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Haryana

29 killed, 250 injured in violence after Panchkula court convicts Dera Sacha Sauda chief in rape case

At least 29 people were killed and more than 250 others suffered injuries as thousands of followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh went on the rampage after he was convicted in a rape case by a special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana on Friday.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
At least 29 people were killed and more than 250 others suffered injuries as thousands of followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh went on the rampage after he was convicted in a rape case by a special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana today.
 
The quantum of punishment for the 50-year-old self-styled godman will be pronounced on August 28. Meanwhile, he was taken into judicial custody and flown in a helicopter from Panchkula to Rohtak, where he was lodged in a special jail.
 
Police officials said 28 people had died in Panchkula, which bore the brunt of today's violence, several of them in police firing. There were clashes between Ram Rahim's supporters and the police in Sirsa, where the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters are located.
 
One person died and four people suffered injuries in police firing in Sirsa, where the situation remained tense, with large numbers of Ram Rahim's followers gathered inside the Dera headquarters.
 
The officials said the police had been able to clear the mobs off the streets in all other towns in Haryana.
 
About 60 policemen also suffered injuries in today's incidents, including two senior superintendents of police and one deputy superintendent of police, they said.
 
In Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who returned during the day from a visit to Kyrgyz Republic, spoke to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and discussed the situation with them. Mr. Rajnath Singh assured them of all necessary assistance from the Centre.
 
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said he had talked to the Chief Secretary of Haryana who had told him that the situation was being brought under control. "The situation is tense but under control," he said, adding that the Centre was monitoring the situation continuously.
 
Thousands of Singh's supporters had gathered at different points in Panchkula and other parts of Haryana and Punjab and violence erupted shortly after news of his conviction came.
 
 
29 dead as Dera followers bring Panchkula to its knees
In Panchkula, scores of vehicles, including fire tenders, outdoor broadcast vans of television news channels and two-wheelers were set ablaze. The mobs also attacked some government property. Police used teargas, lathi-charges, pellet guns and finally resorted to firing to disperse the mobs.
 
A former follower of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had accused him of repeatedly raping her inside the Dera campus near Sirsa in Haryana in 1999. The first information report in the case had been filed in 2002.
 
The mobs targetted media vehicles and attacked some journalists reporting from the scene.
 
Incidents of violence were also reported from various other places in Haryana as well as Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi.
 
In Delhi, some buses in Jahangirpuri and other localities and two coaches of a train parked in the railway yard at Anand Vihar were partially burnt after they were set on fire by miscreants. Police said reinforcements had been rushed to all affected and patrolling had been stepped up all across the city. The situation was under control, they added.
 
Though thousands of policemen had been deployed in Panchkula and elsewhere in Haryana to prevent any untoward incident, they were unable cope with the wave of violence that started after the verdict was pronounced. Police used teargas shells to try and disperse the mobs. Curfew was imposed in some towns of Punjab.
 
Television pictures showed ambulances bringing scores of injured persons to the government hospital there.
 
The Railways had, as a precautionary measure, cancelled some 300 mail, express and passenger trains passing through  Haryana in the past few days.
 
The Centre had sent several companies of central armed police forces to Haryana at the request of the state government and the Army's assistance had been sought at some places.
 
Mr. Khattar urged people to stay calm and maintain peace. He said strict action would be taken against those who disturb the peace and took law into their own hands.
 
In Gurgaon, near here, the police staged a flag march which passed through Kherki Daula, IMT Manesar, Bilaspur, sohna, Bhondsi and Badshapur as a precautionary measure.
 
"A close watch is being kept on the anti-social elements and miscreants who try to take advantages of such situation," a press release from Gurgaon Police said.
 
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the "instances of violences" were "deeply distressing". He said he strongly condemned the violence and urged everyone to maintain peace.
 
"The instances of violence today are deeply distressing. I strongly condemn the violence & urge everyone to maintain peace," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"The law & order situation is being closely monitored. I reviewed the situation with the NSA & Home Secretary," he said.
 
"Urged officials to work round the clock to restore normalcy and provide all possible assistance that is required," he added.
 
In Delhi, the police has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, banning the assembly of five or more persons, as a precautionary measure in 11 districts, including New Delhi.
 
"Adequate police arrangements in place & Law & Order situation under control. Officers with reserve force on rounds to maintain peace," the Commissioner of Police said on Twitter.
 
"Appeal to all to maintain peace & order. #DelhiPolice on full alert. Strict legal action will be taken against miscreants for any violation," he added.
 
Meanwhile, the Congress has demanded the resignation of Mr. Khattar and urged the Prime Minister to put the interests and safety of Indians before his party's interests.
 
Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed grave concern and shock at the violence.
 
Ms. Gandhi spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh about the situation. She urged the Governments of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to ensure the safety and security of citizens. She also appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony.
 
"Violence & brutality have no place in our society. Condemn the rampage and lawlessness in Haryana & appeal to restore peace and tranquility," Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.
 
Mr. Amarinder Singh appealed to the people of Punjab to maintain peace and harmony. "We won't allow anyone to disturb the peace and tranquility of our state," he added.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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. 
 
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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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Delhi Metro's City Park (Bahadurgarh)-Mundka corridor ready for operations

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The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today said that passenger services on its City Park (Bahadurgarh)--Mundka Metro corridor will begin from 4 pm tomorrow.
 
As per the time table for the entire Inderlok/Kirti Nagar--City Park section, a total of 20 trains will be put into service, a press release from DMRC said.
 
Every alternate train from Mundka will go up to City Park in Bahadurgarh and a frequency of around 8 minutes will be maintained between Mundka and City Park. 
 
The total running time between Inderlok/Kirti Nagar and City Park (Bahadurgarh) will be about 50 minutes, the release said.
 
With  this, Bahadurgarh will become the third place in Haryana to get metro connectivity, after Gurgaon and Faridabad.
 
The 11.183 km elevated section will not only connect the national capital with Bahadurgarh but will also provide connectivity to many outer Delhi areas of the western fringes of the city such as Mundka, Ghevra and Tikri Kalan. 
 
With the opening of this section, the Delhi Metro network will expand to 288 kilometres with 208 stations.
 
There are seven elevated stations on  the 11.183 km section -- Mundka industrial Area, Ghevra, Tikri Kalan and Tikri Border in Delhi and Modern Industrial Estate, Bus Stand and City Park in Haryana.
 
After the completion of this corridor, the entire Inderlok/Kirti Nagar – Bahadurgarh section will become 29.64 kilometres long. Haryana already has over 21 kilometres of Delhi Metro lines. With this section, the Delhi Metro section in Haryana will expand to 25.8 kilometres.
 
Bahadurgarh is an upcoming urban settlement in the Jhajjar district of Haryana, which has many industrial units and a population of 1.7 lakh people. Similarly, Mundka also has an industrial area where many people travel every day for their professional requirements, the release said.
 
The Bahadurgarh Industrial Area houses many industrial units and is a source of employment for lakhs of people who travel there from Delhi. Besides, Bahadurgarh has also developed into an educational hub and houses many universities and colleges. Many students travel to these institutes from Delhi every day. This connection will be of great help to them also, it said.
 
"Many areas of Outer Delhi in the western parts of the national capital will be benefitted. The Mundka Industrial Area also has many industrial units. This apart the localities of Ghevra, Tikri Kalan will be connected by the Metro for the first time," it said.
 
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Rains bring relief to Punjab, Haryana

(Photo: IANS)
(Photo: IANS)
Rainfall in parts of Punjab and Haryana on Sunday brought relief from the heat wave and dusty conditions prevailing over the region in the past few days.
 
At many places, the maximum temperature hovered in the 23-25 degrees mark, making the weather quite pleasant.
 
Chandigarh and its surrounding areas were lashed by rain since Saturday evening.
 
The maximum temperature in the capital city of Punjab and Haryana was 29.4, nine degrees below the average on Saturday.
 
The city and nearby areas continued to get intermittent rain on Sunday and the skies remained overcast.
 
"Chandigarh saw such a bad weather in the past over one week. First there was a heat wave followed by two days of very dusty weather. The rain has brought so much relief," Manju Malhotra, a homemaker in Panchkula town, said.
 
All flights to and from the Chandigarh airport were cancelled on Thursday and Friday due to dusty conditions. Hundreds of passengers were affected by the flight disruption. Flight operation resumed on Saturday.
 
The Met Department has forecast light to moderate rainfall in several areas of both states till Monday.
 
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Haryana puts sports notification on hold after controversy

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Within hours of a controversy generated by the issuing of a notification asking sportspersons to deposit one-third of their earnings with the Haryana Sports Council, the state government put the notification on hold.
 
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar tweeted that he had put the notification on hold and called for the file.
 
"I have asked for the relevant file of Sports Department to be shown to me & the notification dated 30th April to be put on hold till further orders.We are proud of the immense contribution by our sportspersons & I assure them of a just consideration of all issues affecting them," Khattar tweeted on Friday evening.
 
The Haryana government had flak from the sporting fraternity over the move to seek one-third earnings of its sportspersons who have government jobs.
 
The state government had earlier on Friday defended its decision to do so. The notification issued by the Sports and Youth Welfare Department Principal Secretary Ashok Khemka had directed sportspersons from Haryana to hand over one third of their earnings from professional events and endorsement to the sports council.
 
"One third of the income of sportspersons from professional sports or commercial endorsement will be deposited with the Haryana State Sports Council. The money shall be used for development of sports in the state," the order signed by Khemka on April 27 read.
 
Though the move has drawn widespread condemnation from athletes, Sports Minister Anil Vij as well as Khemka, a senior IAS officer, defended the move.
 
"There is nothing new in this decision. It is an old government rule. Under Rule 56, if a government employee earns professional or commercial income, he has to deposit one third of the earning with the state government. We had allowed (international boxer) Vijender Singh to play professionally. The (Punjab and Haryana) High Court asked us to frame rules in this regard. We have brought out the rules now," Vij said on Friday.
 
Khemka said the notification had been issued after the state gave an assurance to the court that the Haryana government would bring a policy vis-a-vis those who play professional sports.
 
"Normally, government employees are not allowed to play professional sports. The money will be used for the benefit of sportspersons only," he said.
 
On the other hand, star wrestler Geeta Phogat told a TV channel: "This new rule makes a mockery of sportspersons. There is no such rule for cricketers who earn much more than those from other sports. Cricketers make a lot of money from endorsement but those from other sports like boxing, kabaddi, and wrestling do not earn much." 
 
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"If we give up a third of our earnings, what will be left for us?" she asked.
 
International sportspersons like wrestler Sushil Kumar and others have also questioned Haryana's move to "take away the hard-earned money of sportspersons". The notification has a direct bearing on a number of international and national sportspersons from Haryana, employed by various state government departments.
 
That is not all. 
 
Sportspersons employed by government departments and participating in professional sports or commercial endorsements with the approval to be treated as on duty will have to deposit their full income with the council.
 
"In case a sportsperson is treated on duty with the prior approval of the competent authority while taking part in professional sports or commercial endorsement, the full income earned by the sportsperson on this account will be deposited with the Sports Council," the notification added.
 
Sportspersons from Haryana, including several women, have brought laurels to the country in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in recent years.
 
As many as 22 of the 66 medals won by India at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April were won by sportspersons from Haryana.
 
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Former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi on life support

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

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A man, appearing to be in his mid-20s, was on Monday found hanging in an underpass of the Delhi-Gurugram expressway near Rajiv Chowk here, police said.
 
The deceased, who could not be identified, seemed to have committed suicide, police said, but added that no suicide note was found. 
 
"Prima facie it seems a case of suicide. We are waiting for the post-mortem report that would be conducted after 72 hours if the body remained unidentified," said a police officer.
 
The underpass where the body was found was almost complete but currently not operational.
 
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Man crushed to death by Metro in Gurugram

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A 40-year-old man was on Saturday crushed to death after coming in between an on-coming Delhi Metro train and its platform in Gurugram, police said.
 
The deceased, identified as Bhura Singh, was native of a village in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
 
According to the police, Singh was living with his son Ashwin in Kasan village near Manesar. Both were manual labourers.
 
Singh had gone to his village in Kanpur and returned on Saturday.
 
"He (deceased Singh) boarded the Metro from Delhi and got down at HUDA City Centre Metro Station on Platform No. 1. In a hurry to get out of the station fast, instead of using the stairs or escalator, he tried crossing the tracks to reach Platform No. 2," said a police officer.
 
But as he was about to jump on to the other platform, he saw a train coming towards him and became nervous.
 
"A woman on the platform also tried to pull him up from the tracks, but it was too late. He came in between the train and the platform, was dragged for a few meters and died on the spot," the officer said.
 
The deceased was identified by his son.
 
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Kummanam Rajasekharan, Ganeshi Lal appointed as Governors of Mizoram, Odisha

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President Ram Nath Kovind today appointed Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kummanam Rajasekharan as the new Governor of Mizoram.
 
He will succeed Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma, who will complete his tenure on May 28, a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
The President has also appointed Prof. Ganeshi Lal, Haryana BJP leader and former state minister, as the new Governor of Odisha, with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
 
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After heat wave, dust storm follows in Punjab, Haryana

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Heat wave conditions continued to prevail in most parts of Haryana and Punjab on Saturday with the mercury soaring to 45 degrees in Hisar town in Haryana.
 
However, Chandigarh and its surrounding areas and some parts of Haryana and Punjab were hit by a dust storm on Saturday evening followed by light rain, giving relief from the sweltering weather.
 
The day temperatures at most places in both states were in the 40-45 degrees Celsius mark.
 
Narnaul town in Haryana sizzled at 44.5 degrees, while Bhiwani saw a high of 44 degrees. Chandigarh recorded a high of 40.6 degrees.The maximum temperatures were two to five degrees above average, Met Department officials said here.
 
Amritsar city in Punjab recorded 40.1 degrees, while Patiala and Ludhiana recorded 40.6 and 41.6 degrees, respectively.
 
The Met Department said heat wave conditions would prevail over the region in the coming days. Some places are likely to witness thunderstorms on May 13.
 
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Thunderstorms likely in NCR including Rohtak, Jind

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Thunderstorm with light rain and strong winds is expected in the National Capital Region (NCR), including Jind, Rohtak and Bhiwani, the weather office warned late Monday evening.
 
"Thunderstorms with light rain and strong winds would occur over NCR, including Hisar, Jind, Rohtak, Bhiwani and Narnaul, during the next two hours," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in the release.
 
Earlier, the Haryana government closed schools for two days -- Monday and Tuesday -- as a preventive measure following the thunderstorm warning.
 
The Delhi government on Monday said that in view of the Met office warning for various parts of India, including the national capital, all city schools would remain closed in the afternoon shift on Tuesday.
 
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Rains lash Chandigarh; Haryana, Punjab on storm alert

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Early morning rains lashed Chandigarh and surrounding areas on Monday while authorities in Haryana and Punjab remained on high alert following a storm advisory issued by the Met Department.
 
Schools in Haryana were ordered to remain closed for two days (Monday and Tuesday) as a preventive measure in view of the weather warning.
 
A few private schools in Chandigarh also announced closure for two days.
 
The maximum temperatures at most places in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh remained between 31.5 to 38.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday with rainfall at some places and overcast sky at several in others.
 
The Met office has predicted thunderstorms, accompanied by strong winds and rain, in Haryana and Punjab and Punjab starting from Monday to Wednesday.
 
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Six dead as Dalit protests turn violent in different states

Six persons were killed and dozens injured as Dalit protests during a day-long nation-wide shutdown on Monday turned violent in India amid anger against a Supreme Court order that dilutes a law aimed at preventing atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

 
Bharat Bandh over "dilution" of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
Six persons were killed and dozens injured as Dalit protests during a day-long nation-wide shutdown on Monday turned violent in India amid anger against a Supreme Court order that dilutes a law aimed at preventing atrocities against Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
 
The government, in a bid to pacify the agitated activists, said it had filed a petition in the apex court seeking a review of its March 20 order that bars automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of Dalits and others. But the top court denied an urgent hearing of the matter.
 
Protesters clashed with police in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha -- states where normal life was paralysed in varying degrees amid incidences of violence and arson.
 
The central government rushed 800 anti-riot policemen to violence-hit Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
 
A Home Ministry official in Delhi said two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were sent to Meerut and one company each to Agra and Hapur in Uttar Pradesh.
 
Clashes turned deadly in Madhya Pradesh where five persons were killed and dozens injured, forcing officials to impose curfew in Morena, Gwalior and Bhind districts. Protests were also held Bhopal as agitators blocked roads in the state capital.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made a passionate appeal for peace.
 
Police said one person each was killed in Bhind and Morena while three died in Gwalior. The dead in Morena was identified as Rahul Pathak, a student leader. 
 
Gwalior District Magistrate Rahul Jain told IANS that at least 22 persons were injured, some critically, in clashes in his district, where prohibitory orders banning large gatherings were also imposed.
 
"Three people have been conformed dead in Gwalior." Jain said.
 
A man identified as Pawan Kumar was killed in Rajasthan's Alwar as violence was also reported from other parts of the state including Jaipur, Ajmer. Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
 
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Punjab and Haryana also saw widespread protests.
 
Shops, educational institutions and other establishments remained closed and Class 10 and 12 examinations were deferred in Punjab, which has the highest concentration of Scheduled Castes, constituting nearly 32 per cent its 2.8 crore population.
 
Hundreds of protesters carrying swords, sticks, baseball bats and flags forced shopkeepers and other establishments in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Bathinda too shut down.
 
Protests also took place in Rohtak and other towns of neighbouring Haryana.
 
In Bihar, activists disrupted rail and road traffic. Mobs shut down markets and shops as well as educational institutions, police said.
 
Supporters of the Bhim Army and other Dalit outfits halted over three dozen long-distance and local trains, stranding thousands of passengers.
 
Violence was reported from Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Nawada, Patna and Bhagalpur when protestors clashed with police.
 
Violence also erupted in parts of Uttar Pradesh as protesters attacked shops, looted some and pelted stones at police in Hapur, Agra, Meerut, Saharanpur and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi.
 
Many cars were targeted and their window panes smashed. At some places, government property was targeted. 
 
Some people reportedly fired at a police team in Meerut while a passenger bus was set on fire. 
 
Also in Meerut, over 500 Dalit youths targeted the media and broke their cameras as they were trying to photograph the protests. 
 
Gujarat's major towns and cities also saw protests by Dalits amid reports of vandalism from Ahmedabad and Jamnagar.
 
Amid widespread anger and violence, the Modi government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court to seek recall of its judgment that ruled that there would be no automatic arrest of an accused following a complaint moved under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
 
The Supreme Court had held on March 20 that police will hold an inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the complaint filed under the act before acting on it. 
 
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government "with due respect, does not agree with the reasoning given by the apex court".
 
IANS
 
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Two killed as violence grips India amid Dalit protests

Two persons were killed and many injured as violence gripped parts of India on Monday as Dalit groups enforced a day-long country-wide shutdown against a Supreme Court order they say dilutes a law to prevent atrocities against the marginalized Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

 
Bharat Bandh over "dilution" of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act
Two persons were killed and many injured as violence gripped parts of India on Monday as Dalit groups enforced a day-long country-wide shutdown against a Supreme Court order they say dilutes a law to prevent atrocities against the marginalized Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).
 
The government, in a bid to pacify the agitated Dalit activists, said it had filed a petition in the apex court seeking a review of its March 20 order that bars automatic arrest and registration of cases for alleged harassment of Dalits and others.
 
Protesters clashed with police in Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Odisha -- states where normal life was paralyzed in varying degrees amid incidences of violence and arson.
 
Clashes turned deadly in Madhya Pradesh where two persons were killed and dozens injured, forcing authorities to impose curfew at many places. Police said one person was killed in Bhind and the other in Morena.
 
Gwalior District Magistrate Rahul Jain told IANS that at least 22 persons were injured, some critically, in clashes in his district, where prohibitory orders banning large gatherings were also imposed. 
 
Protesters blocked rail tracks and set fire to vehicles, with plumes of fire and smoke seen on near barren roads.
 
The Madhya Pradesh government called the Army to control the situation in Bhind, Morena and Gwalior.
 
Punjab and Haryana also saw widespread protests.
 
Shops, educational institutions and other establishments remained closed and Class 10 and 12 examinations were deferred in Punjab, which has the highest concentration of Scheduled Castes, constituting nearly 32 per cent its 2.8 crore population.
 
Hundreds of protesters carrying swords, sticks, baseball bats and flags forced shopkeepers and other establishments in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Bathinda to shut down.
 
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Protests also took place in Rohtak and other towns of neighbouring Haryana.
 
In Bihar, activists disrupted rail and road traffic. Mobs shut down markets and shops as well as educational institutions, police said.
 
Supporters of the Bhim Army and other Dalit outfits halted over three dozen long-distance and local trains, stranding thousands of passengers.
 
"Train services have been badly disrupted due to the protest," an East Central Railway official told IANS.
 
Violence was reported from Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Nawada, Patna and Bhagalpur when protestors clashed with police.
 
Violence also erupted in parts of Uttar Pradesh as protesters attacked shops, looted some and pelted stones at police in Hapur, Agra, Meerut and Saharanpur.
 
Many cars were targeted and their window panes smashed. At some places, government property was targeted. 
 
Some people reportedly fired at a police team in Meerut while a passenger bus was set on fire. Pro-reservation groups indulged in vandalism at the Muzaffarnagar railway station, stoning the Kocchi Express.
 
Also in Meerut, over 500 Dalit youths targeted the media and broke their cameras as they were trying to photograph the protests. 
 
Amid widespread anger and violence, the government filed a review petition in the Supreme Court to seek recall of its judgment that ruled that there would be no automatic arrest of an accused following a complaint moved under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
 
The Supreme Court had held on March 20 that police will hold an inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the complaint filed under the act before acting on it. 
 
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government "with due respect, does not agree with the reasoning given by the apex court".
 
He said senior government lawyers "will argue this matter with all their legal preparations and authority that this judgment needs to be reconsidered". 
 
IANS
 
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Protests against dilution of SC/ST Act hit Punjab, Haryana

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Activists from various Scheduled Castes (SC) organisations held protests in Punjab and Haryana against the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act following a Supreme Court order.
 
Hundreds of protesters carrying swords, sticks, baseball bats and flags forced shopkeepers and other establishments in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Bathinda to shut down.
 
According to reports, some protesters tried to stop a train in Amritsar district earlier on Monday morning but relented following talks with railway officials. 
 
Demonstrators also entered the Jalandhar Cantt railway station, shouting slogans and burnt effigies on the tracks. 
 
Some highways and roads were also blocked. Traffic in and around Chandigarh was severely affected.
 
Protests were also reported from Rohtak and other towns in neighbouring Haryana.
 
Shops, educational institutions and other establishments remained closed in Punjab. The final practical examinations of Class 10 and 12 of Punjab School Education Board, which were scheduled to be held on Monday, will now be held on April 11.
 
Various SC organisations will submit memorandums to district officers against the dilution of the Act.
 
The Punjab government on Sunday ordered a security clampdown across the state as a precautionary measure in view of Monday's protest.
 
The state has the highest concentration of scheduled castes among states. They constitute nearly 32 per cent of the state's 2.8 crore population.
 
Mobile internet services have been suspended from 5 p.m. on Sunday till Monday evening.
 
Noting that the Central government had already announced its decision to file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh appealed to the SC/ST community to defer its protest till the final decision on the petition comes.
 
IANS
 
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NHAI awards contract for Gurgaon–Sohna road in Haryana

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The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has issued letter of award (LOA) for development of NH-8 (Delhi–Jaipur Highway) in Haryana on Hybrid Annuity Mode.
 
Development of this section of Dwarka Expressway will ensure seamless and safe movement of traffic between Delhi-Gurgaon and help in decongestion of existing Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, an official press release said.
 
This involves six-laning and strengthening of two separate sections of about nine and 13 kilometres of NH-248A in Gurugram at a cost of Rs 1255.77 crore. The project comprises four minor bridges, a flyover and five foot overbridges (FOBs), it said.
 
This stretch of Gurgaon–Sohna road will provide alternative connectivity of NH-8 to KMP Expressway and also help in decongestion of Delhi-Mumbai Corridor and enhance the efficiency of this stretch, the release added.
 
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NHAI awards contract for Dwarka Expressway in Haryana

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The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has issued Letter of Award (LoA) for Package-4 of Dwarka Expressway from Basai Road Overbridge (RoB) to NH-8–SPR intersection in Haryana under the Bharatmala programme.
 
Development of this section of Dwarka Expressway will ensure seamless and safe movement of traffic between Delhi and Gurgaon and help in decongestion of the existing Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, an official press release said.
 
The eight-lane expressway (NH-248 BB) will be constructed on EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) mode at a cost of Rs 1047.007 crore. The 8.76 km stretch of the road will be constructed by Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T), the release said.
 
The project comprises an 8-lane elevated structure for main carriageway of Dwarka Expressway, trumpet interchange for Manesar Road and cloverleaf interchange with NH-8-SPR intersection. 
 
The completion period of the project is two years with maintenance period of four years. Under the project, a minor bridge will be widened, additional ROBs, five vehicle underpasses (VUP), six bus bays with bus shelter will be erected and four junction improvements will be carried out, the release said.
 
Dwarka Expressway has to be implemented in five packages. The first package of 5.3 km is from Shiv Murti to RuB, the second of 4.2 km from RuB to Haryana border, package 3 from Haryana border to Basai RoB - 10.2 km, package 4 from Basai RoB to NH-8 – SPR intersection - 8.77 Km, and the fifth package - 5 km of Western Airport Connectivity from Dwarka Expressway through tunnel, it added.
 
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BHEL secures Rs. 736 crore order for nuclear steam generators

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had secured an order worth Rs. 736 crore for the supply of steam generators from Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limted (NPCIL). 
 
The order has been received against competitive bidding, a press release from the company said here.
 
The steam generators will be used for a 700 MWe Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) to be installed at Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna (GHAVP) in Fatehabad district of Haryana. The steam generators will be manufactured at the Tiruchirappalli plant of BHEL, it said.
 
BHEL has been a pioneer in the design and development of Nuclear Steam Generators alongwith NPCIL and has so far supplied 38 Steam Generators for various Nuclear power installations in the country. Currently, BHEL manufactured Steam Turbine Generator sets contribute nearly half of the country’s total installed Nuclear power capacity.
 
BHEL is the only Indian company associated with all the three stages of the Indian Nuclear Power Programme - the first stage Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR), the second stage Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) and the third stage Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) and has been a partner for over four decades in the development of the indigenous Nuclear Power Programme since its inception, the release added.
 
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Golf: Top stars in form as players from 31 countries all set for Hero Indian Open 2018

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An international starcast from over 30 countries including six players from the World’s Top-100 are all set to battle it out at the $ 1.75 million dollars Hero Indian Open Golf  to be  played at the Gary Player layout at the DLF Golf and Country Club from March 8 to 11. 
 
The field includes stars from 31 countries from across the world and has among  them a plethora of Order of Merit winners, past champions, Ryder Cup captains and a Major champion.
 
As the flagship event of Indian golf, the Hero Indian Open - which is one of the oldest events in the continent - comes closer, many of the top players have shown excellent form in the run-up to the event. 
 
One of the biggest draws in the event, Emiliano Grillo of Argentina - a teammate of India’s own Anirban Lahiri at the 2017 President's Cup - is coming fresh off a Top-10 finish last week on the PGA Tour. Both Grillo, a past winner on the PGA Tour, and Lahiri are flying in straight from the PGA National in Florida where they played last week.
 
Grillo, who was in Top 20 of three of the four Majors in 2016, is looking very strong once again in 2018. In the current wrap-around season, he already has two Top 10s on the PGA Tour, besides another T-12 in Mexico.
 
India’s Lahiri is also coming off two Top 10s in CIMB Classic and CJ Bridges Cup besides T-14 at Mayakoba, Mexico.
 
Even as the international players hold the spotlight, there will be considerable interest in India’s latest star, Shubhankar Sharma, who also features in his maiden World Golf Championships in Mexico this week. Shubhankar won two titles in the first two months of 2018, at the Joburg Open and the Malaysian Championships.
 
The men in form on the European Tour, Joost Luiten, winner of the NBO Oman Open, as also Chris Wood, who was second at the Oman event and T-13 in Qatar Masters, alongside England’s ever-smiling and hugely popular, Andrew Johnston, T-12 in Oman, are all looking forward to the event. Luiten was also T-12 in Malaysia, where Shubhankar emerged champion.
 
The field also boasts of two Ryder Cup captains of Europe, Darren Clarke - the 2011 Open winner and winner of two other WGC events, and Thomas Bjorn - winner of 21 titles and a former Top-10 world ranked player.
 
Clarke led the European Ryder Cup team in 2016, while Bjorn will be at the helm for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France this year. Bjorn has finished runner-up at a Major as many as three times, including twice at the Open Championships.
 
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“I have heard so much about India and Indian golf that I can’t wait to get there,” said Andrew Johnston, one of most popular players on the European Tour with a massive following.
 
Johnston, who has also had a stint on the US PGA Tour, added, “I simply love Indian food and Shiv Kapur has promised to take me out for an Indian meal and I am looking forward to that. As for golf, Indians like SSP (Chawrasia) and Shubhankar (Sharma) are doing so well, so it will be great to play in India.”
 
Also looking forward to India is Chris Wood, whose six-foot-six inch height will make for a great contrast as he stands alongside the reigning two-time Hero Indian Open winner, the diminutive SSP Chawrasia. The two have played together often on European Tour and were also pitted against each other in the singles at the 2016 EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.
 
On the Indian side, the virtual who’s who of Indian golf will be present and that includes the two players who have accounted for the past three Hero Indian Open titles – Anirban Lahiri in 2015 and Chawrasia in 2016 and 2017. Also present is Siddikur Rahman - winner in 2013.
 
All the five Indian winners on 2017 Asian and European Tours - Shiv Kapur (3 titles), Chawrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Shubhankar - are present in the field.
 
The field also includes the past three winners of the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings – Gavin Green (2017), Scott Hend (2016) and Lahiri (2015).
 
Past champions of HIO:
 
SSP Chawrasia (2017, 2016), Anirban Lahiri (2015), SIddikur Rahman (2013), David Gleeson (2011), Liang Wen-chong (2008), Jyoti Randhawa (2007, 2006, 2000), Thongchai Jaidee (2001), Arjun Atwal (1999).
 
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Khelo India: Haryana beat Jharkhand to win girls hockey gold, Punjab third

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A dying moment goal by Anu helped Haryana pip Jharkhand 2-1 to win the Girls Hockey title and gold in the Khelo India School Games at Dhyan Chand National Stadium,New Delhi on Thursday.
 
Interestingly, both the teams were involved in the first and the last match of the competition. 
 
In the  opening league match, Haryana had beaten Jharkhand 4-2 and  though this morning the margin was cut down to exactly half, still Haryana had  the last laugh.      
 
Earlier,  Punjab  survived  some  anxious moments to put it across Chandigarh 5-4 to claim the bronze.  
 
The final turned out to be an engrossing affair with both the teams giving their best to earn the distinction of  winning the inaugural  competition.
 
However,  the victory margin  is not a true reflection of  domination Haryana girls enjoyed.
 
In the first half,  the winners muffed three good chances, two off penalty corners and one solo effort. Jharkhand, on the other hand, earned six penalty corners but failed to convert any of them. At  half time, Jharkhand led 1-0.
 
Haryana strikers Manju and Komal  spearheaded their team's charge but   could not breach the rival’s crowded defence. The winners were rudely rattled in the 32nd minute  when Jharkhand launched a tearing counter attack and in-form Subhani Bhengra made no mistake in sending the ball home  (1-0) after being set up by Beauty Dung Dung.
 
Eight minutes into the second half, Haryana drew parity with skipper Sharmila scoring off a penalty corner (1-1). Spurred by this equalizer, the winners went flat out on  the offensive, forcing their rivals to retreat.
 
Having taken control of the mid-field, Haryana forwards attacked from all sides but the goal eluded them.  Manju, Komal Jyoti made solo attempts only to be foiled by the rival defenders.
 
As time ticked away and the possibility of a penalty shootout loomed large, Haryana struck through Anu, who intercepted a rebound and slammed the ball home (2-1), giving no chance to Jharkhand to retaliate.
 
Haryana coach Nitin Sabharwal later said that his players played well. "We should have won with much higher margin," he said.
 
“We had beaten Jharkhand earlier, we were aware of their tactics and game plan and we planned our strategy accordingly which worked well," he said.
 
Jharkhand team manager Pradeep Mirdha opined, “My  girls played good but  could not convert the chances that came their way."
 
For the third place, three goals by Simranjeet Kaur enabled Punjab quell Chandigarh‘s second half upsurge.
 
For the winners who led 2-1 at half-time,other goal scorers were Baljeet Kaur and Mitali (one each). For the losers, Sonu (2), Barkha and Monu (one each ) scored.      
 
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Haryana’s Manu Bhaker strikes gold in 10m Air Pistol; Saurabh claims gold in the boy’s event

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Manu Bhaker (Universal Sr. Secondary School, Jhajjar, Haryana) came up with a stunning performance in the 10M Air Pistol event for girls, breaking two junior national records during the course of the day at the first Khelo India School Games here today.
 
That earned Manu a well-deserved gold at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.
 
Manu also led a clean sweep by Haryana girls who dominated the podium by claiming the top three positions. Haryana’s domination was emphasised by the presence of five shooters from the state in the eight finalists.
 
In the boys event, UP’s Saurabh Choudhary (UP Board, Allahabad) claimed gold in a nail biting finish that went down to the final shot after he had frittered away a good early lead.    
 
In the qualification round, Manu broke the three-year-old junior national record of 385 set by Malaika Goel in 2013. The Jhajjar-based shooter fired a score of 387 that included 13 shots with scores of 10 or above. 
 
In the finals, she maintained her fine form right from the start with the first set of five shots. In fact, she started the finals round with a near-perfect score of 10.8.  Over a span of 24 shots in the finals, Manu hit the centre of the target 12 times for scores of 10 or above. 
 
Behind Manu was her Haryana teammate Anjali Choudhary (Rising Sun Public School, Karnal) and she shot 234.7 to claim silver. Anjali qualified in fourth place with a score of 379. Tanu Rawal (Rising Sun Public School, Karnal) claimed bronze with a score of 214.8 after qualifying in eighth place with a score of 373. 
 
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The finals of the boys’ event turned out to be a gripping affair after Saurabh lost his healthy lead of 2.1 points. That allowed Vijayveer Sidhu (Government Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh) to tie the scores at 230.1 after 23 shots in the finals. While Saurabh struggled to find the bullseye, Vijayveer consistently scored 10 or above from the 15th shot onwards. 
 
With the fate of the gold medal hanging by a slender margin of one shot, Saurabh, who has qualified for the 2018 Youth Olympics and Junior World Cups, relied on his experience to calm his nerves to fire 10 with his 24th shot, while Vijayveer could only manage 9.7. That was enough to ensure gold for the UP shooter by a mere 0.3 points. 
 
Arjun Cheema, who matched Saurabh shot for shot in the initial phase of the finals, lost the momentum midway and had to settle for bronze.    
 
Results:
 
Girls: 10M Air Pistol
 
1.      Manu Bhaker  241.1 New National Record in junior girls finals  (387 New National Record in qualifying, 1st) Haryana  2. Anjali Choudhary 234.7 (380, 2nd), Haryana  3. Tanu Rawal 214.8 (373, 8th), Haryana
 
Boys: 10M Air Pistol
 
1.      Saurabh Choudhary 240.1 (585,1st) U.P. 2. Vijayveer Sidhu 239.8 (565, 8th) Chandigarh 3. Arjun Cheema 217.3 (574, 2nd)
 
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Khelo India: Haryana dominates final day’s wrestling with seven gold

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Haryana, acknowledged as one of the country’s biggest boxing bastions, also dominated the final day of wrestling competitions at the inaugural Khelo India School Games at the KD Jadhav Stadium here on Sunday, winning seven of the ten finals. 
 
Haryana made a clean sweep of all three Greco-Roman boys finals and the three finals in Girls freestyle on Sunday.
 
The stars of the final day of wrestling were World-level wrestlers Sonam and Anshu, who put up fantastic performances to outshine their competitors. 
 
With a ruthless performance, the 2017 World Cadet Wrestling 56kg class champion Sonam got the better of fellow Haryana wrestler Mansi in the 65kg category.  
 
Anshu, a 60kg gold medalist at the 2017 World Cadet Championships, outperformed Karnataka's Leena Antony in the same weight category here.
 
Another wrestler who caught the eye was Uttar Pradesh's Gaurav Balyan. He won the sole gold medal for his State on Sunday after an intense fight with Haryana's Rahul Solankar in the 69kg freestyle final. He helped apply a brake on Haryana's stream of medals. It was a close match despite Balyan holding on to a slender lead throughout the bout.
 
Towards the end of the match, however, it did seem that his partner Solankar would catch up, but a last-second brilliance from Balyan ensured that he held on to his lead and ended up with gold.
 
With the National Cadet Championships coming up later this month, this batch of wrestlers will be looking to perform well in an effort to head to the Youth Olympics later this year. Preparation seems to be on track as quite a few big names lived up to the level of performance that was expected of them.
 
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Results:
Boys 
Freestyle:
 
69kg class: Gaurav Balyan (Uttar Pradesh) beat Rahul Solankar (Haryana). Bronze medals: Sanjeev Kumar (Maharashtra) and Rahul (Haryana). 
76kg class: Ankit Vats (Delhi) beat Vetal Shelke (Maharashtra). Bronze medals: Sheeta Guliya (Delhi) and Ankit (Haryana).
85kg class: Joginder (Haryana) beat Kapil Phaeswal (Delhi). Bronze medals: Sunil Padatare (Karnataka) and Abhishek Kaushish (Punjab)
100kg class: Sahil (Punjab) beat Monu Dahiya (Delhi). Bronze medals: Ankit Kumar (Uttar Pradesh) and Prashant Suryavansi (Maharashtra).
 
Boys: Greco-Roman:
 
69kg class: Vikas (Haryana) beat Sachin (Haryana). Bronze medals: Shivanand S Bangi (Karnataka) and Lavnish (Uttar Pradesh).
85kg class: Ravi Malik (Haryana) beat Mehar Singh (Haryana). Bronze medals: Gautam (Punjab) and Rohit (Haryana).
100kg class: Nitiesh Kumar (Haryana) beat Nitiesh Kumar (Haryana). Bronze medals: Vicky (Haryana) and Sonu (Delhi).
 
Girls:
 
60kg class: Anshu (Haryana) beat Leena Antony (Karnataka). Bronze medals: Komal (Himachal Pradesh) and Srushti Bhosale (Maharashtra).
65kg class: Sonam (Haryana) beat Mansi (Haryana). Bronze medals: Vishranti Patil (Maharashtra) and Harshada Jadhav (Maharashtra).
70kg class: Ravita Kumari (Haryana) beat Pathan Sanofar (Gujarat). Bronze medals: Ashpreet Kaur (Punjab) and Varsha Chaudhry (Uttar Pradesh).
 
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Khelo India: Haryana, Punjab top their pools with all-win record in Girls Hockey

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Striker Sharmila scored five goals, including the first hat-trick in the Girls Hockey competition of Khelo India School Games to help Haryana trounce Chhattisgarh 8-1 while Punjab overwhelmed Delhi 6-1 as the two teams with all-win records topped their respective Pool A and B at Dhyan Chand Stadium here today.
 
Chhattisgarh, for the third time in the league, became the  target for shooting practice with the Haryana girls scoring three and five goals in each half. Besides Sharmila, the other scorers for the winners were Usha, Priya and Komal (one each). For the losers Nema Nirmalkar reduced the margin.
 
Chhattisgarh finished at the bottom of the pool, losing all their matches in which they conceded 27 goals while scoring one. For the losers the highlight was the first goal they scored in the competition through Nema.
 
 
In-form Simranjeet Kaur fired four goals to help Punjab  drub Delhi 6-1 in Pool B.  Neha chipped in with the other two. Delhi have lost all their three league matches, conceding 12 goals as against the three they  scored, one in each match. Anuradha was the goal scorer for them in this game.
 
In other matches of the day, Jharkhand outplayed Uttar Pradesh 4-1 in Pool A and Chandigarh pipped spirited Odisha 5-3.
 
Jharkhand proved to be too hot for Uttar Pradesh in all departments of the game. The winners led 1-0 at half time and pumped in three more in the second session to complete the tally. Rajni Kerketta (2), Beauty Dung Dung and Ropni Kumari (one each) scored for the winners. Amreen Hamid chipped in with a goal  for the losers.
 
Haryana lead Pool A followed, by Jharkhand, UttarPradesh and Chhattisgarh. In Pool B, Punjab is followed by Chandigarh, Odisha and Delhi.
 
In the knock-out  stage (quarter-finals),  Haryana will take on Delhi, Punjab will face Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand will clash with Odisha and  Chandigarh will play Uttar Pradesh  on Monday.
 
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