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Latest Posts

‘Letter from LeT’ threatens to blow up railway stations

Ambala :
The station Director at the Ambala Cantonment railway station received a threat letter purportedly from LeT area commander Molvi Abbu Bukhari Kishtwar Kashmir, Karachi, Pakistan, to blow up railway stations and religious places in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The Director, BS Gill, found the letter on his table.

The letter cover did not bear the stamp of any post office. It appears that someone placed the letter on his table.

The letter written in Hindi talks about avenging atrocities against Muslims by Hindus and Sikhs. “On October 20, the ‘jihadis’ will blow up several railway stations including in Ambala Cantonment, Jagadhri, Saharanpur, Rewari, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Jakhal and Hisar. Besides, military camps, railway bridges and petrol pumps will be blown up in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh,” the letter reads.

There is a purported threat to blow up temples in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, and Saharanpur on November 10. The Director reported the matter to the Government Railway Police (GRP).

Shital Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, GRP, said: “An alert has been sounded. Someone placed the letter on the Director’s table. The CCTV footage will be analysed. Security agents and all officials have been directed to gather information.”

It is being suspected that it could be a prank of any railway employee.

To a query, the DSP said: “It could be a prank. Maybe some official had rebuked any railway employee and he may have sent the letter. The matter is being investigated.”

Sources say it is being suspected that the letter may have originated from Ambala. Officials failed to get any clue from the CCTV cameras installed at the railway station, as some of the cameras were not working and the remaining ones were not pointed towards the Director’s office.

A case was registered at the GRP police station under Sections 124-A, 153-A, 295-A and 505 (1) (b) of the IPC.

Divisional Railway Manager Dinesh Chand Sharma said, “The matter has been brought to the knowledge of the GRP and it is under investigation.” In the evening, a team of the bomb disposal squad inspected the railway station, while GRP staff carried out a recce and seized around 3-kg opium from a UP resident from platform number 7.

On October 12, 2011, 5-kg RDX was recovered from a car parked in the parking lot of the railway station.

Should this letter be taken seriously?

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Villages along Yamuna flooded again — twice in two months

Karnal :
Due to incessant rain in the past couple of days and water released at the Hathni Kund barrage, the water flow in the Yamuna rose alarmingly to around 2.5 lakh cusecs.

Acres of paddy, sugarcane, maize and other crops in Syeed Chapra, Japti Chapra, Nabiabad, Dabkoli Khurd, Kalsora and Halwana villages situated along the Yamuna bank have got flooded leading to loss to the farmers.

This is the second instance of flood in the villages along the Yamuna in the past two months. In July, hundreds of acres were waterlogged due to the rising water level of the Yamuna.

The farmers are demanding compensation for the loss. “My fields have witnessed flood twice in the past two months. The crop has been damaged totally,” said Ram Chand, a farmer. “I demand that the government compensates each and every farmer without considering the crop insurance scheme,” he said.

Now, the water level has started receding and the officials of the Irrigation Department are hopeful that it would come down by Wednesday morning.

Munish Sharma, XEN, Irrigation Department, said that so far, there was no serious threat.

Meanwhile, the district administration has asked revenue officials to assess the loss. Deputy Commissioner Aditya Dahiya said that the state government has already ordered special girdawari to determine the loss.

Is the cultivation affected by heavy rains?

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Gurukul girls allege sexual abuse, director nabbed

Hisar :
A month after some boys were sexually abused at a gurukul in Rohtak, a similar incident has been reported from an all-girl gurukul in Hisar district.

The police today arrested gurukul director Swami Krishnanand on the complaint of the girls, who accused him of sexual harassment and outraging their modesty.

The matter came to the light when some girls complained to their parents during their visit to the gurukul. Following the allegations, the village panchayat held a meeting on the gurukul premises this evening which was attended by the village sarpanch and other prominent persons of the village.

Sources said 10 girls, including minors, came forward and revealed their plight to the panchayat.

The panchayat members immediately called the police which took the director – a self-styled godman – in custody.

The police have started recording the statements of the victims. Sources said the girls alleged that the director used to call them to his room at odd hours and asked them to give a massage faking headache.

The gurukul was set up in 1995 and at present has 350 girls who reside on the premises. Some villagers tried to intervene during the panchayat held today to hush up the matter, but the girls refused to be silent on the issue.

Hansi SP Virender Vij said a case under Section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC and Section 10 (sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been registered against the director.

The police also contacted the woman principal of the gurukul who said she was out of station for the past two days.

Have the police done the right thing?

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Rain kills 2, damages kharif crop

Govt seeks report in 4 days | 3,500 plaints of crop damage received

Chandigarh :
Widespread rainfall across the state has resulted in damage to life and property as two persons died in Ambala while farmers’ hopes of having a bumper Kharif crop were dashed.

Meanwhile, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Capt Abhimanyu has sought a report on the damage to life and property from the DCs concerned within four days. “The special girdawari for crop loss would also be part of this report,” Capt Abhimanyu said.

In Ambala, one man was killed while one sustained injuries after the roof of a room collapsed in Jandli area on Monday. The deceased has been identified as Dharampal (45), while the injured has been identified as Prahlad (42). Manish (17), who was also inside the room, escaped unhurt.

Meanwhile, one woman was killed and seven people sustained injuries after a tree fell on a car near Garnala Village. Sources said the victims were on their way from Kot village in Panchkula to Jaggi Colony in Ambala to attend a bhog. As they reached the Ambala-Naraingarh road near Garnala Village, a tree fell down on their car and the driver lost his control over the vehicle, which went off road. The deceased has been identified as Kailasho Devi.

In Hisar, the continuous rain dashed the hopes of farmers to garner a good Kharif crop.

The farmers said the rain had done extensive damage to cotton, paddy, moong, gwar and bajra crop.

Om Prakash, a farmer of Kheri Barkhi village, said he had lost around two acres of cotton crop due to rain. “I expected a good crop this year. The rain, just at the nick of time when the plucking season is about to start, has completely damaged the crop”, he said.

The Agriculture Department has, however, stated that cotton crop had suffered around 40 per cent loss while paddy crop had suffered around 15-20 per cent loss. Bajra, moong and gwar crops were the worst affected with more than 50 per cent loss due to rain.

Vinod Phogat, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Hisar, said reports were still being compiled from the field. “We have received 3,500 complaints of damage to crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna”, he said.

A report from Karnal said heavy rain had put paddy farmers in distress as the standing crop had been flattened across the district. As per the authorities, the early or short-duration varieties suffered the most. The farmers have demanded compensation for the losses. Meanwhile, as many as 300 farmers have approached the Agriculture Department to assess the loss due to rain and demanded compensation under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

The reports of flattened crop have been received from almost every part of the district, said Aditya Dabas, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Karnal. He said early and short-duration varieties, like PUSA-1509 and PR varieties, were the most affected. As of now, the loss has been estimated to be around 15 to 20 per cent and if the situation remained the same in the coming days, it could increase further.

Rishpal Malli, a farmer of Bodsham village, demanded compensation and said his entire paddy crop had been flattened.

In Kurukshetra, the agriculture authorities feared losses of up to 10 per cent.

Karamchand, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Kurukshetra, said the DC had held a meeting on Monday in which the officials were directed to expedite loss assessment exercise.

A field study to assess the damage would be completed in four- five days. Preliminary feedback from various blocks in the district had indicated that about 25 per cent area under paddy cultivation was inundated, he added.

Is this raining hard this time?

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Rs 22 cr released to renovate school buildings in Jhajjar

Jhajjar :
The state government has finally released a sum of Rs 22 crore for renovation of buildings of 57 government schools in the district. Most of the buildings are in a bad shape and the school heads had been demanding their repair since a long time.

As per sources, the government schools located in Kheri Khummar, Patoda, Badli, Aachhej Pahadipur, Silani and Dharana villages would be covered under the first phase of the renovation work while a survey is underway to find out other buildings in need of renovation.

The district authorities have also directed the school heads not to conduct classes in the rooms or buildings declared unsafe. They have also been asked to take steps to restrict students from going in the unsafe rooms to prevent any untoward incident.

The issue of the dilapidated buildings had been raised in these columns prominently some days ago. The report exposed how buildings of 60 government schools in Jhajjar were declared unsafe three months ago but neither were the schools provided new buildings nor were they demolished even though incidents of roof collapse had been reported from three schools. The report also revealed that 14 rooms of Government Senior Secondary School in Kheri Khummar were declared unsafe four years ago but no further action had been taken in this regard, threatening the students playing around the rooms.

The Haryana Human Rights Commission also took a suo moto action on the report and sought reply from Principal Secretary, state Education Department, and Deputy Commissioner (DC), Jhajjar, in this respect within six weeks.

DC Sonal Goel said Rs 22 crore had been sanctioned under the CM announcements. “A proposal has also been moved to the head office on the basis of a departmental report for renovation of the remaining schools in the district,” she added.

Satbir Siwach, DEO, said they, along with the PWD officials, had recently conducted a survey of all government schools in the district and found no dearth of rooms in any of these.

For students’ safety

First phase to cover schools in Kheri Khummar, Patoda, Badli, Aachhej Pahadipur, Silani and Dharana villages while a survey is underway to find out other buildings in need of renovation.

School heads directed not to conduct classes in the rooms or buildings declared unsafe. They have also been asked to take steps to restrict students from going in the unsafe rooms to prevent any untoward incident.

Did the government do this right thing?

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