60% polling in Uttar Pradesh, 86% in Manipur in final phase of Assembly elections

About 60% of the electorate turned out to exercise their franchise for 40 seats in the seventh and final phase of polling in elections to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and a record 86% of the electors cast their votes in 22 constituencies in the second and final phase of voting in Manipur amidst tight security today.
Polling was by and large peaceful and no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere, Election Commission officials said.
Polling will be held tomorrow in two constituencies -- Alapur (SC) in Uttar Pradesh and Karna Prayag in Uttarakhand -- which had been adjourned due to the death of a contesting candidate each will be held tomorrow, bringing the curtains down on polling in the crucial Assembly elections in five States.
In Uttar Pradesh, the 40 constituencies that went to the polls today are spread over the seven districts of Varanasi, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Mirzapur, Sant Ravidas Nagar-Bhadohi, Sonebhadra and Jaunpur.
As many as 535 candidates including 51 women, were in the fray for these 40 seats. More than 1.41 crore voters, including 64.76 lakh women,were eligible to exercise their franchise in these constituencies.
In Manipur, the 22 constituencies where polling was held today are spread over 10 districts. 
The elections in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa are taking place mid-way through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
Polling in Uttar Pradesh -- India's most populous state -- was held in seven phases.  About 64% of the voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of polling on February 11. In the second phase of polling on February 15, 65.5% of the electors turned out to cast their votes, about 65%  polling was recorded in the third phase on February 19, more than 61% in the fourth phase on February 23,  more than 57% in the fifth phase on February 27 and more than 57% in the sixth and penultimate phase on March 4.
More than 84% polling was recorded in the first phase of polling in 38 constituencies in Manipur on March 4.
About 70% of the electorate in Punjab and 83% in Goa exercised their franchise on February 4 when single-phase polling was held in those two states. Similarly, single-phase polling was held in Uttarakhand on February 15, when about 68% of the electorate exercised their franchise. 
Counting of votes in all the five states will be taken up on March 11 and all the results are expected by late evening that day.
The terms of the Goa, Manipur and Punjab assemblies are due to normally expire on March 18, Uttarakhand on March 26 and Uttar Pradesh on May 27.
The Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly has 403 seats, including 84 reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and two for Scheduled Tribes. Punjab Assembly has 117 seats (34 SC), Goa 40 (1 SC), Uttarakhand 70 (13 SC, 2 ST) and Manipur 60 (1 SC, 19 ST).

Rajnath reviews situation in Nagaland after lynching of rape suspect

Two days after thousands of people stormed into the Central Jail in Dimapur,  dragged out a rape suspect, paraded him naked through the streets and lynched him late on Thursday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today reviewed the situation during a conversation over the telephone with Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang.
An official press release said here that Mr Singh asked the Chief Minister to ensure law and order in the town. 
Mr Singh also told Mr Zeliang to take strict action against the culprits. He assured all necessary assistance from the Centre, the release added.
Meanwhile, Mr Zeliang and Nagaland Home Minister Y Patton have urged people not to politicise the incident or give it a communal or religious colour. 
Mr Zeliang also warned against the use of the social media to create communal tension.
Meanwhile, the body of the man was taken to his home town of Karimganj in Assam and handed over to his family for the last rites.
The Assam government has urged the Centre and the Nagaland government to ensure the safety of people from the state in Nagaland.
The man who was lynched by the mob was said to be a 35-year-old businessman. He had been arrested in connection with a complaint of rape filed by a woman in Nagaland on February 23, and had been sent to judicial custody in the Dimapur jail.
Police opened fire to control the mob that lynched, killing one person, and the authorities later imposed curfew in the area to restore order. 
The incident has come at a time when there is an outcry among some sections of the people across the country against a documentary film aired on BBC about the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012. The girl succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital ten days later.
The documentary, which featured an interview with one of the four convicts facing the death sentence in the case, has been banned in India and the Government has asked video sharing website YouTube to block it.

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Final approval for 4-laning of Dimapur - Kohima section of NH-39 in Nagaland

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday approved the implementation of the project of four-laning of the Dimapur-Kohima section of National Highway (NH)-39.
The project, from km. 124.1 to km.172.9 of NH-39 (excluding Dimapur and Kohima bypass) in Nagaland, will be taken up under the special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP-NE) Phase ‘A’ in North Eastern Region on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT - Annuity). 
The total length of the road will be 42.8 km with total project cost of Rs.1089.87 crore (excluding land acquisition and pre-construction). The concessionaire will make all expenditure to complete the project and will charge the annuity from the Government, an official press release said.
The main object of the project is to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in Nagaland. The project is one of the stretches approved by the Government under SARDP-NE. It will help reduce the time and cost of travel for traffic plying between Dimapur and Kohima. It will also increase the potential of employment of local labourers for project activities, the release added.

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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.

Unidentified gunmen shoot construction worker dead in Dimapur

One construction worker was reportedly shot dead at a building construction site at Sovima village E Khel in Dimapur yesterday. 
Official sources said the victim was shot dead by three unidentified assailants. The deceased identified as Abdul Kalam (56) of Karimganj district of Assam, working as "head mason" at the site, was shot in the head from a close range.
He died on the spot, police said, adding an empty shell of .22 pistol was recovered from the site. 
Six workers, including the deceased, were at the construction site when the incident occurred. 

Nagaland transport secretary Hangsing Nguljakai passes away

Nagaland State Transport Secretary N Hangsing Nguljakai died of pancreatic cancer at the GNRC Hospital in Guwahati, Assam yesterday.

Mr Hangsing, 54, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

He had served as Deputy Commissioner of Kiphire and Phek and Additional Secretary, Forest, in the Government of Nagaland.

His body reached Dimapur by road and would be taken to his native village, Molvom, where a funeral service was slated later today.


Landslide in Nagaland

A long queue of vehicles stranded on the National Highway 29 near Chumukedima, 15 km from Dimapur, in Nagaland after a landslide following heavy rains on August 21, 2011. UNI PHOTO
A long queue of vehicles stranded on the National Highway 29 near Chumukedima, 15 km from Dimapur, in Nagaland after a landslide following heavy rains on August 21, 2011. UNI PHOTO
A long queue of vehicles stranded on the National Highway 29 near Chumukedima, 15 km from Dimapur, in Nagaland after a landslide following heavy rains on August 21, 2011. UNI PHOTO

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.


1 dies in train accident in Nagaland

One person died while another was seriously injured in two seperate train accidents at Dimapur here yesterday.

According to official sources here today, one person died when he was hit by the speeding Mariani-Guwahati train near the helipad of Rangapahar Military Station around 0900 hours yesterday.

The victim was reportedly working as a supervisor on the railway track under a contractor. The noise from a hovering helicopter, which was landing at the helipad, along with the sound of an approaching truck, could have made it difficult for the victim to hear the approaching train, police said.

In another incident, a student, aged about 25, of the Nagaland University lost both his legs when the Chandigarh-Dibrugarh Express ran over him while he was trying to cross the rail track under a flyover in Dimapur town, the sources said.


2, including MP’s son, killed in road mishap in Nagaland

Two people, including the son of the Lok Sabha Member from Nagaland C M Chang, were killed in two separate road accidents in Dimapur last night.

Official sources today said the MP's son, Joseph Chang, who was the lone occupant in a Scorpio, hit a boulder-laden stationary truck in the Third Mile area of Dimapur at around 0030 hrs.

The victim was returning home from Chumukedima. The front portion of the vehicle was completely smashed and the occupant died on the spot.

His funeral service was held today at his residence Green Meadow at Burma Camp of Dimapur town.

In another incident, a motorcyclist died on the spot when he rammed into a stationary truck at around 1730 hrs last evening in the Kukidolong area on National Highway 29.

The pillion rider was also injured in the incident and is struggling for his life at the Dimapur District Hospital. The victim was identified as one Letsalun (23), a student of Science College, Kohima.


4 members of family burnt alive in Nagaland fire

Four members of a family were charred to death when their house caught fire at Chumukedima, around 15 km away from Dimapur, yesterday.

Sources said here today that the incident occurred when the occupants were fast asleep.

The victims were identified as Firoz Khan (35), his wife, Elina Lotha (33), and daughters - Jenifer (13) and Tamana (10).

It was suspected that the blaze was set off by an electrical short circuit, sources said, adding that the house was reduced to ashes by the time fire tenders reached the spot.

The bodies were retrieved by police and it was stated that property worth Rs 18 lakh was destroyed in the blaze.


One injured, over 100 thatched houses razed in Dimapur fire

One person was injured, at least 105 houses were destroyed and 250 families rendered homeless in a fire which broke out at the Purana Bazar area of Dimapur town in Nagaland yesterday.

Official sources said here today that the fire broke out from a house in the middle of the colony when some members of a family were cooking.

At least 14 shops located in the area were also razed to ashes. The inhabitants are mostly labourers. The local people had to demolish some of the thatched houses to stop the fire from spreading.

Three fire tenders stopped the fire from further spreading and doused the flames.

One person received burn injuries and was taken to hospital. Indian Red Cross Society, Dimapur and Rotary Club of Dimapur distributed relief materials to the victims, sources said.


2 die while digging well near Dimapur in Nagaland

Two people were killed while digging a well at the Police Referral Hospital area in Chumukedima, about 15 km from Dimapur yesterday.

Official sources here today said the duo were engaged in digging the well for two weeks. One of the labourers, who was working at the bottom of the well, about 80 feet deep, suddenly collapsed.

Two people went to retrieve him from the well, but one of them also collapsed, while the other was fetched by co-workers.

On receiving the information, Dimapur police rushed to the spot, but were helpless.

They informed the army for help. Army troops of 108 Engineering Regiment immediately arranged one JCO with breathing apparatus, who went down and pulled them out in unconscious state. The duo died


According to one geologist, the foothill areas of Dimapur district have huge petroleum deposits and toxic gases, which are usually found deposited above the petroleum oil bed. Such gases might have

leaked out while digging and caused the deaths.


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