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BSP leader Mohammad Shami shot dead in Allahabad

Allahabad, 20 March: Breaking news from Allahabad, as Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mohammad Shami was shot dead by bike borne assailants last night.

According to media reports, the accused shot Mohammad Shami near his resident. Shami was also a history sheeter.

According to news, in the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, Mohammad Shami had contested against six times winner from the Kunda constituency Raghuraj Pratap Singh urf Raja Bhaiya.

FIR lodged against this murder and police started investigation.

Lalu Yadav told it was not Notbandi but Nasbandi by PM Modi

Varanasi: RJD Supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav also campaigning for Sapa and Congress in UP Election 2017. Today he sought to liken BJP-led NDA governments on last November demonetisation decision and also attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He told 'It was not notbandi but nasbandi carried out by the Modi government on crores of people, who were forces to stand in queue for withdrawing their own money from the banks.

Indre-Patna Express Derail, More than 100 dead


Kanpur, 20 November: The death toll in Indore-Patna Express tragedy has reached to 100, after the train derailed early morning on Sunday at the Hansi-Kanpur intersection near Pukhraya Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh. The accident happens today at 3.20 a.m.

Around 153 people have been injured and several bodies are still trapped under the wreckage of the mangled coaches.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have reached the spot and have swung into action with the police in pulling out bodies and providing aid to the victims.

Rescue operations have been underway since early morning and the death toll is expected to rise, Railway official said.

Almost 14 coaches of the train derailed in the see hours today causing the major accident resulting in the severe loss of lives.

Indian Railway has issued helpline numbers for assistance.

Helpline: Kanpur Rural DM Helpline No. 05111-271050;
Police: 05111-271577
Magistrate Hospital Duty: 9454416414

24 killed, over 60 injured in Varanasi stampede


Varanasi, Oct 15: At least 24 persons, including 14 women, were crushed to death and 60 injured in a stampede during a religious procession here on Saturday, police said. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ordered a magisterial probe into the incident even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi expressed grief over the incident.

The stampede occurred at around 1.30 p.m. at the Rajghat bridge in the Ramnagar area, as thousands of people, who had turned up at a religious congregation organised by disciples of the late spiritual leader Jai Gurudev, took out a procession.

Ramanagar police station incharge Anil Kumar Singh told IANS that 24 people were killed in the stampede and over 60 injured. However, state Director General of Police Javeed Ahmed said the death toll was 20. 

The toll may rise as the condition of several of the injured is said to be critical. The identities of the deceased is yet to be ascertained. 

District authorities said the number of seriously injured was 21 while over 80 people were discharged after primary treatment. 

Prime Minister Modi, whose parliamentary constituency is Varanasi, expressed grief over the incident and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each to the seriously injured. 

The Akhilesh Yadav government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased, while top police and government officials reached the site with state minister Surendra Singh Patel supervising the rescue operations.

Police attributed the stampede to the "impatience" among the participants due to the prevailing heat and humidity, and also noted that while the organisers had sought permission for the presence of around 3,000 people, nearly 80,000 had turned up. 

Varanasi Senior Superintendent of Police, Akash Kulhari said: "The participants were feeling uncomfortable in the heat due to which the stampede might have occurred."

He said that as the incident spot was on the district boundary with Chandauli, police from both areas had reached the spot for rescue and relief operations. 

An officer at the spot said that they were focussing on relief and rescue operations and "a probe will be ordered later to ascertain the exact cause of the tragedy".

Chandauli District Magistrate Kumar Prashant told IANS that an awareness camp for Baba Jai Gurudev was going on in Domri village, on the banks of the Ganga, in the district, and a large number of devotees from Varanasi's Pili Kothi area were on their way there when the stampede occurred.

He said that the injured had been admitted to hospitals where the condition of five was said to be critical. The deceased have not been identified yet, he added. 

Modi, who is in Goa for the BRICS Summit, took to Twitter to express his grief.

"Deeply saddened by the loss of lives in the stampede in Varanasi. I have spoken to officials and asked them to ensure all possible help to those affected due to the stampede," he tweeted.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi also expressed shock and grief over the deaths. 

Hoping that the authorities concerned were providing adequate medical relief and compensation to the victims, Sonia Gandhi also instructed party workers to provide all possible assistance to the people, a Congress statement said.

Rahul Gandhi, in a statement, said: "Shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the stampede in Varanasi. My heartfelt condolences to families of the victims of this tragic incident."

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that he inquired about the incident from Varanasi Divisional Commissioner and directed him to provide all possible help to those affected.

Akhilesh Yadav, who initially had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the dead, said, in a tweet, that it has been increased to Rs. 5 lakh. He also said that the Varanasi Divisional Commissioner has been asked to order a magisterial probe into the incident. 

Stones pelted at Shatabdi Express in UP, no one injured


Lucknow, Oct 12: Miscreants stoned the Lucknow Shatabdi Express train in Uttar Pradesh's Etawah on Wednesday, breaking glass panes of more than eight coaches though no passenger was injured, a railway official said.

The incident took place when the train was on its way from New Delhi to Lucknow in the morning. Unidentified persons started pelting stones at the train, which was in high speed, following which many window panes were shattered, the Northern Railways (NR) official said.

A probe has been ordered and the Etawah police has been asked to look into the matter. Etawah is the native district of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

The damaged coaches were sent back to New Delhi to be repaired, the official said. 

In the past too there have been several incidents of stone pelting in the area, specially on VVIP trains like the Shatabdi Express.

BJP has edge in UP polls with 170-182 seats: Survey


New Delhi, Oct 12: A survey ahead of the crucial 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections has given the Bharatiya Janata Party an edge, projecting it may emerge as the single largest party with at least 170 seats in the 404-member house.

The India Today TV-Axis survey said the BJP, as of now, was in a position to win 170-182 seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati 115-124 seats and the state's ruling Samajwadi Party 94 to 103 seats.

The Congress is likely to win only eight to 12 seats in the country's most populous state, according to the survey.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 71 of the 80 seats in the politically significant state.

The survey, however, claimed that 31 per cent of those surveyed rated BSP chief Minister Mayawati as their Chief Minister choice. 

Over 30 per cent respondents said that the Modi government at the Centre has not fulfilled many of its election promises.

In the 2012 assembly polls, the Samajwadi Party emerged the winner with 224 seats, followed by BSP with 80, the BJP with 47 and the Congress 28.

Modi's Dussehra arrow: Will decimate terror, its backers


Lucknow, Oct 11: In an obvious reference to Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the time had come to uproot terror and those who patronise terrorists.

Addressing a massive Dussehra gathering at the Aishbagh Ram Leela ground here, Modi said terrorism in all forms was anti-humanity and Hindu Lord Rama represented all that was human.

It was the Prime Minister's first public speech after the September 29 surgical strikes by the Indian Army at terror launch pads in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. 

He made no direct reference to the surgical strikes or to Pakistan that killed an unspecified number of terrorists but made it more than clear which country he had in mind.

"Those who spread terrorism need to be annihilated and those who aid terrorism will not be spared either," Modi said in a speech laced with references to Hindu religion. 

Modi said India was a country that respected both Lord Krishna who led the Pandavas in the war of Mahabharata and Mahatma Gandhi who propagated non-violence.

"We are the people who go from yuddha (war) to Buddha (peace). Sometimes war is necessary, but our path is not that of war, but that of Buddha.

"We create balance... I hope the path shown by Buddha will be our final path," he said.

The Prime Minister invoked Ramayana and asked people to keep a vigil against terror and fight it the way the vulture Jatayu fought Ravana in a desperate bid to try rescue the abducted Sita from the demon.

"We may not be able to become Ram, but we can all try and be Jatayu and give a befitting reply to the nefarious designs of terrorists," he said, beginning and ending his speech with loud cries of "Jai Shri Ram, Jai Jai Shri Ram".

"If a country of 1.25 crore keeps an eye on every terrorist activity, terrorists will never succeed," Modi said to loud cheers.

He said decades ago when India discussed terrorism, nobody paid heed.

The BJP veteran recalled how during a visit to the US years ago, American officials argued that terrorism was a law and order problem.

But all this changed after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US and the 2008 Mumbai carnage that left 166 people dead.

"Terrorism knows no religion, no boundaries." 

Modi earlier arrived to a grand welcome at the sprawling ground in the heart of Lucknow, the capital of election-bound Uttar Pradesh.

Accompanied by union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and other state BJP leaders, Modi performed 'aarti' of the characters playing Lord Ram and Sita and was later felicitated by the city Mayor Dinesh Sharma, the convenor of the 70-year-old Ram Leela.

The Prime Minister was gifted a silver mace, an arrow and a bow. A turban was tied on his head. 

Modi said effigies of Ravana had been burnt for centuries on this day but "we should rededicate ourselves today to demolish the evils within us as well".

Dussehra, Modi said, also meant to do away with 10 evils within humans and kill the Ravana within that raises its head in the forms of dishonesty, greed, filth, blind faith and ego.

He urged people to fight against female foeticide. "If for bringing dishonour to one Sita, Ravana can be burnt for ages, why not fight against killing girls in wombs."

Security heightened ahead of Modi's Lucknow Dussehra visit


Lucknow, Oct 11: Security was heightened in this Uttar Pradesh capital on Tuesday ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's participation in the Dussehra celebrations here, police said.

Other than deploying the companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF), traffic was also diverted and security set in place for the high profile event taking place in the Aishbagh locality. 

"Traffic diversions were put in place and commuters were informed in advance of the change in movement," an officer told IANS. 

Inspector General of Police (Lucknow) A. Satish Ganesh said that despite the security, every efforts was on to ensure that the citizen did not face any problem due to the extra precautions taken.

Convenor of the event, city Mayor and BJP national Vice President Dinesh Sharma informed that Modi would be witnessing the 'Ravan Vadh' during the Ram Leela programme.

People taking part in the celebrations would be allowed to enter the grounds between 3.30 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. Beyond that all entries would be stopped.

Modi along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor Ram Naik and the minister representing Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav would attend the event.

Following an 'aarti' of the actors essaying the mythological characters, Modi and Rajnath Singh would address the gathering.

Organisers informed that Modi would be gifted with a rare portrait of Hindu poet-saint Goswami Tulsidas and a copy of Ram Charit Manas among others. 

They also said that the event would be broadcast live.

The Ram Leela in Aishbagh will complete 70 years, but this would be the first time that such a high-profile dignitary will attend the event, Mayor Sharma pointed out. 

Some political leaders have questioned Modi's attendance at the event owing to the upcoming state assembly elections in UP but the BJP has denied any "political angle".

Ask Amit Shah about 'dalali', he used it first: Raj Babbar


New Delhi, Oct 10: Defending Rahul Gandhi's "khoon ki dalali" remark, UPCC chief Raj Babbar on Monday said it was BJP President Amit Shah who first used the term 'dalali' (brokering), so he should be questioned about it.

The actor-turned-politician, however, did not directly name Shah and instead called him "tadipaar" (banished) and "zila badar" (extern).

"In my view, this question should be asked to the one, whose physical weight is much, but his tongue and language have none... one who does not understand what kind of language he should use," Babbar said here in response to a query if Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's "khoon ki dalali" (trading in blood) remark was appropriate in the context of the army.

"It was he who first used the word 'dalali'," the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) chief added.

On further prodding as to who he was referring to, Babbar said: "I am referring to the 'tadipaar', to the 'zila badar', who is roaming around in Uttar Pradesh these days."

Gandhi, concluding his 'Kisan Yatra' in Delhi at Jantar Mantar on October 6, had accused Prime Minister Modi of playing politics over the blood of soldiers, who sacrificed their lives in Kashmir.

He had said: "Jo hamare jawan hain, jinhone apna khoon diya hai, Jammu-Kashmir mein khoon diya hai, jinhone Hindustan ke liye surgical strikes kiye hain, unke khoon ke peeche aap chhupe hain. Unki aap dalali kar rahe hain. (You are hiding behind the blood of our soldiers, who have given their blood in Jammu & Kashmir and those who carried out the surgical strike for India. You are trading in their sacrifices)."

Babbar's remarks came at a press briefing organised here to announce the joining of two former Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaders in the Congress party. 

Those who joined the Congress on Monday were Brijlal Khabri, former Member of Parliament and BSP National General Secretary, and Chaudhary Dhruvlal, three-time legislator who was expelled from the BSP three months ago.

Akhilesh backs Rahul's 'dalali' remark; SP too slams BJP's 'politicisation'

Lucknow, Oct 10: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday supported Rahul Gandhi's remarks accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing 'dalali' over the blood shed by Indian soldiers, while his Samajwadi Party also attacked the BJP over "politicising" last month's surgical strikes by the army across the Line of Control.

"If he (Gandhi) has said that, he must have said it after due thinking... he must have his reasons," Akhilesh Yadav said in reply to media queries on Gandhi's remark. 

"I visited some of the martyrs' houses... it is the poor who are dying. What do they know about surgical strikes," he said, adding that he shares cordial relations with Gandhi.

Addressing a rally last week, Gandhi had accused Modi of taking political mileage from the surgical strikes saying the Prime Minister was seeking to "profiteer" from the blood shed by Indian soldiers.

Observing that Gandhi's "choice of words could have been better", Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia stressed upon the "message" that Gandhi's remarks carried and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of politicising the surgical strikes carried on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. 

"The choice of words could have been better but the point is the message that he (Gandhi) has given through his statement and what Akhilesh Yadav is also referring to," Bhatia told India Today to a query if the UP Chief Minister was defending Gandhi's remark.

"When it comes to surgical strikes, all politcal parties, including the SP, supported the Prime Minister's decision and will do it in the future as well. But what is most unfortunate is the way BJP leaders have politicised the strikes and indulged in chest thumping, especially in poll-bound UP," he said, citing the recent visit of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Agra where he lauded the surgical strikes. 

"It is because of this chest thumping that the Prime Minister had to warn his party leaders. Hope they will listen to him," added Bhatia. 

The BJP, however, termed Akhilesh Yadav's defence of Gandhi as unfortunate. 

"The comments reflect the typical partisan biased mindset of Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party which is motivated by caste, creed, religion and electoral and political motivations. 

"Its unfortunate... political parties should refrain from indulging in politics over the armed forces. I think he (Yadav) should desist from defending such comments," said BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi. 

BJP desires 'Hindu Rashtra', Modi has failed, says Mayawati

Lucknow, Oct 9: BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday accused the BJP of trying to convert India into a "Hindu Rashtra" and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to fulfil his election promises.

Addressing a huge rally here, the four-time Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also accused the government of doing "natakbaji" over the army's surgical strike on terrorist launch pads on Pakistani territory.

The Sunday event was called to mark the 10th death anniversary of BSP founder and her mentor Kanshi Ram and comes ahead of assembly elections in the state early next year.

A stampede during the rally left two aged women dead and a dozen others injured, one of them critically, police sources said.

Calling for Dalit-Muslim unity in the country's most populous state, Mayawati accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to convert the country into a "Hindu Rashtra".

If Dalits and Muslims come together, it would be enough to defeat the BJP in the state, she thundered.

Accusing the BJP of spreading communal poison, she said Dalits were also being targeted in the name of cow protection. Crimes against minorities had shot up during Modi's rule. 

Mayawati was particularly harsh on the Prime Minister, accusing him of "busy converting black money into white".

Modi, she said, had done nothing but "fool" the people since taking power in May 2014.

"Modi sold a dozen dreams to the people in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls but has done nothing to deliver on them."

She also accused the BJP-led central government of using the Central Bureau of Investigation in an attempt to intimidate political opponents.

"The Modi government has connived with big industrialists and businessmen and is torturing small-time businessmen," she alleged. 

She accused Modi of making frequent foreign visits and said he had woken up to the threats from Pakistan only now.

Referring to the army's September 28-29 surgical strike across the Line of Control, Mayawati said the government was doing "natakbaji" in a bid to divert the people's attention from their problems.

In any case, she argued, this was not the first time an Indian government had ordered a surgical strike on Pakistani territory. 

Mayawati also targeted the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh and accused it of plundering the state coffers and letting loose criminals on the people. 

If the BSP formed a government, it would dramatically improve the law and order situation, she promised.

The BSP leader said that many of the projects completed by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were initiated during her earlier regime.

Mayawati did not spare the Congress either.

She said the Congress had done nothing for Dalits and weaker sections in the state. 

She warned Muslims that voting for the Congress or the Samajwadi Party would only benefit the BJP by dividing the anti-BJP votes.

Mayawati rally Lucknow, Two killed, dozen injured in stampede

Lucknow, Oct 9: Tragedy struck a huge BSP rally here on Sunday when two aged women were killed and more than a dozen others injured during a stampede, police said.

The incident happened when a large group was trying to force its entry from gate number 1 at the Kanshiram Smarak Sthal, the rally venue. 

The two women fell down in the melee and got crushed by others. The injured were taken to the Lokbandhu Hospital where the condition of one person was said to be critical.

Thousands gathered at the venue to attend the rally to mark the 10th death anniversary of Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram. 

A police officer blamed overcrowding for the tragedy.