
 
Today's results have come as bad news for the BJP, which had won only eight of the 18 Assembly seats in four states -- Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Punjab -- where bye-elections were held in August, while the Congress and its allies managed to win ten.
 
Apart from being a pointer to the extent to which the BJP has been able to hold on to its popularity, the bye-elections were also a major test for the SP.
 
These were the first elections in Gujarat under new Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, who succeeded Mr Modi when he moved to Delhi as Prime Minister.
 
Most of the 33 Assembly seats had fallen vacant after the sitting MLAs, mainly belonging to the BJP, had been elected to the Lok Sabha in the last general elections. Bye-elections in three assembly constituencies were necessitated by the deaths of the sitting members.
 
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Ebola: Three Nigerians admitted to Delhi hospital for tests

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Three Nigerian nationals, a boy aged 4 and two women aged 37 and 79, who arrived in Delhi this morning and had fever at the time of screening for symptoms of Ebola virus disease (EVD) at the airport here, were admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital here for tests.
 
An official press release said their tests were being done at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi.
 
In addition, an Indian national, a 32-year-old male belonging to Durg district in Chhattisgarh, who returned from Nigeria, has been admitted to Bhilai Hospital. His samples are also being tested at NCDC.
 
Mandatory reporting of passengers from the countries in Western Africa which have reported an outbreak of EVD is in place. 
 
Since its inception on August 10, as many as 9207 passengers from the affected countries have been screenedat the Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Trivandrum and Kochi airports, the release said.
 
The statement quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO) as saying, “Air travel, even from Ebola-affected countries, is low-risk for Ebola transmission.”
 
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Five workers killed in explosion at electrical fuse factory near Raipur

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Five workers were killed in an explosion at a an electrical fuse manufacturing unit near here early this morning, official sources said.
 
The incident occurred at the Navbharat Fuse Company at Chote Urla village in Abhanpur block, about 30 km from here.
 
The cause of the blast could not be immediately ascertained, the sources added.
 
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Mukherjee says India must be better equipped in preparing human resource

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President Pranab Mukherjee today said that a country like India, having the largest young population in the world, must be better equipped in preparing human resource. 
 
"A culture of excellence must be promoted in our higher academic institutions. Core competencies must be nurtured. Academic cooperation between institutions must be encouraged," he said in his address at the golden jubilee convocation of Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University here.
 
"Research must be of a high order and prioritized keeping in mind local issues as well as fields of specialization. Institutional mechanisms like innovation clubs must be created to unearth and support potential grassroots innovation," he said.
 
Mr Mukherjee said teaching must be top-grade and facilitated by attracting and retaining talent; hiring experts from industry, laboratories and research institutions; professional development of faculty; and laying industry-focus in the academic curricula of professional courses. 
 
"Quality up-gradation of state-level institutions, which account for 96 percent of the higher education capacity, must be accorded high priority. The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is an important initiative in this direction. Colleges deserve special attention as a large chunk of students - about 87 percent - are enrolled in them. The affiliating universities must guide them to maintain high standards in curricula and evaluation," he said.
 
The President said expansion in the number of academic institutions had led to a gradual increase in the gross enrolment ratio during the last few years. 
 
"Yet, at 18 per cent, it is less than most developed countries, and even Russia, Brazil and China. Owing to various factors, many bright students in our country are still denied the opportunity to acquire higher education. Greater affordability and enhanced accessibility is the key. These will result in greater inclusivity in higher education. Meritorious students from difficult economic backgrounds must be assisted through scholarships, student loans and self-help schemes," he said.
 
He said that, to improve access, ICT solutions must be applied in our institutions.
 
"Massive open online courses (MOOCs) help bridge distances to provide education to students located far away from urban centres. ICT networks like the National Knowledge Network (NKN) facilitates knowledge diffusion through sharing of lectures and course material. It enables intellectual collaboration by encouraging experts separated by geography to interact. I am pleased to know that this University is already on NKN since 2010," he said.
 
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Mr Mukheree said that universities and teachers carried a great responsibility to prepare individuals who are complete in all respects. 
 
"I look upon centres of higher learning as the guiding light, not only for students, but for the society as a whole. They have to instill a belief system that is rooted in our universal wisdom and philosophy. Having a modern outlook does not imply deviating from the core values and philosophies of the yore. Our civilizational values – love for motherland; performance of duty; compassion for all; tolerance for pluralism; respect for women; honesty in life; self-restraint in conduct, responsibility in action and discipline – are true regardless of time and place. They have transcended epochs. It is the duty of our universities to pass the baton of ‘foundational values’ onto the next generation," he said.
 
Mr Mukherjee urged the students, as informed citizens and bright young minds, to be not only be aware of their rights but their duties and responsibilities as well.
 
"Spare a thought for your less endowed brethren who did not have the opportunity to partake in the benefits of education. You have a duty to work towards their upliftment. You must harmonize your personal goals and societal commitments. It is possible to conciliate between the two. For that, you must be driven by a sense of obligation towards your country. I am confident that you will make good use of the education you have received here," he added.
 
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Mukherjee to attend golden jubilee convocation of Pt Ravishankar Shukla University on Saturday

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President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a day's visit to Raipur in Chattisgarh tomorrow, during which he will attend the golden jubilee convocation of Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University.
 
Founded in 1964, the university is the oldest institution of higher education in Chhattisgarh and named after the first chief minister of then undivided Madhya Pradesh. 
 
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Ram Naik named Governor of UP, Keshari Nath Tripathi of West Bengal

President Pranab Mukherjee today appointed new Governors for five states, including former Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik in Uttar Pradesh, former UP Assembly Speaker Keshari Nath Tripathi in West Bengal and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Balramji Dass Tandon in Chhattisgarh.

Ram Naik
Ram Naik
Former Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik was today appointed as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, while senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Balramji Dass Tandon was named as the new Governor of Chhattisgarh.
 
President Pranab Mukherjee also appointed former Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker Keshari Nath Tripathi as the new Governor of West Bengal and BJP leader Om Prakash Kohli as the Governor of Gujarat, a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
The appointments will take effect from the dates the incumbents assume charge of their respective offices, it said.
 
The President also accepted the resignation of Mr Vakkom Purushothaman, as Governor of Nagaland. 
 
In his place, Mr Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya has been appointed as the new Governor of the state. He will also discharge the functions of the Governor of Tripura, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Tripura are made, a separate communique said.
 
The five new Governors are the first gubernatorial appointments made by the new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after it assumed office on May 26.
 
Since the new government took over, the Governors appointed by the previous regime have reportedly been under pressure to quit. While some have resigned in the past few weeks, the others have not obliged.
 
Among the Governors who have quit are B L Joshi in Uttar Pradesh, M K Narayanan in West Bengal, Ashwani Kumar of Nagaland, Shekhar Dutt of Chhattisgarh and Bharat Vir Wanchoo of Goa. 
 
Keshari Nath Tripathi
Keshari Nath Tripathi
Last week, Mr Purushothaman became the sixth Governor to resign. He had refused to take charge as Governor of Nagaland in protest against his transfer from Mizoram without his consent.
 
His place in Mizoram was taken by Ms Kamla Beniwal, who was transferred from Gujarat. She had several differences with then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is now Prime Minister.
 
Several of the Governors, including Ms Margaret Alva of Rajasthan, Ms Beniwal, MrJanaki Ballabh Patnaik of Assam, Mr D Y Patil of Bihar and Mr Jagannath Pahadia of Haryana are due to retire in the coming months.
 
Others like Mr K Shankarnarayanan of Maharashtra, Mr Shivraj Patil of Punjab and Ms Sheila Dikshit of Kerala have longer tenures remaining. 
 
Ms Dikshit, who was Chief Minister of Delhi for 15 years, took over as Governor of Kerala only in March this year after she lost the Assembly elections in December 2013. 
 
Mr Naik, 80, a senior BJP leader, served as a Cabinet Minister in the government of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee from October 1999 to May 2004.
 
Before that, he had handled the portfolios of Railways, Home Affairs, Planning & Programme Implementation and Parliamentary Affairs as Minister of State. He had decided not to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He had represented the North Mumbai constituency in the Lok Sabha for five terms. He has also served as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for three terms.
 
Mr Naik has done his B.Com. and LL.B. from the University of Mumbai. He has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from his childhood.
 
Balramji Dass Tandon
Balramji Dass Tandon
Mr Tripathi, 79, is a former president of the UP unit of the BJP. A senior advocate, he has had five terms as a member of the UP Legislative Assembly and served as its Speaker from 1991-93, 1997-2202 and 2002-2004. He was a Cabinet Minister in the UP Government from 1977-1979 during the Janata Party regime. He has a B.A and an LL.B. degree from the Allahabad University.
 
Mr Tandon, 87, is a veteran leader of the BJP in Punjab and had served as the Deputy Chief Minister in the Gurnam Singh government in 1969-70. He also served as Minister in the Parkash Singh Badal ministries in 1977-79 and 1997-2002.
 
He was a founding member of the Jana Sangh, the precursor to the BJP, in 1951 and was the president of the Punjab BJP from 1995-97. He was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly from Amritsar in 1960,1962,1967,1969 and in 1977 and from Rajpura in 1997.
 
Mr Kohli is a former president of the BJP's Delhi unit and a former member of the Rajya Sabha.
 
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Mukherjee accepts resignation of Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt

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President Pranab Mukherjee today accepted the resignation of Mr Shekhar Dutt as the Governor of Chhattisgarh.
 
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said the President had appointed Mr Ram Naresh Yadav, the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Chhattisgarh, in addition to his own duties, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Chhattisgarh are made. 
 
Mr Dutt is the second Governor appointed by the previous UPA government, after Mr B L Joshi of Uttar Pradesh, to resign after the change of regime at the Centre following the recent elections to the Lok Sabha.
 
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7 polling personnel, 5 CRPF men killed in twin attacks by Maoists in Chhattisgarh

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Seven polling personnel and five men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed in two separate attacks by suspected Maoists in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh today, two days after voting was conducted peacefully in the area, official sources said.
 
In one incident, five CRPF men were killed and three others injured when an ambulance carrying them was hit by a landmine blast, triggered by Maoists near Darbha in Jagdalpur district.
 
In the other incident, Maoists blew up a bus carrying about 12 people returning from election duty in Kutru to Gudma in Bijapur district. Six people died on the spot and another succumbed to his injuries in hospital. Five people suffered injuries and are undergoing treatment in hospital, the sources said.
 
The state government has rushed additional security forces to the two locations.
 
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Shinde vows response for Sukma Maoist attack, entrusts probe to NIA

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Wednesday the government would respond appropriately to the deadly Maoist ambush in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, in which 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed, and said the National Investigation Agency would probe the attack.

Chhattisgarh Maoist attack: Shinde pays homage to martyrs
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said the government would respond appropriately to the deadly Maoist ambush in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh yesterday, in which 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed, and said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would probe the attack.
 
Mr Shinde, who flew to Jagdalpur in Bastar district this morning, Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt and Chief Minister Raman Singh paid tributes to the 11 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and four local policemen killed in the ambush.
 
He also took stock of the situation at a meeting with Dr Singh and State Home Minister Ramsevak Paikra.
 
Talking to reporters, Mr Shinde said there was no specific intelligence input about the possibility of an attack.
 
"We will definitely take revenge for the attack," he said, saying it appeared aimed at disrupting the coming Lok Sabha elections.
 
Asked about what the Government would do in this regard, he said the Central and State forces would jointly conduct anti-Naxalite operations and find those responsible for the ambush. "We know where they are," he said.
 
He said the authorities would also ensure that the Lok Sabha polls were conducted successfully, just as the Assembly elections in the state were last year. "We will provide adequate forces,” he said.
 
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Rahul expresses anguish over death of security personnel in Maoist ambush

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Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today expressed deep anguish at the death of 16 people -- 11 CRPF personnel, four local policemen and a civilian -- in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh this morning.
 
Condemning the "senseless act of violence", Mr Gandhi offered his heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives, and said that his thoughts and prayers were with them in this hour of terrible grief.
 
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Maoists kill 15 security personnel, one civilian in ambush in Chhattisgarh

At least 15 security personnel -- 11 men of the Central Reserve Police Force and five local policemen -- and a civilian were killed in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of southern Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

 
At least 15 security personnel -- 11 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five local policemen -- and a civilian were killed in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of southern Chhattisgarh today.
 
State Chief Minister Raman Singh told newspersons in Delhi, where he was on a visit, that some other security personnel were injured in the attack, three of whom were shifted by a helicopter to a Raipur hospital.
 
He said Maoists had staged a similar attack ahead of last year's Assembly elections in the state, and they had resorted to another "cowardly" attack today, just weeks before the Lok Sabha elections.
 
Mr Raman Singh, who is rushing back to Raipur, said he would take stock of the situation with senior officials this evening. Meanwhile, the Additional Chief Secetary (Home) and the Director General of Police had rushed to the spot, he said.
 
Earlier reports had put the death toll in the attack at 20.
 
Official sources said the joint team of CRPF and local policemen were escorting a road construction party when they were ambushed at a spot between Jhiram Ghati in Bastar and Tongpal in Sukma, about 400 km south of Raipur, around 10 am today.
 
They said about 200 Maoists were involved in the ambush and they had not only completely outnmbered the 44 security personnel, but were also at an advantage because of the topography.
 
Today's ambush took place about 10 km from the spot where Maoists had, on May 25 last year, attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in Sukma district, in which 28 peole were killed and about 30 others suffered injuries.
 
Those killed in that incident included state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who had launched the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites and Congress MLA Uday Mudaliar. Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who was among those who suffered injuries in the incident, succumbed to his injuries later.
 
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Officials said the encounter that followed today's ambush lasted about half an hour. The Maoists managed to escape with weapons from the security personnel, they said.
 
Senior police officials have left for the scene in a helicopter. 
 
In Delhi, senior officials said there were contradictory reports about the casualty figures and they were reconciling them.
 
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Maoists kill 15 CRPF personnel, 5 policemen in ambush in Chhattisgarh

At least 20 security personnel, including 15 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five local policemen, were killed in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of southern Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

 
At least 20 security personnel, including 15 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five policemen, were killed in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of southern Chhattisgarh today.
 
Official sources said the joint team of CRPF and local policemen were escorting a road construction party when they were ambushed at a spot between Jhiram Ghati in Bastar and Tongpal in Sukma, about 400 km south of Raipur, around 10 am today.
 
They said about 200 Maoists were involved in the ambush and the 45-odd security personnel not only found themselves outnumbered but were also at a disadvantage because of the topography.
 
"Twenty personnel including 15 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans and five state policemen were killed in the attack. At least three others were injured," officials said.
 
Today's ambush took place about 10 km from the spot where Maoists had, on May 25 last year, attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in Sukma district, in which 28 peole were killed and about 30 others suffered injuries.
 
Those killed in that incident included state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who had launched the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites and Congress MLA Uday Mudaliar. Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who was among those who suffered injuries in the incident, succumbed to his injuries later.
 
Officials said the encounter that followed today's ambush lasted about half an hour. The Maoists managed to escape with weapons from the security personnel, they said.
 
Senior police officials have left for the scene in a helicopter.
 
In Delhi, senior officials said there were contradictory reports about the casualty figures and they were reconciling them.
 
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Modi says Centre has neglected NE region, alienated its people

Manipur suffering due to lack of political vision in Congress: Modi
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), today accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre of neglecting the development of the North-Eastern States, leading to a lack of infrastructure in the region and a feeling of alienation among its people.
 
Addressing rallies in Imphal, Manipur and Guwahati, Assam, Mr Modi contrasted this with the efforts made by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government headed by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee to develop the region.
 
In this context, he referred to the creation of the Department of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), a special package for the economic development of the region and a 20-point programme for the economic growth of the eight States.
 
Stressing the tremendous potential of the eight States, he promised at Imphal that, if voted to power, he and his party would bring the region on par with the rest of the country.
 
"Yeh Bharat ke bhagya ko badalne ki ashta lakshmi hain," he said, referring to the eight States of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim.
 
He said the party would also help develop other states in Eastern India, including West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
 
Mr Modi said the lack of development had helped divisive forces to spread havoc in the region.
 
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"Extremism and infiltration are big threats and Manipur has seen bad governance under the Congress. Drug trafficking is also a very big problem. Not only has the Congress failed to stop that but also their leaders are complicit.” 
 
“Congress feels that the only solution to insurgency is fake encounters but they do not know such steps will further spoil the atmosphere," he said.
 
Mr Modi said corruption was rampant at the Centre and in Manipur. "When the BJP comes to power, we will seek the accounts of every rupee,” he said.
 
He asked why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has represented Assam in the Rajya Sabha for more than 20 years, had failed to do anything for the region.
 
He said both the State Government and the Centre had a lackadaisical attitude towards national security.
 
At both Imphal and Guwahati, Mr Modi spoke about the lack of basic facilities such as power and water supply in large parts of the region. He said the much-hyped Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme had failed to generate jobs in the region.
 
“So many boys and girls from Manipur are in the Army. This state gives colour and vibrancy to our life and adds to India’s diversity,” he said. “India will only gain if the North East gains.”
 
He talked about the need to develop agriculture, horticultue, tourism and agro-exports in the region. He mentioned the example of his government's efforts in Gujarat to mobilise all the state's reserves.
 
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Mr Modi condemned the recent attack on a student from Arunachal Pradesh student in Delhi and his death a day later. He said the incident pointed to the collapse of governance in Delhi and the lack of safety for women and other sections.
 
At Guwahati, the BJP leader urged the people of the region to give him "just 60 months" after trying out the Congress for 60 years.
 
He wondered why Assam, which had tea, timber and all kinds of other natural resources, was still backward and why such a peace-loving people had to suffer so much violence and bloodshed.
 
“Assam has the Brahmaputra but Guwahati does not have water to drink,” he remrked.
 
Mr Modi also spoke about the illegal migrants from Bangladesh and called for proper verification processes to ensure they could be identified.
 
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Two Additional Judges appointed to High court of Chhattisgarh

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The President has appointed Mr Inder Singh Uboweja and Mr Chandra Bhushan Bajpai as Additional Judges of the High Court of Chhattisgarh.
 
An official press release said that the appointments, in that order of seniority, were for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their office. 
 
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