Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2017
PM Modi announces Rs 500 crore relief for flood-hit Bihar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an immediate relief of Rs 500-crore for flood ravaged Bihar.
Modi made the announcement after an aerial survey of flood affected Araria, Purnia, Katihar and Kishanganj districts in northeast Bihar and review of relief and rehabilitation schemes with chief minister Nitish Kumar and Bihar government officers at Purnia, 368 km east of Patna.
The PM also assured all possible assistance for relief measures and promised that a central team will be sent to assess the damage. He instructed that in order to assess the claims of farmers' crop insurance; the insurance companies should send their supervisors to the flood-affected areas so that the farmers can be provided relief immediately. The Road and Transport Ministry has also been directed to take appropriate action to repair all flood-damaged roads and electricity infrastructure in the state.
Prior to the aerial survey, Modi chaired a review meeting in Purnia with senior officials, the CM and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.
Modi also announced payment of Rs 2 lakh each to the family of those killed and Rs 50,000 to injured in the floods from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
Earlier, Modi arrived at Chunapur airbase, Purnia, by a special aircraft. He was received at by Kumar and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Soon after his arrival, Modi, along with Kumar, left for aerial survey of the flood affected districts. After a 50-minute aerial survey, Modi discussed flood relief schemes with the chief minister and Bihar government officers at the Chunapur airbase conference hall.
Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD questioned the purpose of Modi’s visit to the state now that the water has already receded in many parts. Talking to news agency ANI, the former Bihar CM accused Nitish Kumar of engineering the floods, he said, "Bihar mein baadh aaya nahi baadh laya gaya, Nitish ka engineer baandh (dam) kaat ke baadh le aaya, (Floods did not occur itself in Bihar it was brought by engineers of Nitish Kumar by diverting dams).” Targeting the PM on his relief package Lalu said, "When Bihar suffered with floods in past Modi ji didn’t feel it was important enough to visit, didn’t allocate even a single penny.”
Over one crore seventy lakh people in have been affected by the floods in the state. The death toll has mounted to 415, with 21 districts being affected by the deluge.
In the last few days, CM Nitish Kumar visited a couple of flood-hit areas in the state to take stock of the situation. However, affected people alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) government has not done enough to give relief to them.
10 dead, violence breaks out in Punjab, Haryana as Dera supporters turn violent
At least ten people have been killed and more than 200 injured in Panchkula as Dera Sacha Sauda followers have gone on a rampage after a CBI court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape charges on Friday.
More than 50 private and government vehicles were torched in Panchkula as police fired several rounds of tear gas to quell the protesting supporters of the self-styled godman.
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty of rape by a special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, on Friday. He was immediately taken into judicial custody; he will be sentenced on Monday. Ram Rahim Singh was accused of raping two ‘sadhvis’ (female followers), in 2002 and the case came to trial in 2008. He has denied all charges against him.
The rioters have torched at least two railway stations, a power grid and petrol pumps in Haryana. Media persons, have also been attacked. Meanwhile, a curfew has been imposed in Punjab’s Bathinda, Mansa, Patiala, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Malout, Budhlada.
At least 10 bodies and several injured have reached the Panchkula civil hospital.. There were also reports of more than 200 people being injured within an hour of the verdict.
Earlier, the court delivered its verdict in the case against the 50-year-old Dera chief after 14 long years and amid unprecedented security as thousands of Dera followers gathered in Panchkula ahead of the judgment.
In fact, just two hours before the verdict, the Punjab and Haryana high court told the Haryana government it can go ahead and use force when required and file FIRs against any Gurmeet Ram Rahim follower breaking the law or making provocative statements.
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called on Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to take control of the situation immediately and impose a curfew if the situation so demands. Meanwhile, more than 100 vehicles have been set ablaze in Panchkula. The hospitals are struggling with a massive influx of patients and reports of blood shortage.
- Curfew imposed in Panchkula; petrol pump in Sector 4 and Income Tax office in Sector 2 targeted
- In Punjab's Mansa, two vehicles of Income Tax department were torched
- Panchkula: Violent dera followers, who have outnumbered the cops on duty, have broken police cordon at Sectors 4-5 roundabout and have started marching towards the court complex in Sector 1. There are also reports of stone pelting by the mob and scuffles with the security forces and media. The cops on duty seem helpless even as the Army has taken over the law and order situation in Panchkula. Situation has turned highly volatile and the locals have locked themselves indoors, fearing violence.
- Heavy force deployment in Sirsa as crowds turn violent, Rapid Action Force (RAF) also reaches Haryana.
- Two Railway stations in Punjab have been set on fire. Curfew imposed in Panchkula as well. ANI reports at least 10 injured in violence.
- At least 3 Dera Sacha Sauda supporters have died in the violence that is currently unfolding in Panchkula and nearby areas. Meanwhile, Delhi-NCR has been put on high-alert. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh supporters attempt to set Panchkula Income Tax Office on fire.
- The CBI judge Jagdeep Singh while holding the 50-year-old Dera chief guilty of rape said the quantum of sentence will be pronounced on August 28, CBI counsel HPS Verma told reporters outside the court. The punishment can be a jail term not less than seven years but may even extend to life imprisonment.
Twin Derailments Rock Railways
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu offers to quit, PM Modi asks him to wait
As Indian Railways witnessed two derailments within days, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu took 'full moral responsibily' and offered to resign form his post. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though, has asked Prabhu to wait.
"I met the Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking full moral responsibility. Hon’ble PM has asked me to wait,” Prabhu tweeted.
He added that he was "extremely pained by unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. It has caused me deep anguish.” In a series of tweets today he also said, "In less than three years as Minister, I have devoted my blood and sweat for the betterment of the Railways.” Another post by him said, "Under the leadership of PM Modi, tried 2 overcome decades of neglect thru systemic reforms in all areas leading 2 unprecedented investment& milestones.” He also wrote, "New India envisioned by PM deserves a Rlys which is efficient and modern. I promise that is the path, on which Rlys is progressing now.”
Ashok Mittal, Chairman of the Railway Board, also submitted his resignation to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Mittal's resignation comes in the wake of a number two rail accidents in just four days.
Meanwhile, Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani was on Wednesday appointed as the chairman of the Railway Board.
Hours after the Kaifiyat Express collided with a dumpster in Uttar Pradesh, injuring 74 people, another train hit a tractor in Villuppuram near Chennai on Wednesday afternoon, media reports said. However, no casualty has been reported so far. These incidents came just five days after a major derailment occured near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, killing 22 people.
In response to Prabhu’s offer of resignation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said "accountability is a good system in the government”. He added that the PM will, however, take the final decision. "Prime Minister will take a decision on whatever request the railway minister has made,” Jaitley told reporters at a press conference.
However, the main opposition Congress accused Prabhu of having "utterly failed” in his job and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack him and appoint a "responsible person” in the position. This "responsibility business” would not do, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said while stressing that Prabhu must resign.
"Prabhu should resign immediately if he has iota of morality left in him after today’s incident which has left 74 more people injured. It is worst kind of tokenism asking rail board chairman or any other official to step aside,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.
Indian Railways has also decided to recruit close to 2,00,000 workers to put safety back on its tracks. The hiring will be made over the next couple of years for workers who will be responsible for patrolling and maintenance of 64,000-km-long network of tracks.
Man kicks, punches woman in gym
A shocking CCTV video footage, released from inside an Indore gym, shows an angry man brutally kicking and punching a woman after she had filed a complaint with the authorities against his behaviour, reported news agency ANI.
In the video from Thursday, the woman can be seen speaking behind the man in a sleeveless shirt, following which he looks enraged and punches her. She is seen holding her face and slumping on some gym equipment when the man goes on to kick her on her left knee as well. Other gym members finally intervene and restrain the man before further damage can be done.
The video was posted on Twitter by news agency ANI.
According to reports, the man in the video is Punit Malviya and the woman works at a school. The woman had reportedly complained to the gym trainer about Malviya’s alleged attempts to molest her during her workouts at the gym. This had infuriated him and he turned violent.
In its tweet ANI has mentioned that the man punched and kicked the woman after she complained about his behaviour during workout.
Malviya is a resident of the Mandsaur district. The police is investigating the case and trying to trap Puneet, who fled away following the incident. "A case of assault and molestation has been registered and we are investigating,” Shashikant Kankane, DSP said.
Meanwhile, gym trainer Ranit Sonane said that the accused escaped following the incident adding that the CCTV camera would help nab him.
Will get berths in Modi cabinet
Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) to formally join NDA
The Janata Dal (United) on Saturday passed a resolution to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) during the party’s national executive meeting chaired by leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Party general secretary K C Tyagi confirmed that JD(U) under Nitish will become part of the NDA.
The homecoming for the JD (U) comes weeks after the Bihar Chief Minister exited the grand alliance with the Congress and Lalu Yadav's RJD, a rainbow coalition that the opposition believed was the template to prevent the BJP's return in 2019.
The decision came when Sharad Yadav too called a parallel meeting, indicating that the party may be heading for a split after the disintegration of the Grand Alliance in Bihar. Loyalists of Sharad Yadav, who opposed joining hands with the BJP, organised a programme, 'Jan Adalat' at S K Memorial hall.
Supporters of rival JD(U) factions headed by Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav also clashed outside the residence of the Bihar chief minister. The two meetings make it clear that battle lines within the JD(U) are drawn and the party may be heading for a vertical split.
However, speaking to media, KC Tyagi said, "All 71 MLAs and 30MLCs, 16 of 19 office bearers are with us. There is no split in JD(U)."
"Amit Shah asked us to join NDA. We have passed the resolution and are now a part of it from today," said Tyagi.
Stating that Sharad Yadav and he had 43-years-old relation, Tyagi said, "If he had a disagreement, we had invited him to today's meet." The JD(U) faction leader also said that no action was taken against Yadav due to his seniority.
Nitish Kumar had picked up the invite to join the BJP's national coalition during his Delhi visit last week and got a formal seal of approval from the party's national executive meeting in Patna today. The JD (U) is also expected to be offered about two ministerial berths in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers to cement the ties.
Sharad Yadav, who had co-founded the JD (U), was removed as leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha for speaking against the alliance with the BJP. But he hasn't been suspended by Nitish Kumar's party so far. but JD (U) general secretary KC Tyagi served a stern warning to his former mentor Sharad Yadav, 70.