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Madhya Pradesh

Ten dead, 18 injured in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh

Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of Monday, officials said.

 
Ten killed in stampede at Kamtanath Pahad temple at Chitrakoot in MP
Ten pilgrims were killed and at least 18 others suffered injuries in a stampede at the Kamtanath Pahad temple in Chitrakoot in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh in the early hours of today, officials said.
 
Inspector General of Police (Rewa Range) Pawan Shrivastav told NetIndian over the telephone that the victims included six women and four men. 
 
He said six of those injured had been discharged after first aid while the rest were undergoing treatment for injuries. None of them was in a serious condition, he said.
 
District Magistrate and Collector Mohan Lal said the incident occurred around 4.45 am today.
 
Thousands of pilgrims had gathered at the temple, located about 80 km from Satna district headquarters on the border between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for the five-km "parikrama" (circumambulation) of the Kamadgiri hill on the occasion of Somvati Amavasya.
 
Details of the circumstances leading to the incident were not clear, but Mr Shrivastav said one of the pilgrims, a woman, appeared to have stumbled and fallen and before people realised it, some more people fell and several others following them, all at a brisk space in a cramped section of the "parikrama" trampled upon them.
 
Many of the devotes, especially women, were performing "Shayana Pradakshinam" --- in which they lie down and roll on the path -- for worship when the incident occurred, sources said.
 
The district authorities have ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, they said.
 
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed his grief at the loss of lives in the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those killed, Rs 50,000 for those with serious injuries and Rs 10,000 for those who have suffered minor injuries.
 
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A.P. Express coaches catch fire, none injured

 
Andhra Pradesh AC Superfast Express catches fire
 
 
At least two coaches of the A.P. Express caught fire near Birlanagar in Madhya Pradesh on Monday, officials said. No one was injured.
 
According to a Railway Ministry official, the fire was detected in the B-6 coach around 11.50 a.m. The fire then spread to the B-7 coach, Ved Prakash, a Railway Ministry spokesperson, told IANS.
 
Following the fire, the guard stopped the train and shifted the passengers of the B-6 and B-7 coaches to other coaches. The train then reached Gwalior, he said.
 
The train was on its way from Vishakapatnam to Hazrat Nizamuddin, the official said. An inquiry has been ordered into the accident.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Cabinet nod establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation in Bhopal

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The Union Cabinet today approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) in Bhopal as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. 
 
The estimated cumulative cost of the project is Rs. 179.54 crore in the first three years. This includes non-recurring expenditure of Rs. 128.54 crore and recurring expenditure of Rs. 51 crore, an official press release said.
 
The release said the Cabinet also approved the proposal to create three Joint Secretary-level posts, which include one post of Director of the Institute and two posts of Professors.
 
The main objectives of the NIMHR are to provide rehabilitation services to persons with mental illness, capacity development in the area of mental health rehabilitation, policy framing and advanced research in mental health rehabilitation, it said.
 
The Institute will have nine Departments/Centres and will conduct 12 courses to offer diploma, certificate, graduate, post-graduate and M.Phil degrees in the area of mental health rehabilitation. Within a span of five years, the student intake of the institute in various courses is expected to be over 400.
 
The Government of Madhya Pradesh has allocated five acres of land in Bhopal for setting up of this Institute. The Institute will be established in three years in two phases. Within two years, the civil and electrical work of the institute will be completed. Simultaneously, during the construction of building, the Institute will run in a suitable rented building in Bhopal to conduct certificate/diploma courses and also OPD services. Subsequently, the Institute will provide complete set of rehabilitation services for persons with mental illness and conduct courses upto Master's degree and M.Phil.
 
NIMHR will be the first of its kind in the country in the area of mental health rehabilitation.  It will serve as an institution of excellence to develop capacity building in the area of mental health rehabilitation and also help the Government to develop models for effective rehabilitation of persons with mental illness, the release added.
 
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Minor sexually assaulted, burnt alive in MP

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A minor girl was gang-raped and burnt alive in Khurai in Madhya Pradesh by her relative and his friend, following which one person was arrested, police said on Friday.
 
Additional Superintendent of Police Vikramjit Singh said the victim was sexually assaulted by her cousin and his friend in Jujharpur village in Bandri police station area when she was alone in her house on Thursday night. She was burnt alive after she resisted.
 
He said Ravinder has been arrested while Bharat is absconding. The accused were booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.
 
Home Minister Bhupender Singh, in whose Assembly segment the village falls, met the bereaved family and announced Rs 2 lakh aid.
 
IANS
 
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Four army trucks burnt in fire on goods train

 
Military vehicles burnt in fire on goods train in MP
 
 
Four army trucks were burnt to ashes in a fire on a goods train, which was also carrying ammunition and explosives, on Thursday on the Bhopal-Nagpur stretch in Madhya Pradesh, officials said.
 
The fire broke out while the train, on way from Bengaluru to Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad, was near Maramjhiri station between Betul and Itarsi junctions, an official said, adding the reasons for the blaze were yet to be ascertained.
 
Operations on the stretch were affected following the fire.
 
Betul District Collector Shashank Mishra told mediapersons that the fire, which swept across four bogies on which the trucks were being transported, had now been controlled, and while the trucks had been destroyed, the ammunition and explosives were safe. A decision on the forward movement of the train would be taken after consultations, he added. 
 
Government Railway Police Inspector Hemraj Kumre said that his team reached the spot on coming to know of the blaze and spent many hours dousing it.
 
Mishra, Superintendent of Police Saket Prakash Pandey and other senior officials have reached the spot, along with senior railway officials.
 
IANS
 
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Independent MLA joins BJP in Madhya Pradesh

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Independent MLA Dinesh Rai has joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh in the presence of state BJP President Rakesh Singh.
 
Rai, who represents Seoni constituency, joined the party on Thursday night.
 
The MLA said: "Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has done a lot for my constituency. So I joined the party."
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Eight mowed down by truck in Jabalpur, MP

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At least eight persons were mowed down by a truck here on Sunday while three others were injured, two of them critically, police said.
 
Superintendent of Police Kumar Saurabh said a group of persons was standing at a bus stop at Mankhedi village in Belkheda police station area when the truck laden with cement went out of control, ran over them and toppled .
 
Several persons were feared trapped under the truck and the cement sacks that spilled around. The truck driver was on his way to Bhopal when the accident occurred in the afternoon.
 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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A go-getter, Kamal Nath faces onerous task as MP state chief

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Kamal Nath, who the Congress has appointed as the new Madhya Pradesh unit chief in a bid to break BJP's hold in the state, is seen as a go-getter, a quick decision-maker and a smart tactician, who has won nine Lok Sabha elections.
 
He faces an onerous task in his new role to lead the party's effort to unseat the well-entrenched BJP in Madhya Pradesh, where Congress has been out of power for the last 15 years. 
 
With about seven months left for the assembly elections, Kamal Nath, 71, will need to take quick steps to galvanise the party unit and forge appropriate social and caste matrix for party's success. 
 
While his seniority and acceptability across different factions of the state unit is seen as an advantage, Kamal Nath will be called upon to use his resourcefulness to inject a momentum into the party's as quickly as possible to face the poll challenge.
 
The central leaderhip took its time in announcing a leadership change in the Madhya Pradesh as it weighed various options.
 
There was speculation that Jyotiradtiya Scindia, 47, a four-time MP, would be declared the chief ministerial candidate. 
 
Kamal Nath was in favour of an early announcement of the chief ministerial candidate and had gone on record to state that he would welcome announcement about Scindia being declared the candidate. 
 
Scindia has now been made Chairman of the Campaign Committee for the assembly polls. 
 
Though the party has not formally announced a Chief Ministerial candidate, Kamal Nath is seen as a front runner for the post in case the party gets a majority. 
 
Kamal Nath has signalled that he will take along all leaders, including former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, in his efforts to unseat the BJP. Singh had embarked on a Narmada Yatra recently and has considerable support base across the state.
 
Among the factors that seem to have worked in favour of Kamal Nath are his vast organisational and administrative experience and his resourcefulness. 
 
Kamal Nath's appointment also signals Congress President Rahul Gandhi's endeavour to give regard to experience of party's senior leadership while making crucial election-related decisions. 
 
There was speculation that young leaders will be appointed to key posts in states after Gandhi's elevation as party chief in December last. 
 
Kamal Nath not only has to take on three-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the electoral arena but also faces a BJP election machinery which has shown considerable booth level dexterity under party chief Amit Shah. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP's most popular campaigner, is also expected to campaign extensively in Madhya Pradesh in the run-up to the assembly polls. 
 
Kamal Nath will be expected to replicate at state level his own expertise in repeatedly winning elections from Chhindwara. 
 
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He has undertaken several welfare initiatives in Chhindwara and maintained a connect with the voters. He retained his seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls despite the BJP sweeping the elections in Madhya Pradesh. He was later elected pro-term Speaker, being the senior-most member of the 16th Lok Sabha. 
 
Kamal Nath has been a union minister in different Congress-led governments and has also held organisational posts including being in-charge of Gujarat and Haryana in his nearly four-decade political career. 
 
Kamal Nath also has friends across the political spectrum. A friend of the late Sanjay Gandhi, he was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1980. He was Minister of Environment and Forests as also Textiles Minister during the Narasimha Rao government. 
 
Kamal Nath was a key member of the two UPA governments and was Commerce and Industry Minister from 2004-2009. During the UPA-II government, he held portfolios of Road Transport and Highways, Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs. 
 
As India's Commerce minister, he championed the cause of developing countries at WTO ministerial meetings. 
 
He also took initiatives for the protection of the environment.
 
IANS
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Kamal Nath named Madhya Pradesh Congress president, Scindia made campaign chief

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi today appointed former Union Minister Kamal Nath as the  new president of the party's unit in Madhya Pradesh, where assembly elections are due later this year.
 
Another former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was also said to be in the running for the position, was named as the Chairman of the Campaign Committee.
 
"The party appreciates the hard work and contribution of Shri Arun Yadav, who will be stepping down from his responsibility as PCC President of Madhya Pradesh," a press release issued by Mr. Ashok Gehlot, General Secretary, All India Congress Committee, said.
 
The release said Mr. Bala Bachhan, Mr. Ramnivas Rawat, Mr. Jitu Patwari and Mr. Surender Choudhary had been appointed as working presidents of Madhya Pradesh PCC.
 
Mr. Nath, 71, is serving his ninth term as a Member of the Lok Sabha from Chhindwara constituency in Madhya Pradesh. He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1980.
 
He has served as Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Textiles, Commerce and Industry, Road Transport and Highways, Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs over the years.
 
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Modi for social movement against sexual crimes, launches Gram Swaraj Abhiyan

 
Ordinance to amend POSCO Act will ensure women's safety: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for a social movement for protecting girls in the wake of increasing rapes reported from different parts of the country and said families have to teach their sons to become responsible.
 
Addressing a gathering here to mark the National Panchayati Raj Day, he also said that museums will be set up in states where tribals have played a role in the freedom struggle and called for a resolve for transformation of villages in the next four years. 
 
He launched the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, unveiled a road map for overall development of tribals during the next five years and laid the foundation stone of an LPG bottling plant of Indian Oil Corporation at Maneri in this Madhya Pradesh district. 
 
With almost a year left for the next Lok Sabha polls, the programme in this predominantly tribal district is seen as an effort by the BJP-led government to reach out to rural masses. Madhya Pradesh will face assembly polls later this year.
 
In his nearly 45-minute speech, Modi suggested steps to boost farmers income, improve soil health and boost ground water recharge. He laid stress on the use of technology, including mobile phones, to bring transparency and efficiency in implementing welfare initiatives. 
 
Citing the ordinance brought by his government last week that provides for death sentence to those convicted of raping a child below 12 years of age and life term to those raping a child below 16, he also mentioned the applause that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan received when he mentioned of the ordinance during his speech. 
 
The Prime Minister called for steps to give more respect to the daughters in the families.
 
"The government in Delhi listens to your heart. We should learn to give respect to daughters in the family, we should increase the importance of daughters in the family and start teaching sons about responsibility. It will never be difficult to protect daughters if we start teaching sons about responsibility. 
 
"The one who acts devilishly will face the gallows. We have to build a social movement and we can all together bring out the country from this problem," he said.
 
Modi's remarks came in the wake of nationwide outrage over the rape and murder of a minor in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district and other similar incidents including a case in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh where the main accused is a BJP MLA. 
 
He also said that some of the real heroes of the freedom struggle have not got the attention they deserved, and he did not know "what problem came".
 
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Referring to the sacrifice by leaders from the tribal community in the struggle for freedom, specially after 1857, he said they fought many big fights for the country's honour. 
 
Modi said apart from Birsa Munda and Rani Avantibai, sacrifices have been made by a lot of people. 
 
"It is my dream that in every state where tribals have fought for freedom struggle, a modern museum will be made," he said. 
 
Modi also said that the Panchayati Raj Day was an important opportunity to fulfill the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi. 
 
"By 2022, we should transform our villages in accordance with the dream of Mahatma Gandhi. I want to make you persons of strong resolve." 
 
He suggested bee-keeping and planting bamboo on edges of fields as steps which can boost income of farmers. Bamboo has been classified as "grass" by the government to enable its better commercial use, he added. 
 
Modi said the concern these days was not about lack of funds and the given tasks should be carried out honestly and with transparency.
 
"Not a single child should stay illiterate. If a life is transformed due to a pradhan, India moves in the right direction," he said, adding he was talking of small things as these bring about a change. 
 
Urging villagers to take care of the health of soil in their fields, he said that large use of chemical fertilisers can cause damage and suggested bringing down use of urea. 
 
Referring to the MGNREGA, he suggested that focus can be on water conservation works in April, May and June and said if every drop of rain water is conserved, it will bring down expenses.
 
"We have to take forward Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan," he said. 
 
IANS
 
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World Bank to provide $ 210 million loan for improving rural road network in Madhya Pradesh

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The Government of India, the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the World Bank today signed a $210 million loan agreement for the Madhya Pradesh Rural Connectivity Project. 
 
The project is expected to improve the durability, resilience and safety of the gravel surfaced rural roads and enhance the capacity of the state to manage its rural roads network, an official press release said.
 
The project will cover 10,510 km stretch of rural roads in Madhya Pradesh that fall under the Chief Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (CMGSY) program. Of this 10,000 km will be upgraded from existing gravel to bituminous surface roads, while 510 km of new roads will be built to the same bituminous surface standard, it said.
 
"Government of India is making all efforts to ensure that communities in the most remote areas across the country are connected through a road network. All weather road connectivity is crucial for economic growth, especially in the rural areas,” said Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. “The Madhya Pradesh roads project will enhance rural road connectivity in the state which will open up opportunities for economic development and access to social services for beneficiary communities in the state and help in reducing poverty.” 
 
The agreement for the project was signed by Mr. Khare on behalf of the Government of India; Mr. Pankaj Jhawar, Chief General Manager, Madhya Pradesh Rural Road Development Authority on behalf of the Government of Madhya Pradesh; and Mr Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank. 
 
“This project will leverage resources to support innovations in road construction, improve road safety, and reduce carbon footprint in the transport sector by mainstreaming climate resilient technology in road design and construction,” said Mr Abdo. 
 
Gravel surfaced roads are more prone to washouts than paved roads during flood seasons. The project will undertake resilience measures such as surface sealing of roads, embankment pitching, and balancing culverts to prevent damages caused by extreme flood events. 
 
The release said the transport sector is one of the most significant emitters of greenhouse gases. Alternate sealing options for road construction like polymer modified asphalt, asphalt blended with plastic waste, and multiple surface treatment to be piloted on approximately 20 percent of the length will not only be more cost-effective but will also reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector. 
 
The project, on a pilot basis, will engage women self-help groups (SHG) in the post-construction maintenance activity. This will involve routine maintenance of off-carriage way parts of the road, while the main carriageway maintenance will remain part of the original contractor’s contract. The SHG members will be trained through the project, and their work will be directly supervised and managed by the Madhya Pradesh Rural Road Development Authority (MPRRDA) field offices. In fact, a direct maintenance contract will be executed between the SHG group and MPRRDA for 3-5 years. 
 
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Recognizing that road safety is a critical issue, the project will strengthen road safety management systems with the objective of reducing fatalities and serious injuries from road accidents, the release said.
 
The project will focus on improving road accident data collection and analysis at central and state levels through implementation of the Road Accident Database Management System (RADMS); strengthen road safety capacity at the central level; and focus on training. 
 
The state will pilot a comprehensive Road Safety Program (PCRSP) in districts with most fatal and serious injuries recorded in the recent past. It plans to undertake a bottom-up approach by engaging and empowering local communities to develop customized solutions to improve road safety, the release said. 
 
“The project will benefit the rural people residing in very small villages in Madhya Pradesh. The construction of sealed roads under the project will help reduce transport costs, improve road safety and minimize post-harvest losses for farmers by ensuring transport services in all seasons. The project will also help in reducing pollution and increase access to jobs, markets, schools and health facility for the rural population thus reducing the migration towards urban areas. It will implement a range of contracting and institutional reform measures and update standards and specifications, with a particular emphasis on road safety,” Mr. Jhawar added.
 
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Infant raped, killed in MP; 1 arrested

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A four-month-old girl was sexually assaulted and murdered in Madhya Pradesh's Indore town, police said, adding that the accused has been arrested.
 
The incident occurred in the M.G. Road area. The infant was abducted, raped and killed in a vacant basement space just 50m away from where her parents were sleeping early on Friday. 
 
The police used CCTV footage to identify the attacker. He was apprehended late that night, the police said.
 
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday tweeted that society should look within to see where it was heading. 
 
"The accused has been arrested. We will ensure that he is meted out strict punishment as soon as possible," Chouhan said.
 
Former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh said: "An infant has been raped and killed, where are we heading to as a nation and society? The accused should be severely punished." 
 
IANS
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Madhya Pradesh wins Most Film Friendly State Award

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Madhya Pradesh has won the Most Film Friendly State Award and Uttarakhand got a Special Mention Certificate, Jury Chairperson Ramesh Sippy announced here yesterday.  
 
The jury also lauded the continuing efforts of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat towards creating a film-friendly eco system. 
 
The awards will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind on May 3 during the presentation of the National Film Awards, an official press release said.
 
Madhya Pradesh was chosen for the award for its efforts towards easing filming in the State by creating a well-structured website, film-friendly infrastructure, offering incentives, maintaining databases, undertaking marketing and promotional initiatives.
 
The jury unanimously selected Madhya Pradesh from among the 16 participants. The State also received positive feedback from established filmmakers who have shot there.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sippy said, “The jury members laud the continuing efforts of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat towards creating a film-friendly ecosystem in their States and hope that they keep up the good work.
 
“This year Madhya Pradesh where a lot of filmmakers have shot over the years has won the award due to the ease of filming that the State offers along with excellent on-ground support and film infrastructure, an informative website and incentives for filmmaking. Their entry was also presented beautifully with all required documents given in a very comprehensive manner,” he said.
 
“In addition, the jury would like to acknowledge the sincere efforts made by Uttarakhand in this direction, despite it being a relatively new State with a difficult terrain and hence has been given the Special Mention,” he added.
 
Apart from Mr Sippy, the jury comprised renowned filmmakers Nagraj Manjule, Raja Krishna Menon, Vivek Agnihotri, and Uday Singh, MD, Motion Picture Distributors Association.
 
The States that participated in the competition were Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
 
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21 killed as mini-truck falls into river in Madhya Pradesh

 
21 killed as truck falls of bridge in Madhya Pradesh
 
 
At least 21 members of a wedding party were killed after a mini-truck they were travelling in fell into the Son river in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district, an official said on Wednesday.
 
The accident in which more than 20 others were injured, occurred late on Tuesday when the driver lost control of the vehicle while crossing the Jogdaha bridge.
 
The mini-truck crashed through the railing and plunged into the river. 
 
The wedding party was en route to Bahari in Sidhi from Deosar in Singrauli district. 
 
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expressed grief over the incident. 
 
The relief and rescue operations continued through the night. All bodies have been recovered. The injured were in hospital. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
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Six injured in train derailment in MP

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At least six people were injured when four coaches of a passenger train derailed in Katni district in Madhya Pradesh, a railway official said on Sunday.

The Katni-Chopan Passenger was derailed between Pipariya Kalan and Salhana stations at 10.20 p.m. on Saturday, West Central Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer Gunjan Gupta told IANS. The reason for the derailment was not clear.

The injured were admitted to a hospital in Katni town. The official said work was on to repair the damaged track.

IANS

 

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Making all Indians equal citizens is greatest contribution of the Constitution, says Kovind

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The greatest contribution of the Constitution of India, created under the guidance of Dr BR Ambedkar, was to make all Indians equal citizens, irrespective of social or economic background, according to President Ram Nath Kovind.
 
Addressing a function here on the 127th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar yesterday, the President said this Fundamental Right ensured that every Indian has the right to a dignified life.
 
In parallel, the Constitution introduced universal franchise and gave every citizen, irrespective of social background or economic status, the right to vote, he added.
 
“These two rights,” President Kovind said, “have special significance for the poor, the traditionally disadvantaged and the weaker sections of our society.
 
“These rights, along with the importance of education that Dr Ambedkar underlined, are crucial for the proper exercise of all other rights granted to citizens by our Constitution.
 
“Our country is run on democratic traditions – elections are held, governments are formed, and the future of citizens is worked towards. There is a need for the people to be aware of challenges and opportunities – and to exercise their democratic rights wisely,” he added.
 
In his move towards building a better and fairer society, Dr Ambedkar emphasised the values of nonviolence and of compassion in public life. He fought for the welfare of weaker sections of society but his path remained nonviolent – stressing consensus through dialogue.
 
“He believed that this was our country, for all of us, and that whatever needed to be done to bring justice to the weaker sections of society could be achieved by adhering to social harmony,” Mr Kovind said.
 
“In his final speech in the Constituent Assembly, Dr Ambedkar said now that we have constitutional methods of expressing opposition, we should avoid disruptive mechanisms,” he added.
 
Mr Kovind said, “Our Constitution is our sacred text. It empowers those from traditionally weaker and disadvantaged sections to aspire to and reach the highest positions in the country.
 
“It is a tribute to Dr Ambedkar’s efforts that today people from such sections are making important contributions to building a modern and better India,” he added.
 
“Dr Ambedkar often stressed that being an Indian was his primary, secondary and ultimate identity. Today, there is a need for every citizen to internalise this sentiment. Equality and fraternity create harmony.
 
“As such, all citizens, especially young people, should follow the path of fraternity that Dr Ambedkar showed us,” Mr Kovind said.
 
Earlier, he paid tributes to Dr Ambedkar at his memorial in Mhow becoming the first President to pay homage at Dr Ambedkar’s birthplace (Mhow) on his birth anniversary.
 
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Coaches of passenger train derail in MP, no information of casualties

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Four coaches of a passenger train derailed in Madhya Pradesh's Katni district on Saturday night but there was no information about casualties, a railway official said.
 
The coaches of the 51675 Chopan Express, running between Katni and Chopan towns, derailed between the Piparia and Kaman stations in Katni, West Central Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer Gunjan Gupta told IANS.
 
The incident occurred at 10.20 p.m., she said, adding further details were awaited.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Singrauli region of Madhya Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, shook the Singrauli region of Madhya Pradesh this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.2°N and longitude 82.6°E, occured at 1944 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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India’s fastest train Gatimaan Express extended up to Gwalior/Jhansi

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India’s fastest train, the Gatimaan Express, has been extended up to Gwalior/Jhansi from April 1 to boost tourism in the Bundelkhand region.
 
The extension of this prestigious premium train no 12049/50 that was plying between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Agra Cantonment will facilitate tourists to visit various tourist attractions in and around Gwalior including the Jai Vilas Palace Museum, Gwalior Fort, Jai Vilas Palace and Gopachal Parvat to name a few.
 
Jhansi is famous for Jhansi Fort, Government Museum associated with the first war of Independence, Orchha Fort and Jahangir Mahal.
 
The train will run six days of the week except for Friday.
 
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Six dead as Dalit protests turn violent in different states

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

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

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

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

 
10 dead in building collapse in Indore
Ten persons were killed and two seriously injured when a four-storeyed dilapidated hotel building collapsed here after a car crashed into it, a police officer said on Sunday.
 
Deputy Inspector General Hari Narayan Chari Mishra told IANS that the MS Hotel near the crowded Sarvate bus stand collapsed on Saturday night. 
 
The hotel Manager Harish Soni was among the dead. 
 
The dilapidated building, said to be 80 years old, came crashing down, burying persons staying in the hotel, some passersby and shops under the rubble.
 
District Collector Nishant Warwade earlier told the media that the district administration, Municipal Corporation, police, fire brigade and traffic police were carrying out a search and rescue operation. The National Disaster Response Force team from Bhopal was also asked to help.
 
Kiran Soni, daughter of the hotel Manager, told the media that the hotel's roof had crashed last week. She said though the owner was informed he ignored it.
 
Even as search and rescue operations ended on Sunday afternoon, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a high-level probe into the tragedy and asked for a report in seven days.
 
The government also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those injured.
 
The police officer said a seven-member team of police officers has been set up to find if the building collapsed due to the car hit or for some other reason.
 
IANS
 
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10 killed in Indore hotel building collapse

 
10 dead in building collapse in Indore
At least 10 people were killed and two others injured when a four-storeyed hotel building collapsed here, a police officer said on Sunday.
 
Deputy Inspector General Hari Narayan Chari Mishra told IANS that the MS Hotel near the crowded Sarvate bus stand collapsed on Saturday night.
 
Search and rescue operations were going on, Mishra added.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Trains to operate with electric traction on Itarsi-Jabalpur-Itarsi route from March 30

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Trains will start running with electric traction on the Itarsi-Jabalpur-Itarsi route from today.
 
Initially three pairs of trains will run with electric traction and will be extended for other trains later, an official press release said.
 
With the electrification of the 245 km Itarsi-Jabalpur double-line section, train operations will be changed over from diesel traction to electric traction, which will lead to annual saving of approximately Rs 150 crore in fuel consumption, it said.
 
The additional operating benefits include increase in the sectional speed of trains and decrease in time of changeover of locomotives at Itarsi yard. It will also result in the increased availability of rolling stocks and locomotives for utilization.
 
With electrification, there will be more scope for introduction of Main Line Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU) leading to the benefits for public. Further, electric locos are environment-friendly in comparison to diesel locos by 9.7% as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Thus, there will be reduction in pollution in the surrounding Madhya Pradesh areas, it said.
 
Itarsi-Jabalpur-Katni-Satna-Manikpur section is part of Jabalpur Division of Indian Railways. The division caters to the demands of eight cement plant located in Satna-Maihar and Satna-Rewa sections. The entire section around Katni is rich in raw materials including limestone, bauxite, iron ore and dolomite stone. The Jabalpur-Satna belt produces iron-ore as main product.
 
This section interchanges traffic with South East Central Railway at New Katni Junction, with North Central Railway at Manikpur, Ohan in Satna- Banda section and with Bhopal division at Itarsi.
 
Railway electrification of Itarsi-Jabalpur-Katni-Satna-Manikpur and Satna-Rewa sections was sanctioned in the year 2012-13 at a cost of Rs 894.6 crore. In the first phase, the electrification of Itarsi-Jabalpur section has been completed and Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety has authorized for introduction of goods and passenger services on January 22, 2018.
 
The remaining sections -- Jabalpur-Katni, Katni-Satna, Satna-Manikpur and Satna-Rewa -- are also targeted for commissioning progressively by March 2019, the release added.
 
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Seven road rehabilitation projects approved for Madhya Pradesh

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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved seven road rehabilitation projects in Madhya Pradesh.
 
These projects will be completed in 18 months, and shall include maintenance for 48 months, an official press release said.
 
The balance works of Rehabilitation & Upgradation to two lanes with the paved shoulders flexible pavement of Bameetha-Satna section of NH-75 with total length 97.840 km on EPC Mode will be carried out at a cost of Rs. 191.21 crore, it said.
 
Rehabilitation and upgradation to two lanes with paved shoulders of Morena-Ambah-Porsa section of NH-552 Extension on EPC Mode will be carried out at a cost of Rs. 166.21 crore. It will have two major bridges and one minor bridge.
 
Rehabilitation and upgradation to two lanes with paved shoulders of the Porsa-Ater-Bhind section of NH-552 Extension with a total length of 46.9 km on EPC Mode will be carried out at a cost of Rs. 217.22 crore. It involves the construction of two major bridges and widening of five minor bridges.
 
Rehabilitation and upgradation to two lanes with paved shoulders of Mihona-Lahar-Daboh section of NH-552 Extn. with a total length of 27.36 km on EPC Mode will be carried out at a cost of Rs 133.18 crore. It involves the construction of a major bridge and widening of three minor bridges.
 
Rehabilitation and upgradation to two lanes with paved shoulders of Daboh-Bhander-UP Border section of NH-552 with a total length of 43.255 km on EPC Mode will be completed in 18 months at a cost of Rs 233.04 crore. The work involves the construction of three major bridges and widening of four minor bridges.
 
Rehabilitation and upgradation to two lanes with paved shoulders of Reva-Sirmour section of NH-135B with a total length of 36.71 km on EPC Mode will be carried out at a cost of Rs 162.56 crore.
 
Rehabilitation and upgradation to two lanes with paved shoulders of Pawai-Saleha-Jaso-Nagod section of NH-943 with a total length of 50.88 km on EPC Mode will be carried out at a cost of Rs 214.69 crore, the release added.
 
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