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Four Bengal cops removed by ECI before LS polls reinstated in their posts

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Kolkata, June 11 (IANS) Four senior police officers in West Bengal, who were replaced by the Election Commission of India (ECI) before or during the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, were reinstated in their posts by the state government on Tuesday.

The four officers include Aminul Islam Khan, an SDPO in the Basirhat subdivision under which the Sandeshkhali police station falls.

Before the Lok Sabha elections, there were several complaints against Khan from the BJP, with the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari accusing the SDPO of acting on behalf of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

The ECI not only removed Khan from the post but also ordered his transfer to any position that was not linked to elected-related duty.

The other officers to be reinstated on Tuesday are the DSP of Howrah Rural Police, Amitabha Konar, SDPO of Kanthi subdivision, Dibakar Das, and the DSP of Darjeeling, Azharuddin Khan.

Sources in the state Secretariat said the process of reinstating bureaucrats and police officers transferred by the ECI started on Monday with the erstwhile District Magistrate of East Midnapore, Joyoshi Dasgupta.

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“Gradually, almost all the officers who were replaced by the poll panel will be reinstated in their original positions,” said a senior member of the state Cabinet, who did not wish to be named.

–IANS

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Union ministers Jaishankar, Puri pay tributes to victims of Kanishka bombing on 39th anniv of terror attack

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New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) Union Ministers S. Jaishankar and Hardeep Singh Puri paid homage on Sunday to the over 300 victims of the Air India ‘Kanishka’ flight bombing, commemorating the 39th anniversary of the terrorist attack.

In a post on X, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar expressed his condolences, stating, “Today marks the 39th anniversary of one of the worst acts of terrorism in history. Pay my homage to the memory of the 329 victims of AI 182 ‘Kanishka’ who were killed on this day in 1985. My thoughts are with their families. The anniversary is a reminder why terrorism should never be tolerated.”

Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, also took to X, sharing images of his tribute.

He remarked, “My homage to 329 victims of Air India ‘Kanishka’ Flight 182. This dastardly bombing on 23 June 1985 remains one of the most reprehensible acts of terror committed against India.”

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Puri further condemned the ideology behind such attacks, stating, “Actions anchored in such extremism have no place in a sane & civilised world. Unfortunately, the systems & mindsets that condoned Kanishka bombing & subsequent acts of terrorism continue to find forces & sympathisers violating international norms & commitments to combat violent extremism & terrorism.”

The Air India Flight 182, en route from Montreal to New Delhi, exploded 45 minutes before it was scheduled to land at Heathrow Airport, London, on June 23, 1985.

All 329 people on board, mostly Canadians of Indian descent, lost their lives.

The bombing was attributed to Sikh militants, believed to be retaliating against ‘Operation Bluestar,’ a 1984 Indian Army operation aimed at removing terrorists holed up inside the Golden Temple with arms and ammunition.

–IANS

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Yogi govt to plant 350 million saplings this year

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Lucknow, June 23 (IANS) The Yogi Adityanath government plans to plant 350 million saplings this year to expand Uttar Pradesh’s green areas.

The goal is to increase the state’s green cover from 9 to 15 per cent by 2026-27 with public cooperation.

Specific targets have been set for all departments and divisions in the state-wide campaign. The Yogi government has also directed proper preparations to ensure the availability of high-quality saplings for all stakeholders.

As in the previous year, this year, preparations have begun for a safe plantation and the achievement of the target.

The goal is to plant 350 million saplings, with specific targets assigned to various departments: 140 million from Forest, Environment, and Climate Change, 125.9 million from Rural Development, 25 million from Agriculture, 15.5 million from Horticulture, 12.8 million from Panchayati Raj, 10.6 million from Revenue, 3.5 million from Urban Development, 1.8 million from Higher Education.

Besides, 1.3 million saplings each will be planted by Public Works, Railways, and Water Power, 1.2 million from Basic Education, 1.1 million from Health, 900,000 from Industry, 800,000 each from Industrial Development and Secondary Education, 700,000 each from Home-Animal Husbandry, 600,000 each from Energy and Cooperation, 500,000 each from Housing Development, Defence, and Technical Education, and 300,000 each from Labour and Transport.

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Under the campaign, saplings will be planted in all 18 divisions.

Targets for all have been fixed. Lucknow division has been given the target of planting the maximum number of saplings.

Four crore saplings will be planted in the Lucknow division, 3.13 crore in Kanpur division, 2.76 crore in Chitrakoot, 2.58 crore in Jhansi, 2.27 crore in Mirzapur, 2.20 crore in Ayodhya, 1.95 crore in Devipatan, 1.89 crore in Prayagraj, 1.87 crore in Bareilly, 1.78 crore in Varanasi, 1.76 crore in Moradabad, 1.74 crore in Agra, 1.43 crore in Gorakhpur, 1.34 crore in Azamgarh, 1.20 crore in Aligarh, 1.14 crore in Meerut division, 1.08 crore in Basti and 88 lakh in Saharanpur division.

There will also be geo-tagging of plantation sites. The Forest Department will plant 12.60 crore saplings in the divisions, and other departments will plant around 22.40 crore saplings.

The Yogi government has directed officials to plant trees statewide to turn Uttar Pradesh green.

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Trees will be planted on forest land, village panchayat and community land, around expressways and canals, on land owned by development authorities and industrial complexes, on defence and railway land, on medical and educational institution grounds, on other government properties, on private farmland with farmers’ cooperation, and by citizens on their private premises.

–IANS

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Under-construction bridge collapses in Bihar's East Champaran

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Patna, June 23 (IANS) An under-construction bridge collapsed in Bihar’s East Champaran district in the wee hours of Sunday.

The incident occurred in the Ghorasahan block in the district. The construction of the bridge was underway under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana with a cost of Rs 1.59 crore. The 40-foot-long bridge was built between the Amwa village of Ghorasahan block and the Chainpur railway station.

Locals claimed the concretisation of the bridge was taking place late on Saturday night. As soon as the concretisation was done, it collapsed.

The bridge was built by Motihari’s Dhiraj Construction Private Limited. The foundation stone of the bridge was laid by Rama Devi, former BJP MP of Sheohar, on March 10 this year.

“The bridge is being constructed in two spans. The concretisation of the bridge was done from one side on Saturday. After that, last night dozens of anti-social elements came at the construction site in some vehicles and broke the support of the bridge. Due to this, the bridge collapsed. The administrative officer has been informed about this,” said SN Mandal, Executive Engineer, PWD Dhaka sub-division of East Champaran district.

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Meanwhile, the villagers claimed that the material being used in the construction of the bridge was of low quality. The bridge is not being constructed as per the estimate. As a result, it collapsed along with the casting.

“The bridge collapsed due to the irregularities being done in the construction. A high-level investigation is needed here. The engineer is using low-grade materials for the construction of the bridge. This is the reason why the bridge collapsed,” said Deepak Kumar Singh, a villager.

Earlier, a 30-foot-long bridge built on the canal of the Gandak River in Siwan collapsed on Saturday. That bridge was 40-45 years old. People said that the bridge collapsed due to soil cutting during the cleaning of the canal.

Last week, another bridge built with an estimated cost of Rs 12 crore in the Sikti block of Araria collapsed before its inauguration.

–IANS

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Woman ends her life after poisoning minor sons in UP

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Hamirpur, June 23 (IANS) In a shocking incident, a woman allegedly poisoned her two minor sons to death and then committed suicide after a fight with her brother in Muskara in the Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to the family members, Mohini, 26, had a love marriage against the wishes of her family, but was presently living separately from her husband.

Recently, following a fight, her brother had rebuked her and asked her to go back to her husband’s place.

On Saturday evening, she forcibly fed eatables laced with poison to both her sons and then committed suicide by consuming the same.

Police, on being informed, rushed to the spot and shifted all three bodies to the mortuary for post-mortem examination.

Her family members said that Mohini had a love marriage with Hemant, a resident of Kachhuwa village in the Rath area, ten years ago.

“It came to fore that due to frequent disputes between the husband and wife, she had been staying in Noida for the last two years with her two children Gautam, 5, and Harsh, 3, and was earning her living by working as a daily-wager. Last week, she came to her parents’ house in Bandwa from Noida,” the family members said.

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After coming to her maternal home, she had a fight with her brother Golu who asked her to leave the house and go back to her husband’s place.

On Saturday evening, she told her mother and other siblings that she was going to Noida with her two children but instead of going to Noida, she along with her children committed suicide by consuming poison near the premises of Bank of Baroda in the area.

Police station in-charge Shashi Pandey said, “The matter is being investigated thoroughly. Action will be taken against the culprits on the basis of a complaint and autopsy report.”

–IANS

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BJP activist’s body with multiple injuries found in Bengal’s Birbhum

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Kolkata, June 23 (IANS) Tension prevailed in the Birbhum district of West Bengal on Sunday after the body of a local BJP activist with multiple injuries was found on the railway tracks between Nalhati and Chatra railway station.

The deceased activist has been identified as Pradip Mal, a resident of Paikpara village under Nalhati Police station and a Toto-driver by profession. His family members have informed the local police that the deceased person went out of his residence early in the morning without telling anyone where he was going.

As hours passed and he did not return, the family members started searching for him and finally his body was recovered from the railway tracks. His body has been sent for post-mortem while the police have started the investigation.

The local police said that there is a possibility of his death after being hit by the passing train however BJP’s Birbhum district president Dhruba Saha has demanded a proper investigation.

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“There was tension in the area where he lived before the Lok Sabha polls. He was a very active and dedicated party worker. I heard that the local Trinamool Congress leadership is trying the spread information that the death was a result of suicide. I am demanding a thorough investigation in the case,” Saha said.

–IANS

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