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70 Bajrang Dal supporters arrested during Assam bandh

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 31 Oktober 2014 | 08.20

GUWAHATI: Normal life was on Friday partially hit in Assam during a 12-hour state-wide bandh called by Bajrang Dal.

Around 70 Bajrang Dal supporters were arrested from all over the state for allegedly trying to damage property during the bandh, police officers said.

Guwahati Senior Superintendent of Police Anand Prakash Tiwari told that 18 Bajrang Dal supporters were arrested from the city for trying to forcefully implement the bandh, which has been called to protest the alleged links between AIUDF and jihadis in Bangladesh.

He said bandh supporters tried to obstruct traffic at many places by burning tyres but police cleared them immediately and picked up the activists.

The BJP state unit has also extended its support to the bandh.

At Rangia in Kamrup district, 40 Bajrang Dal activists were arrested when they tried to stop railway workers from joining duty in the morning.

A senior police official said the Bajrang Dal supporters also attempted to block the Indo-Bhutan road at Sitara by allegedly burning tyres but they were arrested and the route was cleared.

The police resorted to mild lathicharge on protesters when they tried to block traffic and forcefully close some shops at Tezpur in Sonitpur district, a police officer said.

"Over 10 activists have been picked up," he said.

Although many business establishments were closed, government offices remained open in the capital city.

Fewer vehicles were on the roads.

Patrolling has been enhanced and additional security personnel posted in vulnerable areas.

Meanwhile, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal has denied the media report on the alleged link and termed it as "false, baseless and politically motivated."

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Samajwadi Party announces Rajya Sabha list, door shut on Amar Singh

LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday announced the names of six party candidates for the Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for next month.

The party's central parliamentary board at a meeting in the national capital cleared the names of Ram Gopal Yadav, Javed Ali, Chandra Pal Singh Yadav, Neeraj Shekhar, Ravi Prakash Verma and Tanzeem Fatima.

While Neeraj Shekhar is the son of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, Fatima is the wife of state urban development minister Mohd Azam Khan and Ram Gopal Yadav is the cousin of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Contrary to speculation, former party leader and outgoing Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh was not given a ticket though he had lobbied hard for it.

In the past few days he had met both Mulayam Singh and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. But Ram Gopal Yadav and Mohd Azam Khan were bitterly opposed to the re-entry of Amar Singh and their will prevailed in the end, party sources said.

However, in an anti-climax, while Azam Khan succeeded in exhibiting his political muscle within the party by getting the parliamentary party to name his wife, Tanzeem Fatima turned down the offer after thanking the national leadership of the SP.

Earlier too, the state government had offered Fatima a rank equivalent to a cabinet minister by naming her chairperson of the UP Higher Education Service Commission but she had then also turned down the offer.

Polling for 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh is scheduled November 20.

All six candidates of the SP, based on its strength in the state assembly, are likely to sail through comfortably.

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Muslim cleric joins BJP in J&K

JAMMU: A Muslim cleric joined the state unit of BJP on Friday among others ahead of the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Muslim cleric from Nowshera-Lam area, Imaam Ikhlaq Ahmed Nakshabani joined BJP at a function here which was attended by senior party leader and MLA Ashok Khajuria.

"It is after a very long that people have found a leader of high stature such as Narendra Modi and a party like BJP which has been attracting the masses for its sincere commitment for development and welfare of one and all".

"BJP did not work on region or religion lines but embraced every one, which is the reason for its growing popularity even among the Muslims," Nakshbandi said.

Addressing the gathering, Khajuria said, "BJP is a secular party. People have started realizing the false propaganda of Congress and other self-proclaimed secularists and are now coming closer to us."

Besides Nakshabani, state youth president of Shri Guru Ravidas Seva Samiti Narinder Kesar and state vice president Gujjar Bakerwal Welfare Association Mohammed Ayeb Chowdhary joined the party at the function organised to welcome them.

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Central railway services affected after overhead wire broken near Karjat station

KALYAN: The train services between Kalyan and Karjat route of Central railway affected after overhead wire broken between Bhivpuri and Karjat railway station on Friday evening.

The Kalyan GRP said that incident occurred at around 4.30pm on down line after which services on both up and down line were stopped for the repair work.

The incident has delayed local as well as long distance train on Central route. This is second incident in last two days raising problems of commuters as as on Thursday two coaches of Amravati express train were derailed near Kalyan railway station.

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CBI arrests BJD MLA Pravat tripathy, party suspends him

BHUBANESWAR: In a major embarrassment for the ruling BJD in Odisha, the CBI on Friday arrested senior MLA and former government chief whip Pravat Tripathy for alleged link with the Artha Tatwa Group, a ponzi company involved in the multi-crore chit fund scam.

"Tripathy, an MLA from Banki in Cuttack district, has been arrested in Artha Tatwa scam case on the charge of criminal conspiracy," sources in the CBI said adding the BJD MLA had allegedly received a huge sum from the AT Group.

Minutes after being arrested by the CBI, Tripathy was suspended from the BJD, party sources said.

Earlier, Tripathy was summoned to the CBI state headquarters here this afternoon and taken in custody after a brief interrogation by the investigating officer.

Tripathy was asked questions on how AT group chief Pradeep Sethy could get the best cooperator award in 2011 when he (Tripathy) was the president of the State Cooperative Society, sources said.

This apart, the CBI had also laid its hand on an audio CD containing certain conversation between Tripathy and Sethy, sources said.

This was the fourth time Tripathy was asked to appear before the CBI. On October 25, the last time he was at the CBI office, Tripathy was grilled for two and a half hours by the Central investigating agency.

This is Tripathy?s second appearance before the Central investigating agency after the Odisha High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on October 20.

The court had earlier given him interim relief on September 30 for about 20 days preventing his arrest by the CBI.

Tripathy's house was also raided in August by the CBI in connection with its probe into the chit fund scam. The BJD MLA had moved the Orissa High Court seeking interim bail which was also rejected.

Tripathy is the first politician and sitting MLA in Odisha to have been arrested by the CBI in the chit fund scam.

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Coast Guard ships to rescue fishing boats from Cyclone Nilofar

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 30 Oktober 2014 | 08.21

AHMEDABAD: Taking precautionary measures ahead of Cyclone Nilofar, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Thursday deployed its four ships at Porbandar coast to search and rescue fishing boats sailing along the Gujarat coast and to place them at the nearest safe harbours.

"Four Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ships Vijit, Meerabehn, Rajratan and Amritkaur fully equipped with search and rescue (SAR) equipments have been pressed into service from Porbandar today for search and rescue operations as well as shepherding fishing boats operating along the Gujarat coast to the nearest safer harbour," a statement issued from Indian Coast Guard's Gandhinagar headquarters said in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

However, Cyclone Nilofar which was earlier described as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) over the west-central Arabian sea, is now expected to make its landfall near Naliya in Kutch tomorrow as a "depression", an MeT Department release said.

The Indian Coast Guard is also quipped with aircraft to tackle any eventuality.

"Two daily air sorties are flown in search and rescue (SAR) configuration, while two Dornier aircraft and two ALH helicopters are also on standby at Porbandar," the Coast Guard statement said.

The Coast Guard has kept a logistics and medical contingencies plan ready for an immediate response.

Coast Guard stations have also been equipped with a power back up and sufficient fuel for alternate power supply for unhindered response during the cyclonic phase, it said.

Regular advisory for mechanised sailing vessels and the fishermen community for safe berthing and discontinuation of sea operations are being passed through seven radar stations along the Gujarat coast, Coast Guard aircraft and ships on patrol, it said.

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Noted poet Aziz Indori passes away

INDORE: Noted poet Dr Aziz Indori died in Indore on Thursday following a brief illness, family sources said.

He was 82. Indori complained of chest pain after which he was rushed to a private hospital where he breathed his last, they said.

He is survived by three sons and a daughter. Born in 1932, Indori penned 18 books and also translated some famous Urdu books in Hindi.

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Zambia in mourning for president as US urges peaceful transition

LUSAKA: Zambia holds a second day of mourning Thursday for president Michael Sata, who died in a London hospital, as his deputy Guy Scott becomes, pending elections, Africa's first white leader since South Africa's apartheid era.

US President Barack Obama led the international condolences, while urging the southern African nation to conduct "a peaceful constitutional transition of power as the country moves forward during this time of sorrow".

Even though officials had long denied he was sick, Sata, 77, died Tuesday while undergoing treatment in London's private King Edward VII hospital for an unspecified illness, the Zambian government reported.

Sata, nicknamed "King Cobra" for his sharp rhetoric, died only days after Zambia celebrated half a century of independence.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was "saddened" by the news of Sata's death and noted "Zambia's long record of smooth and orderly presidential transitions".

Officials had long denied Sata was sick, even prosecuting journalists who questioned his long "working vacations" to Israel and elsewhere.

Some Zambians responded to the news by asking why he died in an upscale foreign hospital and expressed anger over government secrecy, including claims he was going to London for a check-up.

"They were cheating," said Mundia Akapelwa, a young mother visiting Lusaka's Soweto market.

'You can't hide death' -

"They knew well that he was going to seek medical attention. You can hide sickness but you can't hide death. Now the whole world knows that the man has died in hospital."

In the hours following Sata's demise it was unclear who would lead the country, or his Patriotic Front party, which has been accused of creeping authoritarianism.

Sata had named Defence Minister Edgar Lungu as acting president before he left for Britain, despite doubts about the constitutionality of that move.

But it later emerged that Sata's deputy Scott, 70, will take the reins until elections are held within 90 days.

Scott — whose parents came from Scotland -- becomes the first white president of an African nation since FW de Klerk ruled apartheid South Africa more than 20 years ago until 1994.

But he is not eligible to stand in upcoming elections, thanks to a constitutional rule barring presidential candidates whose parents were born outside Zambia, a former British colony.

In an address to the nation Scott vowed to uphold the constitution and announced a period of mourning.

"We will miss our beloved president and comrade," he said.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki welcomed Scott's appointment as interim president until elections are held.

Station cleaner to president -

Sata was elected in 2011 to preside over his landlocked, southern African nation of 15 million people.

It was a triumphant post for a man who rose from sweeping London railway stations, through to being a policeman and trade unionist.

Once in power, though, he proved to be an authoritarian populist who inveigled against political foes, the media and sometimes even allies, earning him his snakey sobriquet.

His admirers saw him more as a no-nonsense man of action.

Sata had not been seen in public since returning from the UN General Assembly last month, where he failed to make a scheduled speech.

Even before Sata's death, analysts had said a power struggle for Zambia's top job was already well under way within the Patriotic Front.

They now face a divisive primary battle, before a possible general election challenge from former president Rupiah Banda, who is facing graft charges, has hinted at a possible return to active politics.

"I am legally eligible to stand," he told AFP early this month, citing calls from his supporters to return to the political fray.

Tributes to Sata -

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Sata "played a commanding role in the public life of his country over three decades."

African leaders also paid rich tributes.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta hailed him as an "outstanding son of Africa".

In London, the British flag over the parliament building was lowered to half-mast, a convention to mark the death of a Commonwealth leader.

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma said he was struck by Sata's commitment to improving the lives of his countrymen.

South Africa's ruling ANC party said: "Zambia has lost not only a president who prioritised the poor, but also led the Zambian government at a time when the continent is working to reclaim its place in the global governance and economy."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Zambian government,Uhuru Kenyatta,Rupiah Banda,Patriotic Front party,Patriotic Front

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Seven Bodo insurgents arrested on way to Myanmar

GUWAHATI: Seven Bodo insurgents, who were on their way to Myanmar for training, have been arrested here in Assam's main city and Dimapur town in Nagaland, police said on Thursday.

The arrested cadres are from the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) faction opposed to peace talks with the government.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) R M Singh said five cadres were arrested from Guwahati on Wednesday night, while two were later nabbed from Dimapur.

"All the arrested cadres are new recruits of the outfit and they were on their way to Myanmar for undergoing arms training at camps in the country," the police official said.

The NDFB's anti-talk faction, led by its leader I K Songbijit, has about 300 cadres at present. Police said it was carrying out fresh recruitment in Udalguri, Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam.

Meanwhile, George Lahiri, a 23-year-old cadre of the outfit, on Thursday surrendered before police. He handed over a pistol and four rounds of ammunition.

Police said he had joined the outfit in 2011 and underwent training in Myanmar for over two years.

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Sri Lanka says no hope of finding mudslide survivors

KOSLANDA: Hundreds of desperate Sri Lankan villagers dug with bare hands through the broken red earth of a deadly landslide on Thursday, defying police orders after a top disaster official said there was no chance of finding more survivors at the high-elevation tea plantation.

There were conflicting reports of how many people were missing in the slide, which struck Wednesday morning in the island nation's central hills after heavy monsoon rains.

Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the number of dead at the Koslanda tea plantation would be fewer than 100. But Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center — which Amaraweera oversees — reported 190 people missing.

Villagers, meanwhile, said the death toll could easily exceed 200.

"I have visited the scene and from what I saw I don't think there will be any survivors," Amaraweera told The Associated Press on Thursday. "But that number is less than 100."

Frustrated relatives who had watched the search from the sidelines tried to follow a politician into the search site but were stopped by police. However the politician argued with police and took villagers with him who joined hundreds of soldiers who were searching through the mud for survivors.

The search was suspended Thursday evening because of heavy rain.

Also Thursday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the disaster site and spoke to residents who are taking shelter in schools and temples. According to his website, Rajapaksa ordered officials to expedite rescue and relief for the victims.

Television footages showed Rajapaksa inspecting the disaster from the air and meeting with relief officials. Later he was seen distributing sleeping mats and boxes with essential items to the displaced people and consoling weeping men and women.

Amaraweera said the government had asked the National Child Protection Authority to take charge of children orphaned the disaster.

Many children had left for school before the slide Wednesday morning and returned only to see their homes buried with their parents. A government minister told Parliament that they have found 75 such children.

"The government will be fully responsible for them, we will not give them to anyone other than somebody from immediate family because they can be sent for child labor," he said.

A large number of children in Sri Lanka's tea plantations drop out of schools and work as domestic helpers or waiters in tea boutiques. Many times their parents themselves send their children to work due to poverty or alcoholism.

On Thursday displaced people spent their second evening crammed inside a dark, cold school classroom atop a misty mountain. Government officials had begun a survey of the dead and missing and doctors attended to the sick and wounded.

A 48-year-old truck driver who gave his name only as Raja said he lost all five members of his household — his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and his 6-month-old grandchild.

"I left for work early morning and got a call asking me to rush back because there was an earth slip near my home," Raja said, weeping. "I came back and there was no trace of my home, everyone was buried."

A local government officer familiar with the tea plantation said he believes 200-250 people may have been buried, based on the number of people usually in the area at the time. There were many houses, a big Hindu temple, a playground and two milk collection centers where farmers bring their milk for selling.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because government rules prevent him from speaking to the media.

The tea plantation in Badulla district about 140 miles (220 kilometers) east of Colombo was one of many in the higher altitudes of Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon, one of the world's leading producers of tea.

Most of Sri Lanka has experienced heavy rain over the past few weeks, and the Disaster Management Center had issued warnings of mudslides and falling rocks. The monsoon season here runs from October through December.

Vettiyan Yogeswaran, who lives on a part of the tea plantation that was not affected by the landslide, said authorities had warned people that the area was vulnerable to mudslides and they should move. But he said no housing alternatives were offered.

"There are 50-70 families living in my neighborhood in the bottom of a mountain. If a mudslide happens we all will be buried," Yogeswaran said. "We want to leave but we have not been given a proper alternative."

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