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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.
 
IANS
 
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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.
 
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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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Mayawati sacks BSP leader over Rahul remarks

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BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday sacked senior party leader Jai Prakash Singh, a day after he triggered a row by saying that foreign blood won't let Congress President Rahul Gandhi succeed in Indian politics and lead the country.
 
"I came to know about Jai Prakash Singh's speech in which he spoke against the ideology of the BSP and also made personal remarks against the leadership of rival parties. It's his personal opinion. So, he has been removed from his post with immediate effect," Mayawati said in a statement.
 
The removal came after Jai Prakash Singh said at a public meeting on Monday that Gandhi had grown up like his mother Sonia Gandhi and not like his father and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
 
"Had he grown up like his father Rajiv Gandhi, he would have succeeded in politics for once. But he has grown up like his mother who is a foreigner. I say this with certainty that Rahul Gandhi won't ever succeed in Indian politics and lead India," the now expelled BSP leader said.
 
The remarks came as opposition parties are trying to stitch an anti-BJP alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Congress and the BSP are exploring a partnership in Madhya Pradesh that votes later this year to elect a new state government.
 
IANS
 
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CBI files charge sheet against BJP MLA in Unnao rape case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday filed a charge sheet against BJP's Uttar Pradesh legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the Unnao rape case.
 
"After investigation, a charge sheet has been filed in the competent court in Lucknow against Sengar and Shashi Singh under sections 120 B, 363, 367, 376(1), 506 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and sections 3 and 4 of Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act," CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said in New Delhi. 
 
A CBI official also said that the victim was first raped by the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA on June 4, 2017 evening, while she was gangraped by another set of accused between June 11 to 20.
 
Sengar, who represents the Bangermau assembly constituency, is in jail for allegedly raping the teenager at his home when she had gone to meet him for a job. Shashi Singh is his close aide who allegedly lured the girl to the MLA.
 
In April, the victim tried to commit suicide outside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's house, alleging that police did not act though she had approached them several months earlier.
 
The CBI arrested Sengar on April 13.
 
IANS
 
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Gangster Munna Bajrangi shot dead in UP jail, family claims conspiracy

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Dreaded gangster Munna Bajrangi was shot dead inside a high security prison in Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh early on Monday, causing a major embarrassment to the Yogi Adityanath government.
 
The 51-year-old criminal was shot 10 times in the head and chest from close range with a sophisticated handgun and his body was then dumped into a gutter inside the prison premises, a police officer said.
 
What has embarrassed the government and the police is the fact that a high-tech pistol found its way inside the prison and almost in the same manner disappeared after the crime. 
 
Chief Minister Adityanath ordered the suspension of four prison officials, including the jailor and deputy jailor, following the incident and vowed to take stringent action against the guilty. 
 
His lawyer called it a "staged killing" and said the "administration and the state government had forced the jail authorities" to bring the unwell Bajrangi to Baghpat, setting aside pleas that the hearing be done through video conferencing. 
 
His wife Seema Singh had alleged some 10 days back that a conspiracy was being hatched by the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh police to eliminate her husband.
 
Bajrangi, who carried a reward of Rs 7 lakh on his head, was shifted to the Baghpat prison from Jhansi jail late on Sunday for a hearing in a district court.
 
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Bajrangi, whose writ once ran large and wide in the eastern part of the state for almost three decades, was locked in an extortion case filed two years back by former Baghpat legislator Lokesh Dixit.
 
He was kept in a solitary cell. 
 
Some sources said that the initial suspicion of the murder was on Sunil Rathi, another gangster languishing in the Baghpat jail.
 
The lawyer and family members of Bajrangi refuted this theory, saying the two had no animosity that could have led to the killing. 
 
Bajrangi, who escaped two gun battles with police, once in New Delhi and another in Kolkata, was known to have killed 40 persons, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Krishnanad Rai and BJP leader Ram Chandra Singh.
 
Vikram Singh, a former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, said that though the deceased had a long criminal history, his killing inside a prison raised serious doubts on the security of jails in the state.
 
Bajrangi was arrested from Mumbai's Malad area by Delhi Police on October 29, 2009 and has been languishing in jails ever since. 
 
His killing assumes significance as human rights groups have been questioning the series of police "encounters" in the state leading to the death of criminals and those accused of crime.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Dreaded gangster shot dead inside UP prison

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Dreaded gangster Munna Bajrangi was shot dead inside a high security prison in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat early on Monday, police said. A judicial probe has been ordered.
 
The 51-year-old criminal was shot ten times and his body was then dumped into a gutter inside the prison premises, a police officer said.
 
He was shifted to the Baghpat prison from Jhansi jail late on Sunday for a hearing in a district court.
 
Bajrangi, whose writ ran large and wide in the eastern part of the state for the past three decades, was shifted for hearing in an extortion case filed two years back by former Baghpat legislator Lokesh Dixit.
 
He was kept in a solitary cell. There were other dreaded mobsters like Vicky Sunehda and Sunil Rathi also lodged in the same jail. 
 
Bajrangi's family feared for his life and only ten days back his wife Seema had requested the judge not to transfer her husband to Baghpat but conduct the hearing through videoconferencing.
 
She alleged that the Special Task Force (STF) of the state police was trying to get Bajrangi eliminated.
 
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered suspension of four prison officials, including the jailor, deputy jailor, following the incident.
 
He said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty. 
 
Bajrangi was arrested from Mumbai's Malad area by the Delhi Police on October 29, 2009 and has been languishing in jails ever since. 
 
He was an accused in the murder of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ram Chandra Singh and legislator Krishnanand Rai besides being accused of many murders, and extortions.
 
IANS
 
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Gangster shot dead inside UP prison

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Dreaded gangster Munna Bajrangi was shot dead inside a high security prison in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat early on Monday, police said.
 
The 51-year-old criminal was shot ten times and then his body was dumped into a gutter inside the prison premises, a police officer said.
 
He was shifted to the Baghpat prison from Jhansi jail late on Sunday for a hearing in a district court.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered suspension of four prison officials, including the jailor, deputy jailor, following the incident. A judicial probe has also been ordered.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Two arrested for molesting woman in UP

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Two youths were arrested on Friday after a video clip surfaced showing them molesting a woman in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district, police said.
 
"We have arrested two persons in the video and are now looking for four others... We hope to apprehend them soon," an official told IANS.
 
In the video, three men are seen molesting the woman despite her pleadings to stop. 
 
The person filming the incident is heard telling the victim to stop resisting or else the clip will go viral.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Five dead as car hits truck in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh

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Five persons, including four of a family, were killed and two others injured on Saturday in Uttar Pradesh when their car was hit by a sand-laden truck in Unnao district, police said.
 
The accident occurred when the Innova car was trying to overtake another vehicle and all of a sudden the truck came in front.
 
Hit by the truck at high speed, the Innova spun out of control and tumbled onto a field. The truck fell on the car, killing all five on the spot. 
 
Four of the victims belonged to one family, a police official told IANS, while the fifth was their driver. The car was headed to Vrindavan when the collision took place at the Chakalvanshi-Mianganj road.
 
Two persons were pulled out alive from the mangled car and were rushed to a nearby medical facility where their condition is said to be stable. 
 
The deceased have been identified as Nirmala, 28, Sooraj, 13, Vaishnavi, 10, Sarvan, 27, and driver Hiralal. 
 
IANS
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IndiGo launches flights from Lucknow to Pune and Goa

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo has announced its maiden flights from Lucknow to Pune and Goa, effective July 2018, becoming the first airline to launch  services on these sectors.
 
A press release from the airline said it would operate daily non-stop flights on the Lucknow-Goa-Lucknow and Lucknow-Pune-Lucknow routes.
 
IndiGo’s average daily departures will now be 25 flights out of Lucknow to 13 destinations, it said.
 
The release said the new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. 
 
Mr Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of these two sectors from Lucknow, which will further provide more flexibility of choice to our customers. Lucknow continues to hold immense potential for IndiGo and we are indeed happy to be the first airline to operate maiden flights between Lucknow-Goa-Lucknow and Lucknow-Pune-Lucknow. We are providing affordable fares on these new routes for 6E travelers. It is our constant endeavour to provide the best travel experience to our customers, as IndiGo continues to offer them on-time, courteous and hassle-free service and an affordable flying experience always.”
 
IANS
 
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Hindu-Muslim couple get passports after Sushma intervenes

 
Passport officer who allegedly harassed inter-faith couple gets transferred
 
 
A Hindu woman married to a Muslim got her passport on Thursday, following External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's intervention, barely 24 hours after a passport officer rejected her application on the grounds that she had not changed her surname.
 
Regional Passport Official Piyush Verma on Thursday gave the passport to Tanvi Sethi while the passport of her husband Mohammad Anas Siddiqui was renewed and also handed over.
 
Sethi alleged misbehaviour by passport officer Vikas Mishra on Wednesday when she had gone to the passport office here. She said her passport application was rejected on the grounds that she had not changed her surname even after 12 years of marriage to a Muslim man.
 
She later tweeted to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Sushma Swaraj with her complaint. Both responded to her plea.
 
Passport officer Mishra has since been transferred to Gorakhpur and an explanation has been sought from him, an official told IANS.
 
Sethi and her husband said they were very happy at the alacrity with which the PMO and the MEA responded.
 
The officer accused of misbehaviour, however, denied the charges and said he had only told Sethi of the rules laid down in such cases.
 
Senior officials said that old rules mandated that a marriage certificate be produced in cases of inter-religious marriages during the passport application procedure, though adding that the officer was not right in ill-treating the woman and shouting at her.
 
IANS
 
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Five dead as blaze guts two Lucknow hotels, owners booked

 
Fire breaks out in hotel in Lucknow
 
 
Five persons, including a woman and child, were killed and over a dozen others injured as fire engulfed two hotels here on Tuesday, police said.
 
The fire broke out at the SSJ International Hotel on Tuesday morning and soon spread to the adjacent Hotel Virat International, gutting both buildings.
 
Fire tenders were rushed to contain the blaze, but it took more than two hours for the raging flames to be extinguished and at least six firemen were among those injured. Two cars parked in the parking area of one of the hotels were also burnt badly.
 
Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said the fire started in the basement and soon leaped to the upper floors. Inspector General of Police, Lucknow, Sujit Pandey later said that prima facie, the fire seems to have been triggered by a short circuit.
 
The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a magisterial probe into the blaze, while cases have also been slapped on the owners of the hotels.
 
Superintendent of Police, West, Vikas Chandra Tripathi said that after the incident, both SSJ International hotel owner Surendra Jaiswal and Virat hotel owners Arpit Jaiswal and Pratik Jaiswal were absconding.
 
The district police has ordered a safety audit of all the hotels in the area and sources told IANS that initial investigation has revealed a "whole lot of discrepancies in the two hotels".
 
The SSJ hotel, which had 42 rooms and a bar, does not have an approved building plan and the 27-room Virat hotel's building plan was approved as a residential premises, officials said.
 
Meanwhile, Chief Fire Officer A.B. Pandey revealed that there were no fire-fighting equipment installed in both hotels and that SSJ hotel, in fact, had been served a notice last month over its non-compliance of safety standards. 
 
Due to the police recruitment exams, both the hotels were completely sold out.
 
Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi meanwhile visited the injured at a medical facility and directed officials to ensure that there was adequate treatment for those injured.
 
Condition of two injured, who have received serious burn injuries, is critical, said doctors at the Trauma Centre. 
 
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed his condolences at the loss of lives in the incident and has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those who were killed and Rs 50,000 each to those seriously injured.
 
IANS
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Five killed in fire at two adjacent Lucknow hotels

 
Fire breaks out in hotel in Lucknow
 
 
Five persons were killed as fire broke out in two hotels here on Tuesday, police said.
 
A fire broke out at the Hotel Virat international on Tuesday morning and soon engulfed the adjacent SSJ International Hotel, gutting both buildings.
 
Fire tenders were rushed to contain the blaze. It took more than two hours for the fire fighters to douse the raging flames. 
 
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Deepak Kumar said the fire started in the basement and soon leaped to the upper floors. 
 
Senior district officials were present at the spot and overseeing search and rescue operations.
 
Police officials told IANS they can still not rule out the likelihood of some people or bodies trapped inside the hotel rooms. 
 
The five victim include a woman and a child. They were staying at the Virat International Hotel. 
 
IANS
 
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Jet Airways links Allahabad with Lucknow, Patna with Udan flights

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Full-service carrier Jet Airways has commenced services under UDAN, the Government's Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), by linking Allahabad with Lucknow and Patna.
 
Of the seven sectors that Jet Airways has been awarded in the second round of bidding under the UDAN scheme, the airline is launching five this week, including Lucknow-Allahabad-Lucknow, Patna-Allahabad-Patna, Nagpur-Allahabad-Nagpur, Indore-Allahabad-Indore, and Delhi–Nashik-Delhi.
 
A press release from the airline said services on the remaining two routes -- Lucknow–Bareilly–Lucknow and Delhi-Bareilly-Delhi -- are expected to be launched in the coming days, once necessary clearances and approvals have been received for the Bareilly airport.
 
Jet Airways will deploy its 72-seater ATR aircraft on the RCS routes that connect Allahabad with various other destinations in its network. Operating thrice a week, the new routes will offer Allahabad a 6 day/ week connectivity, complementing the existing connectivity to/from the city.
 
The new flights will offer two-way connections to Mumbai from Allahabad via Nagpur/Indore/Lucknow. Similarly, the flights offer two-way connections to Bengaluru from Allahabad via Indore/Patna. Guests also have the choice to connect to Pune and Ahmedabad from Allahabad, via Indore. Likewise, the flight will also connect to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Abu Dhabi from Allahabad via Lucknow, allowing guests to connect through Abu Dhabi over Lucknow to multiple international destinations in Europe, North America, Africa, Middle East and the Gulf, enhancing the global connectivity from India’s emerging metros, the release said.
 
Aside from Abu Dhabi – Jet Airways’ gateway in the Gulf and home of its strategic partner Etihad Airways, guests traveling to Europe and North America can also take advantage of the airline’s excellent connectivity to over 100 destinations in Europe and over 200 in North America, made available via its codeshare partnerships with leading airlines including Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic via its gateways at Amsterdam, Paris and London Heathrow, the release added.
 
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13 killed in UP weather-related incidents

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At least 13 people were killed in weather-related incidents in Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Thursday.
 
Most of the deaths occurred due to walls and trees collapsing on people. 
 
Four people died in Sitapur and two each in Faizabad, Gonda, Kaushambi, Kannauj, and one in Hardoi district, the officials said.
 
Meanwhile, six people were injured in Faizabad district. 
 
The regional Met Office has predicted dust storms in many parts of the state in the next 48-hours. 
 
Met Director J.P. Gupta said the north-westerly winds have intensified the heat wave and that the monsoon might hit the state five days after the expected date of arrival
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Storm, lightning in UP leave 30 dead

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Heavy pre-monsoonal rains lashed many parts of Uttar Pradesh on Friday bringing relief from scorching heat but also leaving 30 persons dead in storm and lightning-related incidents, officials said on Friday.
 
While 11 persons have been killed and 16 injured in Amethi and Rae Bareli, five persons died in Sultanpur and two each in Sitapur and Bahraich in central Uttar Pradesh. 
 
Ten persons, including five women and two children, were killed in Poorvanchal (eastern UP) after being struck by lightning, an official said. 
 
Meanwhile, two persons died due to extreme heat wave in Mahoba district of Bundelkhand.
 
By evening, the heat returned to most parts of the state, with the mercury touching a high of 42 degrees Celsius in Banda, 39 degrees in Etawah, and 40 degrees in Auraiyya.
 
IANS
 
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After hours in police custody, youth retracts bribe charges against Yogi aide

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Hours after being taken into police custody, businessman Abhishek Gupta -- who accused the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, S.P Goyal, of seeking bribe of Rs 25 lakh -- retracted his charge on Friday evening.
 
The swift turn of events prompted many here to believe that coercion by the state police was the reason for change in the stance of Gupta.
 
In police custody since afternoon, for "interrogation and ascertaining of his charges", the young businessman from Lucknow who claimed to have taken a loan of Rs 1 crore for setting up a petrol pump at Hardoi, said he "was upset and had lost his mental balance after the senior IAS official trashed his file despite completion of all formalities".
 
In a video that surfaced in social media, where he is seen being prompted by a policeman into parroting the clarification, Gupta is seen saying that he had met Goyal for clearance of his file but the officer put some queries, which despite being sent back from the district administration were not entertained by the Principal Secretary to Yogi Adityanath.
 
He later says that in a state of depression -- as he was shelling out an interest of Rs 1.10 lakh per month against the loan taken for setting up the petrol pump -- he made these frivolous charges against the top bureaucrat.
 
Adityanath had earlier in the day asked Chief Secretary Rajeev Kumar to find out the factual position in the case involving senior IAS officer Goyal, an official spokesman said. 
 
Goyal has been accused by the Lucknow businessman of seeking Rs 25 lakh to approve widening of a road to his proposed petrol pump.
 
The issue was triggered after Governor Ram Naik, taking cognizance, shot off a letter to Chief Minister apprising him of the e-mail complaint the Raj Bhawan had received from the Indiranagar-based businessman, seeking help in getting the matter expedited. 
 
In his letter, Naik said the business had claimed that since he was not yielding to the bribe demanded by the IAS officer, he was sitting on the file and not disposing it of.
 
The Governor asked Adityanath to look into the matter at his level.
 
On Friday, the complainant was picked up by the Lucknow police around afternoon for interrogation. 
 
Lucknow SSP Deepak Kumar said the move followed a complaint filed against Gupta by state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in-charge Bharat Dixit alleging that the said businessman was exerting pressure on senior party office-bearers and the Chief Minister's Office to seek favours.
 
"Following the complaint, the Hazratganj police filed a case under sections 419, 420 and 500 of the IPC against Gupta and he has been picked by the police for interrogation under 161 CrPC," the SSP said.
 
However, later in the evening, Kumar said the businessman had been let off after a written apology. "He has been handed over to his maternal grandfather who lives in Lucknow and the probe is underway."
 
While many here feel that the whistle blower was being arm-twisted by the government agencies and the ruling party to withdraw his complaint against Goel, insiders in the BJP said the fact that a letter had been written by the Governor to Chief Minister with regard to the matter has landed the government in trouble.
 
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Meanwhile, opposition parties in the state tore into the BJP government for allegedly trying to victimise and intimidate the person who had come up with the complaint against the CM's aide.
 
Ridiculing the state government, former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said it was sad that under the watch of the government, people coming up with complaints were being targeted rather than a serious investigation done in the matter. 
 
He also cited the case of a Unnao rape victim, whose father was "killed in police custody" after he approached them with charges against a sitting ruling party legislator.
 
Yadav also demanded a CBI probe into the allegations leveled against the top bureaucrat. 
 
The Congress also lashed out at the BJP government over the issue. Spokesman of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) Krishna Kant Pandey demanded that Goyal be removed and that a sitting judge of the high court investigate the allegations levelled against the official. 
 
Making similar demands, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member of Rajya Sabha Sanjay Singh said the issue had thrown up serious doubts over the BJP's to fight corruption.
 
IANS
 
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Four, including policeman, die on Yamuna Expressway

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Four persons of a family, including a police constable, were killed on the Yamuna Expressway on Tuesday when the car in which they were travelling was hit by another vehicle, police said.
 
Three others were injured in the accident which happened near the Fatiha cut in Farha area in Mathura district. The family was headed to Mathura to perform a religious ritual.
 
Between January and May, 10 persons have died at this spot and more than a dozen have been injured in road accidents.
 
The constable, Rajendra Pal Singh, was posted in Aligarh. The others who died were identified as his wife Sridevi, son Narendra Singh and niece Pooja.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Seven killed in road mishap in Hardoi district of UP

 
7 dead in tractor-truck collision in UP's Hardoi
 
 
At least seven persons died and four others were critically injured after a tractor was hit by a speeding truck in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh, police said on Tuesday.
 
All the victims were daily wagers who were returning home to Mallanwa village after work late on Monday.
 
The incident happened at the Kannauj-Bilgram road near Tirwa Kulli, an official said. The seven deaths were instantaneos. The deceased have been identified and their family members informed. 
 
The injured were rushed to the Kannauj Medical College.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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RLD takes unassailable lead in Kairana

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The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is all set to wrest the Uttar Pradesh's Kairana parliamentary seat from the BJP with its candidate Tabassum Hasan having taken an unassailable lead of over 43,000 votes.
 
Bharatiya Janata Party's Mriganka Singh, daughter of late sitting MP Hukum Singh, is her nearest rival while other 10 candidates in the fray are set to lose their deposits.
 
Talking to reporters after establishing a lead in all assembly segments, Hasan said the leads have proven beyond doubt that the people of Kairana had voted out negative and divisive politics.
 
Hasan told IANS that her victory will not only be a defining defeat for the BJP-led negative and communal politics but also expressed hope that it would lead to the coming together and further cementing of Opposition ranks.
 
She also thanked everybody for putting in their best and pointed out how not only her party, Ajit Singh's RLD, but workers of the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress and even the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worked hard to consolidate voters in her favour. 
 
"In the holy month of Ramadan, all the people worked hard in this scorching heat for a goal, with full confidence and positivity and the results are gladdening," an elated Hasan said.
 
She also demanded that all future elections be held on ballot paper system and not by electronic voting machines (EVMs), which she said were faulty and open to manipulation. 
 
If the trends continue and the BJP loses the seat, it will be the third parliamentary bypoll loss in the state it had stormed to power in last year with a thumping majority. 
 
IANS
 
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SP wins Noorpur Assembly seat in UP

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Samajwadi Party's Naeem-ul-Hasan won the Noorpur Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday with a margin of 6,211 votes, a poll official said.
 
The bypoll, necessitated by BJP's sitting MLA Lokendra Pratap Singh's death in a road accident in February, was held on Monday, and saw a 61 per cent voter turnout.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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UP re-poll: Voting underway in 73 booths in Kairana

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Re-polling in five polling booths of Shamli and 68 booths in Saharanpur falling under the Kairana parliamentary constituency is underway amid tight security, an official said on Wednesday.
 
Voting began at a slow pace, with only 18.71 per cent polling in the first two hours, said the Election Commission (EC) official adding that the polling so far has been peaceful. 
 
There was a report of a snag in an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in Bapu village, which has been rectified and the voting has restarted after a brief interruption, the official told IANS.
 
A polling agent was taken to task by visiting officials at Sanga Kheda after he was found in possession of a mobile phone inside the booth. 
 
There was inconvenience caused at Sirsila village where the polling officials had by mistake announced that repoll would be done on booth number 355 instead of booth number 356.
 
Many people formed queues outside the wrong booth that led to confusion and anger amongst the voters. 
 
The re-polls have been necessitated after both opposition parties and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged snags in the VVPAT-EVMs during the May 28 bye-elections.
 
NNN
 
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Nine killed in UP thunderstorm

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Nine people were killed and over five others injured after a thunderstorm struck some parts of Uttar Pradesh, a state government spokesman said on Tuesday.
 
Of the nine victims, five were from Unnao district. They were struck by lightning on Monday night, the Relief Commissioner official said.
 
The other four deaths were reported from Rae Bareli and Kanpur rural.
 
"Concerned district magistrates have been asked to ensure prompt relief and see to it that the financial assistance to the injured and the victims' families get compensation in 24 hours," the official told IANS.
 
The Regional Met Office has predicted muggy weather and dust storms in some parts of central and eastern Uttar Pradesh in the next 24 hours. There have been rains in some parts of the state as well.
 
IANS
 
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Mulayam, Akhilesh move SC seeking time to vacate official residences

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Samajwadi Party leaders and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav approached the Supreme Court on Monday to extend their stay in their official residences.
 
The father-son duo have sought appropriate time to vacate their official residences allocated by the Uttar Pradesh government.
 
They moved the apex court as by its May 7 judgment, the court had set aside a provision of a law that allowed government accommodation to former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers, terming it "arbitrary and discriminatory" as it violated the concept of equality.
 
The leaders earlier approached the UP government seeking time to vacate their official residences and move to their own accommodation.
 
Mulayam Singh recently wrote to the Estate Department saying he did not have any alternative suitable residential accommodation in the city for shifting within the deadline fixed by the department and he would need two years to shift to a new residence.
 
In the apex court judgment, a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said once a Chief Minister demits office, there was nothing to distinguish him or her from a common man.
 
Setting aside the provision of the law passed by the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, the bench had said such bungalows constitute "public property which by itself is scarce and meant for use of current holders of public offices".
 
The apex court had struck down Section 4(3) of the Uttar Pradesh Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1981, as amended by then Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's government in 2016, allowing the state's former Chief Ministers to be entitled to allotment of government accommodation for their life time.
 
In its judgment, the top court said that "natural resources, public lands and public goods like government bungalows/official residence are public property that belongs to the people of the country".
 
IANS
 
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UP to construct 100-room tourist complex in Haridwar

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The Uttar Pradesh government will construct a 100-room tourist accommodation building in Uttarakhand's Haridwar district, officials said on Tuesday.
 
A proposal to this effect was approved by the state cabinet at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. 
 
The new tourist complex, to be built in an area of 2,964 square metres in the Alaknanda hotel complex, will cost the state government Rs 40 crore and will be completed in a time of two years. After the complex comes up, it would be handed over to the state government in the hill state.
 
The land for this complex is being given by the Irrigation Department and would be run and managed by the Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation, the officials told IANS.
 
IANS
 
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