Dust storm on Sunday night leaves 23 dead in Uttar Pradesh

Dust storms, hail and lightning have claimed as many as 23 lives in the last 12 hours in Uttar Pradesh, an official said on Monday.

A dust storm lashing Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on May 13, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
A dust storm lashing Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on May 13, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
Dust storms, hail and lightning have claimed as many as 23 lives in the last 12 hours in Uttar Pradesh, an official said on Monday.
The storm hit Etawah, Banda, Auriyya, Meerut, Kanpur rural, Kannauj, Farukkhabad and Orai districts.
Late on Sunday, gusty winds, followed by dust storm, had brought life to a standstill in many parts of the state. Many houses were razed to the ground, hoardings and trees uprooted and power outages reported from various cities and towns.
The relief commissioner's office, although, has confirmed only 18 deaths besides two dozen injuries in Sunday's dust storm. 
District officials have been asked by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure prompt relief, a government spokesman said. 
Due to the uprooting of trees, vehicular traffic on the busy G.T. road near Orai was disrupted for more than four hours. 
A woman standing under a tree in Kannauj was killed as it fell on her while two persons have been reported dead from Barabanki. 
Three deaths, including a child have been reported from Bulandshahr due to a wall collapse.
Five persons have been reported dead in Kasganj and one in the temple town of Vrindavan. Two persons died in Saharanpur after being struck with lightning. 
One person died in Muzaffarnagar as he was hit by a tree branch when he was driving a bike. 
One person was killed in Ghaziabad's Lalkuan area after a tree fell on a car and a six-year-old died in Hapur after falling in a tube well tank due to the squall. 
A passerby was hit by a hoarding brought down by winds near the Stellar Jeevan Society in Noida and died while one woman was killed in Aligarh.
While one died in Sambhal, two persons were killed in Banjariya village when two minarets of a mosque were ripped off by high velocity winds and they fell on a house. One person was killed in Budayun.
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Modi says Defence Industrial Corridor will be set up in UP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that one of the two Defence Industrial Corridors announced in this year's Budget would be established in Uttar Pradesh with likely investments of up to Rs. 20,000 crore which would help in the development of the state, especially the Bundelkhand region.

Modi praises Yogi for bringing positivity in Uttar Pradesh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said one of the two Defence Industrial Corridors announced in this year's Budget would be established in Uttar Pradesh with likely investments of up to Rs. 20,000 crore which would help in the development of the state, especially the Bundelkhand region.
Delivering the inaugural address at the Uttar Pradesh Investors' Summit 2018 here, he said the corridor -- which will cover Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi and Chitrakoot -- would provide jobs to nearly 2.5 lakh people.
Mr. Modi said that the organisation of such a major event in Uttar Pradesh, with the participation of so many investors, was indicative of the change that has come about in the state. He congratulated the State and its Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for establishing itself on the path of development and prosperity in such a short timeframe.
He said the State is blessed with an abundance of resources and capabilities. He noted its strengths in agriculture. He complimented Yogi Adityanath for changing the negative atmosphere in the State, to one of positivity and hope. He said the State is making appropriate policies for various sectors. He said the State Government is serious about fulfilling the promises made to farmers, women and youth.
He said the State is working on a “One District, One Product” scheme. He said the Union Government’s schemes such as Skill India Mission, Stand Up India, Start Up India and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, will prove useful in implementing the “One District, One Product” scheme.
He said the Union Government’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Scheme would help reduce wastage in the agriculture sector. He said the State had immense potential in ethanol production, due to large sugarcane cultivation.
The Prime Minister said that the Kumbh Mela to be organized next year at Prayag, would be the largest such event of its kind in the world.
Mr. Modi referred to the many strengths and attractions of Uttar Pradesh -- the chikan work of Lucknow, jari and zardosi of Varanasi, brassware of Moradabad, glassware of Firozabad, pethas of Agra and the perfumes of Kannauj; its places of tourist importance such as Agra, Ayodhya, Mathura; its mighty rivers Ganga and Yamuna; and its educational institutions like IIT Kanpur, IIM Lucknow and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
He pointed out that it was the number one state in production of foodgrains, sugarcane, milk and potatoes; number two in vegetables and number three in fruits; and among the top states in the small scale industries sector.
He stressed the need for the state to develop a better work culture and a business culture and introduce investment-friendly policies to take full advantage of its enormous potential.
Mr. Modi referred to the many projects under implementation, including plans for two new international airports at Khushinagar and Jhevar in the state, new airports at Agra, Kanpur, Allahabad, Bareily, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Moradabad, Aligarh and Azamgarh, and so on.
He said that when the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors as well as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial corridor, all of which will pass through Uttar Pradesh, are completed, they will give a major boost to the state's economy.
Similarly, work was on on the Haldia-Varanasi national waterway and for metro rail projects in Meerut, Kanpur and Varanasi, and all these projects would help create a world class transport infrastructure in the state, he said.
Stating that Gujarat was the first state to host investor summits, a trend that has now spread to all the states, he stressed the importance of setting up a monitoring mechanism to ensure that MoUs are translated into projects on the ground.
Finland, the Netherlands, Japan, Czech Republic, Thailand, Slovakia and Mauritius are the partner countries at the two-day summit.
President Ram Nath Kovind will address the valedictory session of the summit tomorrow.
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Nine pilgrims dead in road mishap in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh

Nine pilgrims headed to "Punyagiri", or the mountain of good deeds, were mowed down by a speeding mini-truck in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly district on Friday, police said.
The deceased were part of a group of 250 who were walking bare foot towards the Maa Purnagiri shrine, which is located close to the Nepal border, when the incident occurred. 
The mini-truck coming from Sitarganj and headed to Tanakpur ran over 30 pilgrims near the sales tax office, an official told IANS. Many of the bodies were strewn in pieces all over the road.
At least 21 others have been admitted to various nearby medical facilities, where condition of five is stated to be critical. 
The Army is also aiding in the rescue and relief operations along with the district authorities. 
Those who sustained minor injuries have been sent to their homes in state roadways buses. 
All nine deceased have been identified. The family members have been informed of the tragedy.
The Maa Purnagiri temple is located on the top of a mountain above 3,000 metres from sea level in Uttarakhand's Tanakpur.
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UP dust storm toll climbs to 12

The death toll in a dust storm that hit Uttar Pradesh has increased to 12, a government official said on Thursday.
Over 25 people were injured in the storm that hit many parts of western Uttar Pradesh late on Wednesday night.
The victims included six from Agra, four from Etawah and two from Kanpur.
Gusty winds, followed by hail and lightning, led to the collapse of many houses as well.
An official told IANS that due to the uprooting of many trees, traffic was hit on the Gwalior-Bareilly highway and also on the Faizabad road linking the temple town to the state capital. 
Several trees have been uprooted in Lucknow and power outages were reported from many areas. 
Rain was reported in Kanpur, Kannauj and other neighbouring districts. 
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to ensure speedy rescue and relief of the affected and ordered prompt medical aid for the injured.
District authorities in the worst affected areas of Kanpur, Aligarh, Agra, Firozabad and Hathras have been asked to assess the damage and ensure compensation by Thursday, a government spokesman told IANS.
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CCEA okays expansion, upgrading of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati, Lucknow airports

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval for the expansion and upgrading of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow Airports, at a cost of Rs 2467 crore, Rs 1383 crore and Rs 1232 crore, respectively.
An official press release said the new integrated terminal at Lucknow airport will have an area of 88,000 sq.m, along with the existing terminal building with 16292 sq.m, with an annual capacity to handle 2.6 million international and 11 million domestic passengers.
The new terminal building will cater to passenger growth up to the year 2030-31, the release said.
Total built-up area of the proposed terminal building at Chennai airport, including the present proposal measuring 197000 sq.m, will be 336000 sq.m with an annual capacity to handle 35 million passengers per annum (MPPA). The new terminal building incorporates green building features with an aim to achieve GRIHA-4 Star rating. The building will cater to the requirement of passenger growth up to the year 2026-27, it said.
The new terminal building at Guwahati airport will have an area of 102500 sqm to handle combined annual capacity (old and new terminals) of 9 MPPA. The building would cater to the requirement of passenger growth up to the year 2026-27. This will encourage investment and tourism in North East Region with thrust on ‘Act East’ Policy, it said.
According to the release, India has witnessed phenomenal growth rate in the range of 18 to 20% in the last three years in the aviation sector. According to IATA Traffic Study, India, at 7th position as of now, is likely to take the 3rd position by 2023-24 by overtaking the UK, Japan, Spain and Germany. The current rate of the growth in the domestic aviation sector of India is the highest globally.
To meet the growing demand, the Government has launched a new initiative of NABH Nirman (NextGen Airports for Bharat), wherein systems and processes are geared to provide enhanced airport capacity to handle 1 billion trips in the next 10 to 15 years.
Airport capacity upgrading and expansion require both the development of new greenfield airports and expansion of existing brownfield airports and same will be funded by the Indian private sector and Airports Authority of India by leveraging its balance sheet.
Airports Authority of India is in the process of implementing plans for development of infrastructure to meet growing aviation demand by creating additional capacity at AAI Airports including Chennai, Guwahati, Lucknow, Agartala, Patna, Srinagar, Pune, Trichy, Vijayawada, Port Blair, Jaipur, Mangalore, Dehradun, Jabalpur, Kolhapur, Goa, Rupsi, Leh, Calicut, Imphal, Varanasi and Bhubaneswar with a capex of Rs 20,178 crore in the next 4 to 5 years.
AAI has already awarded the works at Agartala, Calicut and Port Blair towards construction of new state-of-the-art integrated terminals and is in the process of awarding the works for upgrading and expansion of capacity at Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati Airports.
Similarly, upgrading of airside capacity by way of strengthening and extension of runways, construction of new apron bays has been taken up to cater to the demand from airline operators who have placed confirmed orders for almost 900 aircraft in the coming 10 years.
Under New Greenfield Airport Policy, many major cities are expected to have multiple airports. The government has granted approval for Noida International Airport (Jewar), Mopa (Goa), Purandar Airport (Pune), Bhogapuram Airport (Visakhapatnam), Dholera Airport (Ahmedabad) and Hirasar Airport (Rajkot).
Capex outlay of Rs 50,000 crore is expected in the development of New Greenfield Airports, wherein approval of Government of India has been given. In the private sector also, upgrading and expansion are in the offing for Delhi and Bengaluru, Hyderabad Airports at a cost of Rs 25,000 crore in the next five years, the release added.
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Six run over by speeding bus in Barabanki district of UP

Six persons, including two teenagers, were run over by a speeding bus while crossing a road in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, police said.
Four were killed on the spot, while two succumbed to their injuries later. Two others are said to be critical.
The accident occurred on the Lucknow-Faizabad highway. Traffic was held up for more than an hour after the incident.
Circle Officer (Sadar) Rajesh Yadav said prima facie it appeared to be a case of drunken driving. "We are still trying to establish this. Most passengers in the bus had reported it." 
The driver of the bus is on the run.
Four of the deceased have been identified as Ritu, 13, Laxmi, 15, -- who are sisters, Ramwati, 45, and Premawati, 48. 
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12 killed as van rams into truck in Lakhimpur Kheri district of UP

12 dead as van rams into stationary truck in UP
At least 12 people were killed when their vehicle travelling at high speed rammed into a truck in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri district on Saturday, police said.
Nine of the 17 people in the minivan were killed on the spot while three others succumbed at the Shajanpurwa hospital. 
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) S.S. Channappa told IANS that five persons were in critical condition and undergoing treatment at the hospital. 
The accident occurred around 6 am near a famous roadside eatery on the National Highway 24 as the driver dozed off at the wheel.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has condoled the deaths. 
He ordered the district administration to ensure proper treatment to the injured, a government spokesman told IANS.
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9 killed in road mishap in Lakhimpur Kheri district of UP

Nine persons were killed on Saturday in Uttar Pradesh when their vehicle travelling at high speed rammed into a truck parked on the roadside in Lakhimpur Kheri, police said.
Nine of the 17 people in the mini-van were killed instantaneously. The injured were rushed to a hospital, where the condition of three is said to be critical.
The accident on National Highway-24 apparently occurred as the driver had dozed off at the wheel around 6 a.m., a police officer said. 
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has condoled the loss of lives. He ordered the district administration to ensure proper treatment to the injured, a government spokesman told IANS.
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11 children dead as school van hits train at unmanned crossing in UP

11 students die after van hits train at unmanned crossing
As many as 11 children died when the school van in which they were travelling was hit by a train at an unmanned level crossing near Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh this morning, officials said.
Seven other students suffered injuries in the accident and have been admitted to nearby hospitals for treatment, they said.
In all, about 25 children were being transported in the van when the mishap occurred, they said.
The officials said the accident occurred around 7.30 am today when the Tata Magic van was on its way to the school with the children.
The mishap occurred at an unmanned level crossing, near Dudhdhi station on the Kaptanganj-Thawe section of Banaras Division of North Eastern Railway, about 90 km from Gorakhpur and 40 km from Pandrauna.
The Railways had deployed a "Gate Mitra", a private security guard, at the gate and he had tried to stop the van, but the driver of the vehicle did not pay heed to the warning. The vehicle stalled while it was crossing the tracks and was hit by the 55075 Siwan-Gorakhpur passenger which was passing that point at that time, they said.
People from nearby areas, police, railway officials and ambulances rushed to the site and helped remove the victims to hospital. The General Manager of North Eastern Railway and other senior officials from its headquarters at Gorakhpur also left for the scene of the tragedy. 
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has ordered an inquiry into the incident. He also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those who lost their lives in the mishap.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also expressed his condolences over the loss of lives and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh for the families of the deceased children. He also ordered an inquiry into the accident by the Gorakhpur Commissioner, sources added.
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Gandhi family loyalist in Rae Bareli joins BJP

Dinesh Pratap Singh, a confidante of former Congress President and Rae Bareli MP Sonia Gandhi, on Saturday joined the BJP in the presence of party chief Amit Shah. His younger brother and Zila Panchayat Chairman Avdhesh Singh also joined the BJP.
The two brothers are said to enjoy considerable clout in the Gandhi family bastion of Rae Bareli. 
Soon after he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, Dinesh Pratap Singh said he was disappointed at what he got in return from the Congress for his loyalty for so many years. 
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will retain power for a second term after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 
He claimed that no one from the Gandhi family, not even the United Progressive Alliance Chairperson's daughter Priyanka Vadra, will be able to win Lok Sabha elections from Rae Bareli in future.
Dinesh thanked the BJP for what he called "grooming and developing" the constituency, which otherwise should have been done by the Congress leaders when they held the seat for decades. 
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Sonia in Rae Bareli after twenty months

Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi arrived in her parliamentary constituency of Rae Bareli on Tuesday evening, in her first visit there in nearly two years.
Soon after her arrival, she inaugurated the IMA building constructed in Nehru Nagar. IMA office bearers informed Sonia Gandhi that the building was completed a year back and that they plan to treat poor patients free of cost. 
Gandhi, who is the UPA chairperson, had given Rs 10 lakh in 2015-16 from her MPLAD fund for construction of the building. The ground floor of the two-storey building has since been completed and was on Tuesday inaugurated by her, an office bearer of IMA told IANS. 
Another Rs 10 lakh has been granted for further construction of the building. 
Sonia Gandhi, who has not been keeping too well for the last few months, has a jam packed schedule for Wednesday where she, along with her son and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, will meet the people of the constituency as well as inaugurate the Passport Seva Kendra at the head post office. 
Both will then leave for Delhi later in the day.
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Unnao rape: CBI gets 7-day custody of accused lawmaker, victim undergoes tests

BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar sent to 7 days in CBI custody
A special CBI court here on Saturday sent to seven days CBI custody rape accused Uttar Pradesh BJP legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, while the medical examination of the 17-year-old victim was conducted at a hospital here earlier in the day.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had sought a 14-day remand but the court only allowed a week-long remand. The agency earlier got Sengar's medical examination done here. 
Sengar, the lawmaker from Unnao's Bangamau, however continued to claim that he was innocent and told mediapersons before he was presented before the court that he had full faith in God and the judiciary. 
Accused of raping a 17-year-old and conspiring to kill her father, who died of injuries he sustained while beaten brutally in police custody by the MLA's brother and some aides, Sengar was arrested by the CBI on Friday after a day-long interrogation. He was also confronted with some facts by the agency.
A woman, Shashi Singh, who is accused of taking the girl to the legislator, has also been arrested. Three cases have been filed against the BJP legislator under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act. 
Earlier, the victim, who along with her mother and uncle, were brought here under tight security in the morning, underwent tests at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. 
The victim later told mediapersons that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Thursday statement that the guilty will be brought to book was very reassuring and that she now hoped that justice will be done in her case. She also said that the arrest of the accused legislator was also a positive development. 
She also thanked the media and the CBI for taking up her battle that so far was a "lonely and losing battle".
However, her uncle accused the Unnao administration of conniving to save the legislator. 
She was later taken to the CBI's zonal office where a detailed statement from her is likely to be recorded. 
The victim tried to set herself ablaze outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence on last Sunday, claiming police inaction in the rape case that took place in 2017. 
Later on Sunday, her father was picked up by the police and allegedly beaten up in custody by the MLA's brother Atul Singh and his aides, following which he died in hospital.
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Rape accused BJP legislator arrested by CBI after day-long interrogation

Unnao rape: Allahabad HC orders arrest of BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar
After day-long interrogation over the allegations of raping a 17-year-old and conspiring to kill her father later, the CBI late on Friday arrested the Bangarmau legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar, officials said.
The BJP lawmaker, informed sources said, got irritated on more than one occasion and then broke down during his grilling by CBI sleuths. He pleaded not guilty and alleged that he was being framed under a political conspiracy, an official said. 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) teams, which were handed over the probe on Thursday sought the mobile phone records of Sengar and his brother Atul Singh, who is also under arrest for beating up the father of the victim, who later died in police custody.
The CBI is learnt to have also sought to know, in detail, from the legislator on where he was when the father of the victim was being thrashed at the Makhi police station and what all he tried thereafter to save his brother and four other aides. 
Meanwhile, the uncle of the victim, soon after the arrest of the accused legislator aired satisfaction over the development and added that they were now "hopeful that justice would be done".
He however rued the fact that his initial demand for a CBI probe was stonewalled by the state and regretted that had this probe been ordered earlier, his brother would have been alive. He also said that the family still fears for their life but were hopeful that no harm would come to them as the premier investigative agency had now taken up the case.
Earlier in the day, Sengar was picked up by a team of the CBI, lead by Superintendent of Police Raghavendra Vats, from his residence in Indiranagar from where he was driven to the zonal office of the CBI and interrogated for several hours. 
During this period, the CBI also collected various evidence with regards to the two cases for which it has filed three FIRs. 
The CBI team also met the victim at a hotel in Unnao where she is put up under police protection. The agency recorded statements of her and the family for more than three hours. 
A four-member team of the CBI went to the Makhi police station where they took over many police records and documents.
The team, later in the day met the Unnao Superintendent of Police Pushpanjali and took briefing on the entire matter with specific timelines. The CBI also spoke to senior doctors at the district hospital and were closeted with pharmacist NK Singh and chief medical superintendent DK Dwivedi for more than hour. 
During the meeting, they took details of the "line of treatment" given to victim's father when he was rushed to the hospital by the police with 18 wounds and a ruptured intestine, due to beating by the lawmaker's brother and their close aides along with the police. 
CBI officials also took over records such as treatment prescription, ultrasound reports and details of the post-mortem examination which was conducted by a panel of doctors. The gang rape of the girl after which her father ran from pillar to post to nail the ruling party legislator, only to end up battered and bruised and dead in police custody, has triggered a political storm and public outrage.
After initially dragging its feet in taking action against the legislator, Chief Minister Aditynath ordered a probe by ADG (Lucknow), a special investigation team was onstituted along with a judicial probe ordered by the Unnao district administration. Adityanath has vowed that no one guilty, however high and mighty, will be spared.
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Wife defends MLA accused of rape, wants narco test

A BJP MLA accused of gang-raping a young woman in Uttar Pradesh was on Wednesday defended by his wife who said both the woman and her husband should undergo a narco test.
Sangeeta Singh also told the media after meeting Director General of Police O.P. Singh here that her husband, Kuldeep Singh Senger, was a victim of "political conspiracy" and was innocent of the crime he is supposed to have committed.
She said the rape victim should undergo a narco test and so should her husband, an MLA from Unnao who has claimed innocence. 
She said she had been told that a free and fair probe had been initiated into the entire episode that has led to the arrest of the MLA's brother and four aides following the death of the young woman's father in police custody.
"I want justice for my husband and my family who are undergoing a lot of mental harassment," the MLA's wife said, adding no proof had been submitted about the alleged rape.
She alleged that the young woman had earlier accused another man also of rape.
Meanwhile, a Special Investigative Team (SIT) reached Unnao on Wednesday. It is likely to submit a preliminary report to the government by evening as desired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
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Nine killed in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh

Nine people were killed and four others injured on Tuesday when a vehicle rammed into a truck in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district, police said.
The victims, including a child, were from the same family and hailed from Meerut. The family was returning from a pilgrimage at the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi. 
The accident took place near the Laxmanpura village on the Meerut-Karnal highway. 
A police official told IANS that the driver apparently dozed off and rammed the vehicle into the truck. 
Seven persons were killed on the spot while two succumbed to their injuries at a medical facility, the official added. 
The four injured, including the truck driver, were in critical condition.
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BJP MLA's brother arrested over death of rape victim's father

An Uttar Pradesh BJP MLA's brother was arrested on Tuesday over charges of beating a gang rape victim's father to death in police custody, an official said.
A special team of the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Atul Singh, the brother of Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Kuldeep Singh Senger from Unnao who has has been accused by the teenaged girl of gang rape and threats to her family.
The arrest was made in Kanpur based on the orders of the Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh, the official added.
The deceased Pappu Singh was being forced to withdraw the case against the MLA. Upon refusing, he was picked up by the police late Sunday night and was allegedly roughed up by Atul Singh and his aides in custody.
Pappu Singh was rushed to the district hospital with 18 wounds and gashes, abdominal pain and vomiting. He died soon thereafter. 
The incident triggered a political storm and public outrage in the state, forcing the police to suspended six officials, including a station house officer (SHO) and five constables. 
A magisterial probe has also been ordered by the district administration.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also asked Additional Director General of Police (Lucknow) Rajeev Krishna to investigate the matter and has promised stern action against all perpetrators. 
He also on Monday that no one, however mighty they may be, will be spared in this case. 
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Three killed in UP dust storm

Three people were killed after a dust storm hit Uttar Pradesh, police said on Saturday.
One person was killed after a wooden shaft collapsed on him in Gonda while two labourers died in Azamgarh when the roof of an under-construction building fell on them.
The deaths took place on Friday night, police sources said. 
Reports of damages to crops and houses were reported from Lucknow, Sitapur, Amethi, Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Ambedkaranagar, Balrampur, Lakhimpur Barabanki and Hardoi.
The weather on Saturday was normal at most places but in some parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, it was cloudy and the Met department has predicted thunder showers. 
The official chopper of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was also caught in the dust storm on Friday night, leading to an emergency landing in Amethi.
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Dust storm hits many parts of UP, disrupts normal life

A massive dust storm hit many parts of central and eastern Uttar Pradesh on Friday evening, disrupting vehicular traffic and causing power outages at many places, an official said.
The chopper of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya was caught in rough and turbulent weather and had to make an emergency landing at Amethi. He was on way back from Azamgarh where he had gone for some public engagements, an official said. 
Vehicular traffic was disrupted for more than 30 minutes in Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Barabanki, Sant Kabeernagar and Maharajganj as many trees were uprooted and snapped electricity wires were lying on the roads.
The Met office said that there has been a steady rise in recent days leading to developing of a high pressure formation, which led to the dust storm. Though clouds hovered over many areas including the state capital, there were no rains.
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Forever 21 launches first store in Lucknow with Bipasha Basu

Forever 21, the international fast fashion brand from Los Angeles, California, and part of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL), has made its debut in Uttar Pradesh with its first store in Lucknow.
The sprawling new store is spread across 8500 sq ft. of retail space and is located in the heart of the city at Sahargunj mall, a press release from ABFRL said.
Popular Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu along with Rahul Jhamb, India Brand Head, Forever 21, ABFRL, inaugurated the store. 
“We are delighted to launch our first store in Lucknow, which marks our foray into the vibrant state of Uttar Pradesh.  At Forever 21, we aim to make fast fashion accessible to millennials at affordable price points and we are proud to be at the forefront of the fashion revolution that is underway in this Nawabi city. Over the last few years, the brand has gained immense popularity amongst the fashion conscious millennials who are always on a lookout for fresh and unique styles. As we commence this brand new journey, we would like to thank our patrons for making Forever 21 the most loved fashion destination of the country," Mr. Jhamb said.
The release said Forever 21’s Spring ‘18 collection brings fresh shades and lightweight fabrics that offer a modern look for the warmer weather. For women, the collection comprises a range of sporty to feminine chic pieces from striped dresses, separates, plaid blazers, patterned blouses, gingham prints and various denim pieces to complement each look. Accessories include newsboy caps and berets. For men, the collection features essential layering pieces like simple graphic t-shirts, checkered pants and striped sweaters. The collection is available across all stores in India and on
Forever 21 is a California-based fast fashion brand that entered the Indian market in 2010 and has considerably grown since then. It has 23 stores in major cities in the country.
In July 2016, ABFRL acquired the exclusive online and offline rights to Forever 21’s India network.
ABFRL was formed after the consolidation of the branded apparel businesses of Aditya Birla Group comprising Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd.’s (ABNL) Madura Fashion division and ABNL's subsidiaries Pantaloons Fashion & Retail Limited (PFRL) and Madura Garments Lifestyle Retail Company Limited (MGLRCL) in May 2015. 
Post the consolidation, PFRL was renamed as Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. It has more than 8,000 points of sale in over 700 cities and towns, which include more than 2,000 exclusive ABFRL brand outlets, the release added.
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Defence Industrial Corridor in UP to serve as engine of economic development: Sitharaman

The proposed Defence Industrial Corridor in Uttar Pradesh will  serve as an engine for economic development and growth of the state, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here today.
Addressing the plenary session on ‘Defence and Aerospace : Investment  opportunities in Uttar Pradesh’ at UP Investors Summit- 2018, the Minister said the Defence Industrial Corridor will come up in a stretch between Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi and Chitrakoot and also include Kanpur and Lucknow. It will leverage the existing ordnance factories and defence PSU establishments in UP.
Ms. Sitharaman said Bundelkhand will benefit from the six-lane highway which the UP Government has proposed to build from Chitrakoot to Jhansi and will provide necessary infrastructural support for investment units in India.
She said the Defence Ministry will, apart from taking steps to promote private investment, set up infrastructure for blast testing of arms and ammunition in the proposed corridor.
The low cost of land and low wage rate with adequate supply of manpower will be an attraction of the UP Defence Industrial Corridor. It will serve as an engine for economic development and growth of regions of UP, especially Bundelkhand region, she said.
The Finance Minister in his Budget 2018 speech had announced setting up of two Defence Industrial Corridors in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, during his  inaugural address of Investors Summit yesterday, announced that one of them would be  set up in Uttar Pradesh.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, UP Minister for Industrial Development Satish Mahana and Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi were among those present at the event.
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Amplus inks MoU with UP Govt. for 500 MW solar projects, to invest Rs 2,200 crore

The Gurgaon-based Amplus Energy Solutions, which provides distributed solar and energy solutions to industrial and commercial customers,has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Uttar Pradesh government for an investment of Rs 2,200 crore over the next five years to set up 500 MW of solar power capacity in the state.
The MoU was signed here yesterday during  the two-day UP Investors Summit, which ended today, under the state's new solar energy policy 2017 for attaining solar energy capacity of 10,700 MW in the next five years.
The policy allows investors the facility of ‘open access’ and thus sell power to individuals or institutional consumers within or outside the state, a press release from Amplus said.
Amplus already has several projects in UP, including India’s largest rooftop captive solar plant of 6.2 MW on Yamaha factory located in Noida, which is also the largest net metered project at one location in India.
India’s first BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) with extensive logic in the EMS (Energy Management System) controlling all the sources, has been installed and running successfully at Siwaya Toll Plaza, Meerut, UP with a solar hybrid system with 96 kwh battery and 83 kw. This is the first plant of its kind in India and the first Lithium-ion based energy storage system for complete load of a commercial establishment in India.
Mr. Sanjeev Aggarwal, Managing Director & CEO, Amplus Energy said “Uttar Pradesh is looking to be at the forefront of adopting solar power at a rapid pace. With the new solar energy policy 2017, we are looking at rapid expansion of solar power capacity in the state. We are excited to be associated with the state government in their journey and are committed to install solar capacity of 500 MW in the state in the next five years. Companies in this region have been proactive in implementing solar power capacity and with the state support, we are sure many more companies will now look at sustainable and clean energy medium for their power needs."
Amplus has solarised three out of the 13 sites of Walmart outlets, one in Agra and two in Meerut, UP. Amplus has also set up a rooftop solar plant of 2.5 MW at IEML’s Greater Noida facility which is the first solar plant for an Expo Mart in India.
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Essel Infraprojects pledges investment of Rs 18,750 crore at UP Investors Summit

Essel Infraprojects Limited (EIL), a part of the Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group, has committed an investment of Rs. 18,750 crore for the development of infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh. 
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effet was signed here yesterday at the two-day UP Investors Summit 2018, which concluded today.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Subhash Chandra said the event had opened up the state to the global audience.
“Compared to any other state, Uttar Pradesh has a huge potential to attract investments with its natural resources and human resources and under the able leadership of Yogi Adityanath-ji, we can already see the signs of transformation,” he said.
He also added that the company’s investment through these MoUs would generate more than 54,000 jobs.
A press from the company said the MoUs cover sectors such as energy, roads and tourism. 
"Effort will be to improve power transmission and distribution in the state and also to bring in the company’s expertise in expressway development and other road projects. Essel has also pledged to invest in projects of waste management, 24x7 water supply and smart cities. The company has also prepared a vision document for the Smart City Governance Framework and Revenue Model for Integrated, Inclusive and Sustainable Smart Cities in India. In addition, EIL will also invest towards CSR, training and development of the youth in the State," the release said.
The company has also committed an investment of Rs. 5000 crore for developing road projects in the state and to the tune of Rs. 3000 crore each for boosting intra-state E-Buses project and solar plants in addition to Rs. 1000 crore in building theme-based parks within the state. 
Other areas of support would include development of e-rickshaw with battery charging and swapping stations with an investment of Rs. 500 crore, bus terminus development having an investment of Rs. 750 crore, Power Transmission projects & Power Distribution and MSW to the tune of Rs. 1000 crore each to name a few. The projects are expected to commence by the financial year 2019, the release added.
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Lulu Group unveils plans for Rs. 2000 crore mall in Lucknow

Lulu Group International, the retail major owned by well-known UAE-based non-resident Indian (NRI) Yusuffali M. A., today unveiled plans for its Rs. 2,000 crore Lulu Mall in Lucknow.
“We are making north India's largest shopping Mall with more than 20 lakh sq. ft.  built up area, which will generate an employment of more than 5000," Mr. Yusuffali said at the Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit here.
"It will also feature more than 200 international and national brands along with 11 multiplex screens, 2500-seater food court and more than 20 fine dining restaurants," he said.
A miniature model of the proposed Lulu Mall was unveiled in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inaugural function of the two-day summit.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UP Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were amongst those present on the occasion.
Briefing Mr. Modi about the investment plans, Mr. Yusuffali said, “We have earmarked US$ 2 billion (Rs. 14,000 crores) for the Indian market. UP has huge potential in various sectors and we are exploring investment opportunities in retail, hospitality and food processing sectors in Kanpur and Noida, respectively."
The $ 7.2 billion Lulu Group has operations  in more than 20 countries, including India. The group is primarily focused on the retail industry with more than 140 hypermarkets, supermarkets and shopping malls, under the flagship brand of Lulu, employing more than 40,000 people and serving more than 9 lakh customers per day. As per the latest reports published by Deloitte, Lulu is ranked among the 250 top retailers globally and also considered as being among the 50 fastest growing retailers worldwide.
In India it owns the Lulu Mall in Kochi, the largest in India and two Marriott hotels in Kerala. Other upcoming projects include, Lulu International Convention Center & Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bolghatty, Kochi, Kerala, shopping mall and hotels in Lucknow, Thiruvanthapuram, Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam.
Apart from retail, the company's other areas of interest include hospitality, food processing, sourcing and export of fruits and vegetables with operations in UP, Maharashtra, Delhi and Kerala.
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Ambani says Reliance Jio will invest another Rs. 10,000 crore in UP over next three years

Jio to invest Rs. 10,000 crore over three years in UP: Mukesh Ambani
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman  and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani today announced that RIL subsidiary and telecom services provider Reliance Jio would invest another Rs. 10,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh over the next three years.
Addressing the Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit 2018 here, he said Jio is already one of the largest investors in the state with investments of more than Rs. 20,000 crore.
"Jio is providing the highest quality data at the lowest price in the world to over 2 crore citizens of Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Mr. Ambani said India's most populous state could also become the country's most prosperous state by embracing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India Mission.
"Which is why, Reliance has built a world-class digital Infrastructure all over India, including in UP, in less than two years. With an investment of Rs. 250,000 crore so far.
"We have completely reimagined and rebuilt the next-generation digital communication services because we want to benefit every farmer, every small, medium and large business, every shop and market, every hospital, and every school, college and university.
"Moreover, Jio will also assist the administration from rajdhani Lucknow to the smallest gram panchayat," he said.
"We are inspired by the Prime Minister’s unique concept of ensuring the Ease of Living for every Indian citizen. To make life happy and better for every Indian," he said.
"I have come to Lucknow to assure the Respected Prime Minister and the Honourable Chief Minister that Jio’s Digital Revolution is here to make the maximum contribution to UP’s development revolution," he said.
He said Jio would make availablle more than two crore JioPhones, for which there is a waiting list in many states, in Uttar Pradesh on a priority basis.
He said Jio had already created over 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in UP. Along with other businesses of Reliance such as Retail, Polyester and Petroleum, Jio will create over one lakh sustainable livelihood opportunities in the State in the coming years, he said.
He also announced that Jio would establish a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution within the campus of a reputed university in Uttar Pradesh.
Mr. Ambani also announced that Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of RIL, would contribute to the success of Namaami Gange – the Clean Ganga Mission – which is gathering momentum.
"Coming to UP is a patriotic duty for me. Because India cannot rise to its full potential without the rise of 22 crore people of UP. Today UP is not only rising, but it wants to race ahead. And when UP starts running, no power on earth can stop our country from becoming a global economic power," he added.
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Fourth India International Science Festival to be held in Lucknow

The fourth edition of the India International Science Festival (IISF) will be held in Lucknow on dates to be announced later.
This was decided at the first preparatory meeting for the event chaired by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan here today.
Officials of Ministries of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Director General, CSIR and representatives of Vijnana Bharti (VIBHA), the partner organisation for the festival, were among those who attended the meeting, an official press release said.
The 1st IISF was held at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi in December, 2015. The mega S&T expo attracted more than 3 lakh people. India had also set a Guinness Book of World Records, when 2000 school students performed two experiments at the festival.
The second festival at CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi in December 2016 showcased Indian achievements in various fields of science and technology. 
The third in the series was held in October 2017 in Chennai, the release added.
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