Only BJP-Sena can form Maharashtra govt: Pawar

Amid the charged political atmosphere in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar said on Wednesday that the only viable option is a Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government in the state.
Sharad Pawar (File photo: IANS)
Sharad Pawar (File photo: IANS)
Amid the charged political atmosphere in Maharashtra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) President Sharad Pawar said that the only viable option is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Shiv Sena government in the state.
"The BJP-Sena are allies since over 25 years. They should take immediate steps to give the state a new government. The people have given the NCP-Congress the mandate to sit in the Opposition and we are prepared for it," Pawar declared, reiterating the party's known position on the issue.
Pawar said that an NCP-Congress government -- even with support from the Sena -0 was out of the question, but the two parties will take any decision in the matter jointly.
Indirectly endorsing the Sena's stance, Pawar said he was "eagerly looking forward" to see a Shiv Sena-led government in the state.
To a query, Pawar said there is "no proposal" from the Shiv Sena on the issue of government formation.
"Yes Sanjay Raut (Sena MP) met me, as he regularly meets me. There is no proposal (on government formation) from the Sena," Pawar claimed, addressing a crowded media gathering.
He admitted that Raut had shown a list of 170 MLAs who are supporting the Sena, but added: "I have no idea how he (Raut) has got the figures".
Responding to a question, Pawar contended that he was not involved in the government formation efforts in the state between the BJP-Sena.
He said first let the BJP make the government since presently, there is only one option available -- a BJP-Sena government as per the people's mandate.
Pawar urged the two warring allies to end the political instability in the state and make efforts to give a stable government.
In his initial reactions to Pawar's statements, Raut dared the BJP again saying that "those who have 105 MLAs should form the government".
With this, he indirectly made it clear that the Sena pressure on the BJP would continue as far as the post of Chief Minister was concerned, something the latter is not willing to concede.

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Maharashtra’s first greenfield Smart Industrial City AURIC attracts Rs. 3,600 crore investment

Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC), one of the India's first greenfield industrial smart cities along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), has attracted an investment of Rs. 3,600 crore so far from investors.
Planned across an area of 10,000 acres on the outskirts of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, AURIC has allotted 50 plots comprising 507,164 sq. mt. thereby creating 2,000 direct employment opportunities, a press release from AURIC said.
Infrastructure packages of Rs. 7,947 crore have been approved by the Government of India to help AURIC offer high-value, sustainable infrastructure that will support long-term economic vitality, a high quality of life, and a knowledge-based ecosystem with breakthrough innovation and efficiency, it said.
Hyosung Corporation of South Korea, the largest global spandex producer, is committed to invest around Rs. 3,000 crore for 100 acres of land in AURIC, the release said.
It said several global companies from the US, Europe, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea have also been considering investments in AURIC such as Russia’s Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK), manufacturer of high-quality steel products; Guangdong Baihe Medical Technology Co. Ltd. of China; Fuji Silvertech Japan’s leading precast concrete manufacturing company. 
Companies closer home around AURIC include Skoda, Siemens, Bajaj, Johnson & Johnson, Crompton & Greaves, Perkins, Liebherr, Lupin, Endress + Hauser, Wockhardt & Endurance, amongst others.
Gajanan Patil, Jt. MD, Aurangabad Industrial Township Ltd. (AITL), said, “The first phase of AURIC will be completed by 2019. AURIC is expected to make Aurangabad as a major manufacturing hub, which is likely to create about 3,00,000 new jobs and thus attract skilled labour. About 3,00,000 people are expected to reside in a top class infrastructure once the city is fully developed. An environment friendly city is being planned with the help of modern information and communication technologies (ICT). AURIC will make Maharashtra the most preferred investment destination in India.”
The release said the new integrated industrial township will be a congregation of office spaces, residences, hotels, large & small format retail, hospitals, schools, parks, entertainment hubs and lots more. 
It said 60% of the total land has been utilized for industrial purposes, while 40% is for residential, commercial, institutions, open spaces and social-cultural amenities. 
"To implement this vision, a state-of-the-art smart technology will be employed, infrastructure will focus on clean, reusable and recycling methodologies, and industrial growth will be encouraged in targeted areas to build upon the industrial success of the region," the release said.
"The Future-ready Smart Industrial City will showcase Smart Governance features such as e-LMS (Land Management System) which is specially developed for AURIC. This is the first-of-its-kind system in the country in which land allotment has been made simpler and efficient with a vision of ensuring 100% digital and paperless transactions.
"AURIC will provide a high grade and cost-efficient power source, with a reduced carbon footprint and compact design. Operated out of a GIS substation with a SCADA system, residents are assured 24x7 reliable power with an underground cable for every plot and ICT enabled 'Smart + Connected' City components including Fiber optic infrastructure, Public Wi-Fi, AURIC e-Governance and ERP (AEE), Surveillance system, Internet of Things (IoT) for utilities, Multi-Services digital kiosks, Environmental sensors, e-Education and e-Healthcare, Smart poles, Cloud hosting.
"AURIC s one of the unique smart cities in India which has sustainability at his core with Technology driven features such as Diversification of Water Sources and water management practices, with a SCADA controlled water supply in place. The City focuses on water conservation and recycling water for industrial use through state-of-the-art Central Effluent Treatment Plants and Sewage Treatment facilities. Power distribution license - enabling lower power tariffs. AURIC will be the first smart city to use the recycled sewage water and will have robust infrastructure and high quality - cost effective stable power supply.
"The sustainability quotient is maintained with open spaces which have been developed to cater not only to ecological and sustainable demands, but also to be of gainful utility wherever the activities demand. It also includes space for Lakes, Creek Corridor, Streetscape, Reforestation, Buffer, etc., along the periphery.
"Besides a rail and highway network that connects AURIC to major cities in India, AURIC is only 10 minutes away from the Aurangabad International Airport. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust's (JNPT) dry port and container terminal at Jalna is only 40 kilometres away. This will give industries at AURIC easy access to India's largest sea port of the country- the JNPT.
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) is formed for development Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). This corridor passes through six states namely - Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh & Maharashtra. Initially two nodes were selected from Maharashtra in the first phase, namely Shendra Bidkin Industrial area near Aurangabad and Dighi Port Industrial area in Raigad district of Maharashtra.
An SPV was formed between DMICDC and MIDC in 49:51 ratio. Accordingly, SPV at SBIA was formed on 12.12.2014 which was named as - Aurangabad Industrial Township Ltd (AITL) which was branded as AURIC during Make in India Week in 2016. 

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Maratha quotas: Fresh violence in Maharashtra, one more suicide

Fresh violence with arson, roadblocks, attacks on police and shutdowns rocked several parts of Maharashtra over the demands for Maratha reservations while one person committed suicide by jumping under a running train on Monday.
Large areas of Chakan in Pune and surroundings, Osmanabad, Solapur, Kolhapur, Nandurbar and Aurangabad witnessed sporadic incidents of arson, violence, road blocks and noisy processions on foot and on motorcyles, with prohibitory orders clamped in many police station areas.
In Aurangabad, Pramod Hore Patil committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train after making a post on Facebook. He ended his life sometime on Sunday, but his body was recovered on Monday near Mukundwadi railway station, resulting in a shutdown in parts of the district.
Over two dozen vehicles, including five state transport buses were torched or damaged as the Maratha agitation took a violent turn in Pune district's Chakan, Hinjewadi, Khed and the Pune-Nashik Highway today.
Angry protestors targeted the Chakan Police Station and in the resultant violence at least five policemen were injured. Elsewhere in the town, three persons were hurt in stone-pelting incidents.
Police retaliated by firing teargas shells to quell the protestors and clamped prohibitory orders, while a total shutdown was observed in Chakan and other towns as all political parties appealed to the Maratha leaders for peace and restraint.
State Transport (ST)  buses were also targeted in Solapur's Pandharpur pilgrim centre and adjourning Kolhapur since midnight on Sunday-Monday, forcing a precautionary suspension of all ST services for the day as roads were blocked by squatting activists and burning tyres.
Activists attempted to set afire some vehicles and ST buses in Nandurbar but were thwarted by police though some parts observed a shutdown.
Meanwhile, ruling coalition partner Shiv Sena, and the Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party held separate meetings with their legislators amidst at least eight MLAs quitting their seats to press for Maratha quotas.
The Shiv Sena is likely to back the Bharatiya Janata Party on this specific issue and has urged the government to announce the quotas without waiting for the report of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC), or disturbing the existing reservations.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, of the Congress, has written to the Governor C. V. Rao, seeking his intervention between the agitating Marathas and the state government to end the violence and expeditiously resolve the pending quotas issue.
Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar has flayed the undue delays on the part of the government in announcing the quotas and demanded they do so without further delays.
Several Maratha groups have warned of intensifying the agitation from August 1, while the Dhangars community has also demanded their share of quotas by September 1 failing which they would launch an agitation.

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Maratha quota stir turns violent in Maharashtra, policeman hurt

A policemen and two others were injured as the campaign for a Maratha quota turned violent here even as protests were held in different parts of Maharashtra by the Maratha Kranti on Tuesday.
A large number of protestors torched a fire brigade vehicle near Kaigaon in Aurangabad district where a 28-year-old, Kakasaheb Dattatreya Shinde, committed suicide by jumping into the Godavari river on Monday evening demanding reservations.
The repercussions of Shinde's death were felt in different parts of the state with spontanious shutdowns, road and rail blockades, processions and stray incidents of arson on Tuesday.
A fire brigade vehicle was torched in Aurangabad and a police jeep was set ablaze in Hingoli even as the issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut.
Leaders of major political parties including Congress' Ashok Chavan and Sachin Sawant, Nationalist Congress Party's Jitendra Awhad and others have urged the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government to resolve the issue of Maratha reservations expeditiously.
Various Maratha groups have announced a Maharashtra shutdown on August 9 -- celebrated as August Kranti Day -- to intensify the agitation going on since nearly two years.
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Two killed in Maharashtra group clashes; ACP critical

At least two persons were killed and more than 40 injured, including 10 policemen, when clashes broke out between two groups in this famed Maharashtra tourist town, an official said.
Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar said that the violence erupted late on Friday following a trivial local issue which angered the people in some areas.
"Due to rumours which circulated like wildfire on social media, it quickly flared up and spread," Kesarkar told IANS.
In the final tally, the minister said two persons have lost their lives, including one in an arson incident and another in the plastic bullets firing by the police.
"Three Assistant Commissioners of Police and around 10 policemen, besides more than 30 civilians have also been injured. One ACP's condition is serious and he will be operated on later," Kesarkar added.
The full-scale rioting resulted in heavy stone-pelting and torching of vehicles and shops in the affected areas even as local police forces rushed to the areas around 10.30 on Friday night.
The authorities snapped Internet and social media networks in the city as a precaution late on Friday to prevent rumour-mongering.
Attempting to control the rampaging mobs, police resorted to caning, lobbing teargas shells and fring plastic bullets and imposed prohibitory orders, banning assembly for four or more persons.
However, Kesarkar denied allegations that police may have played a partisan role in the whole affair and said they managed to bring the situation under control very soon.
Aurangabad Police Commissioner Milind Bharambe said there were two rounds of violence, one on Friday evening followed by another on Saturday, but "now the situation is under control".
"It was a small issue... It escalated due to rumours and the tensions spread... Some anti-social elements indulged in setting ablaze shops and vehicles in the locality," Bharambe told the media.
The worst-hit areas were Shahganj, Nawabpura, Rajabazaar and Angribaug which continued to remain calm but tense even 24 hours later.
Local eyewitness accounts said over three dozen shops mostly belonging to small businessmen, were reduced to ashes and many private vehicles and at last two police vans were also torched.
The state government deployed units of the State Reserve Police Force, Indian Reserve Battalion from the city, besides rushing forces from neighbouring Beed and Jalna to maintain peace.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been apprised of the matter while Kesarkar rushed to Aurangabad to take stock of the situation along with Aurangabad Collector Uday Chaudhari, Bharambe and other officials.
The officials have appealed to the people of the city to remain calm and not get misled by rumour-mongers.
Attacking the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said: "Fadnavis should own up moral responsibility for failing to prevent the riots and submit his resignation."
"It is a clear failure of the Police Department and since the past four years, the Home Department is handled by Fadnavis. He has proved to be ineffective in maintaining law and order with incidents reported daily from all over the state and must quit," he demanded.
Hitting out at the law enforcers for "a complete failure of the intelligence department," Leader of Opposition in Council Dhananjay Munde demanded a judicial probe into the riots and compensation for the victims.
Opposition Congress state President Ashok Chavan called upon the people to maintain peace and remain vigilant to "foil the nefarious designs of communal and divisive forces" trying to spread social unrest between communities.
"The rioters have burnt over 100 shops in the city. What was the police doing when these anti-social forces were on a rampage the whole night? Do they enjoy government patronage," he asked.
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen President Asaduddin Owaisi appealed to Fadnavis to take strong action against the miscreants indulging in the rioting.
Located in the Marathwada region of the state, Aurangabad is world-renowned for the famous Ajanta-Ellora Caves, Bibi Ka Maqbara and other historical landmarks.
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Maharashtra: Seven dead as SUV collides with truck at Ahmednagar

All seven occupants of a speeding Bolero sports utility vehicle (SUV) died when it crossed the median after the driver apparently dozed off at the wheel and crashed into an oncoming truck at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra in the early hours of today, police said.
Police sources in Ahmednagar told NetIndian over the telephone that the incident occurred around 2 am near Dhangarwadi on the outskirts of the town on the Ahmednagar-Aurangabad highway.
The seven men were on a pilgrimage from Pune to Buldhana via Aurangabad, they said. The passengers were sleeping and the driver seemed to have also nodded off and lost control over the vehicle, they said.
All seven victims died on the spot. The driver of the truck fled the scene and the police were looking out for him, the sources said.

PPP projects worth Rs. 2778.72 crores okayed with VGF of Rs. 555.72 crores

The 52nd Meeting of the Empowered Institution (EI) for the Scheme for Financial Support to Public Private Partnership (PPP) Projects in infrastructure (Viability Gap Funding Scheme) has granted final approval to one road sector project of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH).
It also accorded in–principle approval to five road sector projects including three projects of Government of Maharashtra and one project of Government of Karnataka and road overbridge projects of Government of Madhya Pradesh. 
The estimated cost of the approved projects is Rs. 2778.72 crore with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of Rs. 555.72 crore. 
The meeting was held here yesterday and was chaired by the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance.
The MoRTH project approved is for the development and operation of the 237 km Sikar-Bikaner bypass section of National Highway (NH)-11 in Rajasthan at a cost of Rs 650.84 crore with VGF of Rs 130.17 crore.
In Karnataka, the EI approved the development of the 64 km Nelamangala-Chikkaballapura section of State Highway (SH)-74 at a total cost of Rs 168.04 crore with VGF of Rs 33.58 crore.
In Maharashtra, the EI approved four-laning of the 37.5 km Nagpur-Umred-Chandrapur section of SH-9 at a total cost of Rs 247.59 crore with VGF of Rs 49.52 km. 
It also approved four-laning of the 99 km Aurangabad – Ajantha – Fardapur section of SH-8 in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs 744.69 crore with VGF of Rs 148.94 crore.
The EI also cleared the four-laning of the 46 km Jalna-Ambad-Vadigodri section of SH-176 in Maharashtra at a cost of Rs 311.02 crore with VGF of Rs 62.2 crore.
In Madhya Pradesh, the EI approved development of 16 road overbridges (ROBs) and 14 limited height subways (LHS) at 16 locations of existing railway level crossings at a total cost of Rs 656.543 crore with VGF of Rs 131.31 crore.

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CCEA okays 4-laning of Aurangabad-Yedeshi section of NH-211 in Maharashtra

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved four-laning of the Aurangabad-Yedeshi section of National Highway (NH)-211 in Maharashtra.
The project will be implemented under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT-Annuity) in Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) pattern. 
An official press release said that the cost of the project is estimated to be Rs. 2406.63 crore including the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road will be approximately 190 km with paved shoulders, it said.
The project will expedite improvement of infrastructure in Maharashtra and also reduce the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying on the Aurangabad-Yedeshi section of National Highway-211. This stretch is a link between NH-3 and NH-4 in Maharashtra and shall be giving feeder traffic to ‘Yedeshi-Solapur’ section meeting Golden Quadrilateral NH-4 at Solapur, it added.

Biennial election to Maharashtra Legisative Council on August 19

The Election Commission has decided to hold the biennial election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from the Aurangabad-cum-Jalna Local Authorities constituency on August 19.
The election is to fill the vacancy that will be caused by the expiry of the term of office of sitting member Kishanchand Lekhraj Tanwani.
The notification for the election will be issued on July 25 and the last date for making nominations is August 1. Counting of votes will be taken up on August 21, an official press release added.

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NCP leader's son held after car mows down little girl in Aurangabad

NCP leaders minor son detained after crushing 3 under SUV in Aurangabad

A 17-year-old boy, the son of a local Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, was detained by the police after the car he was allegedly mowed down two minor girls and their uncle, killing the younger girl on the spot, here yesterday morning, police said.

The regular driver of the vehicle, identified as Mohammed Amar Chaus, 23, who was said to be seated beside the boy, who was learning to drive, was arreted, they said.
Police said the boy lost control over the car at the TV Centre Chowk and it first hit two girls, Navya Prakash Sonawane (2) and her sister Sayali (3), and their uncle Shirish Sonawane (35), when they were on their way to a temple.
Navya died on the spot, while her sister and their uncle suffered injuries in the incident. They were admitted to a hospital.
The car went on to knock down a motorcycle before coming to a halt after crashing into a small sop, sources said.
An irate mob later roughed up the boy and the driver and tried to burn the car, but police dispersed them and brought the situation under control. The incident was captured on CCTV cameras installed in the area.

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We have to improve our death bowling: Dhoni

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stressed the importance of death bowling after Chennai Super Kings stole a thriller against Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here tonight.

"The performance was great, we need to improve our death bowling drastically. We didn't get off to a good start, the pressure was there on the middle order. You can't really afford to play too many dot balls, you have to be there till the 15th or 16th over to cash in," said Dhoni.
Man of the Match Ravindra Jadeja, who nowadays is ridiculed as Sir Jadeja on the social media, said he was not trying to play silly shots.
"(With reference to Sir) they are just making fun in a lighter way, not a serious way. I was confident about my batting, I scored two triple-hundreds this season. I was not trying to play any silly shots, it was a good wicket," he said.
Royal Challengers skipper Virat Kohli said his team lost the match in the last six over.
"It was our game to lose in the last six overs. We are relying on big partnership as of now, a few small partnerships will do good for us. RP, T20 is a game like that, I'm still proud of him," he said.

Maharashtra: Four of family injured in transistor radio explosion in Beed district


Four members of a family, including a two-year-old boy, suffered serious injuries when a transistor radio set, that a bus conductor found in his vehicle, exploded at their home in Koregaon village of Beed district in Maharashtra yesterday, police said.

According to the police, the conductor, A R Nimbalkar (35), his wife Usha (30), his mother Kusum (53) and his son Kunal were injured in the incident and have been admitted to the Swami Ramanand Teerth (SRT) hospital in Beed.
Nimbalkar, who was on duty on the bus, plying between Mumbai and Ambejogai, found the transistor in the bus after all the passengers had alighted. He took it home and switched it on with his family members around when it exploded.
Police, forensic experts and members of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) rushed to the scene and are investigating the incident.

Veteran socialist leader Bapu Kaldate passes away

Dr. Bapu Kaldate
Noted socialist leader and former Member of Parliament (MP) Bapu  Kaldate died of a heart attack here late last night.
He was 82 and is survived by his wife Sudha and two daughters, Anupama and Kanchan.
Kaldate, who was admitted to Mahatma Gandhi Misson (MGM) Hospital on Tuesday morning, breathed his last at 0010 hrs. He had pledged to donate his eyes and body.
Kaldate participated in the Quit India Movement of 1942 and was imprisoned six times while participating in different agitations pertaining to high prices, farmers' demands and the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement. He was in jail during the emergency from 1975 to 1977.
He was first elected to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from Latur in 1967. Later, he contested the Lok Sabha election from Aurangabad and was elected as MP in 1977 as a candidate of the Janata Party. He was also elected twice to the Rajya Sabha in 1984 and 1990.
In his later years, he was a vice-president of the Janata Dal (Secular) led by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.
The funeral was slated for later today, sources close to the family said.

Hazare gets Z-category security cover despite his reluctance

The Ahmednagar police today provided social activist Anna Hazare with "Z"-category security.

Talking to UNI, District Superintendent of Police Krishna Prakash said Mr Hazare was not keen on accepting the security cover initially, saying that he was working for the welfare of people and did not require any protection.

"However, I told him that police had a duty to look after his safety," he said.

"Ever since the Jan Lokpal movement, Mr Hazare has become an iconic figure for the nation. Keeping this in mind, we have decided to provide him with 'Z' category security," he added.

Mr Prakash denied having received any intelligence inputs regarding any threat to the 74-year-old Gandhian's life.


Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.


Three killed in mishap near Aurangabad in Maharashtra


Three people were killed on the spot and another seriously injured when their car rammed into a stationary truck at Padegaon on the Aurangabad-Nashik road late last night.

According to police sources, the mishap occurred as the driver of the car lost control over the vehicle. The truck driver had parked his vehicle at Padegaon toll point to pay the toll.

The employees of the toll point and police rushed all of them to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), where the doctors declared the three persons dead on admission.

The deceased were identified as Abay Gawali (25), Viswajit Kore (30) and Jayant Bhole (27), all residents of Aurangabad.

Harshal Deshmukh, who was seriously injured, was admitted to the GMCH, they added.


2 pedestrians run over by tractor in Aurangabad

Two pedestrians, including a woman, were killed on the spot when a speeding tractor run over them while they were walking on the Harsul-Jatwada road here today.

The mishap occurred this afternoon when the tractor, laden with soil and on its way to Jatwada, hit the pedestrians from behind, killing them on the spot, police sources said.

After hearing the news, a team of Begampura police rushed to the spot and rushed the victims to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) for post-mortem examination.

The deceased were identified as Sonaji Didore and Manda Didore, both hailing from Sillod, who had arrived here for some work and were walking towards Jatwada road from Harsul T-point when the incident took place.

The tractor driver fled from the scene after the accident and a case has been registered against with Begampura police station, they added.


2 motorcyclists crushed to death by truck in Aurangabad

Two people on a motorcycle waiting at a traffic signal on Jalna road here were crushed to death and two others suffered serious injuries when a speeding truck hit them from behind today.

The mishap occurred at around 1500 hrs, when several people were waiting at the API Corner traffic signal point for the green light, when the speeding truck laden with cement bags arrived from behind while on its way to Chikalthana.

The truck driver tried to apply the brakes and when he realized that they were not functioning he turned the vehicle towards a corner of the road to avoid loss of lives.

However, by that time, it had already crushed the two motoryclists, killing both of them on the spot.

The two injured persons were rushed to a nearby private hospital in a serious condition.

At least a dozen people were waiting on the opposite side of the road and there could have been more lives lost if the truck's wheels had not got stuck in a ditch. The deceased were yet to be identified, the police added.


8 killed, 40 injured as bus plunges into well in Maharashtra

At least eight passeengers, including two women, were killed on the spot and 40 others injured when the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus they were traveling in plunged into an open roadside well that was about 100 feet deep.

The mishap occurred near Bankinara village in Sillod taluka of this district, about 50 km from here, today.

According to sources in rural police, the bus was carrying 48 passengers, including the driver and the conductor, from Buldhana and was on its way to Aurangabad this evening, when the incident occurred.

The injured have been admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here and a hospital at Sillod, where they were being treated.

GMCH sources said that so far 20 injured had been admitted to the hospital, including the driver, Chhotusingh Rajput, and conductor, Ambadas Dinkuntwar. The condition of many of them is stated to be critical.

The police said that the bus driver appeared to have lost control over the vehicle due to some technical problem in the steering wheel, which led to the accident. The deceased were yet to be identified and their bodies had been sent for autopsy, they added.


Final year engineering student commits suicide in Aurangabad


A final year engineering student allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his room in Cidco N-6 area, near his college here, today.

The victim has been identified as Vishnu Kawade (22), who was studying production engineering at the Jawaharlal Nehru Engineering College (JNEC) here.

According to the sources in police, Vishnu, son of Shivaji Kawade, a bank employee in Sailu, in Parbhani district, went to sleep in his room in a private hostel situated near JNEC last night.

This afternoon around 1200 hrs, a boy working in the mess nearby came to his room to tell him that his meal was ready. He knocked at the door repeatedly. When Vishnu did not respond, the boy alerted other hostel inmates, who broke the door open to find Vishnu hanging from the ceiling and a two-line suicide note lying on the bed.


The boys alerted the police as well as the college principal. So far, no cause of suicide has come to the fore, said police.

In his suicide note, Vishnu, while apologising to his parents, said that he was committing suicide, the sources said.

Vishnu's body has been sent for autopsy. His parents have been informed and they are on their way to Aurangabad, the sources added.


Late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan's mother passes away

Ms Prabhavati Mahajan, mother of late Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pramod Mahajan, died at Aurangabad today because of old age, family sources said. She was 80.

Prabhavati breathed her last at 0845 hours this morning at the residence of her younger son Prakash Mahajan, the sources said.

Pramod Mahajan died on May 3, 2006, while his younger brother Pravin Mahajan, who was serving a life term for murder of the BJP leader, died last year.

Prabhavati's daughter is married to senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde.


Maharashtra govt to suspend RDC of Aurangabad in land scam

Maharashtra Minister of State for Revenue Prakash Solanke today informed the Legislative Council that the state government would suspend Resident Deputy Collector (RDC) of Aurangabad N R Shelke for allegedly selling plots which were reserved for cattle grazing to several people including his relatives.

Replying to a query raised by Mr Jagdish Gupta and others in the house during question hour, Mr Solanke said the official concerned had violated the law by selling plots to people including his relatives. The government will suspend him and an inquiry would be conducted into the matter, he said.

Opposition leader Pandurang Phundkar said it was a huge land scam and Dr Shelke had allotted plots to his relatives at a nominal price.

He and other members demanded that Dr Shelke be suspended and an inquiry be conducted against him.

Mr Solanke accepted the demand and assured that the official would be suspended and an inquiry conducted into the issue.


NCP MLA Dilip Wagh's bail plea rejected in rape case

A local court yesterday rejected the bail application of suspended Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Dilip Wagh and his personal secretary Mahesh Mali, accused of raping a young woman here last month.

Wagh and Mali are accused of raping an Aurangabad-based woman at the Government Guest House here on February 21 after calling her there on the pretext of giving her a job.

The victim filed a case against the duo with Sarkarwada police station four days after the alleged incident. Acting on her complaint, both Wagh and Mali were arrested by police and booked on the charges of gang rape and threatening the victim.

Advocate M Y Kale had filed the bail petition in a local court on behalf of the accused.


9 Muslim accused in Malegaon blast will get justice: Khurshid

The nine Muslim accused in the 2006 Malegaon bomb blasts case will shortly get justice as the earlier investigation of the case was "unfair", Union Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today.

"It is very clear that injustice has happened. Hundred per cent foolproof investigation is not possible in any case. Many people are arrested during investigation, brought before the court and some of them are set free. But repeatedly targeting 'some people' is unfair," Mr Khurshid told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

"Subsequent developments indicate that review and rethinking is necessary in the case," he said, apparently referring to the names of right-wing groups cropping up in connection with the bomb attack.

The Minister said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was in touch with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily to take the case to its logical conclusion.

The nine accused have moved a bail plea in the court in the wake of the confessional statment of Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the Mecca Masjid blast, who had confessed before a magistrate that a right-wing group was responsible for the 2006 Malegaon blasts, which killed 36 people and injured over 100.

Speaking at the conference, Mr Chavan said, "The Malegaon case was a painful chapter in the state history. The arrested accused will get justice."

"The case was given to the CBI after it was demanded by people. After the incident, a few things have come up which would be considered," he said, adding that the guilty would be punished and the secular atmosphere of the state will remain intact.

He stated that there will be two more Haj Houses (residential buildings for Haj pligrims) in the state shortly -- at Nagpur and Aurangabad.


Rahul Gandhi expresses concern over corruption cases

Expressing concern over the growing number of corruption cases in the country, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on Saturday emphasized the need to change the system and advocated strict action against the culprits.
AICC General secretary Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference in Aurangabad on January 29, 2011. UNI PHOTO
AICC General secretary Rahul Gandhi addressing a press conference in Aurangabad on January 29, 2011. UNI PHOTO

Expressing concern over the growing number of corruption cases in the country, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today emphasized the need to change the system and advocated strict action against the culprits.

Mr Gandhi told a press conference here that there was an urgent need to root out corruption from the system.

"There are complaints of corruption pouring in from throughout the country and we have to adopt a two-pronged formula for rooting out corruption through strict and timely action and secondly by opening the door to the youth to join active politics to fight the menace," he said on the third day of his Maharashtra visit.

Talking about terrorism, Mr Gandhi said the menace had to be fought and there was no place for violence and hatred in a civilised society.

Referring to Youth Congress elections in the country, he said during his whirlwind tour of the country he found there was good response from the youth to join the party.

He said the Congress was the only party in the country which had elected youth members through a democratic process.

"Youth should come forward to join politics for bringing about change in the country," he said.

Mr Gandhi expressed serious concern over the Manmad incident, where the Malegaon Additional Collector Yashwant Sonawane was set on fire by the oil adulteration mafia on January 25.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state Congress chief Manikrao Thackeray, Congress secretary Mohan Prakash and Youth Congress president Rajiv Satav were among those present on the occasion.

Later, Mr Gandhi left for the tribal hamlet of Palghar in Thane district.


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