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Madhya Pradesh

8 dead, 20 missing as tractor-trolley swept away in MP

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Eight people, including five children, were today killed and 20 others were missing after their tractor-trolley was swept away while crossing a small bridge on the Son river, police said.

The tractor trolley was conveying pilgrims from Paharganj village to pay obeisance Ishwari Mahadev Temple when the incident occurred.

When the driver tried to cross the bridge over the overflowing Son river, the vehicle overturned and got swept away by a strong current.

Eight bodies have been recovered, while 12 people swam to safety. Divers have been drafted to search 20 others who are still missing.

Collector M K Agrawal and Superintendent of Police Sanjay Kumar Singh reached the spot along with administrative team.

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4 killed in bus accident in Madhya Pradesh

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Four people were today killed and 35 others injured, seven of them seriously, when a private bus overturned near Morkha village, 55 km from this district headquarters, police said.

"The bus, carrying pilgrims, was en route to Nagdwari in Chhindwara district when the incident occurred," said Bordehi Station House Officer Ajay Tiwari.

While one passenger died at the government hospital in Betul, three others succumbed to their injuries at the government hospital in Multai. Thirty-five passengers were receiving treatment at the Betul hospital.

The deceased -- who hailed from Amgaon near Nagpur in Maharashtra -- were yet to be identified. Their family members were informed through mobile phones found on them, police added.

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No genitoplasty in Indore: AIIMS team

A team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), who inquired into the alleged genitoplasty surgeries on children for changing their sex, today denied such operations were conducted in the city.

The five-member AIIMS team held discussions with various hospitals and doctors, seized 82 documents and questioned nine paediatric surgeons yesterday.

The team was sent following a request by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

"Prima facie, no proof has surfaced that points towards genitoplasty," Dr M Vajpayee, a member of the team, told reporters here.

A newspaper had published reports regarding genitoplasty surgeries on June 26. The team has recorded the statement of the journalist concerned.

Besides, discussions were held with Collector Raghvendra Singh and other common citizens. The team will submit its report to the Chief Minister shortly.

Earlier, a doctors' team -- also including Dr Vajpayee -- had inquired into the matter on July 2 following the directions from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and submitted its report.

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NADA team conducts raid at SAI, Bhopal; collects 25 samples

A team from the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) today conducted a surprise raid in the Sports Authority of India's Central Regional Centre at Goragaon near here and collected samples of 25 players.

This comes in the wake of the doping scandal that has hit Indian athletics in recent weeks and is part of a series of raids conducted over the past week.

The agency's officials searched the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala on July 9 and later, other SAI sports centres in the country.

"A five-member NADA team, including two doctors, took samples of urine and blood of 15 women and 10 men players from the hostels. No food supplements were found in the Centre," NADA Administrative
Officer Manipal Singh, who headed the team, told mediapersons after the raids.

He said the samples were taken from ten wushu players, five each from boxing and judo, three from hockey and two from water sports.

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The recent scandal came to light when eight track and field athletes tested positive for anabolic steroids at NIS in an out-of-competition test.

Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Ashwini Akkunji -- who were part of the 4x400m relay quartet that won gold in the Commonwealth and Asian Games last year -- and three other quarter-milers Juana Murmu, Tiana Mary Thomas and Priyanka Panwar were training at NIS when they were caught for doping.

Of the other two dope-tainted athletes, long-jumper Hari Krishnan Muralidharan trained at Pune while Sonia was not in any national camp.

In all, 210 sports persons are being imparted training in the SAI Central Regional Centre here on the outskirts of the state capital.

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6 killed as jeep falls into river in Madhya Pradesh

At least six people were killed and five others were missing when a jeep carrying devotees fell into the Dularia river near Damjipura village about 125 km from this district headquarters in Madhya Pradesh early this morning, police said.

Muhda Station House Officer M S Bhadauria said that six bodies were recovered and another four to five people were missing. The rescue operation was on, he said.

Mr Bhadauria said about a dozen devotees from Jamti village were going to a religious place in Khandwa district's Dagaji on the
occasion of Guru Purnima. The deceased are yet to be identified, he
added.

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BJP wins bye-election for Jabera assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh

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The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today won the bye-election for the Jabera assembly seat in Madhya Pradesh, its third successive victory in a Congress bastion inthe state in recent times.

BJP's Dashrath Singh Lodhi avenged his humiliation during the 2008 assembly elections by vanquishing his nearest rival, Congress candidate Dr Tanya Solomon, daughter of former minister Ratnesh Solomon who had humbled Mr Lodhi that year.

Mr Solomon's death had necessitated the bye-election in the tribal-dominated constituency.

After 17 rounds of counting 1,23,502 votes, District Election Officer Shivanand Dubey declared the results with a winning margin of 11,738. Dr Solomon bagged 42,108 votes and sent her party's strategists back to the drawing board as the sympathy wave failed to prove a trump card.

Seventeen others, including 13 independents, tried their electoral fortunes. Among the independents Mr Ashish Shukla took the lion's share of 10,577 votes.

The BJP had wrested the Kukshi and Sonkatch seats from the Congress in recent bye-elections.

In the 2008 assembly elections, the Congress won in Jabera but lost in three other assembly constituencies of this district.

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NCPCR takes cognizance of reports about genitoplasty in Madhya Pradesh

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The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) today took suo motu congnizance of a media report which said that doctors were turning scores of baby girls into boys, using genitoplasty, in Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

An official press release said that the Commission had taken suo motu cognizance of the report which appeared in the Hindustan Times yesterday.

According to the report, doctors turn scores of baby girls into boys. It said said girls are being converted into boys in Indore by the hundreds every year at such age where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.

"This shocking unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at Indore’s well known clinics and hospitals on children who are five years old. This process is known as genitoplasty, each case costing about Rs. 1.5 lakh. The process involves children being pumped with hormonal treatment as part of the sex change procedure that may be irreversible. It has also been reported in the above-mentioned newspaper report caption that about seven paediatric surgeons from Indore who are associated with top private and government hospitals perform these surgeries," the release said.

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The NCPCR said this amounted to child rights violations in terms of perpetuation of the age-old preferences for boys and biases against girl child, discrimination against the female child, the right to health and right to life and dignity. Besides, the whole process was highly unethical, it said.

The Commission has, therefore, asked the State Government of Madhya Pradesh to get the matter investigated in detail through a team of doctors who are known for their high professional competencies and ethical standards and to submit a report within 15 days.

It said the report should include the facts, figures and circumstances of the case; the list of doctors/hospitals perpetuating the practice and actions taken / contemplated against them; and the measures taken by the State Government at the State/district and local level in terms of publicity/awareness campaign against adverse effects of life/sex changing operations/female foeticide/infanticide/preference towards boys/discrimination against girls and the reasons why such measures have not been effective.

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The State Government has also been asked to take all necessary actions for combating the unethical practices of conversion of girls into boys, including cancellation of the license/registration of doctors and hospitals involved in such practices and initiating penal actions against them under the relevant provisions of IPC 1860 and other applicable laws/guidelines.

The NCPCR has been constituted under Section 3 of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 for protection of child rights and dealing with related matters.

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Former SIMI regional commander arrested in Kochi

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The Madhya Pradesh police have nabbed Syed Salaudeen Salar, the former regional commander of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), a banned organization, from the Kochi International Airport at Nedumbassery here.

Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajesh Gupta and his team, with the assistance of Kerala police led by Crime Detachment Deputy S P K V Vijayan, took him into custody when he arrived from Dubai by Emirates flight EK 530 yesterday morning. He was accompanied by a woman, said to be his distant relative, and her son.

Acting on a clue that the accused was returning to India, the police intercepted him at the airport. The accused was arrested by the Sub-Inspector of Mahakkal police station in MP. The woman and the boy were allowed to leave the airport.

Salar was immediately shifted to Aluva accompanied by a strong contingent of armed police commandos and was produced before Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate.

The Magistrate issued a transit warrant for three days and directed the MP police to produce him before the Ujjain Judicial First Class Magistrate on or before Monday.

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According to police, the accused was involved in anti-national activities and a case for the offence under IPC 153 A (provoking enmity between groups on the grounds of religion, race and engaging in acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony with intention to cause riots) in Mahakkal police station area in 1998. Since then, he was absconding.

He escaped to Dubai and had been staying there for the last ten years. Meanwhile, he was allegedly arrested by Dubai police for violating some rules in the country and was undergoing imprisonment for the last two years. He was reportedly released from the jail under an amnesty and returned to India. He was nabbed by the police at Kochi airport at 0900 hours yesterday.

Police said Salaudeen was born and brought up in Andhra Pradesh and stayed in Mumbai indulging in anti-national activities of SIMI in Northern states. He was the Northern Region Commander of the organisation.

He was taken back to Nedumbassery Airport by 1330 hrs. Police took the accused by Jet Airways flight to Mumbai at 1600 hrs yesterday.

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60% polling in MP's Jabera assembly constituency

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An estimated 60 per cent of the 1,77,462-strong electorate - including 83,509 women - exercised their franchise today in the bye-election to Jabera Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh.

Voting, which commenced at 0800 hrs in 240 polling centres and concluded at 1700 hrs, was peaceful barring some stray incidents.

Due to a drizzle, voting was sluggish in the morning but picked up in the afternoon after the skies cleared.

The bye-election was necessitated by the death of former minister Ratnesh Solomon (Congress). The main contest is between ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Dashrath Singh Lodhi and opposition Congress nominee Tanya, who is Mr Solomon's daughter.

In the 2008 Assembly elections, the Congress had emerged victorious in Jabera -- Mr Solomon humbled Mr Lodhi -- but lost in three other Assembly constituencies of this district.

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Rs 4.25 cr worth stamp papers burgled from govt treasury in Madhya Pradesh

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Unidentified burglars struck at the government treasury located near the Collectorate in this town of Madhya Pradesh and made off with stamp papers worth Rs 4.27 crore and Rs 11 lakh in cash after breaking locks in the wee hours today, police said.

The District Treasury Officer said the thieves burgled stamp papers, worth Rs 4.27 cr, and Rs 11 lakh cash. Stolen stamp papers were of Rs 500, Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000 value.

Four out of five policemen, who were on duty at the treasury, were admitted to the District Hospital in an unconscious condition. One policeman was absconding.

All the five policemen were suspended along with sub-inspector of Betul Police Station and night in-charge for patrolling on the charge of negligence of duty.

Empty liquor bottles were found near the treasury. It was suspected that the five policemen drank heavily and fell unconscious. This liquor was suspected to have been provided by the culprits.

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ADB to give $300 m loan for upgrading state highways in Madhya Pradesh

The Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Ministry of Finance, Mr Venu Rajamony, the Officer-in-Charge, ADB's India Resident Mission, Mr Prodyut Dutt and the Principal Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Mr K.K. Singh after signing an agreement for an ADB loan of $ 300 for improving state highways in Madhya Pradesh, in New Delhi on June 15, 2011.
The Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Ministry of Finance, Mr Venu Rajamony, the Officer-in-Charge, ADB's India Resident Mission, Mr Prodyut Dutt and the Principal Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Mr K.K. Singh after signing an agreement for an ADB loan of $ 300 for improving state highways in Madhya Pradesh, in New Delhi on June 15, 2011.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $ 300 million loan for strengthening state highways in Madhya Pradesh.

This will be ADB's third intervention in the state in the transportation sector, an official press release said.

The signatories to the loan agreement were Mr Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India, and Mr Prodyut Dutt, Officer-in-Charge, ADB's India Resident Mission.

The project agreement was signed by Mr K.K. Singh, Principal Secretary, on behalf of the Government of Madhya Pradesh and Mr Prodyut Dutt of ADB.

The release said the loan would help upgrade about 1,000 km. of state highways in the eastern and west central parts of the state. As part of the loan package, ADB is additionally providing technical assistance/grant worth $1 million to support road safety and private sector participation in state highway development and maintenance.

Madhya Pradesh Rural Development Corporation (MPRDC) has already been implementing the first two ADB assisted projects under Loan 1959-IND: Madhya Pradesh State Roads Sector Development Program and Loan 2330-IND: Madhya Pradesh State Roads Sector Project II. The second project approved in 2007, is scheduled to end in December 2011.

The new loan will continue ADB’s support for the development of the entire highway network and capacity enhancement of MPRDC, particularly in those areas which were not covered in the previous two loans, to build upon the success of the organization as an implementation agency. With completion of this project, the entire state highway network of Madhya Pradesh will have been upgraded, the release said.

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Mr Rajamony said the Government emphasizes investment for inclusive and sustainable growth through innovative financing modalities, including Public Private Partnership (PPP). Madhya Pradesh has recorded impressive growth performance of more than 7% per annum since fiscal year 2005, deriving substantially from efficient infrastructure development programs. He said that the project will help sustain high economic growth and reduce poverty in the state.

Mr Dutt said that, under the Country Partnership Strategy (2009-2012), ADB supports road sector development as a core infrastructure operation to facilitate sustainable economic growth in India. As a long-standing development partner for Madhya Pradesh, as of today, ADB has approved 15 loans amounting to $2.57 billion covering the power, urban, state road, and rural road sectors. ADB has also helped the state through a public resource management loan, he added.

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Uma Bharti back in BJP fold, to spearhead UP election campaign

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Union Minister Uma Bharti was on Tuesday reinducted into the Bharatiya Janata Party, six years after she was expelled after a public row with then party chief Lal Krishna Advani.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti being welcomed back to the party fold by BJP President Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on June 7, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti being welcomed back to the party fold by BJP President Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on June 7, 2011. UNI PHOTO

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Union Minister Uma Bharti was today reinducted into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), six years after she was expelled after a public row with then party chief Lal Krishna Advani.

The decision to take her back into the party fold was announced by BJP President Nitin Gadkari in the presence of Ms Bharti.

Her return to the party had been talked about for a long time but it was apparently deleayed because of strong opposition from BJP leaders in Madhya Pradesh.

Ms Bharti will actively work for the party in Uttar Pradesh, where state assembly elections are due next year and also head the party's Ganga Cell, Mr Gadkari said.

Both Mr Gadkari and Ms Bharti told mediapersons that she had stayed loyal to the BJP ideology even when she was outside the organisation.

Mr Gadkari said her return would also strengthen the movement against corruption and black money.

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He said Ms Bharti would primarily work actively for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, recalling her contribution for the cause of Ram temple. "We will collectively work for making India a Ram Rajya."

He said the party had discussed her return in its Parliamentary Board at the national level an with state leaders and workers and none of them had any problems with the decision.

Mr Gadkari said Uttar Pradesh needed to be rid of the "goonda raj" of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), headed by Chief Minister Mayawati, and the "jungle raj" of the Samajwadi Party headed by former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

He said that Ms Bharti had, during the past six years, realised her mistakes and that the BJP was the best instrument to realise the ideology of "Ram and roti".

"Uttar Pradesh assembly polls offer an opportunity to achieve these goals of transforming the state into a strong prosperous one," Ms Bharti said.

Ms Bharti also likened her stay away from the BJP as that of a bird deserting the ship.

"I am returning back to the ship realising the inevitable," she said and recalled her association with the BJP since her childhood days as a supporter of Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia, during the days of Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

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Ms Bharti was expelled from the BJP in 2005 after her public row with Mr Advani during an office bearers' meeting. She floated her own party, the Bharatiya Janshakti Party, that failed to make a major impact even in Madhya Pradesh.

At the same time, the party acutely felt the absence of a leader who could make a political impact among the youth.

Ms Bharti had campaigned for the party in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, though she had not been formally reinducted.

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BJP announces return of Uma Bharti to party fold

The Bharatiya Janta Party on Tuesday announced the return of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti to the party fold after six years of separation.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti being welcomed back to the party fold by BJP President Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on June 7, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti being welcomed back to the party fold by BJP President Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on June 7, 2011. UNI PHOTO

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) today announced the return of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti to the party fold after six years of separation.

The announcement of Ms Bharti's return was made by party president Nitin Gadkari in the presence of party leaders at the party headquarters.

Mr Gadkari said Ms Bharti would primarily be working with the "Ganga Cell" of the BJP and would also work in Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are due in 2012.

He said the BJP would work collectively to end the "Goonda Raj" of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh and prevent the "Jungle Raj" of Samajwadi Party (SP) and make UP a strong and prosperous state.

Ms Bharti said that, though she was outside the party, she had remained loyal to its ideologies even when she had floated her own political outfit in Madhya Pradesh.

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She also recalled her association with BJP right from her childhood when she had come into contact with BJSP (Bharatiya Janshakti Party) through Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia. She was returning to the party like a bird which was searching for a home after deserting it, she said.

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Ramdev issue: Slogan-shouting in front Digvijay Singh's Bhopal residence

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A few people shouted slogans in favour of yoga guru Baba Ramdev in front of Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh's residence here last night.

Employees at Mr Singh's residence said a few people came in vehicles at around 2030 hrs last night and shouted slogans. The group left the place without halting.

Police officials said security had been increased in the area as a precautionary measure.

They said security was provided at the residence of all former Chief Ministers, including Mr Digvijay Singh. Security guards who are deployed at Mr Singh's residence had been instructed to be more alert.

Mr Digvijay Singh has made several comments against Baba Ramdev who has launched a "satyagraha" against black money and corruption.

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8 terrorists of IM, SIMI held in Madhya Pradesh: Police

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Three suspected terrorists owing allegiance to the Indian Mujahideen and five to the banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were today arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad, police said.

Of them, four were arrested at Habibganj Railway Station here, while others were arrested in Jabalpur.

Three of the arrested men were among those accused in the Ahmedabad blast case, police added.

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Bye-elections on June 25 to fill up vacancies in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar assemblies

The Election Commission today said bye-elections would be held on June 25 to fill up a casual vacancy each in the Madhya Pradesh and Bihar Legislative Assemblies.


The vacancies are in the Jabera assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh and Purnia constituency in Bihar.


An official press release said the notification for the bye-elections would be issued on June 1 and the last date for making nominations would be June 8.


Counting of votes will be taken up on June 29 in both constituencies, the release added.


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Police use teargas to disperse stone-pelting mob in Bhopal


Police burst teargas shells and resorted to a cane charge to disperse a stone-pelting mob when it attacked officials of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation and district administration who came to clear encroachment in Minal Residency area here today.


"The mob also tried to set on fire an excavator and started pelting stones. Police swung into action immediately and took control over the situation," District Collector Nikunj Srivastava said.


However, the residents alleged that the administration tried to demolish their houses without serving a prior notice and that some people also sustained injuries due to "police excesses".


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Prime Minister dedicates Bharat-Oman Bina Refinery to nation

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaking after dedicating the Bina Refinery to the nation, at Bina in Madhya Pradesh on May 20, 2011.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaking after dedicating the Bina Refinery to the nation, at Bina in Madhya Pradesh on May 20, 2011.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today dedicated the Bharat-Oman Refinery to the nation at a ceremony held at Bina in Madhya Pradesh.

The refinery has been set up by Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd (BORL), a company promoted by the public sector Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL). The Oman Oil Company has a 26 per cent stake in the company and the Madhya Pradesh govrnment one per cent.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Rameshwar Thakur, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath and Tribal Affairs Minister Kantilal Bhuria were amongst those present at the function.

The refinery has a capacity of 6 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA). Adjacent to it is the Bina Dispatch Terminal (BDT), with product storage tanks and dispatch facilities for both rail and road movement of petroleum products.

The refinery and the dispatch terminal are spread over 2500 acres of land.

An official press release said the refinery is equipped with world class technology and has the flexibility to process all types of crude oil.

The project established at an investment of over $ 2 billion (Rs. 12,000 cr) has bottom upgradation facility to ensure yield maximization. It has an assured offtake, since it will meet the demand of high quality fuel in markets with deficit supply. It has the flexibility to process all types of crude.

The refinery comprises of a Single Point Mooring (SPM) system located at Vadinar, Gujarat which facilitates unloading of crude oil from Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).

The crude received at Vadinar on the west coast is transported to Bina through a 935 km long pipeline passing through Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

The crude oil goes through hi-tech refining processes at Bina and the resultant products include Petrol, Diesel, Aviation Turbine Fuel, Kerosene, Naphtha and LPG. Sulphur and Per Coke are also produced in the process.

These products are stored in the Refinery/BDT and distributed to areas in and around Madhya Pradesh. The surplus products are then transported through the 257 km Bina – Kota pipeline. This pipeline will join the Mumbai – Manmad – Bijwasan line at Kota.

The refinery has a Crude and Vacuum Distillation unit wherein crude oil is separated into various products. These products are treated in the Secondary Processing Units to obtain value added products. The refinery has a 99 MW (33 MW X 3) Captive Power Plant (CPP) which will meet its entire steam and power requirements.

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Drinking water component included in Bundelkhand package

The Union Cabinet today approved an Additional Central Assistance of Rs.200 crore to provide drinking water in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh during 2011-12.


An official press release said this would be in addition to the other measures approved by the Cabinet on 19th November, 2009 under the special package for implementing drought mitigation strategies in Bundelkhand.

The additional assistance will enable the States to better address the problem of drinking water during the summer months. The package as a whole will enable the people in the region to optimize water resources through rainwater harvesting and proper utilization of the river systems alongwith promoting diversified agriculture so as to enhance their capacity to cope with the recurrent droughts in a more resilient manner.

For implementing drinking water component the two State Governments will send proposals to the National Rainfed Area Authority which will recommend release of Additional Central Assistance in consultation with the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the release said.


The National Rainfed Area Authority will undertake field visits to monitor on ground implementation.


An already constituted Monitoring Committee chaired by Mr B.K. Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission and co-chaired by Dr. Mihir Shah, Member, Planning Commission, represented by the Chief Secretaries of the two States as well as the concerned Departments/Ministries of the Government of India and National Rainfed Area Authority will monitor progress of implementation of component of drinking water along with the rest of package.

The Cabinet also approved a few adjustments in implementation of the drought mitigation strategies, which were requested by the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and National Rainfed Area Authority.


The Government of Madhya Pradesh has proposed to provide funds for water-lifting devices and construction of stop-dams in place of the earlier approved components of farm ponds and recharge of dugwells. Further, the State has proposed to provide additional support for the dairy sector and has proposed for construction of Singpur Barrage by using a part of funds from within the package.


The special package of Rs 7266 crores comprises Rs.3506 crore for Uttar Pradesh and Rs.3706 crore for Madhya Pradesh to be implemented over a period of three years from 2009-10 to 2011-12.


An amount of Rs.2114 crore has been approved by the Planning Commission for the last two financial years of which an amount of Rs.1800 crore has already been released to the State Governments.


According to the release, the package approved earlier had not addressed the acute problem of drinking water, specially in rural areas. A number of representations had been received from the area. The Government has, therefore, agreed for including this additional component in the Special Package, it added.


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Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Centre to request CBI to move Sessions Court in Bhopal

Home Minister P. Chidambaram along with Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid, addressing a press conference in New Delhi on May 12, 2011.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram along with Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid, addressing a press conference in New Delhi on May 12, 2011.

The Union Government today said it would request the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to move the Sessions Court in Bhopal for early hearing of its revision application in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy case and seek relief to try the accused for graver charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

This came a day after the Supreme Court yesterday rejected the curative petition filed by the CBI to reconsider its judgement of September 13, 1996 that had diluted the criminal charges against the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) top brass including its chairman Keshub Mahindra.

"The principal grounds on which the curative petition has been rejected appear to be that the curative petition does not satisfy the principles laid down in Rupa Ashok Hurra Vs. Ashok Hurra 2002 (4) SCC 388 and delay in filing the curative petition," Union Home Minister P Chidambarm told reporters here.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid were also present.

Mr Chidambaram recalled that, after the Supreme Court's judgement of 1996 excluding charges under section 304 part II of the IPC, a review petition was filed on behalf of certain affected parties.

"That review petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court. There was no scope for filing a ‘curative petition’ at that time because the law relating to curative petitions was laid down much later in 2002," he said.

"Since 1996, there have been a number of governments at the Centre and virtually all political parties had been in the central government at one time or another. In a sense, therefore, all governments since 1996 are responsible for the delay in moving the Supreme Court," he said.

Mr Chidambaram said that, after the judgement of the trial court of June 7 last year, convicting the accused persons to imprisonment for two years under section 304A IPC, a Group of Ministers (GoM) recommended that certain legal steps may be taken to punish the accused for graver charges under the law.

He said the Cabinet accepted the recommendations of the GoM. Accordingly, a curative petition was filed in the Supreme Court. Besides, a revision application was filed in the Sessions Court, Bhopal under section 399 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). An appeal was also filed in the Sessions Court, Bhopal to enhance the punishment and fine under sections 338 and 304 A IPC. Both the revision application and the appeal are pending before the Sessions Court, Bhopal, he said.

Mr Chidambaram said that, in its judgement of yesterday, dismissing the curative petition, the Supreme Court had observed, inter alia, that:

"It is clear to us that in the criminal revisions filed by the CBI and the State of MP the legal position is correctly stated.

"The 1996 judgment was rendered at the stage of sections 209/228/240 of the Code and we are completely unable to see how the judgment can be read to say that it removed from the Code sections 323, 216, 386, 397, 399, 401 etc. or denuded a competent court of the powers under those provisions. In our view, on the basis of the material on record, it is wrong to assume that the 1996 judgment is a fetter against the proper exercise of the powers by a court of competent jurisdiction under the relevant provisions of the Code. If according to the curative petitioner, the Learned Magistrate failed to appreciate the correct legal position and misread the decision dated 13.9.1996 as tying his hands from exercising the power under section 323 or under section 216 of the Code, it can certainly be corrected by the appellate/revisional court."

Mr Chidambaram said that, under section 323 CrPC, if it appears to the Magistrate that the case is one that ought to be tried by the Sessions Court he may commit the case to the Sessions Court at any stage.

Under section 216 CrPC, a Court may alter or add to any charge at any time before judgment is pronounced. The CBI has relied on these sections and has urged these grounds in the revision application before the Sessions Court, he said

"The Government is happy to note that the judgment of the Supreme Court dated 11.5.2011 has endorsed the stand taken by the CBI.

"In view of the above, Government will request the CBI to move the Sessions Court, Bhopal for early hearing of its revision application and appeal and seek relief in the Sessions Court to try the accused for graver charges under the IPC," Mr Chidambaram added.

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Supreme Court rejects CBI plea to reopen Bhopal tragedy case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to change its 1996 judgement diluting charges in the Bhopal gas disaster case in which around 15,000 people are estimated to have perished and several thousands maimed.

The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court today refused to change its 1996 judgement diluting charges in the Bhopal gas disaster case in which around 15,000 people are estimated to have perished and several thousands maimed due to the leakage of deadly methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in the Madhya Pradesh capital in December, 1984.

The apex court, by its 1996 verdict, had diluted the charges against the accused to criminal negligence under section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code from culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 (II).

The offence under section 304(II) of IPC carries a maximum imprisonment of 10 years, while under 304-A it is maximum two years.

Today the top court, however, left it open to the Sessions Court in Bhopal to consider restoring stringent charges against the accused, who had got away with punishment under lighter provisions of Indian Penal Code.

The June 7, 2010 verdict of Bhopal's Chief Judicial Magistrate awarding two years' imprisonment to the accused, including the then

Chairman of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) Keshub Mahindra, had sparked a nationwide outrage following which the government decided to file a curative petition against the lighter punishment for those responsible for the gas tragedy.

Holding that its 1996 judgement that diluted charges against the accused was "not binding", the Supreme Court dismissed a curative petition filed by the CBI, saying it was based on a "wrong and fallacious plea" and filed after a lapse of 14 years.

"In our view, on the basis of the material on record, it is wrong to assume that the 1996 judgement is a fetter against proper exercise of powers by a court of competent jurisdiction under the relevant provisions of the Code", a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said.

The court said the 1996 verdict was not "binding" on the trial court which failed to appreciate the correct legal provision for trying the accused under the stringent provision.

In its nine-page judgement, which has come under attack from campaigners for sterner punishment to the accused, the bench said curative petitions of CBI and Madhya Pradesh Government were not only based on the "wrong and fallacious" plea but were filed after a lapse of 14 years without satisfactory explanation.

"No satisfactory explanation is given to file such curative petitions after about 14 years from 1996 judgement of the Supreme Court," the bench, also comprising justices Altamas Kabir, R V Raveendran, B Sudershan Reddy and Aftab Alam said.

The apex court today said both CBI and the Madhya Pradesh government had adopted a correct legal premise in approaching the Sessions Court with the criminal revision petition for restoration of stringent charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 (part II) of the IPC which attracts a maximum punishment of 10 years jail term.

The bench noted that the 1996 judgement diluting the charges to section 304 A for negligence was based on the evidence presented before it at that relevant time and it was wrong to assume that it was binding on the trial court when additional facts and material were forthcoming.

Besides Mahindra, the others who got lighter punishment included UCIL' erstwhile Managing Director Vijay Gokhale, its Vice President Kishore Kamdar, Works Manager J N Mukund, Production Manager S P Choudhary, Plant Superintendent K V Shetty and Production Assistant S I Quereshi.

Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said the government will abide by the Supreme Court's ruling.

"After this matter came up, the GoM (group of ministers) in its due wisdom decided to go for the curative petition. After obtaining the opinion from the learned Attorney General of India, we had filed the curative petition and the Supreme Court in its wisdom has dismissed it. We will abide by the decision," he said.

"Supreme Court today has heaped yet more injustice on victims who have already suffered it earlier -- in 1989 on settlement (for compensation) and in 1996 after dilution of penal charges against the accused. May 11 is another black day in the history of Bhopal," social activist Satinath Sarangi told reporters soon after the apex court delivered its verdict.

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SC refuses CBI curative plea in Bhopal gas leak case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the September 1996 judgement in the Bhopal gas tragedy case that diluted the criminal charges against the Union Carbide India Limited top brass including its chairman Keshub Mahindra.

The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the September 1996 judgement in the Bhopal gas tragedy case that diluted the criminal charges against the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) top brass including its chairman Keshub Mahindra.

A Constitution Bench, comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices Altamas Kabir, R V Raveendran, B Sudershan Reddy and Aftaab Alam dismissed the curative petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking to revive the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The apex court, however, made it clear that this judgement would not have any influence on the revision petition filed by the CBI and the state of Madhya Pradesh in the Sessions Court, Bhopal, against the refusal of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhopal, to frame charges against the accused persons under section 304 part II of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

The apex court also ruled that no court (SC not excluded) can pass an order against the statutory provisions of law including the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

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India signs $69 m loan pact with ADB for MP Power Investment Programme

India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $ 69 million loan agreement which is the sixth and final tranche of the $ 620 million Madhya Pradesh Power Sector Investment Programme.


This multi-tranche financing facility was approved by ADB on 29 March 2007, an official press release said.


The signatories of the sixth tranche, signed here yesterday, were Mr Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hun Kim, ADB’s Country Director for India.

The sixth tranche will assist the Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company reduce power transmission and distribution losses in 117 towns. It will also support the M. P. Poorv Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company, the M. P. Paschim Kshetra Vidyut Vitaran Company, and the M.P. Power Trading Company set up information technology (IT)-management systems linking all parts of the distribution and trading companies in the state.


The IT management system will have a number of modules, including energy auditing, inventory tracking, and human resources and financial management, which will help the distribution companies increase efficiency. The sixth tranche will be implemented over a period of three and a half years.

The six tranches of the Madhya Pradesh Power Sector Investment Programme will increase transmission capacity in the state to about 10,000 megawatts (MW) from 5,563 MW and reduce transmission and distribution losses significantly. Enhanced power reliability, quicker repairs, along with better meter reading and billing, will also help improve the service to consumers. These measures will boost the financial performance of the state’s power sector and reduce its dependence on external support, the release said.


Mr Rajamony said the long term impact of the programme would be inclusive economic growth of the people of the state, through enhanced power supply to households through reduced transmission and distribution losses, thereby increased transmission capacity. He said that the ADB programme would improve operational efficiency in electricity distribution and financial sustainability of the distribution companies in the state.

Mr. Hun said that ADB had been a long-standing development partner for Madhya Pradesh. As of today, it has approved 14 loans amounting to $ 2.27 billion covering the power, urban, state road, and rural road sectors. ADB has also helped the state through a public resource management loan, he said.


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Bhopal Gas Tragedy : SC to pronounce judgement on Wednesday


The Supreme Court will pronounce tomorrow its verdict on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition seeking restoration of charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Union Carbide top brass in Bhopal gas leak tragedy case.


A constitution bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and justices Altamas Kabir, R V Raveendran, B Sudershan Reddy and Aftab Alam has reserved the judgement after hearing Attorney General G E Vahanvati for the CBI and senior counsel Ram Jethmalani and Harish Salve for the accused persons.


The CBI has filed a curative petition against the September 1996 judgement of the Supreme Court vide which criminal charges against the accused persons, including Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) chief Keshub Mahindra were diluted and the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 Part II IPC were dropped.


Offence under Section 304 Part II carries a maximum sentence of 10 years with or without fine.


Mr Vahanvati had pleaded for restoration of charges under Section 304 Part II against the accused persons on the grounds that more than 5,000 lives were lost and thousand others were injured on the fateful night of December 3, 1984 when poisonous MIC gas leaked from the Bhopal unit of Union Carbide as a result of a deliberate negligence by the management who decided against spending money on maintenance to keep the maintenance cost at low level despite knowing full well that any untoward incident may happen as several pipelines were damaged and needed immediate repair.


Mr Vahanvati also contended before the court that the incident is oppressive to the judicial conscience and it is the desire of the court to do complete justice.


Mr Jethmalani on the other hand opposed the CBI petition on the grounds that 1996 judgement has already attained finality and cannot be interfered with after lapse of over 14 years and therefore the CBI petition is liable to be dismissed.


Mr Jethmalani went to the extent of alleging that the Union Government is shedding crocodile tears as it slept over the matter for over 14 years.


The curative petition was filed by the CBI on the instruction of the group of ministers headed by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.


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21 injured as Mumbai-Pratapgarh Express derails in Madhya Pradesh


As many as 21 passengers were injured, three of them grievously, when the seven rear coaches of the 12173 Mumbai-Pratapgarh Udyog Nagri Express derailed near Vidisha station in Madhya Pradesh early this morning.


Ministry of Railways spokesperson Anil Kumar Saxena told NetIndian that the mishap occurred at 0622 hours this morning near Vidisha in the Bhopal Division of West Central Railway.


He said the injured were admitted to the Vidisha General Hospital.


Relief and rescue teams, including a medical team, were able to reach the scene of the accident within an hour, and the stranded passengers were moved to Beena and Vidisha, from where they would be sent to their destinations, he said.


One of the two lines on the affected section was working and efforts were being to restore the other at the earliest, Mr Saxena added.


A UNI report from Vidisha said the mishap occured near Sumer station, 60 km from Bhopal. The derailed coaches inlcuded two air-conditioned coaches, one sleeper coach and four others.


It said five of the seriously injured had been sent to Bhopal for treatment.


The report said at least three trains were diverted, two were cancelled and many were delayed because of the accident.


According to Railway sources, not much damage was caused because the train was travelling at slow speed when the mishap occurred.


The Bilaspur-Amritsar Chhattisgarh Express, the Ernakuam-Nizamuddin Express and the Visakhapatnam-Nizamuddin Samta Expess were diverted.


The Bhopal-Bilaspur Express and the Bhopal-Bina Passenger Express were cancelled, the sources said.


The cause of the accident is being ascertained. An inquiry has been ordered into the mishap, the sources added.


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