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Ranchi

Lalu Prasad, Jagannath Mishra convicted, given 5 years in jail in fodder scam case

A Special CBI in Ranchi on Wednesday convicted and sentenced former Bihar Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra to five years in prison in a fodder scam case.
File photo of Lalu Prasad Yadav
File photo of Lalu Prasad Yadav
A Special CBI Court convicted and sentenced former Bihar Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra to five years in prison in a fodder scam case here today.
 
Special CBI Judge Swarn Shankar Prasad also imposed a fine of Rs. 10 lakh on both of them in the case pertaining to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 33.67 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury, then a part of undivided Bihar and now in Jharkhand, in 1992-93.
 
Mr. Yadav and Mr. Mishra were convicted on two separate counts and sentenced to five years in prison on each, but the sentences will run concurrently and the period of jail term already served would be set off.
 
In all, as many as 50 people were convicted in the case, while six were acquitted. The 50 people convicted today included six politicians, three former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers and four woemn. They were given three years of imprisonment and fined Rs. 50,000 each.
 
There were a total of 76 accused persons in the case, of whom 14 died during the trial, three turned CBI approvers, two admitted to their crime and one is absconding.
 
This is the third fodder scam case in which Mr. Yadav, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief, has been convicted, while it is the second for Mr. Mishra.
 
Mr. Yadav had, on September 30, 2013, been sentenced to five years of five years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 25 lakhs for his role in another case in the multi-crore fodder scam, which broke out 17 years ago when he was Chief Minister of Bihar.
 
He and 44 others were convicted by the CBI Court in Ranchi in one of the several cases related to the Rs 950 crore scandal, in which Rs 37.70 crore had been fraudulently withdrawn from the treasury at Chaibasa. Mr. Mishra was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for four years with a fine of Rs 2 lakhs in that case.
 
On December 13 that year, the Supreme Court granted bail to Mr. Yadav. He had moved the apex court after the Jharkhand High Court had dismissed his application for bail until his appeal against his conviction by the Special CBI Court in Ranchi was decided by the High Court.
 
The bail was granted by a bench headed by then Chief Justice P Sathasivam after it noted that many other similarly placed convicts had been been granted bail in the case.
 
 
Lalu Prasad given three years in third fodder scam case
On January 6, Mr. Yadav was sentenced to three and a half years in prison by a CBI Special Court for his role in a second fodder scam case, relating to the fraudulent withdrawal of funds from the Deoghar Treasury. Fifteen others were convicted in that case, while Mr. Mishra and five others were acquitted.
 
The former Union Minister is an accused in two other cases related to the alleged scam, pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka Treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda treasury. 
 
Despite the charges he is facing, Mr. Yadav remains popular with large sections of the people in Bihar and had led a grand alliance that included the Janata Dal (United) and the Congress to a handsome victory over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2015 Assembly elections. The alliance later came apart when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar walked out of it and later joined hands with the BJP to return as Chief Minister.
 
Mr. Yadav's conviction is likely to be a setback for the efforts to put together a similar alliance against the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
 
Mr. Yadav's son Tejaswi Yadav, former deputy chief minister of Bihar, told journalists today that they would file appeals against the verdicts in the High Court. He said the people of the state consider Mr. Yadav as a hero and believed he was innocent. He also said that the people could see that Mr. Yadav was being framed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar, who is heading a JD (U)-BJP coalition government in Bihar.
 
Mr. Yadav, who is lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail here following his conviction in the Deoghar Treasury case, was brought to the CBI Court to hear the verdict in today's case.
 
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Modi says that if India has to develop, no part of country can remain underdeveloped

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that, if India has to emerge as a developed nation, no part of the country could remain weak and underdeveloped.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that, if India has to emerge as a developed nation, no part of the country could remain weak and underdeveloped.
 
Pointing out that eastern India had remained underdeveloped, he said growth should be balanced across north, south, east and west so that common people all over the country could enjoy the fruits of development in equal measure.
 
Mr Modi was addressing a gathering after launching the National Digital Literacy Mission in Ranchi.
 
He also dedicated to the nation Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) oil terminal at Jasidih and the 765 kV Ranchi-Dharamjaygarh-Sipat transmission line.
 
Mr Modi announced that work would commence shortly on the Jagdishpur-Phoolpur-Haldia gas pipeline, which would become a major source of energy for eastern India. 
 
He also initiated work at the North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Plant which, he said, would dispel darkness from Jharkhand. He also laid the foundation stone for two IT-related projects.
 
Mr Modi said Jharkhand had huge potential for development and promised to repay the love and affection shown to him by the people of the state through development.
 
Stating that India could develop only if its states developed, he referred to yesterday's decision by the Union Cabinet to increase royalty rates on minerals which would benefit Jharkhand enormously.
 
Jharkhand Governor Sayed Ahmed, Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
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BJP's ally problem in poll-bound Jharkhand

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For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which lost an opportunity to form the government in Maharashtra because of the difficult attitude of its ally Shiv Sena, it may not be the end of the story in terms of problems from partners as it is facing a similar situation in poll-bound Jharkhand, too.
 
In Jharkhand, where elections to its 81-member Assembly will be held in five phases from November 30, the BJP will have to fight against one of its oldest alliance partners, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which has decided to contest separately on all the seats in the state.
 
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had made the party's stand clear during the national council meeting last week in New Delhi, where he was re-elected as the JD-U chief for a second consecutive term.
 
A senior JD-U leader said the party will contest independently in the five-phased Jharkhand Assembly polls and not in alliance with the BJP.
 
The JD-U has a history of snubbing the BJP.
 
In 2013, after the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was projected as the BJP's Prime Ministerial face, the JD-U opposed the move and walked out of the alliance.
 
After the debacle in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the JD-U stitched a Grand Alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress in the state for the 2015 Assembly polls.
 
The Grand Alliance comprising the three parties cornered the BJP in the Assembly polls in the state. However in June 2017, the JD-U walked out of the alliance and again joined the NDA to form a government in the state.
 
The BJP and the JD-U contested an equal number of seats in the state during the Lok Sabha polls. However, the Nitish Kumar-led party did not join the Cabinet over differences on the respectable representation in the government.
 
Following the snubbing at the Centre, Nitish Kumar also did not gave more prominence to the BJP in the state in his cabinet expansion.
 
The JD-U also did not back the Modi government's ambitious Triple Talaq Bill in Parliament.
 
On the other hand, the BJP is also facing an uphill task of gaining the trust of other allies in the state.
 
The BJP had the Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) as an alliance partner in the state till 2012. But the JMM also ditched the BJP and joined hands with the Congress in the state.
 
The Grand Alliance consisting of the JMM-Congress and the RJD have already announced their alliance in the state with Soren as its Chief Ministerial candidate.
 
The JMM will be contesting 43 seats and the Congress 31, leaving the remaining seven seats to the RJD.
 
The 81-member Jharkhand Assembly is set to go for a five-phased election from November 30 to December 20. The counting of votes will take place on December 23.
 
IANS
 

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Congress, RJD release first list for Jharkhand polls

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A day after Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi chaired a Central Election Committee meeting to decide on candidates for the Jharkhand Assembly elections, the party on Sunday released the names of five candidates for the first phase.
 
Congress state chief Rameshwar Oraon has been fielded from Lohardaga seat, former minister Chandra Shekhar Dubey has been given ticket from Bishrampur while K. P. Yadav has been fielded from Bhawanathpur. The party has given ticket to K. N. Tripathy from Daltonganj and Ramchandra Singh from Manika seat.
 
The Congress is fighting the polls in alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). According to the seat-sharing arrangement, the JMM will contest the bulk of the seats -- 43 -- in the 81-member house, the Congress will fight 31 and the RJD seven.
 
The RJD also released names of five candidates on Sunday.
 
November 13 is the last date for filing nominations for the first of the five phases of polling, which will be held on November 30. The other polling dates are December 7, 12, 16 and 20 while counting will be held on December 23.
 
IANS
 

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Thousands of fish die due to lack of oxygen in Ranchi

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Thousands of fish have died in a pond here due to lack of oxygen, government officials said on Monday.
 
The dead fish were found floating on the pond on Monday at Line Tank Pond situated in Chadari in Ranchi. Environmentalists say that the immersion of Goddess Durga idols and Deepawali caused the death of the fishes.
 
"Today I visited the Line Tank Pond and found thousands of fishes dead. The fishes were struggling for oxygen for the last few days. The lack of oxygen due to immersion of idols and Deepawali caused the death of the fishes," Nitish Priyadarshi, an environmentalist told IANS.
 
The ponds were not cleaned after the immersion of the Goddess Durga idols.
 
"The concretisation of the pond is also one of the reasons for the lack of oxygen. The Line Tank Pond has been concretised at the peripheries. The natural way of flow of water and oxygen has been restricted which caused the death of the fishes," said Priyadarshi.
 
IANS

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ISL: Ten-man Jamshedpur FC edge past Odisha FC 2-1 in thrilling tie

A 10-man Jamshedpur FC overcame the odds and put up a spirited fight to defeat Odisha FC 2-1 in an Indian Super League (ISL) match at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Tuesday.
 
Farukh Choudhary broke the deadlock in the 17th minute fortuitously, but the lead was put in danger by a red card that Bikash Jairu picked up with 10 minutes to go for the half-time whistle.
 
Aridane Santana stuck soon after to restore parity for Odisha FC but a fighting second-half culminated in Sergio Castel finding a winner in the 85th minute for the hosts.
 
The teams looked to get on the scoresheet early and it were Odisha FC that threatened first.
 
Xisco Hernandez fed Jerry Mawhmingthanga down the right flank and the winger's floating cross was headed just wide by Aridane Santana.
 
Odisha continued to push and went close again four minutes later. Xisco split the Jamshedpur defence to send Jerry free down the right flank but the former Jamshedpur winger's curling effort ricocheted off the post.
 
Fortune, however, favoured Jamshedpur as they eased into a one-goal lead in the 17th minute. Noe Acosta found Farukh Choudhary in space on the right flank and the Indian forward's drilled effort into the box took a deflection off defender Rana Gharami and bulged the net.
 
Jamshedpur bossed the midfield after scoring the opening goal but Odisha's efforts to get back into the game were helped by a straight red card for Bikash Jairu. With Jerry getting in behind the defence and having just the goalkeeper to beat in the 35th minute, Jairu slid in and brought the 22-year-old down.
 
The visitors made the most of the one-man advantage and equalised five minutes later. Jerry was influential again as he sent a low cross into the centre from the right for Santana who produced a stunning first-time strike to silence the home crowd.
 
Odisha had more of the ball after the break, utilising the space that was opened up due to the sending off. However, there were chances created at both ends of the field.
 
Santana set Nandhakumar Sekar up perfectly inside the box after a neat one-two but Joyner Lourenco's timely intervention denied the visitors a shot on target. Jamshedpur then found themselves in a two-on-one attacking scenario but Farukh's cross, intended for Castel in the centre, was cut off by Shubham Sarangi just in time.
 
The game was stretched and the teams found space on counter-attacks. Farukh missed a glorious chance to score in one such speedy push forward as Piti lobbed the ball into space for Sergio Castel to chase. The striker squared it to the India forward who wrongly chose to return the favour and lost the ball.
 
The 10-man Jamshedpur were finally rewarded for their resilience in the 85th minute. Piti found Castel in space once again on the counter and the striker dinked the ball over onrushing goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro to net what turned out to be the crucial match-winner.
 
IANS
 

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Kohli for 5 Test centres amid poor numbers on India stands

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Even though India registered an emphatic win over South Africa in the third Test in Ranchi, skipper Virat Kohli was not impressed with the number of fans turning out at the JSCA Stadium in M. S. Dhoni's hometown and thus mooted the idea of having five dedicated Test centres in the country that will encourage people to come and watch the match at the stadia.
 
India completed their first-ever 3-0 series whitewash over South Africa as they defeated the Proteas by an innings and 202 runs in the final Test at the JSCA Stadium.
 
"In my opinion, we should have five strong Test centres. In Test cricket, teams coming into India should know that they are going to play at these five centres, these are the pitches and crowds to expect. It can't be sporadic and spread over so many places," Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
 
"I agree about state association, rotation, giving games and all of that. That is fine for T20 and ODI cricket.
 
"But when it comes to Test cricket, teams coming to India should know that they are playing at these five centres. So that becomes a challenge already when you are leaving their shores, because when we go to any place, we know we are having four Test matches at these venues," he added.
 
These comments from Kohli come after poor attendance of fans was witnessed during the course of the three Tests against South Africa at all the three venues in Visakhapatnam, Pune and Ranchi.
 
At Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium where India achieved a record 11th consecutive Test series wins at home, only a handful of spectators had turned to witness the historic feat.
 
And in Ranchi, the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) had managed to sell just 1,500 tickets before the start of the third India-South Africa game played at a stadium which has a capacity of 39,000.
 
IANS
 

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India thrash SA in Ranchi, clinch Test series 3-0

India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Zubayr Hamza with teammates on Day 3 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 21, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Zubayr Hamza with teammates on Day 3 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 21, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India registered an emphatic victory over South Africa by an innings and 202 runs in the third and final Test at the JSCA Stadium on Tuesday to clinch their first-ever series whitewash over the Proteas.
 
Needing just two wickets to maintain their supremacy on Day 4, the Indian team completed the formalities within the first 12 balls giving away just one run and concluded what has been a highly dominant show by the No.1 ranked team over South Africa.
 
Overnight batsman Theunis de Bruyn -- who came in as concussion substitute for Dean Elgar -- was the first to go as he became Shahbaz Nadeem's first victim in the second innings. He was caught brilliantly by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha at his individual score of 30.
 
The very next ball, Nadeem took a rebound catch to dismiss Lungi Ngidi. Ngidi seeing the tossed up delivery went for a hoick straight down the ground and it was struck so hard that Anrich Nortje at the non-striker's end had no time to react and the ball popped up. Nadeem was alert to the possibility of a rebound and took an easy catch to bring an end to the South Africa second innings at 132.
 
Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav picked up five wickets apiece during the course of the Test match and spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and debutant Nadeem also contributed to India's success by scalping 3, 1 and 4 wickets, respectively.
 
Earlier, South Africa were bundled out for a mere 162 in their first innings in response to India's 497/9 declared and skipper Virat Kohli enforced the follow-on for the eighth time in his career. Rohit Sharma had scored his maiden double hundred and was well supported by India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane who scored his first ton in India in three years.
 
The performance of the visitors in the second essay was no different as they kept on losing wickets right from the start and showed no application whatsoever. The Proteas batsmen appeared clueless against the class of the Indian bowlers, especially Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.
 
South Africa had already lost the Test series by tasting comprehensive defeats in the first two Tests. In Visakhapatnam, India won by 203 runs and went to register an emphatic innings and 137 runs-victory in Pune.
 
India now have 240 points in the ongoing World Test Championships after winning all the five matches they have played so far since the inception of WTC and are currently placed at the top spot.
 
They are now scheduled to play Bangladesh in the two-Test series beginning November 14.
 
Brief scores: India: 497/9 declared beat South Africa 162 all out and 132 by an innings and 202 runs.
 
IANS

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Ranchi Test: Shami puts India on brink of series whitewash against SA

India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Zubayr Hamza with teammates on Day 3 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 21, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Zubayr Hamza with teammates on Day 3 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 21, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's bowlers, led by Mohammed Shami, pushed Virat Kohli and boys closer to a 3-0 whitewash as South Africa were left tottering at 132/8 at stumps on Day 3 after following on in the third and final Test at the JSCA Stadium on Monday.
 
At close of play, Dean Elgar's concussion substitute Theunis de Bruyn was batting on 30 with Anrich Nortje (5) for company. While Shami has figures of 3/10 in the second innings, Umesh Yadav has picked two as the Indian pacers once again dominated the show.
 
Bundled out for just 162 in the first innings, the Proteas were forced to follow on and they trail India by 203 runs with just two wickets in the bag in their second essay. While bad light did force the players to go off the field after the Indians asked for an extra 30 minutes at the fall of the eighth wicket, the South Africans are only delaying the inevitable.
 
To make matters worse for the Proteas, Elgar had to retire hurt post a knock on the helmet by a rising Umesh delivery just before the Tea break. India too had an injury concern as Wriddhiman Saha got hit on the ring finger of his left hand late and was replaced by Rishabh Pant in the last session of the day.
 
Earlier, a total of 16 wickets fell on Monday after South Africa resumed at 9/2. Umesh returned with figures of 3/40 in the first essay while Shami, debutant Shahbaz Nadeem and Ravindra Jadeja all scalped two wickets apiece. Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, however, remained wicketless. For the tourists, Zubayr Hamza topscored with 62.
 
Following on, there was no respite for the visitors as it was Shami who once again looked in lethal rhythm. He clean-bowled Hamza (0) first and then trapped skipper Faf du Plessis (4) in front as the score read 18/3. But the pacer wasn't done and then sent back du Plessis' 'toss proxy' Temba Bavuma for a duck, caught behind by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
 
But the slide was started by Umesh when he sent opener Quinton de Kock's off-stump cartwheeling with a beauty as the Proteas T20I skipper played inside the line of the ball. At the tea break, South Africa were 26/4.
 
In the morning session, the tourists had the worst possible start as they lost skipper du Plessis to a peach of a delivery by Umesh. Overnight-batsman Hamza, however, opted for counter-attacking technique thereafter and along with Bavuma, scored freely and made sure the visitors didn't succumb to the pressure applied by the Indian bowlers.
 
Both Hamza and Bavuma collected boundaries at regular interval and kept the scoreboard moving. During the 91-run partnership, the 24-year-old Hamza went to score his maiden Test 50.
 
However, just when South Africa were looking like getting back into the game, Jadeja bowled a ripper to get past the bat of Hamza and brought an end to his 62-run knock. Bavuma didn't stay long at the crease thereafter and became the first international scalp of debutant Shahbaz Nadeem at his individual score of 32.
 
Wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen, who came in next, didn't trouble the scorers much and was bowled by Jadeja after contributing with six runs to South Africa total.
 
Brief Scores: India: 497/9 declared; South Africa: 162 all out (Zubayr Hamza 62, Temba Bavuma 32; Umesh Yadav 3/40) & 132/8 (following on) (Theunis de Bruyn 30*, Shami 3/10)
 
IANS
 

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Ranchi Test: India sniff series whitewash courtesy pacers

India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Zubayr Hamza with teammates on Day 3 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 21, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Zubayr Hamza with teammates on Day 3 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 21, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Mohammed Shami snared three wickets to leave South Africa tottering as India look on course to complete a 3-0 whitewash after the visitors were bundled out for 162 in their first essay and asked to follow on at the JSCA Stadium on Day 3 of the third and final Test on Monday. 
 
At Tea, the score read 26/4 in South Africa's second essay with Dean Elgar (16) and Heinrich Klaasen (0) at the crease.
 
The motley crowd in attendance were thoroughly entertained by Shami in the post-lunch session as the Proteas were bundled out for 162 in their first innings after starting the session six down. Umesh Yadav returned with figures of 3/40 in the first essay while Shami, debutant Shahbaz Nadeem and Ravindra Jadeja all scalped two wickets apiece. Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, however, remained wicketless.
 
Following on, there was no respite for the visitors as it was Shami who once again looked in lethal rhythm. He clean-bowled Zubayr Hamza (0) first and then trapped skipper Faf du Plessis (4) in front as the score read 18/3. But the pacer wasn't done and then sent back du Plessis' 'toss proxy' Temba Bavuma for a duck, caught behind by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
 
But the slide was started by Umesh when he sent opener Quinton de Kock's off-stump cartwheeling with a beauty as the Proteas T20I skipper played inside the line of the ball.
 
At the break, South Africa were 26/4 with Dean Elgar hurt after being hit on the head by a Umesh bouncer. The Proteas are still trailing by 309 runs with just six wickets in the bag.
 
Earlier on Sunday, India had declared their innings on 497/9 and had picked the wickets of both the South African openers before play was stopped because of bad light.
 
Brief scores: India 1st innings: 497/9 declared; South Africa 1st innings: 162 all out (Zubayr Hamza 62, Temba Bavuma 32; Umesh Yadav 3/40) & 26/4 (Dean Elgar 16*; Mohammed Shami 3/7)
 
IANS

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Rohit surpasses Bradman, adds another feather to his cap

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Rohit Sharma has silenced his critics with his continuous good run with the bat in the ongoing series against South Africa, proving his mettle as a Test opener.
 
The Mumbai batsman has so far notched up two centuries and a double ton in the ongoing three-Test series against the Proteas and his knock of 212 on Sunday has helped him break Don Bradman's record for the highest Test average at home after 10-plus innings.
 
Rohit now averages 99.84 at home, edging past Bradman's average of 98.22. Rohit has now amassed 1,298 runs in 18 innings in Tests at home, which includes six centuries and five half-centuries.
 
The Mumbai batsman struck his maiden double century in Test cricket on Sunday as India declared on 497/9 and reduced South Africa to 9/2 before bad light brought an early end to the second day's play in the the third Test.
 
In the process, Rohit also became the fourth batsman to hit a double hundred both in Test and ODI cricket, emulating Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle.
 
IANS

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SA rocked after Rohit, Rahane put India on hot seat

India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Rohit Sharma struck his maiden double century in Test cricket while Ajinkya Rahane ended his three-year wait for a Test ton at home as India declared on 497/9 and reduced South Africa to 9/2 before bad light brought an early end to the second day's play in the third Test against South Africa here on Sunday.
 
After the Rohit-Rahane show, Ravindra Jadeja hit a composed half-century while Umesh Yadav smashed a whirlwind 10-ball 31 to swell India's first innings total.
 
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis (1 batting) and Zubayr Hamza (0 batting) were at the crease in a rejigged batting order before bad light stopped play shortly after Tea, much like the first day.
 
Quinton de Kock, who is not donning the wicketkeeping gloves in this game, opened the batting along with Dean Elgar after Aiden Markram was ruled out of the tie due to an injury. Elgar (0) was caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha off Mohammed Shami, while de Kock (4) too met a similar fate off Umesh's bowling to leave the Proteas reeling at 8/2.
 
In the first session, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane notched up his 11th Test hundred, his first at home since scoring 188 against New Zealand in Indore in October 2016.
 
However, the day belonged to Rohit who reached the 200-run milestone with a six over mid-wicket off pacer Lungi Ngidi in the third over after lunch to receive a standing ovation from the home crowd. Rohit was finally dismissed for 212 off 255 balls (4x28, 6x6), when his mistimed pull off Kagiso Rabada landed in the hands of Ngidi in deep fine-leg.
 
In the process, Rohit became the fourth batsman to hit a double hundred both in Test and ODI cricket, emulating Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle.
 
Overnight batsmen Rohit and Rahane continued from where they had left, stitching together a 267-run fourth-wicket stand before Rahane (115 off 192 balls; 4x17; 6x1) was caught behind by debutant wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen off fellow first-timer George Linde who scalped his first Test wicket and went on to finish with figures of 4/133.
 
Rahane, who was batting on 83, brought up his century off 169 balls.
 
At the other end, Rohit continued to shine as an opener in the longest format as he reached 150 off 199 deliveries after resuming on 117.
 
After Rahane's dismissal, Jadeja joined Rohit who moved to the 190s from 150 in no time as the visiting team bowlers seemed to lack the firepower to maul the marauding Indian opener who also hit a six to get to his century on Day 1.
 
Rohit hit Andrich Nortje (1/79) for back-to-back boundaries in the 84th over, the penultimate before lunch, to race to 196 and in the last over before the break survived a few edges off Rabada to move to 199.
 
Jadeja extended his purple patch with the bat with a second consecutive fifty but fell just after achieving the landmark, caught behind off Linde for 51 off 119 deliveries, his knock studded with four fours.
 
Saha (24) was castled by Linde while Ravichandran Ashwin managed 14 before Umesh plundered five sixes in his entertaining cameo to take the total close to 500. Umesh was finally removed by Linde, who was hit big by the pacer, as he skied the ball for 'keeper Klaasen to complete the catch.
 
Debutant Shahbaz Nadeem (1 not out) and Mohammed Shami (10 not out) were at the crease when Virat Kohli called them off the field.
 
Besides Linde, pace spearhead Rabada took three wickets.
 
India lead the three-match series 2-0.
 
Brief scores: India 1st innings: 497/9 declared (Rohit Sharma 212, Ajinkya Rahane 115; Ravindra Jadeja 51, George Linde 4/133, Kagiso Rabada 3/85); South Africa 1st innings: 9/2 (Mohammed Shami 1/0, Umesh Yadav 1/4)
 
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Ranchi Test: Rohit smashes maiden double ton in style

India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
There was no stopping the Rohit Sharma juggernaut as the ace India opener notched up his maiden Test double hundred in the third and final Test against South Africa here at the JSCA Stadium on Sunday.
 
Rohit finally departed for 212 from 255 balls with the help of 28 fours and six sixes. He was caught at the fine leg boundary by Lungi Ngidi off Kagiso Rabada.
 
Rohit always looked good for a 'big daddy' hundred when he came out to bat with an overnight score of 117 on the second day, milking the Proteas bowlers around with relative nonchalance.
 
The 32-year old, who has three double hundreds in white-ball cricket with a career best score of 264, got to 150 in 199 balls and raced to the 190s from there in quick time.
 
Rohit hit Andrich Nortje for back-to-back boundaries in the 84th over, the penultimate before lunch, to race to 196 and in the last over before the break survived few edges off Kagiso Rabada to move to 199 from 242 balls, his innings of six and half hours laced with 28 fours and four sixes.
 
Just after the break, India's limited overs vice-captain tonked Lungi Ngidi for a six to get to his milestone in style.
 
The shot was a full-blooded pull in front of square as the ball sailed into the stands and the dressing room rose together to applaud the effort. Rohit, often compared to Virender Sehwag for his dashing sytle as a Test opener, paid a fitting tribute to the former India batsman on his 41st birthday.
 
Batting as an opener for the first time in this series, Rohit, on the first day, added yet another feather to his cap by becoming the batsman to hit the most number of sixes in a Test series.
 
During the ongoing three-Test series against South Africa, Rohit has so far hit 17 sixes and has surpassed Shimron Hetmyer's tally of 15 which came during the two-match series between West Indies and Bangladesh in 2018/19.
 
Rohit already holds the record for hitting the maximum number of sixes in a Test match. During the first Test in Visakhapatnam, the stylish batsman hit 13 sixes and went past Wasim Akram's tally of 12 maximums which the Pakistan pacer had hit during his 257-run knock against Zimbabwe in 1996.
 
Besides Rohit, Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane also scored his 11th Test ton to break his long stretch of poor form. He and Rohit shared a marathon 267-run partnership for the fourth wicket before Rahane (115 off 192 balls; 17x4; 1x6) was caught behind by debutant wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen off fellow first-timer George Linde who scalped his first Test wicket.
 
IANS

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Ranchi Test: Rohit, Rahane help India win Day 1 honours against SA

India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
A brilliant century from Rohit Sharma, who was well supported by vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, helped India get past early jitters and take a commanding position on Day 1 of the third and final Test against South Africa at the JSCA Stadium on Saturday. With bad light forcing an early end to the day's play, India's score read 224/3at stumps with Rohit and Rahane batting on 117 and 83, respectively.
 
Earlier in the day, India skipper got lucky with the toss for the third time in a row and elected to bat without any hesitation. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was handed his Test debut as he was included in the side in place of Ishant Sharma.
 
However, the hosts didn't have a great start as they lost in-form opener Mayank Agarwal in the fifth over for 10. Mayank, who had scored centuries in the first two Tests, was caught at third slip as Rabada bowled a beauty. The ball moved away after pitching and Mayank had no option but to poke at that. Dean Elgar picked a brilliant low catch at third slip.
 
Cheteshwar Pujara, who came in next, once again fell prey to an inswinging delivery from Rabada as he was trapped leg-before wicket. With the score reading 16/2, skipper Kohli walked in.
 
While Kohli did try to steady the innings along with Rohit, but he had to walk back after the duo put on 23 runs for the third wicket. Anrich Nortje ended his 12-run inning by trapping him in front of the wickets to earn his maiden Test wicket.
 
However, Rohit and Rahane took the mantle in their hands from thereafter. Not only did they take the hosts out of hot waters, they also made sure the visitors remained on the back foot for the rest of the day.
 
In the post-lunch session, both came out all guns blazing and scored freely by collecting boundaries at will. The second session saw the duo score as many as 134 runs during which Rohit reached his sixth hundred in red-ball cricket.
 
Rahane, India's vice-captain, also made sure he didn't let the opportunity slip and played with a very positive frame of mind during his innings. While Rohit scored his third hundred of the series, reaching the three-figure mark with a six, Rahane brought up another fifty as the score read 205/3 at Tea.
 
Play was possible for just over seven hours in the final session when bad light forced umpires to take the players off the field. Thereafter rain also came flashing and the play was called off. Rohit and Rahane have so far added 185 runs.
 
Brief Scores: India: 224/3 (Rohit Sharma 117*, Ajinkya Rahane 83*; Kagiso Rabada 2/54) vs South Africa
 
IANS

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Rohit surpasses Hetmyer, creates record for maximum 6s

India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India opener Rohit Sharma has added yet another feather to his cap by becoming the batsman to hit the most number of sixes in a Test series.
 
During the ongoing three-Test series against South Africa, Rohit has so far hit 17 sixes and has surpassed Shimron Hetmyer's tally of 15 which came during the two-match series between West Indies and Bangladesh in 2018/19.
 
On Saturday, the 32-year-old smashed his sixth Test hundred during the third and final Test against Proteas. This was also his third century of the ongoing series. In fact, Rohit reached the mark with a six.
 
Rohit already holds the record for hitting the maximum number of sixes in a Test match. During the first Test in Visakhapatnam, the stylish batsman hit 13 sixes and went past Wasim Akram's tally of 12 maximums which the Pakistan pacer had hit during his 257-run knock against Zimbabwe in 1996.
 
Navjot Singh Sidhu previously held the Indian record for most sixes in a Test, hitting eight maximums against Sri Lanka in 1994. Rohit holds the record for most sixes in a match for India in all the three formats of the game.
 
Overall, former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum holds the record for hitting the maximum number of sixes in Test cricket. McCullum hit 107 maximums in 101 matches he played for the Black Caps. He is followed by Adam Gilchrist (100), Chris Gayle (98), Jacques Kallis (97) and Virender Sehwag (91).
 
IANS
 

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Ranchi Test: Centurion Rohit & Rahane pile agony on SA

India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
India's Rohit Sharma in action on Day 1 of the 3rd Test match between India and South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 19, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
The morning doesn't always show the day and the Proteas learnt it the hard way as opener Rohit Sharma and Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane made hay in the afternoon session after South Africa had reduced India to 71/3 in the first session of the third Test at the JSCA Stadium on Saturday. 
 
While Rohit scored his third hundred of the series, reaching the three-figure mark with a six, Rahane brought up another fifty as the score read 205/3 at Tea.
 
While Rohit is unbeaten on 108, Rahane is batting on 74. The second session saw the duo score as many as 134 runs with the former also adding another milestone in his kitty. Rohit now has the maximum sixes in a Test series with 17* in this one. He overtook West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer who had 15 sixes to his name against Bangladesh.
 
Having played out the first session, Rohit changed gears in the second session and with an in-form Rahane for company, the duo looked to take the attack to the South Africa bowlers. While Rohit dealt in boundaries in the second session -- hitting the South Africa spinners into the stands -- Rahane was happy to play along the ground. But he too showed intent as he scored at a good pace.
 
The South African spinners though failed to rise to the challenge after Kagiso Rabada put the Indians on the back foot in the first session. While skipper Virat Kohli decided to bat immediately after winning the toss, the visitors decided to make good use of the new ball.
 
India lost in-form opener Mayank Agarwal in the fifth over for 10. Mayank, who had scored centuries in the first two Tests, was caught at third slip as Rabada bowled a beauty. The ball moved away after pitching and Mayank had no option but to poke at that. Dean Elgar picked a brilliant low catch at third slip.
 
Cheteshwar Pujara, who came in next, once again fell prey to an inswinging delivery from Rabada as he was trapped leg-before wicket. With the score reading 16/2, skipper Kohli walked in.
 
Kohli did try to steady the innings along with Rohit, but he had to walk back after the duo put on 23 runs for the third wicket. Anrich Nortje ended his 12-run inning by trapping him in front of the wickets to earn his maiden Test wicket.
 
Brief Scores: India: 205/3 (Rohit Sharma 108, Ajinkya Rahane 74) vs South Africa
 
IANS
 
 

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Kovind urges universities to contribute towards social responsibility

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President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday urged universities to contribute towards Universities' Social Responsibility (USR).
 
Addressing the 33rd convocation of Ranchi University, the President said at least five students from each university should go to nearby villages at an interval of about two months, and if possible, stay there at night and interact with the villagers.
 
They should communicate with the villagers about the welfare and development schemes of the central and state government. Ranchi University should pay special attention to USR, he added.
 
Noting that Jharkhand had about 40% of the country’s mineral reserves, he said several big public and private sector industries are established in the state. There are many tourists’ attractions in Jharkhand. The state has also many good educational institutions.
 
“On the strength of many such characteristics of Jharkhand and the talent of youth, it has the potential to become a developed state,” he said.
 
Ranchi University established the Department of Ethnic and Regional Languages in 1980 to preserve and promote languages and culture of Jharkhand. At present five tribal languages -- Kudukh, Mundari, Santhali, Ho and Kharia -- are taught in the university, Kovind said.
 
“The knowledge of tribal languages and cultures should be used to connect with the community and for development. We should learn from the tribal communities to meet our needs in harmony with nature. Ranchi University could make a multi-dimensional contribution by encouraging research on tribal culture and civilization,” he added.
 
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Kovind to visit Odisha, Jharkhand and Bengal from Sep 27 to Oct 1

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal from September 27 to October 1.
 
On September 28, the President will present Colours to the Corps of Army Air Defence at Gopalpur in Odisha, an official press release said.
 
On the following day, Kovind will visit Vikas Bharti, Bishunpur, Gumla in Jharkhand.
 
On September 30, he will attend the 33rd convocation of Ranchi University.  
 
On October 1, the President will visit the National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities in Kolkata, West Bengal, the release added.
 
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100 days of govt just a trailer, full movie yet to come: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the first 100 days of his government's work was just a trailer and the entire film is yet to come.
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the first 100 days of his government's work was just a trailer and the entire film is yet to come.
 
"The 100 days work of the government is just a trailer and the movie is yet to come. Those who were thinking that they are above the law are seeking bail now. I am working on what I had promised. I had promised a Kamdaar (working) and Damdaar (effective) government," said Modi while launching three national-level schemes here on Thursday.
 
"In 100 days, Muslim women have been given their right and triple talaq law has been implemented. The anti-terror law has been made more stringent, the work for development of Jammu and Kashmir has been initiated. Those who were plundering people have been sent to the right place (jail). And what we had promised to farmers is being delivered," he  said.
 
Modi launched a pension scheme for farmers and small traders and 462 Eklavya Model residential schools for tribal students. He inaugurated the riverine multi-modal terminal in Sahebganj district and the new assembly building at Ranchi. He also laid the foundation stone of the new secretariat.
 
Modi termed the recently concluded Monsoon session of Parliament as historic for which he thanked the Members of Parliament (MPs) and political parties. He said that important bills were passed during the session.
 
"Jharkhand has become the launching pad for national-level schemes. In September last year, the world's biggest health scheme Ayushman Bharat was launched from the same Prabhat Tara ground. Today three national-level schemes have been launched. This will give a new identity to Jharkhand," he said.
 
"The Sahebganj multi-modal terminal will give new opportunities to Jharkhand. It will play an important role in transportation of domestic coal from the local mines in Rajmahal area to various thermal power plants. This is part of the Haldia-Varanasi waterway project. It will also provide a market for the products of Jharkhand in other parts of the country.
 
"Our government's mission is to make the life of people including tribals easier. We have launched schemes like Ayushman Bharat, PM Jeevan Jyoti Yojna, Jan Dhan account which could not have been thought of five years ago," he said.
 
He also appealed to the people of Jharkhand to actively participate in ending the menace of single-use plastic.
 
"Collect single-use plastic at one place and make the country free from this menace on the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi," said Modi.
 
Jharkhand assembly elections will be held by the end of the year.
 
IANS
 

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GAIL's city gas distribution project inaugurated in Ranchi

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Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda and Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan jointly inaugurated public sector natural gas major GAIL (India) Limited's City Gas Distribution (CGD) project in Ranchi on Friday.
 
As part of the project, compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG), CNG stations in Madhuvan Vihar and Khukari and a decompression unit at Mecon colony for PNG supply were launched on the occasion.
 
The event marked a significant milestone in the spread of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga scheme in Jharkhand, a press release from GAIL said.
 
GAIL is implementing the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga and also the CGD projects in Ranchi and Jamshedpur. 
 
GAIL Chairman & Managing Director Ashutosh Karnatak and Director (Finance) A K Tiwari were present on the occasion.
 
The Ministers inaugurated CNG stations in Madhuvan Vihar and Khukari and also launched supply of PNG to domestic consumers in Shayamali Colony and CNG-run vehicles in the city.
 
Over the coming year, 11 CNG stations will be commissioned in Ranchi by GAIL to supply CNG to over 75,000 vehicles.
 
Initially, natural gas will reach Ranchi in special containers called “cascades” which will be transported by road from Patna, Bihar. Later, natural gas will be supplied through the Jagdishpur – Haldia & Bokaro – Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), popularly known as the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga. The pipeline is presently under construction and likely to be completed by 2020.
 
Three autorickshaw manufacturers -- Piaggio, Bajaj and TVS  -- have agreed for supplying CNG auto vehicles. Awareness programmes are also being conducted for autorickshaw owners and drivers for the smooth transition to the use of CNG.
 
"CNG is one of the most environment-friendly fuels as compared to conventional fuels because it has no impurities such as sulphur or lead. It is safe because it is lighter than air and rises up in case of leakage. Moreover, it is unlikely to ignite because of high ignition temperature. It is also economical as compared to conventional fuels.
 
"The commencement of supply of CNG is a major step towards the fulfilment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of developing a gas-based economy and linking Eastern India to the country’s Natural Gas Grid through the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga, which will pass through six  states, i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha  West Bengal and Assam. Laying of the 551-km pipeline of this project will be done in Jharkhand. This pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India," the release said.
 
In the coming years, 22 CNG stations will be commissioned in Jharkhand (Ranchi and Jamshedpur) by GAIL to supply CNG to over 1.25 lakh vehicles and PNG supply to 10.46 lakh households. The CGD projects in Ranchi and Jamshedpur are being taken up in parallel with the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga pipeline. In Jharkhand, the natural gas pipeline will be constructed at an estimated investment of Rs 4,366 crore and have a length of about 551 km covering 12 districts -- Chatra, Giridih, Hazaribagh, Bokaro, Ramgarh, Dhanbad, Saraikela, Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla, Simdega and East Singhbhum.
 
The overall capital expenditure for the Ranchi and Jamshedpur CGD projects will be Rs. 1,500 crore of which Rs 450 crore will be spent in the next three to five years.
 
The JHBDPL will provide a major boost to industries in eastern India and will supply natural gas for the revival of fertilizer plants in Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Barauni (Bihar), and Sindri (Jharkhand). In addition, Matix Fertilizer at Durgapur (West Bengal) will also be provided natural gas. The revival of these fertilizer plants would result in an additional annual production capacity of 75 lakh tonnes, making India self-reliant in meeting the annual domestic demand, the release added.
 
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Two girls found hanging from a tree in Jharkhand

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Two girls allegedly committed suicide by hanging themselves with the same rope in the Simdega district of Jharkhand on Sunday.
 
According to the police, the two girls -- Shraddha Su Nandini, 18, and Suandani Bage, 23, missing since Saturday -- were found hanging from a tree at Kaju Bagan.
 
On Saturday, they had left home to go to school. When they did not return home by evening, the parents started searching for them.
 
While the police suspect it to be a case of suicide, the family members see it as a case of murder. 
 
The bodies have been sent for post-mortem examination.
 
IANS

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Jharkhand Congress chief manhandled by party workers

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Jharkhand Congress chief Ajay Kumar faced protests by party workers when he arrived at its office here on Monday to attend a poll review meeting.
 
Kumar had resigned after the humiliating defeat of the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls. Congress had fought the polls in a 'grand alliance' with JMM, RJD and others in Jharkhand. Congress had fought on seven seats and won only one but Kumar was asked by the party to continue as state president.
 
On Monday the first meeting was called in the state to review the poll defeat. Some party workers shouted "Go back go back" and also manhandled Kumar. Security personnel somehow managed to rescue him.
 
Congress workers here call Kumar an "outsider".
 
The Jharkhand Congress is a divided house after the poll defeat. One group wants Kumar should be removed from the state president's post. The group is supported by some legislators, former MPs and others.
 
"Six party members involved in the incident have been suspended. The party workers should raise organisational issues at the right forum. Instead of getting divided, it is time to unite to face challenges of the BJP's misrule as the Assembly polls will take place very soon," Kishore Sahdeo, Jharkhand Congress spokesperson told IANS.
 
IANS
 

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Rs 23 lakh looted from bank in Jharkhand

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Four criminals looted Rs 23 lakh from a Bank of India branch in Jharkhand's Chatra district on Monday, police said.
 
The four came riding on two bikes at 9.40 a.m. to the bank, held the staff at gun point and looted the money from its chest before escaping. The police have launched a hunt for them.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How football is saving tribal girls in Jharkhand from trafficking, child marriage

As an uneducated tribal woman, Tetri Devi, 51, has seen many struggles, but seeing her youngest child, Anshu Kacchap, scale heights in football and visit the UK to play an inter-school football tournament has brought alive dreams, hopes and the zeal to continue her fight against the naysayers. Girls like Anshu are breaking the mould and smashing the glass ceiling with football.
 
Tetri revealed that when Anshu started playing football, everyone in the community, including her husband, was against the idea. "A girl wearing shorts and spending time playing football was not only looked down upon but was fiercely opposed by many. I remember being stopped by villagers concerned about me allowing the girl to play football and being called out for being a bad mother," she said, adding that every snide comment she ignored and every advice she didn't heed was "worth the trouble".
 
With her husband unemployed for the larger part of the year, Tetri earns a living for her family of six -- among them four daughters, of whom Anshu is the youngest -- by selling Hadiya, a locally brewed rice beer in the nearby haats (rural markets) in Pahan Toli, a remote village on the outskirts of Ranchi. Football has given her and her daughter a reason to dream again. 
 
Anshu has been associated with OSCAR (Organization for Social Change, Awareness and Responsibility) Foundation's football training programme, which runs from Chari Huzir on the outskirts of Ranchi, for five years now. She has not only represented Jharkhand in national tournaments but has also been one of the eight girls from Jharkhand who played in a UK Schools Tour, OSCAR ‘Kick Like a Girl' in October last year. 
 
The transformation through football wasn't an easy one for the 200-odd girls who have taken to the sport around Irba and Kanke. Social stigma aside, acute poverty and challenges like the lack of even a single square meal, looming threats of early marriage and absence of support from their families have been a problem for these tribal girls, living about 30 kilometres from Ranchi. Through all the struggle, football has been their tool against fear, one kick at a time. 
 
Shital Toppo, a student of commerce at a local college, said she was in disbelief when she found out she would be going to Russia in 2018 to watch a FIFA World Cup match as a part of the Football for Hope Movement, a project of FIFA to promote football as a medium for development and growth. She said the first time she went on the field, she couldn't even manage to kick the ball for the first week.
 
"I was all awkward wearing the sports gear, and afraid of people judging me," she reminisced.
 
But it wasn't all bad for Toppo, who played a friendly match with other members of the delegation from all over the world. She even befriended a representative from Brazil, Barbara. 
 
"Football has changed my stand in the society and without it, I would have simply dropped out of school like many other girls in my village," she said. 
 
Not only has she inspired her elder brother to resume education, but also many other children in her village to become a part of the change that football has initiated in her life. 
 
For Tinky Kumari, 16, like hundreds of young girls in the area, an early wedding was supposed to celebrate her passing the matriculation examinations. Her elder brother, a school dropout himself, forced her to work as a farm labourer but football became her weapon of protest. 
 
"My brother didn't hesitate to beat me up just to stop me from playing football," she recalled. She said her trip to the UK was a turning point as now everyone in her family has finally stopped talking about marrying her off. With her parents' support, she is now continuing her education.
 
The narrative of how football empowered these village girls is a story that never fails to inspire. Helena Tete, 53, has been mentoring the girls since the early days of the programme. She has been a witness to the story of these girls and how football has empowered them to become what they are. 
 
She recalled that when the training started in 2013, the girls taking part in the training were scared and hesitant. Their families were reluctant as they didn't see a future in sports for them, she said. "Today, every time they play a national tournament or win a match, it is such a proud moment for us," she added. 
 
Started in Chari Huzir in Kanke block, the programme by OSCAR Foundation now covers eight different tolas (groups of villages). A few players from the training institute have made it to the Under-15 and the Under-17 teams of Jharkhand.
 
Though professional football will not be a part of the larger plan for many girls, for now they are rewriting their life through a sport that has helped them realise their worth in the world.
 
"I started playing football when I was in class eight and I arrived on the field wearing a traditional skirt," recalled Anshu. She thought people would make fun of her but instead, she became less conscious over time and mastered the sport. 
 
She noted that the most important factor in her story was her mother's decision to let her play. "As I teach young girls now, it feels good to be a person who others look up to," added Anshu, who dreams of taking her football career forward along with higher studies. 
 
IANS
 

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22 policemen injured in Jharkhand road accident

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As many as 22 policemen were injured in a road accident in Jharkhand's Ramgarh district on Saturday, the police said.
 
Fifty-two Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) personnel were on their way to Deoghar for the Shravani Mela duty from Ranchi when the bus driver lost control and hit a tree in the Sikidari valley. 
 
The condition of five of the injured constables is stated to be critical. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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