Rahul Gandhi blames Haryana govt. for Dalit killings in Faridabad

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday visited Sunped village in Haryana, where two children died and their parents suffered injuries in an arson attack on ther house on Tuesday, and blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state for the killings.

Rahul Gandhi says visit to Faridabad village no photo op
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today visited Sunped village in Haryana, where two children died and their parents suffered injuries in an arson attack on ther house on Tuesday, and blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state for the killings.
"Today, in India, those who are weak, those who are poor are facing such atrocities," he told newspersons after meeting the father of the children, Jitender, and other members of the family.
"They asked me, 'What was our fault, what wrong did we commit?'" he said.
"They did not commit any mistake. They are poor and weak and that is why they were attacked," he said.
Mr. Gandhi said that he was told that a group of people had met administration officials to convey their fears. The officials told them to go back to their homes because no one had actually died, he said.
"It is the Chief Minister's responsibility to protect the people of the state. Different incidents are happening, in Haryana and elsewhere around the country," he said, calling for strict action against those responsible for the attack as well as the policemen who were negligent in their duties. He said the family of the victims wanted a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"The truth is that this is not a government of the poor and the weak. I have offered all possible help to the family. Whatever they need, they just have to ask," he said.
Mr. Gandhi said these incidents were the result of an "attitude" that is shared by the Prime Minister of the country, the Chief Minister of Haryana, the ruling BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), its ideological mentor.
"The attitude is that if somebody is weak, he can be crushed," he said. "What you are seeing is the result of this attitude."
"We don't want such incidents to happen, and we will fight to ensure this," he said.
Mr. Gandhi reacted angrily when a reporter asked him about the BJP accusation that his visit was just a "photo op".
"It's insulting when someone says that when someone comes here. It's not insulting to me, but it's insulting these people. What do you men by 'photo op'? People are dying left, right and centre in this country. People are being beaten up in this country. What do you mean that it is just a photo op?" he asked.
"Absolutely, I will visit. I will visit again, again, and again," he added.
Jitender's wife Rekha, four-year-old son Vaibhav and eight-month-old daughter Divya suffered burns in the attack. The children succumbed to their injuries yesterday, while their mother is battling for survival in a hospital. Jitender also suffered minor injuries while trying to save his family, souces said.
Angry villagers blocked the busy Faridabad-Mathura highway in protest against the incident and demanded the immediate arrest of those named in the police complaint. 
Seven policemen, including those tasked to guard the village, have been suspended by the authorities for alleged negligence. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Apart from Mr. Gandhi, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat, former Union Minister and Haryana Congress leader Kumari Selja, Haryana Janhit Congress (Bhajan Lal) leader Kuldeep Bishnoi and National Commission for Scheduled Castes member Ishwar Singh visited the village to meet the bereaved family.

Modi "deeply concerned", asks for report on Nadia nun's gang-rape, Hisar church attack

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced deep concern about the alleged gangrape of an elderly nun at Nadia in West Bengal recentlyand the attack on a church at Hisar in Haryana and sought an immediate report on the incidents.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has voiced deep concern about the alleged gangrape of an elderly nun at Nadia in West Bengal recentlyand the attack on a church at Hisar in Haryana and sought an immediate report on the incidents.
"PM is deeply concerned about the incidents in Hisar, Haryana and Nadia, West Bengal," the Prime MInister's Office (PMO) said on micro-blogging site Twitter today.
"PMO has asked for immediate report on facts & action taken regarding the incidents in Haryana and West Bengal," it added.
A 71-year-old nun was allegedly gang-raped by dacoits at a convent in Nadia district in the early hours of Saturday. The incident has triggered protests in West Bengal and the state government has ordered a probe by the CID in the case.
In the second incident, a church under construction at Kaimri village near Hisar in Haryana was vandalised by a group of people on Sunday.
Both the incidents have evoked widespread condemnation across the country, with the Christian community expressing serious concern about the safety of churches and other institutions.

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BJP leader Manohar Lal Khattar to be sworn in as Haryana CM on Sunday

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manohar Lal Khattar, a first-time member of the legislative assembly and former "pracharak" of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Haryana later on Sunday.

Manoharlal Khattar
Manoharlal Khattar
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Lal Khattar, a first-time member of the legislative assembly and former "pracharak" of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Haryana later today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders are expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony that will be held at Panchkula near here.
BJP president Amit Shah, former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states are also expected to be present at the function.
Mr Khattar, 60, was elected as a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly from Karnal, winning his maiden election with a margin of more than 63,000 votes.
The elections, held on October 15, saw the BJP capturing power for the first time in the state, winning 47 seats in the 90-member house. 
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) of former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala came in second with 19 seats, while the Congress, which ruled the state for the last 10 years, had to rest content with third place, with 15 seats.
The Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) won two seats and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) one seat each. Independents won five seats.
Mr Khattar had been unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party by the party's newly-elected legislators here on October 21.
Later, senior BJP leader and Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, who was sent here as the party's Central observer for that meeting, accompanied Mr Khattar to call on Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki to apprise him of the party's decision.
Mr Solanki invited Mr Khattar to form the new government in the state. 
Mr Khattar was born on May 5, 1954, in Nigana village of Maham tehsil in Rohtak district. His father Harbans Lal Khattar was a Punjabi shopkeeper who had migrated to India during the 1947 Partition.
After passing out of school, he moved to Delhi, where he ran a shop near Sadar Bazar while studying for a degree from the University of Delhi.
Mr Khattar joined the RSS in 1977 and became a full-time pracharak three years later. In 1994, he was deputed to the BJP. He was Organisational General Secretary of the BJP in Haryana between 2000 and 2014 and was the head of its campaign election committee in Haryana for the recent Lok Sabha elections. He was later made a member of the BJP's National Executive. He is a bachelor.

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Haryana BJP chief's son arrested for stalking, released on bail

Haryana BJP chief's son held for stalking girl
Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Subhash Barala, and one of his friends were arrested here on Saturday for allegedly stalking a girl, the daughter of an IAS officer, in the city late on Friday night.
The two men, Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar, were later released on bail as they were booked under bailable sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), official sources said.
Faced with a political and public outcry, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar assured journalists that the law would take its course in the matter.
Mr. Subhash Barala, a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly, also said he respected the law and that the "truth" would come out in court.
Mr. Satish Kumar, the deputy superintendent of police in the Union Territory, said the girl, a disc jockey, had called up the police late on Friday night and told that the two people were following her in a sports utility vehicle (SUV).
The police immediately put out the number of the SUV on its wireless network and soon located it and apprehended the two men, who appeared to be drunk, he said.
On the basis of a complaint from the girl, the police booked both youths and placed them under arrest, he said.
Mr. Kumar said the youths had chased the girl for quite a distance and even tried to stop her car two or three times. They also banged on the girl's car with their hands, he said, quoting her complaint.
He said a medical examination of the two youths indicated that they had been drinking alcohol. Their vehicle was impounded.
The duo were booked under Section 354 D (stalking) of IPC and 185 of the MVA (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs), police said.
After the complainant recorded her statement before a magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the police added Section 341 of the IPC ( wrongful restraint) in the first information report (FIR) against the two men.
Mr. Kumar said the police would take legal opinion to see if other sections of the IPC could be added in the FIR. He also denied there was any pressure on the police in the matter.
Mr. Khattar said he was confident that the Chandigarh Police would investigate the case properly. "I believe in the law," he said.
"This issue is not about Subhash Barala. It is an issue about an individual and law will take its own course," he said.
The girl posted an account of her ordeal on her Facebook page and thanked the Chandigarh Police for the manner in which it responded to her distress call. "They almost restore my faith in the system," she said.
"I was driving home from the sector-8 market at about 12:15am, and crossed the road into sec-7, where the petrol pump is. I was also on the phone with a friend at the time, and realised about a minute later that a car was following me.
"It was a White SUV, and as I noticed it, it pulled up and started driving alongside my car. I was now in sec-7, heading towards the lights next to St.Johns' in 26. There were 2 guys inside the SUV, and they seemed to really be enjoying harassing a lone girl in the middle of the night, judging by how often their car swerved, just enough to scare me that it might hit me," she said.
"By now I was totally alert and mildly panic-y, so I decided to turn right from the St.Johns' traffic lights towards Madhya Marg(a more crowded, seemingly safer road). I tried to turn right from the lights but the SUV blocked my way, forcing me to go straight into sec-26. At the next turn, I tried to turn again, but this time they went a step further. Right at the turn, they blocked the road in front of my car, and the guy in the passenger seat got out of the car and started walking towards me. I reversed as fast as I could and went straight and took the next right turn before they could catch up again," she said.
"I used this time to also call the cops at 100, and explain to them the situation and my exact location and where I was headed. The cop who answered my call, intuitively sensed the urgency in my voice, and promised me that help would be along very soon. I hung up and had now reached the main road, and hadn't seen the SUV for about 15 seconds, so I hoped, that they'd seen me calling the cops and disappeared. I was wrong.
"I was now on a straight road for about 5-6 kms (Madhya Marg), and that entire time, the SUV stayed alongside my car, trying to bully me into stopping every 10-15 seconds LITERALLY. I was in a full-blown panic attack by now because they would keep trying to corner me, and I'd somehow manoeuvre my way out and keep moving. My hands shaking, my back spasming from fear, half in tears, half bewildered, because I didn't know if I'd make it home tonight. Who knew when, or if, the cops would show up.
"These guys INCESSANTLY bullied me all the way to Solitaire (end of 6 kms), and at the traffic lights, blocked my car for the final time. This time they meant business, because they left me absolutely no space to move or escape, and the passenger JUMPED out of the car and moved towards mine.
"I don't know how, but I reversed my car and moved to the right where there was space, all this while constantly honking so the few vehicles around would know something was wrong. At this point, the guy had reached my car, banged loudly on my window, AND TRIED TO OPEN THE DOOR HANDLE!
"Just as he did this, I saw a PCR pull up at the lights, quite possibly in response to my call. They heard me honking, and saw the SUV swerving left and right in an attempt to block me, and a couple of cops ran out towards the SUV, nabbing it just in time, because they were blocked in by traffic," she said.
She went on to say how she drove home, informed her father and the two of them then went to the police to file a complaint.

IGL gets permission from Haryana govt. to lay city gas distribution network in part of Gurgaon

The public sector Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) today said it had received permission from the Haryana government to lay a city gas distribution (CGD) network in a part of Gurgaon district.
IGL is the supplier of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG) in Delhi and in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and it is the entity authorized by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India for Gurgoan since 2004.
The company had been pursuing with the Haryana government for permission to lay, build and operate CDG network in Gurgoan, a press release from the company said.
As per letter issued by Director of Industries & Commerce, Government of Haryana on July 13, IGL has been permitted to lay city gas distribution network in Gurgoan in the area lying between west side of Sohna Road and National Highway – 8 of Gurgoan.
The state government of Haryana has also decided to allocate 10 plot sites for setting up CNG stations for which IGL has been asked to identify the areas and approach HUDA/HSIDC for allotment of sites as per policy of the government. 
IGL has already been authorized to set up CGD network in adjoining district of Rewari also, where the project work is in progress and trial run of CNG sales has already started, the release said.
Mr. E. S. Ranganathan, Managing Director, IGL said IGL was fully prepared to  meet the desired targets of setting up 10 CNG stations and providing 10,000 PNG connections. He said the entire IGL team is already in action to make sure that that the targets are achieved. “IGL is in the process of drawing up an investment plan amounting to capital expenditure of Rs 75 crore to Rs 100 crore in a year in this area”, he added.
IGL is the largest CNG distribution company in the country having set up 425 CNG stations in less than two decades. The company has a track record of having successfully rolled out CGD projects in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. In the city of Rewari in Haryana, where the CGD project work is in progress, IGL has already achieved the project milestones for the first year within ten months of start of project work, the release added.

Uttarakhand, Haryana declared Open Defecation Free States

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have declared themselves as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India.
The two today joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF. 
Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two and a half years since the launch of SBM, an official press release said.
Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats - all of which have declared themselves as ODF in formal declarations in Dehradun and Chandigarh, respectively.
Speaking at the event in Dehradun, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation said, “On 2nd October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, started the Swachh Bharat Mission. Today, it has become a true people’s movement. People of Uttarakhand and Haryana, the government officials and representatives of other institutions have contributed towards this milestone.”
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, said, “Collaborative community participation has led Uttarakhand to achieve this ODF status. The Prime Minister’s call for a Swachh Bharat has resulted in this special achievement. I would like to laud the role of the gram pradhans in making Uttarakhand ODF.”
Congratulating the newly declared ODF States, Mr. Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation said, “Following the tremendous progress being made in ODF declaration across the country, the next step for Swachh Bharat Gramin will be to focus on sustaining this ODF status and systematic solid and liquid waste management in rural India.”
With the total number of ODF States now rising to five, more than two lakh  villages and 147 districts have also been declared ODF across the country, the release added.

Municipal solid waste segregation at source in National Capital Region to be launched on Monday

Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu will launch a campaign for segregation of municipal solid waste at source -- households, hotels, restaurants and so on -- in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad tomorrow.
Under the new system, wet waste will be collected in green bins and dry waste in blue bins, an official press release said.
This major new initiative to address the problem of solid waste management will be launched in 130 cities where waste-to-compost plants are either functional or under construction, it said.
Mr. Naidu will launch the segregation campaign in National Capital Region covering a total of nine urban local bodies including five of Delhi by flagging off segregated waste collection vehicles from Talkatora Indore Stadium in the national capital. Residential Welfare Associations, Hotels and Restaurants who have taken commendable initiatives in this regard will also be felicitated. 
In the National Capital Region, about 15,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste is being generated every day while about 65 million tones of such waste is produced every day in urban areas of the country. 
Launch of waste segregation at source is being done in the backdrop of 145 waste-to-compost plants becoming functional across the country, increasing compost production from 1.50 lakh tonnes in March, 2016 to 13.13 lakh tonnes at present. Another 150 compost making plants are under construction with total compost production capacity of 95 lakh tonnes per year. 
Incorrect disposal and burning of solid waste results in emission of climate change causing greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide to the tune of 12.69 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the country per year, i
A recent study revealed that improper solid waste management causes 15 diseases including hepatitis, cholera and malaria. Segregation of dry and wet waste at source leads to removal of carcinogenic and heavy metals from organic waste resulting in production of good quality compost. Segregation also assists in conversion of non-recyclable dry waste to RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) or energy through Waste-to-Energy/RDF Plants, with minimal amount of inert waste going to landfills. 
Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu is the only city so far to have ensured 100% segregation of solid waste at source, the release said.
Mr. Naidu will also launch the waste segregation at Indore tomorrow. In other States, Governors and Chief Ministers will be doing the same. 
Under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), 100% door-to-door collection, transportation and processing of solid waste is targeted by October, 2019. While 100% door-to-door collection and transport of solid waste has been achieved in over 41,000 of the total 81,000 urban wards in the country, processing of such waste is about 22%, the release added.

Jat leaders suspend quota stir after talks with Haryana CM

Jat leaders suspended protests planned in Delhi tomorrow to press their demand for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions after talks with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal here today.
Mr. Manohar Lal told a press conference at Haryana Bhavan here this evening that the two sides had come to an agreement on five points aimed at finding a solution to the issue.
Union Ministers Birender Singh and P.P. Chaudhary were amongst those who attended the meeting.
Jat leader Yashpal Malik said the Jats would not come to Delhi tomorrow to stage the protest. He said they had agreed to the five points, as outlined by Mr. Manohar Lal, and trusted the Government would implement them in a time-bound manner.
The All India Jat Aarakshan Sangarsh Samiti had given a call for a march to Parliament here tomorrow and for protests at the Delhi border to press for its demands, prompting the authorities to take a series of measures, including suspension of Delhi Metro train services to stations outside Delhi in the National Capital Region (NCR) and imposition of traffic restrictions in Central Delhi from tonight.
The Chief Minister said that the Centre would begin considering the issue of reservation for Jats in Central Government jobs and educational institutions once appointments were made to the posts of Chairman and Members of the National Commission for Backward Classes.
He said the State Government would begin the process of including the community in the 9th Schedule once the High Court gave its verdict on the Bill brought by it.
Mr. Manohar Lal said the State Government would review all cases filed against pro-reservation agitators since 2010 and ensure that they received full justice. He said that a member of the family of those who died or were disabled during the agitation would be given a job by the State Government. He said the compensation announced for those who were injured during the agitation would be released. 
The Chief Minister said inquiries against officials would be expedited and strict action would be taken against anyone found guilty.
Mr. Malik said the Jat leaders would coordinate with the Government to ensure that the agreed points were implemented in a time-bound manner.

Swachh Shakti Saptah to underline women’s role in Swachh Bharat Mission

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation yesterday launched Swachh Shakti Saptah, a week-long programme of activities across the country to highlight the role of women in the Swachh Bharat Mission and to recognize their leadership.
More than 1000 women swachhta champions from the grassroots attended the launch by Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar at Gurugram, near here, in association with Haryana government.
Deputy Commissioners of 11 open defecation free (ODF) districts of Haryana were honoured on the occasion.
The launch was marked by release of balloons by ground level women leaders, inauguration of a sanitation related exhibition and a series of folk cultural presentation relating to women and Swachhta (cleanliness).
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Tomar lauded the leadership role being played by women across rural India in the implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission and for making it a people's movement. 
Throughout the coming week, events will be held across the country to honour women champions, women sarpanches, ASHA workers, school teachers, young students and senior citizens. The week will culminate with a mega-event in Gujarat named Swachh Shakti 2017 where the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address 6000 women sarpanches and honour them for their contribution to Swachh Bharat.
The Minister also announced that the number of ODF districts in the country had now crossed 100. Over 1.7 lakh villages have become ODF, he said.
The achievement of this milestone has made it an occasion of double celebration for the Mission, he said. He lauded everyone involved in the Swachh Bharat Mission, especially the administrations of these 100 districts, for their exceptional efforts towards making the Prime Minister’s vision of a Swachh and Open Defecation Free India a reality.
Mr. O.P Dhankar, Haryana Minister for Development & Panchayats, and Agriculture, was also present at the event. Speaking on the occasion, he said that women are natural leaders of Swachh Bharat Mission. He also declared that Haryana will become an ODF State by November this year.
Senior officers of the central and state government attended the function along with other stakeholders.

President’s Standard to be presented to two IAF units at Ambala on Nov 10

President Pranab Mukherjee will award the prestigious President’s Standard to 501SU, Signal Unit and 30 Squadron, during a grand ceremonial parade scheduled to be held at Air Force Station Ambala on November 10. 
"Presidents Standards or 'Nishaan' are much coveted and have a special significance for all of us in uniform," stated Air Marshal S B Deo, AOC in C, Western Air Command, while addressing a curtain raiser press conference  at Air Force Station Ambala yesterday.
The Station Commander of 501 Signal Unit, Group Captain Vineet Jindal and Commanding Officer of 30 Squadron, Wing Commander Abhay Arun Phasnsalkar will receive the President’s Standard.
The President will also release a First Day Cover of 501 Signal Unit and 30 Squadron during the ceremony. 
Operational outfits of IAF become eligible for award of President’s Standard only after completion of 18 years. The selection is based on their performance and achievements, both during peace and hostilities. 
This honour is an acknowledgement of the meritorious service rendered by the selected units over the years. 
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Deo and other dignitaries would witness the ceremony. Retired Air Warriors and previous Commanding Officers of both the recipient units are also invited for the occasion. 
Various dignitaries expected to grace the President’s Standard Presentation Ceremony are the Governor of Haryana, Chief Minister and senior state government officials, an official press release added.

Prabhu lays foundation stone for elevated rail line in Haryana

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today laid foundation stone for the construction of a 4-km Elevated Rail Line on the Rohtak-Gohana stretch in Haryana under Delhi Division of Northern Railways, through video-conference. 
A parallel synchronized ceremony was held at Rohtak. Mr Manish Kumar Grover, Minister for Cooperation, Haryana, presided over the ceremony in Rohtak. 
The elevated line would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 315 crore and help in decongesting Rohtak city, provide safety to road users by eliminating five busy level crossings connecting residential colonies and enable operational flexibility for the Railways, an official press release said.
This will the first elevated rail track of Indian Railways built for facilitating smoother road traffic in densely populated city areas. Out of the cost of Rs. 315 crore, the Railways will spend Rs. 90 crore and the rest will come from the Haryana Government. 
The elevated track would be built adjoining to the existing alignment leaving 12m wide strip for construction of road on railway land and once it is operational, the existing track would be retired. 
The project will be completed by 2018 when the work on bullet train project will start. The tender for preliminary works such as Survey, Geo-Technical investigations and Design & Drawing, and so on has been awarded and work has commenced. 
The elevated tracks are safer as there would not be any trespassing on them. The experiment will also help study how elevated tracks will help ease traffic problems in congested cities and can become an example for resolving urban transportation chaos. 
Constructing elevated corridors will save the hassles of land acquisition that can delay the project. An elevated corridor will be financially more viable compared to the compensation amount to be given to the land owners. Also, it will ensure speedy execution of the project. 
A number of foreign countries have preferred elevated rail corridors.. Globally, a majority of high-speed trains have been operating on elevated corridors. Countries like Japan, France and Germany have developed elevated corridors for their high-speed trains. 

IGL to start CNG supply in Rewari, Haryana by year-end

The public sector Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) has announced plans to start the supply of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG) in Rewari, Haryana by the year-end.
A press release from IGL said here that the company had set up a local office in Rewari for the purpose.
The release said the company had recently been authorized by the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to lay City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in the geographical area of Rewari to provide CNG and PNG.
Mr. E.S. Ranganathan, Managing Director, IGL said the company plans to  bring the convenience of clean fuels like CNG and PNG to the automobiles, domestic kitchens, commercial establishments and industries of the district. He said IGL expects to start CNG supply in Rewari by the end of the year at one retail outlet of an oil marketing company (OMC). Thereafter, it plans to start two or three IGL owned CNG stations apart from CNG fuelling facilities at OMC retail outlets within two years.
On the PNG front, IGL has plans to start supply of domestic cooking gas through pipe to households in Dharuhera and Bawal in a year's time.  IGL aims to provide 5000 piped gas connections to domestic kitchens in three years. The cost of the project is expected to be around Rs 150 crore over a period of two years. In the first year, 40-50 kms of gas pipeline network is expected to be laid in Rewari district.
IGL is a joint venture of the public sector GAIL (India) Limited and BPCL.

Magnitude 4.1 earthquake jolts Jhajjar in Haryana, tremors felt in Delhi, Gurgaon

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale, jolted the Jhajjar region of Haryana, about 60 km from here, and the tremors were felt in the national capital and Gurgaon.
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 76.6 °E, occurred at 2057 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.

CBI raids premises of former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda in alleged land scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today conducted searches at the premises of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and others in connection with an alleged land scam at Manesar in the state.
In all, the agency carried out searches at about 24 locations in the case, which relates to alleged irregularities in the purchase of land from farmers and landowners in Gurgaon district.
The raids were conducted at Rohtak, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Delhi, among other places, CBI sources said.
Apart from Mr. Hooda, the CBI officials searched the offices and residential premises of a senior serving bureaucrat, Mr. S. S. Dhillon, and two retired IAS officers, Mr. M. L. Tayal and Mr. Chattar Singh, the sources said.
"The incriminating documents/materials recovered during searches are being scrutinized," a press release from the CBI said.
The CBI had registered a case in the matter on September 15, 2015 against "unknown public servants of Haryana Government and unknown private persons" and taken over the investigation of FIR No. 510 dated 12.08.2015 registered at Police Station Manesar under sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 & 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, on the request of the State Government and directions of the Central Government.
It was alleged that the private builders, in conspiracy with certain public servants of Haryana Government including important functionaries and others, had purchased around 400 acres of land from the farmers and land owners of village Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula in Gurgoan at throwaway prices, under the threat and false apprehension of acquisition by the Government, during the period August 2004 to August 2007. 
In this process, initially the Government of Haryana had issued notifications under various sections of Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of land measuring about 912 acres for setting up an Industrial Model Township, the allegations said.
As a result of this, a large number of land owners, in haste, had allegedly sold their land at throwaway prices. It was further alleged that the land, about 400 acres, had been grabbed from the land owners by the private builders under the threat of acquisition at meagre rates. 
An order was also allegedly passed by the Competent Authority in Government on 24.08.2007 releasing this land from the acquisition process in violation of the government policy and the licenses/CLU were issued to the private builders. 
An alleged loss of approximately Rs.1500 crore was caused to the land owners in the matter, the complaint said.

Former Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana Governor A R Kidwai passes away

A R Kidwai
A R Kidwai
Dr. Akhlaq Ur Rahman Kidwai, a distinguished scientist and educationist who also served as the Governor of Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana, passed away at a private hospital here today after a brief illness.
He was 96. He is survived by two sons and four daughters. His wife Jamila Kidwai had predeceased him. His funeral will be held tomorrow, sources said.
According to them, he was admitted to the Escorts Hospital here about ten days ago after complaining of breathing difficulties.
Dr. Kidwai served as Governor of Bihar from 1979 to 1985 and again from 1993 to 1998. He also served as Governor of West Bengal from 1998 to 1999 and Haryana from 2004 to 2009.
In between, he also held charge for some time as Governor of Punjab and of Rajasthan and Administrator of Delhi. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 2000 to 2004.
Born on July 1, 1920 in Baragaon village of Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh, took a BA degree from Jamia Milia Islamia University here and went on to complete M. Sc. at the University of Illinois in the United States and Ph. D. from Cornell University, also in the US.
He worked as Professor and Head of the Department of Chemistry and the Dean of the Faculty of Science at the Aligarh Muslim University. He also served as Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) from 1974-77. He was Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University from 1983 to 1992.
Dr. Kidwai was associated with several bodies, incuding the National Committee on Science and Technology, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Central Advisory Board of Education and the Central Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
The Government honoured him with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian award, in 2011.

Minor earthquake shakes Mahendragarh region of Haryana

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, shook the Mahendragarh region of Haryana this afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.1 N and longitude 76.1 E, occurred at 1450 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
Earlier in the day, an earthquake, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, jolted Kohima region of Nagaland this morning.
The tremor, which had its epicentre at latitude 25.5 N and longitude 93.6 E, occurred at 1058 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.

Minor earthquake shakes Mahendragarh region of Haryana

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, shook the Mahendragarh region of Haryana this afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.1 N and longitude 76.1 E, occurred at 1450 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.

Wrestler Sakshi Malik wins bronze to end India's medal drought

Haryana’s 23-year-old woman wrestler Sakshi Malik ended India's medal drought in the ongoing Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday by winning a bronze to finally give millions of fans back home something to celebrate.

Rio 2016: Sakshi Malik wins bronze in wrestling
Haryana’s 23-year-old woman wrestler Sakshi Malik ended India's medal drought in the ongoing Olympic Games here on Wednesdayby winning a bronze to finally give millions of fans back home something to celebrate. 
In her second repechage and medal round, the Indian trailed 0-5  with only two minutes to go. But the diminutive Sakshi staged a stunning comeback and overwhelmed bewildered Asian champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan as she clocked eight points to  claim India's first ever women's wrestling medal in the Olympics.
The Indians erupted in joy as there was more of a sense of relief of having won a medal with only three days to go before the  competitions end in this edition of the Olympic Games.
Sakshi started tentatively in the first round and was cautioned twice by the referee for being too negative, following which Tynybekova  managed  to collect four points on the bounce with swift grabs of  the Indian’s legs to take a 5-0 lead.
Realizing that it was a do-or-die situation for her, the Indian  retaliated with such swiftness that Tynybekova was taken aback by surprise.
Salshi knew that she had no option but to go all out on the offensive  and that is what she did. Her rattled rival, however, was able to keep her defence intact to begin with.
But as time ticked away, Sakshi became more aggressive and was able to bring herself to parity with just a few seconds left, scoring 2, 2 and 1.
In the dying moments, the score was 5-5, the bronze was within reach of Tynybekova as she had pulled off the higher scoring manoeuvre for the match. But Sakshi took the attack to her opponent in the last five seconds and was able to turn her over at the edge of the danger zone.
The score was 7-5 as the time ran out, and the Indians started celebrating but Tynybekova refused to give up and lodged a protest. The referral was rejected and a penalty point added to Sakshi to make it an 8-5 win on points.
“I am proud that I got my country the first medal in this Olympics,” a visibly thrilled Sakshi told mediapersons after the win.
“I am very sure that this medal will open the door for many more to come in the next three days. I am confident that my fellow wrestlers will come up with more medal winning performances," she said.
Asked what happened in the first in which she conceded five points besides getting cautioned by the referee, Sakshi said that her rival  was trying to twist her little finger. "I was trying to get out of it. I could not attack her in  this situation," she said.
“It was during the break that my coach advised me that only three minutes are left, so don’t trying to get into hand to hand contest but attack her from outside and  that paid off," she said.
She said, “Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar are my idols.They both have won Olympic medals and I am happy that I followed their footsteps."
Earlier also, Sakshi had to come from behind to beat Johanna Mattsson of Sweden 5-4 and then Mariana Cherdivara 5-5 to set up a quarter-final clash with former world championship silver medallist Valeriia Koblova of Russia.
Koblova defeated Sakshi 9-2 and then went through to set up a final against Kaori Icho of Japan, which opened a window for Sakshi to  hope for a bronze via repechage.
She beat Orkhon Purevdorj of Mongolia 12-3 to set up the bronze medal match against Tynybekova.
Interestingly, in 2008, Sushil Kumar also won a bronze after getting a chance in repechage. Four years later, Yogeshwar Dutt also bagged a bronze in London in repechage.

Cabinet okays transfer of land from IISWC to HUDA

The Union Cabinet yesterday gave its approval for transfer of 13,290.30 square meters of land belonging to the Indian Institute of Soil & Water Conservation (IISWC) Research Centre at Chandigarh to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for construction of 60 meters Peripheral Master Road in Mansa Devi Complex (MDC), Panchkula.
An official press release said that the land would be transferred at the collector rate applicable as on date.
The Cabinet also approved the transfer of 178.75 square meters of land belonging to HUDA to the IISWC Research Centre, Chandigarh. 
There will also be a mutual exchange of 410 square meters of land between IISWC Research Centre and HUDA, the release added.

Massive traffic jam after rains in Gurgaon leaves commuters stranded for hours

Thousands of commuters were caught in traffic jams that lasted for hours after repeated spells of rainfall led to water-logging on the stretch of National Highway-8 from Delhi to Gurgaon as well as in many of the other parts of the "Millennium City" in Haryana since Thursday night.

Massive traffic jams on Delhi-Gurgaon highway
Thousands of commuters were caught in traffic jams that lasted for hours after repeated spells of rainfall led to water-logging on the stretch of National Highway (NH)-8 from Delhi to Gurgaon as well as in many of the other parts of the "Millennium City" in Haryana since last night.
Traffic police officials struggled to cope with the crisis and the authorities in Gurgaon urged people in Delhi and other areas to avoid travel to the city.
Schools in Gurgaon were closed for today and tomorrow and several offices reported low attendance as their employees preferred to work from home for the day rather than spend hours in traffic trying to get to their workplaces.
"Traffic Situation in Gurgaon especially on Nh8 and SOHNA Rd is congested and very slow due to rains and flooding. Avoid if possible," Gurgaon Police said on Twitter this morning.
"People coming to Gurgaon from Delhi are advised to stay back today to avoid being stuck in Traffic Jams due to flooding on roads," the police said, and kept posting updtates on the situation on the micro-blogging site.
The problem began yesterday evening after heavy rains which left thousands of commuters stranded on the roads for hours. Many people had to abandon their vehicles on the road after running out of fuel and walk long distances before they reached home. The abandoned vehicles worsened the situation on some roads.
The Haryana Chief Secretary held an emergency meeting of top officials to take stock of the situation.
In Delhi, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to take immediate steps to end the crisis.
The jam on the section, which is on the Delhi-Jaipur route, also affected traffic towards Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Many residents of Gurgaon and commuters were all praise for the efforts made by the city police in handling the crisis. Policemen stood in knee-deep water for hours to direct the traffic and also helped push vehicles which were stuck on the roads.

Legendary hockey star Mohammed Shahid passes away

Mohammed Shahid
Mohammed Shahid
Mohammed Shahid, one of India's greatest hockey players and a member of the team that won the gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, died at a private hospital in Gurgaon, near here, today after a brief illness.
He was 56. He is survived by his wife Parveen Shahid and twin children -- son Mohammad Saif and daughter Heena Shahid.
According to sources, Shahid was being treated for liver and kidney problems. He was initially admitted, on June 29, to a hosptial in Varanasi and later flown to Delhi and admitted to the Medanta Medicity Hospital at Gurgaon.
Shahid, who played in the forward position, was a legendary player in his time. He was part of the Indian hockey team in the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. He was the captain of the Indian team in the 1986 Asian Games. He was also a member of the Indian team which won silver in the 1982 Asian Games held in Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise of Shahid. "In the untimely & unfortunate demise of Mohammed Shahid, India has lost a talented sportsman who played with immense passion & vigour," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"We tried our level best to save Mohammed Shahid but sadly, neither our help nor prayers were enough to save him. Tributes to him. RIP,” he said.
Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel visited Shahid's residence and conveyed deep sorrow and sympathies to the bereaved members of Shahid's family on behalf of Mr. Modi and on his own behalf.
Mr. Goel said that in his death the country had lost a legendary player. He said Shahid's life and career would always inspire the young generation of players to perform at their best and bring laurels to the country in international events such as Olympics.
Mr. Goel had last week visited Shahid in hospital.
Born on April 14, 1960, Shahid, who was known for his dribbling skills, made his first appearance for India in the junior team at the Junior World Cup in France in 1979.
He made his debut in the senior team in the same year in a four-nation tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
Apart from dribbling, Shahid was also known for his running ability and his fast push. He and Zafar Iqbal formed a formidable attacking pair.
Like many other Indian hocky stars of those times, Shahid was a product of the Sports College in Lucknow.
He was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1980-81 and the Padma Shri in 1986.

Progress under urban missions in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh to be reviewed

Implementation of new Urban Missions -- the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart City Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission -- in the States of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh will be reviewed at a meeting in Chandigarh today.
Mr Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development), along with concerned Mission Directors from the Ministry of Urban Development, Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, Advisor to the Administrator of Chandigarh and concerned officials besides some Municipal Commissioners will attend the day-long review meetings to be held separately state-wise at the Secretariats of Punjab, Haryana and UT Guest House. 
District Collectors and other field officials will participate in the review through video-conferencing, an official press release said.
These meetings are being held as a part of State-wise review meetings being held by the Ministry of Urban Development. Such reviews have so far been held in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Jaipur and Visakhapatnam.
As many as 20 cities in Haryana, 16 in Punjab and Chandigarh have been included in the Atal Mission which is aimed at improving basic urban infrastructure relating to water supply, sewerage networks, storm water drains, urban transport and open and green spaces.
For the year 2015-16 under AMRUT, an expenditure of Rs. 408 crore has been approved for Haryana, Rs. 710 crore for Punjab and Rs. 573 crore for Chandigarh for improving basic infrastructure in mission cities. 
The Central Government has agreed to provide an assistance of Rs. 219 crore for Haryana, Rs. 276 crore for Chandigarh and Rs. 319 crore for Punjab for the State Annual Action Plans approved for 2015-16. Action Plans for 2016-17 of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh under AMRUT will be considered for approval soon.
Under Smart City Mission, Ludhiana in Punjab was selected among the first batch of smart cities and the Ministry has approved Ludhiana’s Smart City Plan with a proposed investment of Rs. 1,049 crore. The Ministry of Urban Development has already released Rs. 200 crore for 2015-16 for Ludhiana.
Faridabad in Haryana and Chandigarh have been subsequently selected among the second batch of 13 smart cities in a Fast Track Competition.
Under Swachh Bharat Mission, Central assistance of Rs. 56 crore has been released to Punjab, Rs. 30 crore for Haryana and Rs. 1.70 crore for Chandigarh.
The Coordination Committee for Development of Chandigarh will also meet today, the release added.

UIDAI launches exercise to cover leftover population

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched an initiative to enrol leftover population for Aadhaar (unique identification numbers) in four States and Union Territories -- Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry.
Aadhaar saturation levels are more than 100% in these four places (as per projected population figure of 2015). Aadhaar saturation can cross 100% when the migrant population also enrolls in that particular state. As on May 12, 2016, over 101.26 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated across the country.
As part of the initiative, people who have not yet enrolled in Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry are being asked to register themselves at
On completing the simple registration formality, such people would be enrolled for the Aadhaar number on a priority basis.
“This exercise has been initiated to ensure that no one is left without an Aadhaar number in these four States/UTs which has more than 100% Aadhaar saturation, statistically speaking. It is part of our overall effort to ensure complete Aadhaar coverage across the country,” said Director General & Mission Director of UIDAI, Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
This pilot exercise in the four States/Union Territories will be conducted between May 13 and June 15. Enrolment request of only persons over the age of 18 years will be accepted on the portal mentioned above.
Providing a mobile number as well as other demographic details is also mandatory as a mobile OTP-based verification will be conducted once the person submits the enrolment request. The person will be then contacted and enrolled on a priority basis through special camps or at the enrolment stations located near him/her. Based on the experience of this pilot, the special drive will be extended to other states too.

Army seeks support of people of Haryana for last rites to officer killed in J&K encounter

The Indian Army today appealed to the people of Haryana to extend their full support in giving a befitting farewell to one of its officers who was killed earlier in the day in an encounter with terrorists in Pampore, Jammu & Kashmir.
Capt. Pawan Kumar, 23, was an officer of the Special Forces, a press release from the Army said.
"The officer was an inspiring leader who inspite of being injured  earlier in an anti-terrorist operation, went on to volunteer for more operations. The young officer belonged to Jind, Haryana," it said.
The mortal remains of the officer will be transported by air to Jind tomorrow as road traffic in the state is disrupted due to the ongoing agitation by Jats for reservation in jobs and colleges. The protesters have blocked roads and railway lines across the state.
"The last rites with full military honours is being planned by the army and state administration at his village tomorrow. The Army appeals to the people of Haryana to extend their full support in giving a befitting farewell to this brave son of their soil," the release added.

Govt. organizes additional flights in view of disruption of road, rail traffic in Haryana

The Ministry of Civil Aviation today said it had organized additional flights to cope with the road and rail blockades put up by Jat protesters seeking reservation in jobs and colleges under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota.
An official press release said national carrier Air India would operate an additional flight on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar-Delhi route this evening. The flight will depart Delhi at 1730 hours, Chandigarh at 1910 hours and Amritsar at 2035 hours.
Low-cost carrier SpiceJet will operate three additional flights today: Delhi (17.55)--Jaipur (1915)--Delhi; Delhi (1740)--Amritsar--(1910) Delhi; and Delhi (2035)--Chandigarh (2200)--Delhi.
Jet Airways will operate an additional flight on the Delhi (1325)--Amritsar (1525)- Delhi route today.
Low-cost carrier IndiGo will operate an additional flight tomorrow on the Delhi (2125)--Chandigarh--Delhi and Delhi (2140)--Jaipur-- Delhi sectors.
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