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Postal ballot figures in Bengal indicate state govt employees' dissatisfaction with Trinamool

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Kolkata, June 7 (IANS) The unpaid dearness allowance (DA), at par with the Central government employees, and the accrued arrears seem to have impacted the popularity of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress among the state government employees as is evident from the votes cast through postal ballots in the state.

Although the BJP won 12 Lok Sabha seats, they were ahead in 16, if figures of only postal ballots, where a large section of the voters are state government employees, are considered.

Another interesting phenomenon that has surfaced from the postal ballots, as per the data available with the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), is that the BJP candidates were defeated in some constituencies where the postal ballots gave them substantial leads. Similarly, there were constituencies where Trinamool Congress candidates were defeated but were ahead as per postal ballot figures.

The BJP was ahead in postal ballots from Cooch Behar, Raiganj, Balurghat, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Maladaha-Uttar, and Maladaha-Dakshin in north Bengal and Ranaghat, Purulia, Murshidabad, Medinipur, Krishnanagar, Bangaon, Tamluk, and Baharampur in south Bengal, and Trinamool in the remaining 26 constituencies. There was no constituency where any Congress-Left Front alliance candidate was ahead in postal ballots.

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–IANS

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Bridge over Gandak canal collapses in Bihar's Siwan

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Patna, June 22 (IANS) A bridge on the Gandak canal collapsed in Bihar’s Siwan district on Saturday.

The incident occurred just a few days after a bridge collapsed in the state’s Araria district on June 18.

The one-pillar bridge, connecting Pateda and Kanauli villages in the Maharajganj sub-division which was built 45 years ago, collapsed around 5 a.m.

“The bridge was constructed through public contribution. It collapsed due to the negligence of the district administration,” said Mohammad Naim, a villager.

“The state government should make alternate arrangements to connect the affected villages. Around 20,000 people will be affected by it. Shockingly, no one from the district administration came here to inspect the bridge,” he said.

–IANS

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Mizoram to implement three new criminal laws from July 1

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Aizawl, June 22 (IANS) The Mizoram government has taken a series of initiatives including training of Police personnel, church leaders, students and NGO functionaries, to implement the three new major criminal laws from July 1, officials said on Saturday.

A senior Mizoram Home Department official said that the state government has taken various steps to ensure the smooth implementation of the three new criminal laws — Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA).

The Union Home Ministry has earlier announced that the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act would be repealed and replaced by the BNS, the BNSS and the BSA on July 1.

The official said that over 1490 Police personnel from various districts of Mizoram were trained about the new criminal laws.

Besides providing training to 93 per cent of the Police staff and supervisory officers, training had also been conducted for 1965 people comprising church leaders, students and functionaries of various NGOs.

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The state government also constituted five new committees under the Police Headquarters level to deal with legal issues, technology upgradation, training, digital investigation and financial implications.

“These committees studied the various needs and requirements and made suggestions and recommendations based on these studies to ensure successful implementation of the new laws,” the official said.

The training programmes were conducted with the cooperation of the Bureau Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Mizoram Law College, and the Forensic Science Laboratory.

An official statement said that forensic investigation training is also being conducted and is expected to be completed by June 28.

Training for Judicial Officers and Public Prosecutors is to be jointly conducted by the Government of Mizoram and the Gauhati High Court from June 24 to 29, in which the training will be imparted by the Judicial Academy, Assam.

Training had also been conducted for Jail Superintendents and Jailors and Assistant Jailors on June 13-14.

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Officials said that those who have completed training are themselves expected to spread awareness and sensitisation among the general public as well as police personnel, and awareness videos on the quintessence of these new laws have also been prepared both in English and Mizo languages.

An instruction manual for videography and photographs while recording a statement and conducting an investigation on FIR, Zero FIR and e-FIR has been prepared.

Mizoram Police has bought four forensic vans, which have been stationed at Aizawl, Lunglei, Champhai and Kolasib districts.

Mizoram government has approved the implementation of Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS) and the Law and Judicial Department issued the notification on Friday.

–IANS

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Atal Setu ramp repair work in full swing, to be completed tonight: MMRDA

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Mumbai, June 22 (IANS) The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said on Saturday that the repair work on the approach ramp to the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), also known as the Atal Setu, is in full swing and will be completed by tonight.

After a detailed inspection by the MMRDA’s operation and maintenance teams, the work started on Friday night despite heavy rain and has continued since then in full swing.

Built at a cost of Rs 17,840 crore, the six-lane bridge is 21.8 km long with a 16.5 km sea link connecting South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

In the past couple of days, there was speculation that the Atal Setu had allegedly developed cracks following which Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole went to the spot for an inspection on Friday.

Meanwhile, the MMRDA has reiterated that “the cracks on the approach road from Ulwe (Navi Mumbai side) are minor and located along the edge of the road”.

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It added that the re-patch work on the cracks — detected at three locations — has been taken up without disrupting the MTHL traffic.

The MMRDA also said that contrary to the rumours, the cracks are not on the MTHL bridge, but on the approach ramp towards Mumbai on the Navi Mumbai end.

“The cracks on Ramp 5 are minor longitudinal cracks in the asphalt pavement and do not indicate any structural defects,” the MMRDA said.

The repair work has been taken up by the Package 4 contractor (Strabag Infrastructure & Safety Solutions GmbH and Strabag AG.

On Friday evening, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a post on X: “There is no crack on Atal Setu, nor is there any danger to Atal Setu. This is a picture of the approach road. But one thing is clear – Congress has made a long-term plan to create a ‘rift’ with the help of lies… Only the people of the country will defeat this ‘daraar’ plan and the corrupt behaviour of the Congress…”

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After visiting the bridge on Friday, Patole claimed that barely six months after the Atal Setu was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (on January 12), cracks have appeared on it and a half-kilometre stretch of the road on the Navi Mumbai side has sunk by around one foot.

He pointed out that the government spent Rs 18,000 crore for the MTHL with loans, and “this is not development but sheer corruption, and the state government is filling its own pockets while playing with the lives of the people”.

–IANS

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Infiltration bid foiled on LoC in J&K’s Uri sector

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Srinagar, June 22 (IANS) Security forces on Saturday foiled an infiltration bid on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir’s Uri sector.

Officials said that the security forces, including the Army, foiled the infiltration bid in Uri’s Gohallan area in Baramulla district.

The officials said, “A group of terrorists was noticed by the security forces trying to sneak into this side of the LoC in the Gohallan area of Uri. The group was challenged by the security forces. The infiltration bid was foiled.”

Further details on this are awaited, said officials said.

Terrorist activities have increased during the last fortnight in J&K. The intelligence agencies are attributing this to the last-ditch efforts by the terrorists to derail the peace in J&K.

With the Centre to soon begin the process of holding the Assembly elections in the UT, the terror elements are trying to create disturbances.

–IANS

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Forest officer hacked to death in Karnataka, 5 arrested

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Yadgir, June 22 (IANS) A forest officer was hacked to death by drunkards after they were asked to lower their voice in Karnataka’s Yadgir district on Saturday.

Five people have been arrested in connection with the incident that occurred on June 5 at Motagi Bar and Restaurant in Shahapur town.

The deceased was identified as Mahesh Kanakatti, a forest officer from Shahapur.

The arrested accused are identified as Raju, Rekhu Naik, Tara Singh, Narasing and Prakash.

Kanakatti had gone to the restaurant, where the drunkards were yelling and creating a ruckus.

As Kanakatti asked the drunkards to lower their voice, an argument ensued during which they attacked him with a wooden log and kicked him.

As Mahesh became unconscious, the accused escaped from the spot.

Later, Mahesh succumbed to his injuries.

The police, after verifying the CCTV footage, identified the accused and arrested them.

Details are awaited.

–IANS

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