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Abducted Indian Army JCO rescued in Manipur (Lead)

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Imphal, March 8 (IANS) A serving Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the Indian Army was rescued by the security forces, hours after he was kidnapped from his home by ‘unidentified elements’ in Manipur’s Thoubal district on Friday, officials said.

A defence spokesman said that Naib Subedar Konsam Kheda Singh, a resident of Charangpat Mamang Leikai in Thoubal district, was abducted while on leave from his residence on Friday morning.

Army columns along with other security forces immediately launched a coordinated joint search operation, which led to the rescue of the JCO on Friday evening.

The JCO is currently at the Waikhong police station in Thoubal district.

Though the exact cause of the abduction is not known yet, media reports suggested that it was an extortion attempt as his family had received such threats in the past.

Besides the coordinated search operation, checking of all vehicles plying on National Highway-102 (Imphal-Moreh) was conducted to locate the JCO.

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Further investigation is underway.

Since the outbreak of ethnic violence in Manipur in May last year, soldiers and security personnel, be they on leave or duty, or their relatives have been targeted for nefarious interests.

On February 27, the house of Amit Singh, Additional Superintendent of Police (Operations), Moirangthem, was attacked in Imphal. The attackers also abducted him and intimidated his family members by firing in the air, besides vandalising properties.

The officer was later rescued due to the timely intervention by the security forces.

–IANS

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2 killed, 3 injured during well cleaning in J&K's Kupwara

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Srinagar, May 29 (IANS) Two persons were killed and three others injured while they were cleaning a deep well in J&K’s Kupwara district on Wednesday, officials said.

Officials said that the five were cleaning the deep well in the Dardpora village of Kupwara when they fell unconscious due to the lack of oxygen.

“A rescue operation was immediately launched and they were shifted to a hospital in an unconscious state. Doctors at the hospital declared two of them were dead on arrival while three others are being treated at the hospital,” an official said.

The two deceased were identified as Farid Ahmad Khoja and Bashir Ahmad Khoja while the injured are Safeer Ahmad, Qasim-ud-Din and Abdul Hameed.

Earlier on Wednesday, three persons fell into a well in the Budgam district and an operation was launched to rescue them.

–IANS

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In scalding heat, passengers at Nagpur station get a 'cool, misty' welcome

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Nagpur (Maharashtra), May 29 (IANS) As temperatures soar to 45 degrees Celsius in the Orange City, passengers and tourists at Central Railway’s Nagpur station are experiencing some degrees of cool comfort, thanks to a sophisticated mist cooling system, officials said here.

When hundreds of passengers alight at the Nagpur station’s three main platforms, they are greeted with a misty spray, making it a “cool welcome” in the blistering summer heat all over, and it is the only station in the country to have this facility.

Encouraged by the public response, the Central Railway (CR) is now planning to install similar cool mist systems at Wardha, Sewagram, Chandrapur, Ballarsha railwa stations by next summer (2025), said Senior Divisional Railway Manager at Nagpur, Aman Mittal.

The mist cooling system reduces the ambient temperatures on the platform by 6-8 degrees Celsius, thanks to evaporating water dispersed through nozzles placed at vantage points on the platforms.

The water is sprayed through a high-pressure pump, micro-filters, and a control system, with a network of pipes and fittings and specialised nozzles that direct the mist jets at the passengers, bringing a smile to their faces.

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“The mist system is a practical and eco-friendly cooling solution for the long and wide open-air platforms where installing air-conditioners is not feasible for various reasons,” Mittal told IANS.

The micro-filtration is the key to the cooling system’s efficiency, preventing nozzle blockages and reducing maintenance needs, while ensuring that it remains effective and reliable throughout the summer months, said the official.

“It is activated only during the summer months, when the trains arrive and there is a crowd of passengers. Nagpur has around 15-16 trains long-distance originating-terminating, plus another 40 through trains, with thousands of people on the platforms,” said the official.

The entire system is developed in-house by the CR and costs around Rs 14 lakhs per platform, proving a boon to the travelers sweating it out in roasting heat.

Besides, the misty cooling is designed for easy and affordable upkeep, long-term operations without a major cost burden on the CR as it consumes minimum energy.

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In addition to cooling, there are other benefits like improving the air quality on the platforms, reducing dust, smoke and other respirable particles and leading to a healthy environment for the passengers, Mittal added.

It has been installed without using additional space, seamlessly integrated into the existing platform infrastructure and has got good passenger reactions.

–IANS

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Delhi sizzles at 52.3 degrees Celsius as city records season's highest-ever temperature

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The national capital on Wednesday recorded its highest-ever temperature of the season as the mercury soared to 52.3 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.

The weather station recorded the temperature at Mungeshpur in north-west Delhi at 52.3 degrees Celsius.

Besides Mungeshpur, other locations in Delhi which recorded the season’s hottest day included Najafgarh (48.6 degrees Celsius), Narela (47.9 degrees Celsius), Pitampura (48.3 degrees Celsius).

Notably, a severe heatwave has been prevailing in most parts of north India, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and many parts of Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh for quite some days.

Rajasthan has also recorded extremely high temperatures over the past few days, with the mercury shooting beyond 50 degrees Celsius in regions like Phalodi.

Sirsa in Haryana also sizzled at over 50 degrees.

Delhi along with adjoining regions have been reeling under a severe heatwave for almost a week now.

However, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted some respite from searing heat from tomorrow.

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“Prevailing heatwave conditions over Northwest and Central India are likely to reduce gradually from Thursday (May 30),” the IMD said in a statement.

The IMD also said that the conditions continue to become favourable with the onset of monsoon during the next 24 hours and the advance of monsoon over some parts of northeastern states during the same period.

–IANS

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Man shot dead in his office in Delhi

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) A man, running a small fittings polish unit in east Delhi’s Welcome area, was shot dead in his office by two unidentified men on Wednesday, police said.

The deceased was identified as Suraj, 32, a resident of Harsh Vihar, whose unit is near the Ahlawat Building in Kabir Nagar, Welcome.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Northeast, Joy Tirkey said that Suraj was shot dead by two persons, who had come on a scooty.

“Suraj sustained four gunshot injuries. Police have registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Welcome police station,” he said, adding that police teams are scanning CCTV cameras in the area to identify the culprits.

–IANS

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June 4 will be 'big turning point' in building 'swarnim Bharat': PM Modi

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New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the next five years will play a decisive role in building a “swarnim Bharat” with the “big turning point” taking place on June 4 – the day results of the Lok Sabha elections are announced.

“Countries that gained independence along with us – many of them smaller in size and ordinary – have reached great heights. We had so much talent, skill and potential, a growing young population, but we kept falling behind,” said PM Modi while addressing an election rally in Mathurapur, his last in West Bengal during the ongoing 2024 elections.

Citing the transformation that has taken place over the last 10 years, he stated that the same India is now moving ahead with great speed and is being watched closely and praised by the entire world.

“For 60 years, the country was struggling in every sector… And, for the past 10 years, people have witnessed the progress that India is capable of making,” said PM Modi.

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The Prime Minister told the massive gathering that everyone in the world – be it the US, Australia, Japan or Europe – looks at India with respect now.

“You have made this happen, your one vote has given me the strength to hoist the Indian flag in the world,” he said.

As he addressed more public meetings in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj and Balasore later in the day, PM Modi continued to spotlight the progressive approach of his government, specifically listing improved sanitation facilities in villages and providing LPG connections, clean water, free food grains and medical treatment to people all over the country.

“India will become the third largest economic power in the world. In the next five years, we will witness an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in many sectors. We will see a complete transformation of highways, expressways, and railways. This will directly benefit our eastern regions, including Odisha,” assured PM Modi.

–IANS

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