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Pradhan launches PNG supply to residents of Bhubaneswar

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launching the piped natural gas supply to residents of NALCO Nagar in Bhubaneswar, on October 20, 2017.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launching the piped natural gas supply to residents of NALCO Nagar in Bhubaneswar, on October 20, 2017.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan launched the commencement of piped natural gas (PNG) supply to residents of Bhubaneswar today.
 
Mr. Pradhan launched the supply of PNG by the  public sector natural gas company GAIL (India) limited in NALCO Nagar at a function in the presence of Mr. B. C. Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL, Dr. T. K. Chand, CMD, National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO), Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL, Mr. B K Thakur, Director (HR), NALCO and other dignitaries. 
 
Expressing happiness at the fast pace of work, Mr. Pradhan praised GAIL for the early commencement of the first phase of supply of PNG in 255 houses which was earlier expected to be completed by March 2018. He said GAIL took up the project on a war-footing and commenced supply of natural gas almost six months before the deadline. 
 
A press release from GAIL said the commencement of supply of natural gas is an important step towards the fulfillment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of developing a gas-based economy and linking Eastern India to the country’s natural gas grid through the ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’, which will pass through five states -- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. The longest stretch of the project – 769 kms – will be built in Odisha. This pipeline will lead to industrial development of eastern India, it said.
 
City Gas Distribution (CGD) projects in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are being taken up in parallel with the Jagdishpur – Haldia & Bokaro – Dhamra Natural Gas Pipeline (JHBDPL), popularly known as ‘Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga’. 
 
In Odisha, the natural gas pipeline will be constructed at an estimated investment of Rs 4,000 crore and have a length of about 769 km covering 13 districts -- Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Debagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Khordha, Puri and Kendrapara -- and will connect major industrial clusters of Khurdha, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Angul, Dhenkanal, Kalinganagar, Jajpur and Paradip.
 
GAIL also plans to provide PNG connections in the near future to adjacent Jeevan Bima Colony and Maitri Vihar Colony covering a total of 1,000 houses. Assessment is also being carried out for PNG supply to leading hotels, hospitals and industrial units of the city, the release said.
 
Initially, natural gas will reach Bhubaneswar in special containers called “cascades” which will be transported by road from Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh. Later, natural gas will be supplied through the JHBDPL. The pipeline is presently under construction and likely to be completed by 2019.
 
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In Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack, the number of PNG connections will be gradually ramped up in the next three to five years. Moreover, 25 CNG stations will be commissioned in the twin cities to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel to vehicles.
 
"PNG is not just eco-friendly, but is one of the most convenient and safe fuels. There are no hassles of booking and storing cylinders as gas is continuously supplied through pipes and payment is done after usage on the basis of meter reading. Moreover, in the unlikely incident of leakage, the gas quickly rises and disperses in the atmosphere without causing damage,"
 
In Bhubaneswar, construction activities of CNG stations have already been taken up at Chandrasekharpur, Patia, Khandagiri and Tamando, and supply will be commenced at the earliest.
 
 The overall capital expenditure for the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack CGD projects will be Rs. 1,700 crore, of which Rs 400 crore will be spent in the next three to five years.
 
GAIL (India) Limited is India’s number one integrated natural gas company with a market share of over 75% in natural gas transmission. With over 11,000 kms of natural gas network, GAIL supplies India’s fuel requirements across sectors like power, fertilizer, industrial, automotive and even household consumers. 
 
Apart from natural gas transmission, distribution and processing, the company has diversified business interests in Petrochemicals, LPG transmission, City gas projects and Exploration and Production activities. The company is committed to expand its current network to 18,000 km within five years, the release added.
 
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16 wagons of goods train derail at Nergundi in Odisha, no one injured

As many as 16 wagons of a goods train derailed near Nergundi station in Khurda Road Division of East Coast Railway (ECR), about 11 km from Cuttack in Odisha, early this morning, but no one was injured, official sources said.
 
The train consisted of 42 covered wagons plus a guard van and an extra engine and the mishap occurred at about 0430 hours, blocking both the Up and Down lines, ECR officials said.
 
Senior railway officials, including the Divisional Railway Manager of Khurda Road Division, have reached the site and efforts were on to restore normal traffic on the section. Among other things, 140 ton cranes had reached the spot, they said.
 
"Train movement will not be hampered much as trains have alternate route available. Trains are now being run on an  alternate route via Barang/Kapilas Road," they said.
 
The officials said all Up and Down trains had been diverted via Naraj and Kapilas Road, bypassing Cuttack. The passing trains will be provided with stoppages at Kapilas Road and Naraj.
 
The diverted trains include:
 
18451 Hatia - Puri Tapaswini Exp diverted via Naraj.
07182 Secunderabad - Howrah Special diverted via Naraj.
 
Trains cancelled include:
 
58407 Bhadrask-Bhubaneswar Passenger
58411 Bhubaneswar - Brahmapur passenger 
58412 Brahmapur - Bhubaneswar Passenger     
 
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Probiotic can prevent infections in infants

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Thousands of infants die due to infections in the first few weeks of their life. A bulk of these deaths can be prevented with an inexpensive probiotic-based preventive therapy developed by a group of Indian and American scientists.
 
The therapy has been tested in over 4,500 infants from 149 villages in Odisha. Results of this trial, published this week in international journal Nature, show that the probiotic when given orally for one week after birth can reduce sepsis and death by 40 percent. In addition, it also drastically reduces respiratory tract infections. This is the largest ever clinical study of probiotics conducted among new born babies.
 
Sepsis is a severe complication of bacterial infection that results in around one million infant deaths globally every year.
 
The preventive therapy is called synbiotic treatment - a combination of probiotic bacteria and a prebiotic nutrient to support the probiotic strain. While probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide a health benefit, prebiotics are molecules such as certain carbohydrates in human milk or those derived from plants.
 
In the Odisha study, the synbiotic preparation was given daily for one week to full-term born babies when they were two to four days old. The oral preparation contained Lactobacillus plantarum, which had earlier been found to have shown good gut-colonizing properties in newborns, along with fructooligosaccharide, a plant-derived prebiotic.
 
The therapy was given in addition to breast milk which is known to contain prebiotics as well as other molecules that provide immunity to babies. Only mothers who had started breast feeding their children in their first 24 hours were included in the study.
 
Follow-up showed that the therapy reduced the risk of sepsis or death by 40 percent.
 
Substantial reductions were seen in all three subtypes of sepsis assessed, and reductions were also observed in diarrhoea and umbilical-stump infection in infants who had not been classified as having sepsis.
 
“This will reduce the nagging high neonatal mortality and infant mortality in developing countries. More importantly, reduction of such infections during infancy can prevent ‘stunting’ with even more grievous consequences such as reduced cognition and chances of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes in early adulthood,” Pinaki Panigrahi of University of Nebraska Medical Center, who led the research team, told India Science Wire. He said it is an affordable intervention as one-week therapy costs just one dollar.
 
“The trial provides evidence for the effectiveness of a global health intervention that could be used to complement existing strategies for giving every newborn the best chance to survive and thrive,” pointed out Daniel J. Tancredi of University of California, in a commentary published in the same issue of Nature.
 
Among the institutes that participated in this study are the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; Asian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar; Capital Hospital, Bhubaneswar; SCB Medical College, Cuttack; and Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela, besides Universities of Nebraska, Michigan and Maryland. The community-based trial recruited local volunteers to coordinate follow up.
 
The research team included Pinaki Panigrahi, Sailajanandan Parida, Nimai C. Nanda, Radhanath Satpathy, Lingaraj Pradhan, Dinesh S. Chandel, Lorena Baccaglini, Arjit Mohapatra, Subhranshu S. Mohapatra, Pravas R. Misra, Rama Chaudhry, Hegang H. Chen, Judith A. Johnson, J. Glenn Morris Jr, Nigel Paneth and Ira H. Gewolb.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Two dead, 22 injured as Bhubaneshwar-Bhadrak Passenger rams into goods train

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Two persons died and 22 others suffered injuries when the 78408 Bhubaneshwar-Bhadrak passenger train rammed into a goods train from behind at a passenger halt near Cuttack in Odisha this evening, official sources said.
 
The train was crowded with passengers because private bus operators were on a strike today across the state, sources said.
 
The deceased were identified as Amulya Mohanty and Ranjit Das, East Coast Railway spokesperson J. P. Mishra told NetIndian.
 
The mishap occurred at around 6.30 pm when the passenger train rammed into the stationary goods train, which was on the same track. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals, the sources said.
 
Senior officials of the East Coast Railway, including General Manager Umesh Singh, rushed to the scene of the mishap.
 
Personnel from the Odisha Disaster Response Action Force (ODRAF) as well as from the district administration and police also reached the site as soon as news of the accident was received.
 
Rescue teams had to use gas cutters and other equipment to extricate the trapped passengers. Relief trains and medical vans were also rushed to the spot.
 
Efforts were being made to restore traffic on the affected section at the earliest, Mr. Mishra said.
 
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident and told officials to expedite rescue and relief efforts. He said the state government would bear the cost of treatment of the injured passengers.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu expressed deep concern over the accident and ordered an inquiry into the incident.
 
He said anyone found guilty of negligence in the incident would be punished severely.
 
The East Coast Railway has set up the following helpline numbers at Cuttack: 0674-2490670, 0674-2301525 and 9437579238.
 
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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.
 
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Knight Riders beat Deccan Chargers by 5 wickets in IPL V

Kolkata Knight Riders logo
Kolkata Knight Riders beat Deccan Chargers by five wickets here tonight and denied them their maiden win in the fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Knight Riders chased down the target of 127 with an over to spare after skipper Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary scored 30 each. Tiwary, who remained unbeaten, and Jacques Kallis (23) added 33 crucial runs for the fifth wicket that took Knight Riders to the third spot in the points table with eight points from seven matches.
 
Deccan Changers, 2009 champions, remained at the bottom of the table and are yet to taste a win even after five matches in the fifth season of the 20-20 tournament.
 
While chasing a small target of 127, Knight Riders kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 64 for three despite a 28-ball 30 by Gambhir.
 
But Kallis and Tiwary played a composed knock that took Knight Riders to the threshold of their fourth win in the tournament. Tiwary and Debabrata Das (9 not out) took the team home safely.
 
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn was the pick of the Deccan Chargers bowlers, picking up two for 24 while Ankit Sharma, Veer Pratap Singh and Anand Rajan bagged a wicket each.
 
Earlier, Knight Riders spinner Sunil Narine (2-26) and pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji (2-22) restricted Deccan Chargers to 126 for seven in 20 overs. Shikhar Dhawan was the top scorer with 50.
 
Deccan Chargers were cruising well at 81 for one but they suffered a collapse and lost seven wickets for 40 runs.
 
Deccan Chargers skipper Kumar Sangakkara said his team could have got to 150.
 
"We got a great start, was a great platform. We should have got 150, but Knight Riders fielded brilliantly. We can talk about another missed catch probably, but we bowled well, and made it difficult for Knight Riders," he said.
 
Knight Riders' Tiwary said it was a tough wicket to bat on. "It was a double-paced with wicket. It was stopping against the spinners, but coming on nicely off the fast bowlers," he said.
 
The two teams now face off each other in the return encounter in Kolkata, Tuesday.
 
Scorecard:
Deccan Chargers:
Kumar Sangakkara b Balaji 12
Shikhar Dhawan c Das b Bhatia 50
Parthiv Patel run out (Kallis/Bhatia) 23
Cameron White c Das b Lee 10
Jean Paul Duminy not out 16
Ishant Jaggi c McCullum b Narine 3
Ankit Sharma c Gambhir b Balaji 1
Dale Steyn c Tiwary b Narine 7
Amit Mishra not out 1
Extras (lb 2, nb 1) 3
Total (for seven wickets in 20 overs) 126
Fall of wickets: 1-37 (Sangakkara, 5.5 overs), 2-81 (Patel, 11.3), 3-95 (White, 14.1), 4-100 (Dhawan, 15.4), 5-109 (Jaggi, 17.4), 6-113 (Ankit, 18.3), 7-121 (Steyn, 19.2) 
Bowling:
Yusuf Pathan 2-0-19-0
Brett Lee 4-0-15-1
Sunil Narine 4-0-26-2
Lakshmipathy Balaji 4-0-22-2
Jacques Kallis 2-0-16-0
Rajat Bhatia 4-0-26-1
 
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Brendan McCullum lbw Steyn 10
Gautam Gambhir c Sangakkara b Anand 30
Manvinder Bisla b Mishra 10
Jacques Kallis c Patel b Steyn 23 
Yusuf Pathan b Ankit 6
Manoj Tiwary not out 30
Debabrata Das not out 9
Extras (lb 2, w 7) 9
Total (for five wickets in 19 overs) 127 
Fall of wickets: 1-16 (McCullum, 2.5 overs), 2-44 (Bisla, 6.6), 3-64 (Gambhir, 9.5), 4-72 (Pathan, 10.4), 5-105 (Kallis, 16.2)
Bowling:
Dale Steyn 4-0-24-2
Ankit Sharma 4-0-19-1 
Veer Pratap Singh 4-0-35-0
Amit Mishra 4-0-27-1 
Cameron White 1-0-8-0
Anand Rajan 2-0-11-1
 
Toss: Knight Riders, who chose to field
Result: Knight Riders won by five wickets
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Shavir Tarapore
TV umpire: Vineet Kulkarni
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
 
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Odisha govt. conducts joint review of externally aided projects in the state

The Government of Odisha (GoO) conducted a joint review of all externally-aided projects with senior officials from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) in the Ministry of Finance, and representatives from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Bhubaneswar today.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) also made a presentation on how the state could improve its business environment, and leverage the investments from the private sector and the development potential of its entrepreneurs, a press release from the World Bank said.
 
Three World Bank projects, totaling a commitment of $ 404.8 million, were reviewed. These included the Odisha Community Tank Management Project ($ 75.1 million), the Odisha State Roads Project ($ 250 million), and the Odisha Rural Livelihoods Project ($ 79.6 million). The ADB-supported Odisha Integrated irrigated Agriculture and Water Management Improvement Program ($139 million) and the IFAD-supported Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood  program ($ 20 million) were also reviewed.

Sharma shines in India's thrilling one-wicket win over Windies

Rohit Sharma's valiant knock of 72 off 99 balls gave India a thrilling one-wicket victory over the West Indies in their nerve-wracking first encounter of the five-match ODI series at the Barabati stadium here tonight.

India made heavy weather of a modest target of 212 set by the West Indies, losing half of the side in quick succession, but Sharma's rescue act enabled the team to overhaul the target in 48.5 overs.   
 
The top order put up a pathetic exhibition of batting as three of them - Gautam Gambir(4), Virat Kohli (3) and Suresh Raina (5)- failed to reach double digits,  while the openers - Parthiv Patel and Virendra Sehwag - went back after scoring 12 and 20, respectively.
 
The Indian top order was wrecked by a belligerent pace attack from Kemar Roach and Andre Russel, who claimed five wickets between them.
 
With the team reeling at 59/5, Sharma, the comeback man, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja joined hands and led the resuce and revival act.
 
Their gritty association of 83 for the sixth wicket put India on course to victory. Jadeja (38), however, threw his wicket away and brought West Indies back into the game. The all-rounder slashed a full and wide delivery of Kiron Pollard and handed a simple catch to Simons at point.
 
Sharma continued to take the attack to the opposition and notched up his ninth half century in the fifty-over format. The 24-year-old's match winning knock comprised three crisply timed boundaries and a huge six.
 
The Mumbai player's dismissal when 11 runs were still required unfolded another twist in the tale. Even Vinay Kumar (18), who gave ample support to Sharma and was looking good, departed leaving the two rookie pacers - Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav - to  do the finishing. 
 
The greenhorns held their nerves and ensured a thrilling one-wicket victory for their side without further ado.  
 
Earlier, a superb display of all-round bowling enabled India to limit the visitors to a modest 211.
 
The visiting side were off to a poor start, losing three wickets within ten overs with 52 runs on board after stand-in captain Sehwag decided to field after winning the toss.
 
Vinay Kumar drew first blood for the hosts by dismissing Adrian Barath (17). The Carribean opener edged an away going delivery of Kumar which was pouched by wicket-keeper Patel.
 
Marlon Samuels (10) and Lendl Simmons (19) followed the opener in quick succession. Samuels was cleaned up by Aaron, while Simons became a vcitim of Umesh Yadav. 
 
Darren Sammy in company of Danza Hyatt steadied the Carribean ship forging a 75-run association for the fourth wicket. 
 
The Jamaican-Trinidadian progress came to an abrupt end when Hyatt (31) fell short of his crease while sneaking a tight single. He was done in by a brilliant throw from Vinay Kumar and the alertness of Patel.    
 
Bravo, cousin of great Brian Lara, contiued to wage a lone battle and brought up his sixth ODI fifty in the process. The 22-year-old scored a 74-ball 60 before playing on to his stumps while attempting a drive off Suresh Raina. His effort was studded with six hits to the fence.
 
Following his departure, the touring side lost its mooring and drifted apart as none of the lower order batsmen, excpet Russel, who scored 22, could withstand the deadly pace-spin combination of the Indians. Even Pollard (13), who joind the squad for the fifty-over
format, failed to live up to expectations and was scalped by Ravichandran Ashwin.  
 
In a bid to up the scoring rate in the power play, the tall hard hitter tried to hoist the spinner out of ground but found the hands of Virat Kohli at long-on.
 
Pace duo Varun and Umesh were the pick of the bowlers and ended with two wickets apiece, conceding 39 and 30 runs, respectively, while Kumar, Raina, Ashwin and Jadeja pocketed a scalp each. 
 
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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.

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Coast Guard helicopter makes an emergency landing in Cuttack

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A helicopter of Coast Guard, Goa, flying from Barrackpore in West Bengal to Goa, made an emergency landing in a paddy field near Pratapnagari under Cuttack Sadar Police station here this morning.

Paradip Coast Guard DIG K Raghuvansi said the helicopter was flying to Goa via Bhubaneswar after a major repair at Barrackpore maintenance centre when the incident occurred.

He said Commandant Parveen Gaur and his assistant were supposed to make a night halt at Bhubaneswar tonight and fly to Goa tomorrow morning.

But when the helicopter showed some emergency signal, the pilot made a forced landing in a paddy field, Mr Raghuvansi said.

The officials of the Paradip Coast Guard were in touch with the pilot and the copter was likely to flow to Bhubaneswar soon, sources said.

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Oriya film maker Basant Nayak passes away

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The doyen of the Oriya film industry, Basant Nayak, a popular director, producer and distributor, passed away at a private hospital here today.

He was 74. Nayak is survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter. His family said the last rites would be performed at Swargadwar in Puri today.

Born in 1937, Nayak founded "Brajaraj Movies" in 1977 at Cuttack after he left a lucrative job as a textile engineer in Mumbai and never looked back, directing and producing more than a dozen popular Oriya films.

He also directed a Hindi film, Spandan, and two Bengali films during his four-decade career in the industry. Most of his Oriya films were big hit. They include movies such as Naga Phasa,Danda Balunga, Jahaku

Rakhibe Ananta, Badsaha, Yosodha, Mana Rahila Tumari Pakhare, I Love You, Barsa My Darling and the Love Story.

His latest movie 143, I Love You, is now running in cinema halls across the state.

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Orissa HC grants bail to four suspected Maoists


The Orissa High Court today granted conditional bail to four suspected Maoists whose release was listed as one of the 14 demands of the left-wing ultras to set free the abducted Malkangiri District collector R Vineel Krishna last month.


Mr Krishna, along with junior engineer P Majhi, was kept hostage by Maoists from February 16. While Mr Majhi was released by the Maoists on February 23, the Collector was freed on the subsequent day.


A single-judge bench of Justice C R Dash granted the bail to Andaluri Eswari, Kendula Sirisha alias Padma, wife of top Andhra Maoist leader Ramakrishna, Roja Mandingi and Gokul Kuldipia with some stringent conditions even as the Orissa government counsel did not oppose their bail pleas.


All the four were arrested by the Orissa police in Similiguda in Koraput district on November 13 last when they were sneaking into the state from Andhra Pradesh by a car. The police recovered Maoist literatures and some books from their possession. The Similiguda police had booked them under charges of sedition and waging war against the government.


While granting the bail, the high court directed that the bails would be executed in SDJM court of Jeypur in Koraput district with a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with two sureties each. Mr Justice Dash, however, imposed separate conditions for Eswari and Padma who are residents of Andhra Pradesh.


Eswari, a native of Vishakhapatnam and Padma, a native of Prakasham district would be handed over to Andhra Pradesh police within 48 hours. The Judge also directed both shall not enter Orissa except when they are summoned by the Orissa court.


For Roja and Gokul, both residents of Narayanpatna police station, in Koraput district, the court directed that they would report to the local police every 15 days and would not move out of the police station jurisdiction without prior permission of the investigating police officer.


Earlier, Orissa High Court had granted bail to Maoist intellectual Ganti Prasad Rao alias Prasadam on the eve of release of abducted Mr Krishna on February 24.


However, Prasadam has not executed his bail bond as his counsel had stated that as long as other Maoists and tribals lodged in various jails in Orissa will not be freed,he would prefer to stay in the jail.


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HC directs Orissa govt not to shift seized silver slabs from Mutt


The Orissa High Court today directed the state government not to shift the seized silver slabs from Puri Emar Mutt.


Adjudicating over a writ filed by the Mahanta of the Mutt, a single- judge bench of Justice M M Das also directed the government to deploy adequate security in and around the Mutt for the safety of the valuables recovered from a closed room inside the Mutt premises during the course of a police investigation last month.


The judge also called for the case diaries of two police cases registered in this connection at Dhenkanal and Puri districts, and posted the case to be heard on April 4.


In a joint raid as a follow-up to a theft case investigation, Dhenkanal and Puri police on February 26 last stumbled upon at least 522 pieces of silver slabs, each weighing between 35-40 kg, stacked in a wooden box. The current market value of the seized metal slabs is estimated to be over Rs 80 crore.


Mahanta Rajgopal Ramanuja Das of the Emar Mutt had moved the high court and claimed that the hidden treasures belonged to the "Mutt". He also claimed that as per the provisions of Hindu Religious Endowment Act the riches should be kept in the account of the Mutt on being pledged to the state endowment commissioner.


He alleged that the state government was trying to stake its claim over the seized treasures and prayed that the valuables should be put under a public auction and the realised amount should be kept as fixed deposit in the name of the Mutt after deduction of any legally chargeable taxes to the Government.


The petitioner alleged that Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central Range), who is also the chief administrator of Jagannath Temple, was trying to remove the property from the Mutt premises using his official powers.


He further stated that although the police had seized the property and kept it under their own custody inside the Mutt premises, police had failed to provide a seizure list to the Mutt.


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