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Six coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh

Six coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, this evening.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm today, railway sources said, adding that details of casualties were not immediately available.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track.
 
Gas cutters were being used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. 
 
"Our focus right now is on rescue and relief operations. Officers and staff from the nearby railway stations have reached the spot," Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told journalists in New Delhi.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway.
 
"We have geared up our rescue and relief machinery. Senior officials of Delhi Division have rushed to the accident site. Staff and officers from the nearby stations have already reached there," Mr. Saxena said.
 
He said personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) would also reach the site soon.
 
The train had left Puri yesterday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm today, they said.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
Mr. Prabhu said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan were on their way to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- have also left for the spot.
 
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BrahMos successfully test-fired to validate service life extension

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India today successfully test-fired supersonic cruise missile BrahMos from a mobile autonomous launcher as part of service life extension programme for the Indian Army under extreme weather conditions.
 
The test-firing was carried out at 1017 hours from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Balasore in Odisha, a press release from BrahMos Aerospace said.
 
"The precision strike missile followed the designated trajectory and the key components functioned perfectly. BrahMos has proved again all-weather capability flying in sea-state 7 with waves as high as 9 meters. DRDO’s range capability to operate in the most severe weather condition has also been validated at ITR Balasore," the release said.
 
Senior Army officials and scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and BrahMos Aerospace witnessed the trial.
 
BrahMos is a joint venture between DRDO of India and NPOM of Russia.
 
"BrahMos missile has established itself as a major force multiplier in modern-day complex battlefields with its impeccable land-attack, anti-ship capabilities with multi-role and multi-platform abilities," the release said.
 
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO, BrahMos and the Indian Army for the successful test-firing.
 
Dr Sudhir Mishra, Director General (BrahMos), DRDO and MD and CEO of BrahMos Aerospace, who witnessed the launch, congratulated BrahMos and DRDO personnel on the successful test-firing.
 
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Additional Strategic Petroleum Reserves to be set up at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka

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The Union Cabinet today approved the establishment of two additional Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facilities at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka with a total capacity of 6.5 million metric tonnes (MMT).
 
An official press release said the approval included construction of dedicated SPMs (Single Point Mooring) for the two SPRs. 
 
The SPR facilities at Chandikhol and Padur will be underground rock caverns and will have capacities of 4 MMT and 2.5 MMT, respectively, it said.
 
The Government had announced the plans for the two additional SPRs in the Budget for 2017-18.
 
The release said the in-principle approval is to take up the project under the PPP model to reduce budgetary support of Government of India. The terms and conditions of such participation, would be determined by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in consultation with the Ministry of Finance after conducting road shows to elicit requirements of market, including prospective investors.
 
Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Ltd (ISPRL) has already constructed underground rock caverns for storage of 5.33MMT of crude oil at three locations -- Vishakhapatnam (1.33 MMT), Mangalore (1.5 MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT). 
 
The total 5.33 MMT capacity under Phase-I of the SPR programme is currently estimated to supply approximately 10 days of India’s crude requirement according to the consumption data for FY2016-17. 
 
The Cabinet’s approval for establishing additional 6.5 MMT Strategic Petroleum Reserve facilities will provide an additional supply of about 12 days and is expected to augment India’s energy security.
 
"The construction phase of the SPRs at Chandikhol and Padur is likely to generate significant direct and indirect employment opportunities in the states of Odisha and Karnataka," the release added.
 
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India conducts technology demonstrator flight test of SFDR propulsion based missile

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India has successfuly carried out the technology demonstrator flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) propulsion based missile.
 
An official press release said here today that the test was carried out from the Launch Center-III of Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Orissa yesterday. 
 
"The flight test met all the mission objectives. The technology of nozzle less booster has been successfully demonstrated in the mission for the first time in the country," the release added.
 
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Opposition leaders coming together to save themselves: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked the opposition unity, saying the corrupt leaders are coming together "not to save the country but to save themselves", making an apparent attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally organised to mark the fourth anniversary of his government, in Cuttack on May 26, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally organised to mark the fourth anniversary of his government, in Cuttack on May 26, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked the opposition unity, saying the corrupt leaders are coming together "not to save the country but to save themselves", making an apparent attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi.
 
"Due to the commitment of this government against black money and corruption, people who are out on bail in the Rs 5,000-crore corruption case and many others involved in other corruption cases have come together on the same platform," Modi said addressing a rally here on the occasion of completion of four years of his government.
 
He was apparently referring to Gandhis taking bail in the National Herald case and opposition leaders coming together in Bengaluru during the Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony.
 
"As we promised four years ago about zero tolerance towards corruption, four former Chief Ministers are behind bars," Modi said.
 
The Prime Minister also said that his is a "committed government" instead of being a "confused government".
 
"With a clear commitment to work, we have shown how this government along with its ally parties is capable of taking harsh decisions and strict measures," he said.
 
"When a committed government works, then decisions like surgical strike and much-delayed One Rank-One Pension are taken."
 
"On seeing this government's commitment against corruption, even enemies have become good friends," he said, adding that the people of the country are watching them all. 
 
"These leaders have not come together for the country, they have come together to save themselves and their families."
 
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Modi said that in the last four years, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become the party from Panchayat to Parliament.
 
He alleged that the opposition leaders want to destabilise the current government, "but people know everything".
 
Taking a dig at the opposition, the Prime Minister said: "The people who try to confuse the people for power can't bring back black money, neither they can fight against corruption."
 
Reminding the gathering of the corruption cases four years ago, Modi said: "People need to remember the situation of the country four years ago. This is important to remember what a family did for the country that remained in power for 48 years."
 
"How people can forget the cases of corruption in the previous government due to which the image of the country was maligned across the globe?" he said.
 
Attacking the Gandhis for guiding former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on every key decision, Modi said: "They believed in the development of their party as against the development of the nation. They remote-controlled the Prime Minister and issued directions to several ministers on e-mail.
 
"But now the government does not run from Janpath (the official address of Gandhis), it runs from Janmat (people's mandate)."
 
The Prime Minister also stressed that the President (Ram Nath Kovind), Vice President (M. Venkaiah Naidu) and the "Pradhan Sewak" (Prime Servant) of the country come from very humble and poor background.
 
"We have seen the days of poverty ... we were not born with silver spoons. In fact, we did not see the spoon in our initial days," Modi said, in an apparent jibe at Rahul Gandhi.
 
The Prime Minister also said that in last four years, the investigating agencies have carried out searches at over 3,000 locations and unearthed over Rs 53,000 crore of undisclosed money. 
 
Modi claimed that the government seized properties worth over Rs 3,500 crore after the Benami Properties Bill was passed by the government.
 
"It was the commitment of the government that led to the passage of Benami Properties Bill, unlike the confused government which delayed it for over 30 years," he said.
 
Modi said about half of the country's population is deprived of basic needs and that most of the schemes were only meant for the upper layer of the society.
 
"Over 50 per cent of the population does not have a gas connection, electricity connection or bank accounts. More than 50 per cent of the villages did not have road connectivity and half of the population did not have toilets in their homes," he said.
 
"Who were the people comprising this deprived half? They were the poor, the Dalits, tribals and others," he said.
 
Highlighting the works of his government in the last four years, Modi said: "Since coming to power in 2014, we have moved from incompleteness to completeness.
 
"Now the electricity has reached every village of the country. Now about 80 per cent of the population resides in clean surrounding as compared to 39 per cent in 2014. We have built over seven crore toilets in the last four years, which was earlier only six crore across the country," Modi said.
 
The Prime Minister pointed out that the government has abolished over 1,400 such laws which were not useful. 
 
He also highlighted several schemes which his government launched for the people, including the Jan-Dhan Yojana, Mudra Yojana, Ujjwala Yojana, agriculture insurance scheme and several others that have changed the life of poors and farmers across the country. 
 
IANS
 
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Kummanam Rajasekharan, Ganeshi Lal appointed as Governors of Mizoram, Odisha

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President Ram Nath Kovind today appointed Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kummanam Rajasekharan as the new Governor of Mizoram.
 
He will succeed Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma, who will complete his tenure on May 28, a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
The President has also appointed Prof. Ganeshi Lal, Haryana BJP leader and former state minister, as the new Governor of Odisha, with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
 
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Seven Maoists killed in two encounters in Odisha

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At least seven Maoists were gunned down in separate encounters with security personnel in Odisha's Kandhamal and Balangir districts in last two days, said an official on Monday.
 
"Five Maoists were killed during a combing operation at Sudukumpa forest in Kandhamal's Golanki village, while two were killed in Dudkamal village of Balangir district," said Additional Director General of Police (Operations) R.P. Koche.
 
Acting on a tip-off, a combing operation was launched by the police and Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel in Sudukumpa forest, said Koche.
 
The police have recovered nine rifles, including AK-47 and INSAS and other ammunition from the area. The combing operation was on in the forest area, he added.
 
Director General of Police R.P. Sharma described it as a red letter day in the history of Odisha Police.
 
"This is a great team effort. The district Superintendents of Police have led from the front with exemplary courage and confidence," said Sharma.
 
IANS
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Rail traffic on Haridaspur-New Garhmadhupur section in Odisha affected as train hits JCB machine

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Rail traffic between Haridaspur and New Garhmadhupur stations on East Coast Railway (ECoR) in Odisha was affected after the 22878 Ernakulam-Howrah Antodaya Express hit a JCB earthmoving machine while passing a manned level crossing this morning, official sources said.
 
No one was injured in the incident, they said.
 
ECoR officials said the mishap occurred at about 10.15 am today when the train was passing the level crossing at Gate Number 154.
 
The officials said the pantograph of the train's engine was broken, temporarily affecting traffic on the Down line. They said the Up and Middle lines were free for train movement.
 
The officials said the overhead wire and the masts were also damaged. A diesel engine had been sent to bring the train, they said.
 
The Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Khurda Road Division of ECoR has placed the gateman under suspension for alleged dereliction of duty on the basis of the prima facie findings of a preliminary enquiry and ordered initiation of disciplinary proceedings against him. Responsibility of others will be fixed if any fault is found, the sources said, adding that an enquiry at the officers' level has been ordered by the DRM.
 
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Super Cup: Bengaluru FC eye redemption in final against East Bengal

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Bengaluru FC's bid to win a fifth title in as many seasons of the club's existence, will face one last hurdle in East Bengal as the two sides go to battle in the final of the Super Cup at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.
 
Albert Roca's Blues who missed out on the ISL title, going down in a final played just a little more than a month ago, have a shot at redemption and the Spanish manager said hunger and confidence is what will propel the Blues' charge.
 
"We've kept aside the disappointment of not winning the ISL because it won't do us any good. If anything, it's made us hungrier to keep alive the tradition of this club to win a trophy every season. 
 
"The Super Cup final is another chance and we will be going into the game with the right amount of confidence. We've been consistent and have had a fantastic season so far. It would be nice to have a trophy for our efforts," said Roca on the eve of the game.
 
Bengaluru have been clinical all through the tournament, always finding the answers to come away with a win. The Blues shrugged off the rust to beat Gokulam Kerala FC 2-1 before beating Neroca FC 3-1. Then, in what was a performance for the ages, a ten-man Bengaluru came from a goal down to beat arch rivals Mohun Bagan 4-2 and storm into the final.
 
East Bengal, on the other hand, have been doing just enough to progress. They started with a 2-1 win over Mumbai City FC and followed it up with 1-0 wins over both Aizawl FC and FC Goa to set up a date with Bengaluru.
 
Roca brushed aside talk of Bengaluru's billing as favourites going into the final but hoped his side would get a grip on the game as it progressed. "We have a 50% chance to win this and I'm hoping that as the game wears on, we increase that number. East Bengal will enter the game with a similar belief, so I don't really make much of that tag we've been given."
 
The Blues are sweating over the fitness of two vital players in defenders Juanan Gonzalez and Rahul Bheke. 
 
The Spanish centre-half was pulled out of the squad minutes before kick-off against Mohun Bagan, complaining of pain in his rib cage. Bheke, meanwhile, was an early substitution against Neroca FC in the quarter-final after injuring his leg. 
 
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"Both of them aren't 100% ready and I'm hoping that our medical team pulls off a little miracle. What I am certain of though, is that whoever plays in those positions will be completely ready for the job at hand," said Roca.
 
East Bengal have an injury concern of their own after striker Dudu Omagbemi, whose goal against FC Goa sent the Kolkata club to the final, left the pitch clutching his hamstring and in visible pain. Roca preferred not to guess whether the Nigerian would make the cut in Khalid Jamil's squad or not. 
 
"You're saying he's out of the fixture, but you never know, Dudu could start the game and score a goal or two. Football is always unpredictable, which is why I'm not going to go about guessing things I have no idea about."
 
Dudu aside, Jamil has enough quality in his other foreign players. Katsumi Yusa, Mahmoud Al Amna, Ansumana Kromah and Eduardo Ferreira are all experienced hands who have been part of championship-winning teams.
 
A free-scoring Bengaluru will hope their lethal attack turns up with the goals yet again. Sunil Chhetri and Miku have both notched hat-tricks in the tournament and Udanta Singh has been causing all sorts of trouble to defenders through the season with his pace and quality of the final ball in the box.
 
IANS
 
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Niranjan Patanaik appointed president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi has appointed Mr. Niranjan Patanaik as the new president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect.
 
A press release from the party said Mr. Naba Das, Mr. Chiranjiv Biswal (both MLAs) and Mr. Pradeep Majhi, former MP, have been appointed as working presidents.
 
Mr. Bhakta Charan Das, former MP, has been named as Chairperson of the Campaign Committee.
 
Mr. Jitendra Singh, AICC in-charge, will be the chairperson of the Coordination Committee. Mr. Jagannath Patnaik will be the convener of the committee.
 
Mr. Jaidev Jena, former PCC president will be the chairperson of the Core Committee while Mr. Sarat Patnaik, along a former PCC chief, will be its convener.
 
Mr. Hemananda Biswal, former Chief Minister, will be the chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee. 
 
Mr. Srikant Jena, former Union Minister, will be the chairperson of the Manifesto Committee, while Mr. Sarat Rout will be its convener.
 
"The party appreciates the work done by Mr. Prasad Harichandran, who is stepping down from his responsibility as PCC President Odisha," the release, issued by AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot, said.
 
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Bengaluru FC beat Mohun Bagan to enter Super Cup final

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Bengaluru FC (BFC) rode a hat-trick by Nicolas Fedor to beat Mohun Bagan 4-2 in their Super Cup semi-final at the Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.
 
Fedor (63rd, 65th, 88th minutes) struck thrice late in the second half before BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri (90th) scored in the last minute of regulation time.
 
Aser Dipanda Dicka (42nd, 90+2) scored twice for Mohun Bagan.
 
Before Fedor found his scoring touch, BFC were in a spot of bother.
 
Dicka had put the Kolkata giants ahead in the closing minutes of the first half after Akram Moghrabi picked him out inside the BFC penalty box with an excellent ball from the left.
 
To make matters worse for the Indian Super League (ISL) runners-up, their defender Nishu Kumar was shown the red card after a horrendous tackle on Mohun Bagan's Nikhil Kadam. 
 
Kadam had latched on to a clearance from the Mohun Bagan defence and was about to burst into the BFC penalty box after out running Nishu, who was the last defender. The BFC defender however, caught hold of Kadam's arm and pulled him down, leaving the referee with no option but to give him his marching orders.
 
Despite being down to 10 men, BFC continued to put pressure on the Mohun Bagan defence, as they had done for most of the game.
 
The former I-League champions from Kolkata, however, could not exploit their numerical advantage.
 
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They played mostly on the counter, looking to absorb the repeated BFC attacks by sitting back on defence and hitting back with long balls into their opponents' half.
 
Although the defence and midfield did well to deny time and space to the BFC players for most of the game, Fedor finally made Mohun Bagan pay when he exploited some poor marking to score with a superb finish from a difficult angle.
 
The Mohun Bagan defenders were caught unawares a couple of minutes later when a quick free-kick found Fedor through on goal and the Venezuelan punished them with an easy finish.
 
BFC were awarded a penalty in the closing minutes of regulation period when a mistimed tackle by Mohun Bagan substitute Rana Gharami brought down Udanta SIngh inside the box. Fedor stepped forward to convert the resultant penalty and complete his hat-trick.
 
Chhetri then scored BFC's fourth goal with a well-placed finish to put the issue out of Mohun Bagan's reach.
 
Dicka then utilised some loose defending by BFC to score a consolation goal for Mohun Bagan late into second half injury time.
 
IANS
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DCW chief's fast enters Day 3, two more minors raped

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An indefinite hunger strike by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal demanding death penalty for rapists entered the third day here on Sunday even as two more minors were raped across the country.
 
Maliwal launched the protest at Rajghat on Friday in the wake of the horrific rape incidents in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao and Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua districts.
 
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, she said: "I will not break my anshan (fast) until the Prime Minister does not (promise) the country a better system for the safety of our daughters."
 
As Maliwal continued her fast in Delhi, authorities in Patna said a minor girl was gang-raped on Sunday. The incident took place at 12.30 a.m. near a railway line in the heart of Bihar's capital.
 
"Both the accused (Chotu Kumar and Phekan Kumar) were caught by a police patrol that heard the girl's cries for help. The girl also identified both of them," police officer Rama Shankar Singh said.
 
In Odisha, police said a four-year-old girl was raped by a youth in Balasore district. The accused, 24-year-old Nityacharan Jena, is a neighbour.
 
On Friday, when the girl was playing outside, Jena lured her to his house with chocolates and raped her, according to police. The girl has been hospitalised. Her family lodged a police complaint on Saturday.
 
Meanwhile in Srinagar, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah demanded a special Jammu and Kashmir Assembly session to pass a bill to hand out capital punishment to those convicted of raping minors.
 
"It is only by awarding capital punishment to perpetrators of such heinous crime that incidents like Kathua rape and murder can be prevented in future," the former Chief Minister said. 
 
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has already said that Jammu and Kashmir will soon pass a bill for death sentence to those who rape minors.
 
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Two killed in Odisha bus accident

 
Two dead, 30 injured in Odisha bus mishap
 
 
An infant was among two people killed on Friday when a bus in which they were travelling fell into a 30-feet deep gorge near Kalahandi in Odisha, police said. Thirty others were injured.
 
The bus plunged off a bridge on the National Highway 26 near Bhawanipatna after its driver lost control over the vehicle, a police officer said.
 
There were around 55 passengers in the bus, which was on its way from here to Bhawanipatna.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Ahmedabad-Puri Express travels for a few km without engine; no one injured

 
Coaches of Ahmedabad-Puri Express travel without engine
 
 
Coaches of the Ahmedabad-Puri Express rolled down without an engine for some kilometres from Titlagarh, Odisha late on Saturday after railway staff failed to apply skid brakes as required when the engine of the train was detached from one end to be attached to the other.
 
"A case of rolling down of coaches of Ahmedabad-Puri Express towards Kesinga side has occurred," a spokesman for East Coast Railway said, adding that no one was injured and that all passengers were safe.
 
"This was due to non-application of skid-brake on the wheels of the coaches by staff concerned while he should have put the skids as per rules," he said.
 
The spokesman said seven railway employees had been put under suspension in connection with the incident.
 
The spokesman said the coaches were stopped by alert railway staff who put stones on the track to bring them to a halt. The section from Titlagarh has a downward slope, he pointed out.
 
Titlagarh is the place where there is engine reversal for the train. "When engine is detached to be attached at the other end, the coaches should be secured with skids at the wheels.  In this case,  it appears that the skids have either not been placed or placed improperly. Facts will be known after detailed enquiry," he said.
 
The spokesman said the Divisional Railway Manager, Sambalpur had ordered a senior officer-level inquiry consisting of the divisional heads of the Operating, Safety, Mechanical and Civil Engineering departments. 
 
The Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Sambalpur and Senior Divisional Safety Officer had rushed to Titlagarh.
 
Official sources said the railway control room decided to allow the coaches to travel up to Kesinga, about 12 km away, where an upward slope begins. They said trying to stop the train on the down gradient could have led to an accident.
 
Level crossing gates on the section were closed. The speed of the coaches slowed down on the up graident, which made it easier to bring them to a stop, they explained.
 
The train had arrived at Titlagarh at about 2135 hours yesterday and the incident occurred at around 2205 hours.
 
An engine was sent from Titlagarh to get the coaches back and the coaches and engine left Kesinga at 0035 hours today.
 
Those suspended included two engine drivers and three staff of the Carriage and Wagon department.
 
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Super Cup: East Bengal beat Mumbai City FC 2-1 to reach quarters

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East Bengal rode on goals either side of half-time from Yusa Katsumi and Mahmoud Al Amna to beat Mumbai City FC 2-1 and advance to the quarter-finals of the Super Cup at the Kalinga stadium here on Thursday.
 
Mumbai took the lead through Achille Emana (22nd) but it took East Bengal four minutes to draw level as Katsumi (26th) found the back of the net. Al Amna (73rd) netted the winner after the interval.
 
Both coaches Khalid Jamil and Mumbai's Costa Rican coach, Alexandre Guimaraes lined up their outfits in identical fashion at the start of the game -- four man defense, packed midfield and with the lone target man upfront.
 
While Mumbai had India striker Balwant Singh as the goal poacher, Nigerian Dudu Omagbeni was entrusted with that role by the Red & Golds.
 
The first-half did not see many goal-scoring chances being created but saw end-to-end football and two brilliant goals, one from each side. It was Mumbai who struck first.
 
In the 22nd minute, Eduardo inflicted a needless challenge to bring down Mumbai midfielder Sahil Tavora about 35 yards out from the East Bengal box. Cameroonian Achille Emana then engineered an outrageous late curl off his right-footer from the resultant free-kick to leave the East Bengal keeper Ubaid stunned.
 
The Kolkata giants were quick to hit back when a ball played ahead by overlapping defender Samad to Laldanmaiwa Ralte made the Mizo winger produce a quality cross which found Katsumi Yusa's head with pinpoint accuracy in the 26th minute. The Japanese just had to time jump and connect with his head perfectly, and he did not disappoint.
 
Mumbai had held the lead for just over three minutes. East Bengal were clearly the more attacking side of the half, also evident by the fact that two Mumbai players, Zakeer and Shehnaj, had not only been booked by referee Venkatesh but also forced him to issue final warnings post the bookings.
 
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The second half mirrored the first. The football was end-to-end, flowing and open, but lack of imagination and penetration in the attacking third by both sides meant that gilt-edged scoring opportunities were at a premium.
 
Coach Guimareas rung in the changes and played all his cards by bringing in Pranjal Bhumij for Khongjee in the 65th minute, Abinash Ruidas for Zaqeer in the 76th and finally Biswajit Saha for Sahil Tavora in the 84th minute. But East Bengal not only trusted the same 11 throughout the game but also reaped the rewards for being the more enterprising side.
 
They found the winner in the 73rd minute when first Cavin Lobo from just inside his half found Laldanmawia Ralte with a beautiful ball on the right flank. Ralte trapped well and raced inside the box to unleash a right-footer straight at the Mumbai custodian Amrinder, who brought about a stop. Syrian Mahmoud Al-Amna came rushing in to meet the rebound, and connected first-time perfectly to bulge the roof of the Mumbai net.
 
It was a deserving victory for the Red & Golds who now move on to play Aizawl FC in the quarter-finals.
 
IANS
 
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Super Cup: BFC clinch exciting win over Gokulam

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Bengaluru FC (BFC) clinched a hard fought 2-1 win over Gokulam Kerala FC in an exciting, fast paced Super Cup match here on Sunday.
 
Henry Kisekka (33rd minute) had given Gokulam the lead with a wonderful strike in the first half. 
 
But BFC made a strong comeback to dominate the second half as Nicolas Fedor (69th minute) found the equaliser before Udanta Singh (90+4) scored the winner deep into the second half added time.
 
It was a saga of two halves as Gokulam, who finished seventh in this season's I-League, outshone the Indian Super League (ISL) runners-up in the first half.
 
They were fast and incisive in attack while the defence did well to shut out most of the BFC attacks.
 
Although BFC skipper Sunil Chettri managed to beat the Gokulam defence on a couple of occasions, an excellent tackle by defender Emmanuel Chigozie and a superb save by goalkeeper Nikhil Barnard kept the I-League outfit's citadel intact.
 
Gokulam took a well deserved lead when a fantastic build-up culminated in a well directed through to Henry Kisekka. 
 
The Ugandan striker controlled the ball well before producing an excellent finish to beat BFC custodian Gurpreet Singh in a one-on-one situation.
 
The second half however, was a different story altogether as a determined BFC dominated proceedings from start to finish.
 
Gokulam were forced on to the backfoot and kept the repeated BFC attacks at bay with some desperate defending and a few superb saves by Barnard.
 
However, BFC's sustained pressure finally bore result off a counter-attack when Udanta Singh's scorching pace down the right flank and subsequent cutback to an unmarked Fedor beat a couple of Gokulam defenders.
 
With the Gokulam defence woefully out of position, Fedor had all the time and space in the world to place the ball past Barnard.
 
BFC continued to attack relentlessly but the tough Gokulam defence held firm.
 
But Udanta finally broke their brave resistance in virtually the last minute of injury time when he found the target off a square pass by Fedor.
 
IANS
 
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Super Cup: Dicka brace lifts Mohun Bagan

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Mohun Bagan rode a brace by Aser Dipanda Dicka to defeat Churchill Brothers 2-1 in a Super Cup clash here on Sunday.
 
Willis Plaza (30th minute) put Churchill ahead before Dicka (45+3, 70th) restored parity in the closing seconds of the first half.
 
Dicka then found the winner late in the second half to push Mohun Bagan into the next round.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Indian Air Force's Hawk MK-132 crashes in Odisha, pilot ejects safely

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An Indian Air Force (IAF) Hawk MK-132 aircraft crashed this afternoon in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, on the state's border with Jharkhand, but the pilot managed to eject safely, official sources said.
 
A press release from the IAF said the advanced jet trainer (AJT) crashed around 1220 hours, shortly after getting airborne from Air Force Station Kalaikunda on a routine training mission.
 
"The pilot, after having ejected safely, has been evacuated to the base in an IAF helicopter.  A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," the release added.
 
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Kovind to visit Odisha for two days on March 17-18

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President Ram Nath Kovind will pay a two-day visit to Odisha on March 17-18, an official press release said here today.
 
This will be his first visit to the state as President, the release said.
 
Mr. Kovind will begin his engagements tomorrow by paying tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at his birthplace in Cuttack.  Later, he will dedicate the Anand Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre – a memorial to late Chief Minister Biju Patnaik - to the people of Odisha in Cuttack.  On the same day, he will also deliver the third foundation day lecture at the National Law University, Cuttack. 
 
On March 18, the President will address the centenary celebrations of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in Puri.  On the same day, in Bhubaneswar, the President will grace the convocation of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bhubaneswar as well as inaugurate the ICT-IOC (Institute of Chemical Technology –Indian Oil Corporation) Bhubaneswar campus. He will also lay the foundation stone for the Skill Development Institute of Oil PSUs, before returning to Delhi, an official press release added.
 
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CCEA approves new Jeypore-Malkangiri rail line project

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday gave its approval for a new 130 km railway line between Jeypore and Malkangiri in Odisha at a completion cost of Rs. 2,676.11 crore.
 
The project,  expected to be completed by 2021-22, will cover the districts of Koraput and Malkangiri of Odisha, an official press release said.
 
Malkangiri and Koraput districts are among the identified left-wing extremism (LWE) affected districts in the country. These areas are also amongst the 115 aspirational districts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a clarion call to develop these districts to help achieve the vision of New India by 2022, the release said.
 
The proposed new line will connect Malkangiri, Boipariguda, Tanginiguda, Mathili, Pondripani Road and other major towns to Jeypore station on the existing Kottavalasa-Kirandul line. Further, connectivity to important towns such as Koraput, Jeypore, Jagdalpur, Dantewara will improve. It will also result in short lead to many other places of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, the release said.
 
"At present Malkangiri has no connectivity with Railways. The new line will provide basic infrastructure support for overall development including industrial development of the area having large socio economic ramifications. This project will provide connectivity to this region, and will help provide economic opportunities to the people of these regions. This will also help in combating left-wing extremism through development," it added.
 
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Cabinet okays proposal for constitution of tribunal on Mahanadi Water Disputes

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for constitution of a Tribunal under the Inter-State River Disputes Act, 1956 for adjudication of the dispute on the Mahanadi River Waters on a request from the State of Odisha.
 
The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilization of water resources in each State and the potential for future development, an official press release said.
 
As per provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and two other Members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court. Further, services of two Assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues will be provided to advise the Tribunal in its proceedings.
 
The release said the Tribunal is required to submit its report and decision within a period of three years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding two years due to unavoidable reasons.
 
"It is expected that with adjudication of dispute by the Tribunal, the long-pending dispute between States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river will come to a final settlement," the release said.
 
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Govt. of Odisha to support Indian hockey: announces five-year association with national teams

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The Government of Odisha yesterday announced a first-of-its-kind association with Hockey India for the next five years. 
 
The state also unveiled its logo that will appear on the new jerseys of Team India: Men’s and Women’s hockey teams. 
 
The launch was attended by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, along with the Indian men's and women's teams, Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, President, FIH and President, IOA and legends of Indian hockey, including Dilip Tirkey, Dhanraj Pillay and Viren Rasquinha.
 
“We are delighted at this association with Indian hockey and we thank Hockey India to have given us this platform. Hockey in Odisha is more than a sport; it’s a way of life, especially in our tribal regions, where children learn to walk with hockey sticks. No wonder, Odisha has produced India’s finest hockey talent. This is a first where a state government will not just be promoting a sport within its boundaries but will support and nurture the Indian hockey teams. This is Odisha’s gift to the nation," Mr. Patnaik said.
 
Odisha is the cradle of hockey, and has produced hockey greats like Dilip and Ignace Tirkey and Lazarus Barla in the past, and players in the current team like Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas, Dipsan Tirkey and Namita Toppo to name a few. 
 
The Odisha government has extended its support to the sport through state-funded sports hostels and nurturing athletes that are an integral part of the men’s and women’s national team. The worship of the sport extends to the common man where hockey tournaments are commonplace in the smallest villages, and stadiums brimming, come rain or shine.
 
Recognising the sports loving nature of its 4.5 crore people, the Odisha government has been supporting hockey with various initiatives. The state is the title sponsor of first of its kind franchise, Kalinga Lancers and was the host city of Hockey World League in November 2017. The state is also the proud title sponsor of the upcoming Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup in November 2018.
 
“We would like this association to help widen the net for Hockey in India and to ensure that all Indians get behind the national sport. We hope that Odisha’s association with national hockey coincides with a golden period for the sport. We are looking forward to all the nations playing the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar this year. We extend a warm invite to everyone to see team India in action," Mr.Patnaik said.
 
The newly designed logo on the Indian national hockey team jersey is a summation of Odisha. At its heart is the Konark Wheel: a symbol of progress and empowerment, the land of the rising sun, the famed coastline that has for centuries been a trade route and even today welcomes the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, the Odissi dance form and of course hockey - which unites the entire state.
 
Thanking the state government for its continuous support, FIH and IOA President Batra called Bhubaneswar as the sports capital of India. "I would request the Government of Odisha to come up with a High Performance Centre for elite athletes. Like Delhi is the capital of India, Bombay the financial capital of the country, Bengaluru IT capital, for me Bhubaneswar is the sports capital of the country," he said.
  
Former captain Dilip Tirkey, now a Rajya Sabha member, said that the  state government has started a trend of sponsoring national teams which earlier had private companies as sponsors.
 
He hoped that more state governments would come forward to support various sporting disciplines.
 
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Khelo India: Odisha stuns Punjab to top Pool A, Chandigarh lead Pool B in Boys Hockey

Playing to a plan, Odisha brought high-flying Punjab down with a thud  as they scored an emphatic 3-0 win to top Pool A of the Boys Hockey competition of the Khelo India School Games at Dhyan Chand Stadium here today.
 
As expected, Chandigarh emerged Pool B leader as they trounced Karnataka 7-2 for their third straight win.
 
Playing their last league game and having won their previous two matches with ease, Punjab were surprised by the sheer ferocity of Odisha’s attack which commenced the moment the match started.
 
Smarting under the unexpected defeat they suffered at the hands of Haryana, Odisha were in no mood to let Punjab have their way.
 
Captain Amandeep Lakra converted two penalty corners in the 14th and 34 minute to see his side 2-0 up at half-time. In the second half, Odisha attacked and defended well, frustrating Punjab’s every counter move.
 
Six minutes into this  session, Sudeep Chirmako defelected a cross from right, leaving the Punjab goalkeeper bewildered (3-0). After that, Punjab  tried hard to come back into the game but all their efforts were foiled by the  rival defenders.
 
Both Punjab and Odisha had won two matches and lost one each but Odisha, with a much better goal aggregate at 18-5 as against Punjab’s 14-7, emerged pool leader.
 
In the other match,  Haryana outplayed Rajasthan 7-3 to take the third spot in Pool A. For the winners, who led 3-1 at half time, Rimanshu (2) Pankaj , Yogesh,Pankaj (Jr)  Abhimanyu and Dashminder (one each) were  the scorers. Shivam  was the lone scorer for the losers. Rajasthan have lost all their three matches, conceding 31 goals and scoring 7.
 
In Pool B, Uttar Pradesh took second place as they hammered Delhi 6-1. They led 2-0 at half time. Arun Sahani, Sharda Nand Tiwari, Suraj Singh, Ankit Prajapati, Amit Yadav and Akhtar Ali   scored a goal each. Delhi lost all their league fixtures giving away 17 goals while scoring only three.
 
In another one-sided game, Chandigarh dumped Karnataka who surprisingly took the lead in the fifth but could not hold on to it for more than four minutes. 
 
For the winners, who were up 4-1 at the break, the goal getters were  Harpreet Singh (2), Mandeep, Harpant Preet Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Gundeep Singh and Vishal Rana (one each). Tharun and Majji Ganesh scored a goal each for the losers.
 
In the quarter-finals on Monday, Odisha will take on Delhi, Punjab face Karnataka, Chandigarh will play against Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh will clash with Haryana.
 
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Alert gateman saves goods train from major mishap in Odisha, one wagon derails

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A goods  train was saved from a major mishap yesterday, thanks to the alertness of a gateman and the quick reaction by the loco-pilot (driver) and the assistant loco pilot, who stopped the  train immediately in  Odisha yesterday, though one wagon derailed in the process.
 
East Coast Railway (ECoR) sources said the gateman, B. K. Sethi, noticed  a problem in one of the wagons of the goods train while it was passing the Balugaon level crossing and alerted the drivers, S. N. Patnaik and S. K. Sahoo, who managed to stop the train immediately, resulting in the derailment of all wheels of one wagon. As a consequence, the Up line was blocked for some time.
 
The goods train was carrying dolomite from Biramitrapur near Rourkela in Odisha to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in Andhra Pradesh when the mishap occurred between Balugaon and Chilka stations on the Khurda Road-Brahmapur railway section at about 11.55 am.
 
The Down line was clear for train movement and no one was injured in the incident.
 
An Accident Relief Train with manpower from Khurda Road reached the spot soon after the mishap and began work on restoration of the blocked Up line. The wagon was re-railed at 6.25 pm, but  more than four kms of track length were severely damaged, requiring replacement  of sleepers and rails, the sources said.
 
The line was kept suspended for repairs and it is likely to be restored today, the sources said. Some trains were cancelled or partially cancelled as a consequence.
 
The three alert and dedicated staff have been invited to ECoR Headquarters at Rail Sadan to be felicitated by General Manager for meritorious service today, the sources added.
 
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India successfully tests Interceptor Missile

The Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System  (interceptor missile) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) being launched from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on December 28, 2017.
The Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System (interceptor missile) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) being launched from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on December 28, 2017.
The Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully scored a direct hit on an incoming missile at around 0945 hours from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
 
The interceptor directly hit the target at an altitude of about 15 kilometres and destroyed it into fragments, an official press release said.
 
The spectacular success puts India in the league of a very few select nations world over in the arena of critical defence technology, it said.
 
Today’s direct interception is fourth in a row, where the missiles have scored a perfect hit on the incoming missile, the release said.
 
"In a text book style launch, the incoming ballistic missile was launched from LC-III complex of ITR, which followed the exact path of intended ballistic missile. Radars located at different stations far-off acquired the target, tracked them and passed on to the Master Control Centre (MCC), which generated the expected trajectory of the target and alerted the interceptor missile. The interceptor was launched from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Island at appropriate time for interception, which was initially guided by the Inertial Navigational System and the radars. Later, the seeker took over after a proper lock on to the target and guided the missile towards the target. All the radars, Electro Optical and Telemetry Stations tracked both the missiles and recorded the final interception.
 
The event was witnessed by Vice-Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sirish Deo and other senior officials of Armed Forces. Directors of DRDO laboratories -- RCI, ASL, LRDE and ITR -- reviewed the entire launch operations. 
 
Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister & Director General (Missiles & Strategic Systems) Dr G Sateesh Reddy was present during the launch operation. He said that the repeat performance of the interception demonstrates the country’s professional capability in high technology oriented Ballistic Missile Defence.
 
Chairman DRDO & Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development, Dr S Christopher, congratulated the scientists behind the magnificent feat and said that the test paved the way for self-reliance.
 
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated DRDO for elevating the country to few select nations having such BMD capability. 
 
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