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PM Modi, CM Yogi to address inaugural rallies for Maha LS 1st phase polls today

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Nagpur (Maharashtra), April 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address his inaugural election rally in Maharashtra at Chandrapur here on Monday evening.

Similarly, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will also launch his poll campaign for Maharashtra with three back-to-back poll rallies in Wardha, Bhandara-Gondiya and Nagpur Lok Sabha seats for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s sitting MPs.

The PM will canvass for the NDA-MahaYuti-BJP nominee, state minister Sudhir Mungantiwar who has been fielded from Chandrapur — the sole seat which had withstood the BJP wave of 2019 and elected a Congressman, (the late) Suresh N. Dhanorkar.

The prime contest will be between Mungantiwar who is pitted against Dhanorkar’s widow, Pratibha S. Dhanorkar, a sitting MLA from Warora.

CM Yogi Adityanath will campaign in Nagpur for Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is making a bid for a hat-trick in the ‘orange city’ against Congress’ Vikas Thakre. The Congress candidate is being supported by Prakash Ambedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi.

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The UP Chief Minister will also campaign for Wardha sitting MP Ramdas Tadas also bidding for a hat-trick and pitted against the Nationalist Congress Party (SP)’s nominee Amar Kale.

CM Yogi Adityanath will address a rally in Bhandara-Gondiya for the sitting BJP MP Sunil B. Mendhe, who is trying his luck for a repeat performance and is locking horns with Congress’ Prashant Y. Padole and VBA’s Sanjay G. Kewat.

–IANS

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No fresh incident in Manipur's violence-hit Jiribam, BJP MLA raises concern on breach of CM's security

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Imphal, June 12 (IANS) No fresh incident was reported from Manipur’s violence-hit Jiribam district in the past 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday, while a key MLA of the ruling BJP raised concerns about the security breaches of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s advance security convoy on Monday and demanded an inquiry into this incident.

Police officials in Imphal said that combined security forces comprising Assam Rifles and state police commandos are continuing their strict vigil in Jiribam and adjoining areas, and no fresh incident was reported from the district, adjoining Assam, during the past 24 hours.

However, tension still prevails in the mixed-population district inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris, where a wave of violence broke out after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6.

A senior police official said that two police checkposts, a forest beat office, and at least 100 houses were set afire in Jiribam by attackers on June 7 and 8.

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The district administration has imposed a curfew in Jiribam and adjoining Tamenglong district for an indefinite period.

An official in Imphal said that Governor Anusuiya Uikey requested the Chief Minister to take all possible steps to bring the situation under control.

More than 940 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter in newly set up seven relief camps after the violence.

Jiribam had so far largely remained unaffected by the ethnic violence which has affected Manipur since May 3 last year, and the strife between Meiteis and Kuki-Zomi in several districts has so far claimed over 220 lives in both communities.

Over 1,500 people in both communities and over 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages in the over-a-year-long ethnic violence.

The rioting has also left thousands of houses, government and non-government properties, and religious structures destroyed or damaged.

Meanwhile, in the wake of suspected militants attacking the advance security convoy of the Chief Minister in Kangpokpi district on Monday, leaving one security personnel injured, BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh demanded action against the officials concerned. He also said that the state government should initiate an enquiry into the lackadaisical attitude of the officers who were given advance intelligence reports by the state government regarding the situation in Jiribam earlier this year.

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Singh, the son-in-law of Chief Minister Singh, in a post on X, said: “These officers should be held accountable for the loss of lives and property of all those affected and, pending such enquiry they should be suspended and strict action should be taken up against them as per procedures prescribed by law.”

“Along with their associate officers, they should also be held accountable for the ambush on the state police team heading as an advance cavalcade for the Chief Minister, which is also related to the Jiribam incident,” he said.

“As a Member of the Legislative Assembly of the state, I demand that the state government have the order issued immediately and fix responsibilities against all the officers and people involved, and further ensure that the people of Jiribam be given adequate security and allowed to continue living at the original place of residence sooner than later.”

–IANS

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BJP-led Odisha govt announces re-opening all four entry gates of Jagannath Temple

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Bhubaneswar, June 12 (IANS) Keeping its poll promise, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Odisha, in its first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, took the decision to re-open all the four entry gates of Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri for the devotees from Thursday morning.

The devotees were allowed to enter the 12th century shrine only through the main gate as the other doors have been closed since the Covid period.

Speaking to mediapersons, Odisha Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi said: “We have taken four important decisions in the first Cabinet meeting after the formation of the government. The four doors of the Jagannath temple have been closed for the devotees for the last couple of years. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised to open all the four doors in its election manifesto.

“Keeping in view the promise and the emotions of 4.5 crore Odia people, we took the decision that the council of ministers will visit Puri and ensure the doors open in the presence of the government,” Majhi added.

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He also announced the Cabinet’s second decision regarding the setting up of Rs 500 crore corpus fund for the conservation, preservation, proper management and development of the 12th century shrine.

CM Majhi also announced the decision of the cabinet to fulfill another major promise made by the BJP in its manifesto.

The party had promised to increase the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on paddy to Rs 3,100.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to introduce a new policy ‘Samrudhha Krushak policy’ to address different problems faced by the farmers and to ensure the payment of Rs 3,100 per quintal paddy.

The concerned department has been instructed to prepare guidelines in this regard.

The government will implement the proposal within 100 days after the receipt of detailed guidelines.

Majhi also told the mediapersons that the concerned department has been asked to prepare guidelines and a detailed framework for the implementation of the ‘Subhadra Yojana’, one of the major poll promises made by the party.

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The women beneficiaries will get a cash voucher of Rs 50,000 each which they can encash within a period of two years. CM Majhi said that this scheme will be implemented within 100 days of the formation of the government.

Besides, the BJP government brought joy to the journalists in Odisha by allowing their entry into the Lok Seva Bhavan, the state secretariat, after four years.

The previous BJD government has stopped the entry of journalists into the state secretariat since the Covid-induced lockdown in March 2020.

–IANS

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Haryana CM approves allotment of 976 'Khel' nurseries

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Chandigarh, June 12 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini on Wednesday approved the allotment of 976 ‘Khel’ (sports) nurseries in government and private schools and institutions under the Khel Nursery Scheme.

Previously, the government allotted 1,100 Khel nurseries each year. The number of nurseries has been increased to 1,500 from FY 2024-25, with about 500 of these nurseries being managed by government coaches on government infrastructure.

An official spokesperson said applications are invited annually from government and institutions, with the availability of a coach, adequate playground facilities, and the ability to accommodate up to 25 players who will receive scholarships. The selection process involves District Sports Officers conducting physical inspections of the applicant’s premises.

He said scholarships under this scheme are awarded at the rate of Rs 1,500 per month for players aged eight to 14 years and Rs 2,000 per month for players aged 15 to 19 years.

Additionally, coaches of these Khel nurseries receive an honorarium of up to Rs 25,000 per month.

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–IANS

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Policeman injured in third encounter in a day in Jammu division

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Jammu, June 12 (IANS) A J&K policeman was injured in terrorist firing in another encounter in J&K’s Doda district on Wednesday evening – the second in the district and the third in the Jammu division in the day.

Official sources said that terrorists fired at a checkpost of the J&K Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) in Gandoh village of the Bhalessa area in Doda.

“One policeman of the SOG was injured in initial firing by the terrorists. Security forces have now engaged the terrorists in sustained gunfire. Some terrorists are believed to be trapped inside the cordon that was laid immediately after the initial firing by the terrorists,” a source said.

Earlier, a terrorist and a CRPF jawan were killed in Seda Sohal village of the Hiranagar area of Kathua district. Security forces killed a terrorist in this area on Tuesday evening after surrounding the village on getting information about the terrorist firing, which left a villager injured.

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The second encounter took place at the Chattergalla area of Doda where terrorists fired at a joint ‘Naka’ (checkpost) of army and police, leaving five soldiers and an SPO injured. Security forces started a cordon and search operation in the area which is still underway.

–IANS

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Bengal school job case: ED, CBI attach assets worth Rs 161 crore so far

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Kolkata, June 12 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducting a parallel probe in the West Bengal multi-crore cash-for-school jobs case, have so far attached assets and properties worth Rs 161 crore in the course of its probe and searches in connection with the case, the ED counsel told the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday.

Justice Amrita Sinha was told that of Rs 161 crore, Rs 148 crore had been confiscated by the ED and the remaining Rs 13 crore by the CBI.

Of the Rs 161 crore attached property, assets worth Rs 7 crore belonged to a corporate entity whose name has surfaced repeatedly in the entire school job case as well as in the coal smuggling case in West Bengal.

When Justice Sinha asked whether the source of funds for purchasing that attached fund had been identified or not, the counsel of CBI submitted a report to a bench in a sealed envelope.

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Although the details of the contents of the report could not be known, the CBI counsel said that their officials had tracked the person who collected money in the school job matter, but the collection was on behalf of someone else.

On Wednesday, Justice Sinha expressed ire over the lackadaisical approach of a section of the central agency officials in carrying out the probe process.

She also asked the central agency counsel to ask their officers to be more careful in the process of investigation since this is a court-monitored probe.

Justice Sinha also expressed anguish over not much progress in the investigation in the matter which is in relation to the voice-sampling test of one of the prime accused in the case, Sujay Krishna Bhadra.

She also expressed ire over the delay on the part of the state government in submitting its own report in the school job case in West Bengal to her bench.

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She said the next hearing in the matter will be on July 30 and by then the state government should submit its report in the case.

–IANS

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