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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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Two main accused in Rewari gang-rape arrested

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The Haryana Police's Special Investigating Team (SIT) on Sunday arrested the two main accused in the Rewari gang-rape case.
 
The accused, Pankaj and Manish, were on the run for almost two weeks. They were arrested from Satnali in Mahendragarh district.
 
The victim, a 19-year-old school topper, was abducted and gang-raped after being drugged on September 12 while she was on the way to a coaching institute.
 
Earlier, the SIT announced the arrest of a third accused, Nishu and two other men - Deendayal, the owner of a tubewell room where the crime took place in Mahendragarh, and Sanjeev Kumar, a medical practitioner who had treated the victim.
 
Both Deendayal and Sanjeev were booked as they did not inform police despite knowing about the crime.
 
The police had earlier announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information on the absconding accused, all residents of Kanina village.
 
The victim, who has identified her attackers, and her parents had earlier accused the police of not taking action and dealing with the matter casually.
 
She said they gave her sedative-laced water to drink and gang-raped her in a room in agricultural fields till she fell unconscious. They later dumped her at a bus stop near her village.
 
IANS
 

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Haryana: One main accused nabbed for Rewari gang-rape

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The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Haryana Police said on Sunday evening that one of the three main accused in the brutal gang-rape of a board topper in Haryana had been arrested, nearly 110 hours after the incident.
 
SIT chief Nazneen Bhasin said that Nishu had been nabbed. "He is being brought here," Bhasin told the media in Rewari. She said that raids were being conducted to nab the other two main accused -- soldier Pankaj and Manish.
 
Bhasin said the SIT had collected enough evidence linked to the case including mobile forensics and other proof to nail the accused in the court.
 
She said Nishu had got in touch with the tubewell owner to arrange the room after the accused kidnapped the victim and sedated her.
 
She said that over 100 people have been questioned and it had come to light that the same room was being used for other "wrong activities". The SIT had earlier arrested two other persons connected with the crime.
 
They included tubewell room owner Deendayal, whose premises was used for the crime, and medical practitioner Sanjeev Kumar, who provided treatment to the rape victim after her condition deteriorated following the brutal sexual assault. The victim was gang-raped on September 12 after being kidnapped and sedated by the accused.
 
Bhasin said the victim, who had earlier got her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.PC, wanted to get a fresh statement recorded.
 
There is suspicion that the victim was gang-raped by up to 12 men.
 
The 19-year-old woman's family on Sunday rejected the compensation cheque for Rs 2 lakh sent by the Haryana government.
 
"Is it the price that the Haryana government has calculated for her honour? We reject the compensation. I want justice for my daughter," her mother said in Rewari, nearly 350 km from here.
 
Doctors at a Rewari hospital said that the condition of the victim, a college student, had improved though she continued to be in "shock". 
 
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, whose government has been in the firing line for inept handling of the case by Haryana Police and the administration, on Sunday axed his engagements in Jalandhar city in Punjab and rushed back to Chandigarh to take stock of the situation.
 
Police accused Deendayal of handing over the keys of the room to the accused on September 12. Police claimed that the medical practitioner did not inform police despite knowing about the crime.
 
Bhasin said a medical examination of the woman had confirmed rape.
 
Police had earlier announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information about the absconding accused.
 
Haryana Director General of Police B.S. Sandhu admitted to lapses on the part of police in Rewari and Mahendragarh districts due to which the accused absconded.
 
Haryana Police has faced flak for treating the gang rape casually initially by citing jurisdictional issues, losing crucial time and evidence to nab the accused.
 
Rewari Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajesh Duggal was removed from his post on Sunday by the Haryana government. He has been replaced by Rahul Sharma.
 
The accused, who belong to the same village as the victim and knew her, allegedly kidnapped the victim from Kanina bus stand while she was on her way for coaching classes on Wednesday.
 
She said that they gave her sedative-laced water to drink and gang-raped her in a room in agricultural fields till she fell unconscious. They later dumped her at a bus stop near her village. 
 
Accused Manish even called up her father and told him to pick her from the bus stand. The victim had topped board examinations and was felicitated by the government for her academic achievement.
 
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Haryana gang-rape: Rewari SP transferred, survivor's family rejects compensation

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Embarrassed over the failure to arrest those involved in the alleged gang-rape of a board topper, the Haryana government on Sunday ordered the transfer of Rewari's Superintendent of Police (SP) and replaced him with another officer.
 
Rahul Sharma has been posted as the new SP of Rewari in place of Rajesh Duggal.
 
The police arrested Deendayal, the owner of the tubewell room where the gang-rape took place in Mahendragarh district. Police said he gave the keys of the room to the accused youth where they committed the crime on September 12.
 
The police have also detained a medical practitioner who was called by the accused when the condition of the 19-year-old rape victim deteriorated after she had been sexually assaulted.
 
Police officials said the medical practitioner gave the victim first aid treatment. He did not inform the police though he knew that the victim was sexually assaulted claiming that he was threatened by the accused.
 
The Haryana Police has faced flak for treating the gang-rape incident casually initially by citing jurisdiction issues, losing crucial time and evidence to nab the accused.
 
In a related development, the family of the victim on Sunday rejected the compensation cheque of Rs 2 lakh sent by the Haryana government.
 
"Is this the value that the Haryana government has calculated for the gruesome crime committed on my daughter? We reject the compensation offered. We want justice for our daughter," the mother of the victim said in Rewari, nearly 350 km from here.
 
The Haryana Police on Sunday continued its hunt for the rapists.
 
Police sources said on Sunday that raids were being conducted at various locations to arrest the three accused involved in the crime.
 
The police were questioning relatives, friends and fellow villagers of the accused to know their whereabouts. Nearly 100 people have been questioned.
 
Special Investigating Team (SIT) chief Nazneen Bhasin told the media in Rewari that the rape of the young woman had been confirmed in the medical examination. 
 
She said that anyone giving information about the accused would get a reward of Rs 1 lakh.
 
The accused include a soldier, Pankaj, and two youths, Manish and Nishu. All belong to Kanina village.
 
Despite Harayana Director General of Police B. S. Sandhu claiming that the accused would be arrested, the police have failed to do so.
 
The victim, who has identified her attackers, and her parents had said earlier that the police were not taking action in the matter and were dealing with it casually. 
 
The family alleged that more men could be involved in the gang-rape.
 
The accused, who belong to the same village as the victim and knew her, allegedly kidnapped the victim from Kanina bus stand while she was on her way for coaching classes.
 
She said they gave her water to drink which was laced with a sedative. They then took turns raping her in a room adjoining agricultural fields till she fell unconscious.They later dumped her at a bus stop near the village. 
 
One accused, Manish, even called up the victim's father and told him to pick her from the bus stand. 
 
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Board topper alleges gang rape in Haryana, police launch search for three accused

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Three men accused of allegedly gang-raping a 19-year-old board examination topper in Haryana's Mahendragarh district continued to evade arrest on Friday, more than 52 hours after the incident.
 
The Haryana Police on Friday launched a manhunt after the girl alleged that she was raped by them on Wednesday.
 
The victim, who has identified her attackers, and her parents have said that the police were not taking action in the matter and were initially dealing with it casually.
 
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) A.S. Chawla told the media here on Friday that all efforts were being made to arrest the accused.
 
The three accused, who belong to the same village as the victim, allegedly kidnapped the student in their vehicle from the bus stand on Wednesday while she was on her way to attend coaching classes.
 
She said that they gave her water to drink which was laced with sedative. They then took turns raping her near a village till she fell unconscious, she said.
 
They later dumped her at a bus stop near the village. The victim's family said that the women police station in Rewari initially refused to entertain their complaint citing issues of jurisdiction.
 
"We want justice. They have ruined the life of my daughter who is so good in studies. Where is the 'Beti Padaho Beti Bachao' slogan of the government now? The police harassed us while registering the case," the mother of the victim said.
 
The police later registered a 'Zero FIR' (in which the case is later transferred to the concerned police station).
 
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the accused would be arrested soon and would face action as per law.
 
Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the incident showed the poor law and order situation in Haryana where women were not safe at all.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Jhajjar region of Haryana

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale, was recorded in Jhajjar region of Haryana early this morning.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 76.8°E, occurred at 0543 horus at a focal depth of 5 km.
 
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Heavy rains lash Gurugram, traffic hit

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Heavy rains hit Gurugram on Tuesday, leading to the disruption of road traffic and hittingg normal life.
 
Light rains started at around 2 a.m., but it gained momentum by 4 a.m. and between 6 to 8 a.m., it turned into a heavy downpour, A.R.S. Sangwan, Deputy Director of Information, National Capital Region, Haryana Government, told IANS.
 
The traffic movement on the Delhi-Jaipur-Mumbai highway was severely hit due to waterlogging, Assistant Commissioner of Police Heera Singh said.
 
"Our team is trying to make the traffic movement smoother," Singh added.
 
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HC convicts 33 in Haryana killing case, says atrocities against Dalits on rise

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The Delhi High Court on Friday held 33 people guilty in a 2010 Dalit killing case in Haryana's Hisar district and said "71 years after Independence, instances of atrocities against Scheduled Castes by those belonging to dominant castes have shown no signs of abating".
 
"The incidents that took place in Mirchpur between April 19 and 21, 2010 serve as yet another grim reminder of 'the complete absence of two things in Indian society' as noted by Dr B.R. Ambedkar when he tabled the final draft of the Constitution of India before the Constituent Assembly on November 25 1949," a bench of Justice S.  Muralidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta said.
 
"One was 'equality' and the other, 'fraternity'," the bench said and made strong remarks against the "planned attack" made by the Jat community against the Valmikis during the incident that led to the displacement of 254 Dalit families from Mirchpur village.
 
"The unstated footnote is that those who had decided to stay back at Mirchpur village did not support the prosecution in the present criminal trial, while those who decided not to return are the ones who did," the court said.
 
"This in itself is a telling commentary on the fear and intimidation that the Dalits still experience in Mirchpur as a result of the incidents of April 19, 20 and 21 2010."
 
The bench also noted that the government of Haryana has sought to rehabilitate the displaced families not in Mirchpur but in a separate township terming it as "a sobering fact".
 
"The question is whether this accords with the constitutional promise of equality, social justice and fraternity, assuring the dignity of the individual," the court said in the 209-page order.
 
The case was transferred on the direction of the Supreme Court from Hissar to Delhi.
 
A total of 15 accused belonging to the Jat community were tried and held guilty in the case by the trial court in October 2011. Two of them died during the pendency of the appeal. A total of 97 accused were facing trial in the case.
 
The court upheld conviction of 13 people, who were held guilty by the trial court.
 
It also convicted 20 more accused who were previously acquitted by the trial court.
 
"The conclusion of the trial court that there was no criminal conspiracy is unsustainable in law. The trial court failed to examine the photographs, videographs and site plans in its analysis of the events of April 21, 2010 and erred in accepting the alternative version of the incident as put forth by the defence," the bench said and convicted them under various provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
 
The bench directed the 20 more convicts to surrender on or before September 1, failing which the Station House Officer of Narnaund, Haryana will take all necessary steps to take them into custody.
 
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Tarachand, 70, and his 18-year-old physically-challenged daughter Suman were killed in the April 2010 arson attack on their house and a row of other Dalit houses in Mirchpur, about 300 km from Chandigarh.
 
Relying on the dying declaration of Tara and other prosecution witnesses, the bench held the killing of father-daughter was "murder" and convicted four of them under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.
 
Those four are Kulwinder, Ramphal, Rajender and Pawan. The court said that their culpability in burning father-daughter is proved beyond reasonable doubt in the light of the testimony of several prosecution witnesses.
 
The attack followed a dispute between members of the Jat and Dalit communities of the village.
 
"The incidents of April 21, 2010 constituted an act of deliberate targeting of the Valmiki houses by Jats and setting them on fire in a pre-planned and carefully orchestrated manner. It was pursuant to a conspiracy by the Jats to teach the Valmikis a lesson," the court said.
 
The court observed that the collective act of violence by the Jats compelled 254 families of the low caste community to leave the village and many of them are still awaiting rehabilitation and reparation. They have been too scared to return, the court noted.
 
The court observed that that an unlawful assembly comprising members of the Jat community was formed with the common object of setting fire to the properties of the Valmiki community and perpetrating violence against them.
 
It also noted the members of that unlawful assembly came armed with stones and oil cans as well as lathis and others.
 
IANS
 

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Four teenagers from Haryana drown in Yamuna

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Four teenage boys from Haryana drowned while bathing in the Yamuna river in northwest Delhi early on Sunday, police said. 
 
The bodies of two of them were found, while the others were yet to be traced.
 
"Seven youngsters, all from Haryana's Sonipat district, had come to Alipur for a swim in the river. Four of them drowned, with a call on the incident received by police around 7.30 a.m., Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini) Gaurav Sharma said.
 
They were students of Class 9 in their native place.
 
The police officer said that fire brigade, a disaster management team comprising nine divers and motor boat were pressed into service to locate the boys. 
 
"However, bodies of only two have been located, as of now, and sent for post-mortem. Efforts are on to search for the two others," he added.
 
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Suspected cattle thief beaten to death in Haryana

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The Haryana Police on Saturday arrested three men in the state's Palwal district after they allegedly beat up an unidentified man to death on suspicion of cattle theft.
 
The police said that the three accused, who are brothers, caught hold of the man on the intervening night of August 2 and 3 when he and two others were allegedly trying to steal cattle from the cattle yard belonging to their father by cutting the fencing around it.
 
His two other accomplices, however, managed to flee.
 
Those arrested include Bir Singh, Prakash and Ram Kishan. They have been booked for murder.
 
The deceased is believed to be in his 20s. The police said efforts are being made to identify him.
 
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School bus mows down couple in Gurugram

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A school bus on Thursday mowed down a couple on a bicycle, killing both on the spot, police said.
 
The bus belonged to the Delhi Public School (DPS) and the accident took place in Sector 44.
 
Police officer Anil Yadav said the victims, identified as Gayasudeen (45) and his wife Anju, worked as helpers in a private school.
 
The bus driver and conductor managed to flee the spot after the accident.
 
People vandalised the bus and blocked traffic for over half an hour until the police dispersed them.
 
"The deceased couple hailed from West Bengal and lived here on rent. A further probe is on," Yadav added.
 
IANS
 
 

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Yamuna inundates Haryana villages, CM's aerial survey

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With more than three dozen villages getting waterlogged in two districts, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas.
 
He also directed officials to conduct a special 'girdawari' (revenue survey) to assess the crop damaged by heavy rains. 
 
Authorities have sounded a high alert in the districts of Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat and Sonipat.
 
At least 30 villages in Yamunanagar district and 10 villages in Karnal were flooded due to the release of over 600,000 cusecs from the Hathnikund barrage, officials said. The Yamuna river continued to flow above the danger mark. 
 
The marooned villagers took refuge on house rooftops to escape flooding.
 
"There is no help from the government as all our dry ration and other household items were damaged due to sudden rise in river water level last (Saturday) night," Zubair Khan of Mandi village near Yamunanagar town told a news channel.
 
He rued that there was no fodder for his livestock either. "We were told by the government to leave the village, but we can't go because of our livestock," an aggrieved Khan added.
 
Yamunanagar Deputy Commissioner Girish Arora said that the Army and the National Disaster Response Force have been put on alert for rescue and relief operations.
 
The authorities began to evacuate hundreds of people living in the Yamuna catchment area following a sharp rise in the water level, the officials said.
 
Heavy rains continued to lash many parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand while authorities released more water from the Hathnikund barrage during the day.
 
The Yamunanagar administration has set up a flood control office at the district headquarters and all the blocks for immediate response.
 
There was no report of loss of life in the state.
 
IANS
 

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Yamuna flows above danger mark, Sisodia reviews evacuations

As the Yamuna river continued to flow above the danger mark in Delhi on Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took stock of the ongoing evacuation in low-lying areas.

 
Yamuna crosses danger mark, people evacuated from low-lying areas
 
 
As the Yamuna river continued to flow above the danger mark in Delhi on Sunday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took stock of the ongoing evacuation in low-lying areas.
 
Over 1,000 families had been evacuated till Sunday morning. Sisodia also visited low-lying areas around Akshardham and Pandav Nagar and urged people to move to safer places.
 
The river's water level rose to 205.50 meters on Sunday due to water discharge from Haryana's Hathnikund Barrage amid continuous rain in the catchment areas. It is expected to rise to 206.60 meters on July 31. 
 
Haryana had released six lakh cusecs of water at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
 
The water released at Hathnikund barrage, which provides drinking water to New Delhi, normally takes 72 hours to reach the city.
 
"More water is being released from the barrage every hour, which will have an impact on the Yamuna level in Delhi. We are keeping a close watch," a Flood and Control Department official told IANS.
 
East Delhi's District Magistrate K. Mahesh also visited the low-lying areas and said that the situation is under control and the government is fully prepared to tackle emergency.
 
"As many as 67 boats have been deployed at 23 locations. We have made arrangements to shift the affected persons to school campuses and night shelters," the official told the media.
 
He said that although the river level was above the danger mark, the situation, as of now, is not worrisome. Quick response teams have been activated, the official said.
 
The National Disaster Relief Force too is on a standby.
 
"We have set up over 750 tents for about 1,000 families in East zone alone, apart from arrangements of food. We are shifting people living on the river bed to the nearest higher areas," Nodal officer (Preet Vihar) Arun Gupta told IANS.
 
The evacuation started on Saturday following a rise in the water level.
 
Heavy rains continued to lash many parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, forcing authorities to release more water from Haryana's Hathnikund barrage on Sunday.
 
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday held a review meeting with officials concerned on the preparedness to tackle the flood-like situation in low-lying areas of Delhi.
 
The Delhi government also requested the Army to be on standby for any emergency.
 
IANS
 

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Evacuation on as Yamuna continues flowing above danger mark in Delhi

More than 1,000 families had been evacuated from the low-lying areas near the Yamuna till Sunday morning as the river continued flowing above the danger mark in Delhi.

 
Water level in Yamuna river crosses danger level
 
 
More than 1,000 families had been evacuated from the low-lying areas near the Yamuna till Sunday morning as the river continued flowing above the danger mark in Delhi.
 
The level of the river rose to 205.46 meters on Sunday after water discharge from Haryana's Hathnikund Barrage and continuous rainfall in the region.
 
It is expected to rise further to 206.60 meters on July 31. Haryana had released six lakh cusecs of water at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
 
The water discharged from Hathnikund barrage, which provides drinking water to New Delhi, normally takes 72 hours to reach the city.
 
"More water is being released from the barrage every hour, which will have an impact on the water level of the river here. We are keeping a close watch on the situation," a Flood and Control Department official told IANS.
 
"We have established over 750 tents for about 1,000 families in East zone alone. The arrangements for their food is also done. We are shifting the people living in the river bed to the nearest high area," Nodal officer (Preet Vihar) Arun Gupta told IANS.
 
"Boats have been deployed to tackle any unwanted situation," Gupta said. Quick response teams have also been activated for the emergency.
 
The evacuation started on Saturday following a sharp rise in the river's level.
 
Heavy rains continued to lash many parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, with authorities releasing more water at Haryana's Hathnikund barrage during the day.
 
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday held a review meeting with officials concerned on the preparedness to tackle the flood-like situation in low-lying areas of Delhi.
 
The officers assured Kejriwal that they are alert and prepared for dealing with exigencies.
 
The Delhi government also requested the Army to be on the standby for any emergency.
 
IANS
 

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Delhi authorities begin evacuation of people as Yamuna level rises

The authorities in Delhi on Saturday began to evacuate hundreds of people living in the Yamuna catchment area as a flood threat loomed following a sharp rise in the river's level, officials said.

 
Water level in Yamuna river crosses danger level
 
 
The authorities in Delhi on Saturday began to evacuate hundreds of people living in the Yamuna catchment area as a flood threat loomed following a sharp rise in the river's level, officials said.
 
Heavy rains continued to lash many parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, with authorities releasing more water at Haryana's Hathnikund barrage during the day.
 
The Yamuna in Delhi was flowing above the danger mark at 205.06 metres by 10 a.m., an Irrigation and Flood Control Department official told IANS.
 
"Over 10,000 persons have been affected. People earlier living on the river bed and low-lying areas are being shifted out," Nodal Officer (Preet Vihar) Arun Gupta said.
 
He cautioned that the Yamuna water level is expected to go up further by Sarurday night.
 
"On Saturday morning, over 200,000 cusecs was released into the Yamuna from the barrage -- which provides drinking water to New Delhi," an official told IANS in Chandigarh.
 
The official said villagers living along the river have been alerted on the release of excess water.
 
The official said that water at the Hathnikund barrage along the Haryana-Uttarakhand border had risen to alarming levels owing to overnight downpour in catchment states, making authorities release the extra water.
 
The Yamuna passes through Yamunanagar, Karnal and Panipat districts in Haryana before entering Delhi.
 
Yamunanagar Deputy Commissioner Girish Arora said a high alert was declared in the district in the morning.
 
He said the Army has been put on alert along with a team of the National Disaster Management Authority.
 
However, there was no report of any damage to property or a loss of life in Yamunanagar district.
 
The Met Department in Chandigarh predicted that hill states in Haryana's neighbourhood will continue to experience heavy rains.
 
IANS
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 

Haryana's Hathnikund barrage releases water, floods threaten Delhi

 
Water level in Yamuna river crosses danger level
 
 
With heavy rains continuing in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, authorities in Haryana's Hathnikund barrage on Saturday released excess water into the Yamuna river, posing a flood threat to New Delhi.
 
"On Saturday morning over 200,000 cusecs of water was released into the Yamuna from the Hathnikund barrage -- which provides drinking water to New Delhi," an official told IANS in Chandigarh.
 
In the national capital, the water level in the Yamuna crossed the danger level by 10 a.m., a Flood Control department official said.
 
The official said villages along the Yamuna river have been alerted about the release of the excess water. The city government have already begun evacuating people from low-lying areas. 
 
The water-level at the Hathnikund barrage along the Haryana-Uttarakhand border rose to alarming levels owing to overnight heavy rains in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
 
The Yamuna river passes through Yamunanagar, Karnal and Panipat districts in Haryana before entering New Delhi.
 
The Met has predicted that Haryana's neighbouring hill states would continue to experience heavy rains.
 
IANS
 
(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)
 
 
 
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Kovind says Kabir's teachings remain relevant

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President Ram Nath Kovind said on Sunday that the teachings of Sant Kabir remained as relevant today as they did in his lifetime.
 
Addressing the Shiromani Kabir Prakat Diwas (Kabir Jayanti) celebrations at Fatehabad in Haryana, he said Sant Kabir was a great social reformer who showed people the path of equality and harmony.'
 
The function was organised by the Dhanak Sabha Fatehabad and the Sant Kabir Dhanak Samaj Karamchari Welfare Association, Haryana.
 
The President said he was happy to note that the Shiromani Kabir Prakat Diwas was being observed in every district of Haryana to make people aware of Sant Kabir’s teachings.
 
He noted that the Monsoon Sessions of Parliament and State Assemblies were going to commence soon. He expressed confidence that legislators will carry forward their work for the public through debate and dialogue.
 
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Rape, molestation accused to lose facilities in Haryana

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Barring ration facility, the accused in rape and molestation cases in Haryana will now be debarred from government facilities such as old age pension, pension for the physically disabled persons, driving and arm licenses.
 
"These services will remain suspended till the court announces its verdict in the case. In case the accused is convicted and sentenced, he would not be eligible for these facilities any more," Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced on Thursday.
 
Virtually giving a warning to the perpetrators of crime against women and girls in the state to mend their ways, he reiterated the commitment of his government to make Haryana number one state in the country in terms of safety and security of women and girls.
 
Khattar said a comprehensive scheme for the safety and security of women would be launched either on Independence Day (August 15) or on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan (August 26) this year.
 
The Chief Minister said in case a rape victim wanted to hire a lawyer of her choice, except for the one provided by the state government, she would be provided financial assistance of Rs 22,000 for the fees.
 
"Provision of uninterrupted investigation in cases of rape and eve-teasing would be made in all police stations. The investigation officer would have to complete the investigation into a rape case in one month, and in eve-teasing within 15 days, otherwise action would be taken against him," he said.
 
Six fast-track courts would be set up in those districts where 50 or more cases of rape, molestation and mental harassment are pending in the courts, Khattar said.
 
"I would shortly meet the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to request him to issue necessary directions to the court to record the statement of a woman on the same day and not to adjourn the hearing to any other day," he added.
 
Khattar announced that girl students of classes 9 to 12 would be given training in self-defence.
 
IANS
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Sonipat region in Haryana, tremors felt in Delhi

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.0 on the Richter scale, shook the Sonipat region in  Haryana today and the tremors were felt in Delhi and other parts of the National Capital Region (NCR), Haryana and some parts of Uttar Pradesh.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.9°N and longitude 77.0°E, occurred at 1537 hourss at a focal depth of 5 km.
 
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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.
 
IANS
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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.
 
IANS
 
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