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BJP resonates in Bodoland as EC announces dates

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With the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) elections on the cards, the BJP is pushing hard to oust the 15-year-old Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) leadership from its home turf, after an informal fissure in the BJP-BPF coalition owing to election priorities.

The BJP has blown the poll bugle with high voltage serial campaigns by a heavyweight contingent led by Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is construed to be the ‘Chanakya’ of the saffron party in the Northeast.

Addressing mass rallies at different target constituencies in the BTR region, the BJP has kickstarted its coup against the incumbent BPF, slamming their reign as one fraught with mismanagement, misappropriation of public funds and political violence, including motivated murders.

Sharma was also harsh on the BPF on the grounds of depriving the non-tribals in the region of their rights, along with massive embezzlement of land rights in the territory. He added with an informative tone that the government in Dispur has dispatched chunks of funds and freebies for the development of the BTR populace, but a lot of that has been siphoned off by political goons operational in the area.

Meanwhile, retaliating against the BJP, BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary has quashed all accusations levelled against him, asserting that the BJP has no base in BTR and that the BPF will stage a comeback with 25-30 council seats.

With the BJP and the BPF engaged in a war of words, the political dynamics in BTR is on the boil, more prominently after Sharma landed on the election discourse himself, creating ripples in the already troubled waters of the BPF.

BTR is all set to witness the clash of the titans with elections scheduled on the 7th (First Phase) and 10th of December (Second Phase). The counting of votes has been slated for 12th December, from 8 am. Major political parties, including the BJP, BPF, UPPL, Gana Suraksha Party, Congress and AIUDF, have fielded their candidates for the council elections. These elections will prove to be a litmus test for all these parties before the upcoming 2021 Assembly elections in Assam.

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Lt Governor-headed committee to monitor Covid-19 vaccination in Puducherry

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Puducherry [India], February 25 (ANI): A 22-member COVID Intensive Vaccination Committee led by Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has been constituted in Puducherry to monitor and upscale the inoculation activities in the Union Territory.
In a letter, Lt Governor asked the committee to meet once a week to discuss the progress and to plan future actions.
The committee shall access the gaps in implementation, she ordered. It shall adopt methodologies in upscaling the COVID vaccine and also review the awareness and outreach of the programme.
Puducherry has reported 39,656 COVID cases so far.
The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in India will begin from March,1 in which people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday. The minister said that those who would take the vaccine at private centres will have to pay from their own pocket. (ANI)

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Earthquake of magnitude 3.3 hits Manipur

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Ukhrul (Manipur) [India], February 25 (ANI): An earthquake of magnitude 3.3 on the Richter scale hit Manipur’s Shirui on Thursday, informed the National Centre for Seismology (NCS).
According to the NCS, the quake occurred at 9.19 am today.
“Earthquake of Magnitude: 3.3, Occurred on 25-02-2021, 09:19:01 IST, Lat: 25.21 & Long: 94.37, Depth: 48 Km, Location: 10km NNW of Shirui, Manipur,” tweeted NCB.
Earlier today, an earthquake of magnitude 2.4 on the Richter scale hit Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba at 3.55 am. (ANI)

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Navy sailor death case: Police probing suicide angle

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 25 (ANI): Maharashtra Police is probing the suicide angle into the death of the Navy official who succumbed to his burn injuries in Palghar, on February 6, said Dattatray Shinde, Superintendent of Police, Palghar on Wednesday.
“We found that Suraj Kumar Dubey (27) had invested money in the share market and took a loan which he couldn’t repay. To escape from this situation, we suspect he made up his abduction story,” said the SP.
He said that during the investigation, police found CCTV footage of the Dubey buying fuel at a petrol pump.
“We’re probing into the suicide angle. Before his death, he gave a statement against three persons who abducted him from Chennai airport at gunpoint and later burnt him alive in jungles of Vevaji in Palghar, Maharashtra,” Shinde added.
Dubey, a Navy official succumbed to burn injuries on February 6.
Police had earlier said, “Dubey was kidnapped from near the Chennai airport and taken to the jungles of Vevaji in Palghar. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh to release him, but the demand was not fulfilled by the kin of the Navy official. Enraged at this, the kidnappers set the man on fire and left him to die in the jungle.”
Based on Dubey’s statement before his death, the police had filed a case against three unidentified persons. (ANI)

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One held by Central Crime Branch in Bengaluru, 1.2 kg gold seized

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 25 (ANI): Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested one person for allegedly possessing gold jewellery illegally worth over Rs 60 lakh.
“CCB, Bengaluru arrested a notorious habitual offender and seized 1.280 kilograms of gold jewellery – worth Rs 61 lakh, one pistol and five bullets from his possession,” Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Thursday.
A case has been registered and further investigation is underway.
In another case on February 23, the CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals for alleged drug peddling in the Indiranagar area here.
“CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals on charges of drug peddling and seized 56 ecstasy pills from them in Indiranagar,” the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Tuesday. (ANI)

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Forest department rescues wild bear from abandoned pit in Odisha’s Nabarangpur

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Nabarangpur (Odisha) [India], February 25 (ANI): A wild bear that fell into an abandoned 20-feet deep pit was rescued after almost 20 hours by the Forest Department in Odisha’s Nabarangpur on Tuesday.
The ten-hour long operation by a team of forest officials started in the morning and ended in the evening.
According to a forest official: “A team reached the spot on Tuesday morning after getting the information from the villagers. The 10-hour long operation succeeded in capturing the animal. The bear was later released into the wild after medical examination. (ANI)

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Samyukt Kisan Morcha writes to President, seeks unconditional release of arrested farmers

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Samyukt Kisan Morcha has written to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding the immediate release of farmers arrested during the ongoing protests against Central agri laws and the removal of “false cases” against them.
A memorandum or letter to the President on Wednesday by Samkyukta Kisan Morcha read, “Regarding the unconditional release of innocent farmers lodged in jails during the farmers movement and cancellation of false cases and notices issued.”
“Sir, the humble request is that for the last six months the farmers of the country have been fighting in various ways and at various levels against the three agricultural laws and for some other demands including legal guarantee of MSP. Under the leadership of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, for the last three months, the farmers have been protesting indefinitely around Delhi, but hundreds of farmers and supporters of the movement have been jailed by the Government of India and several state governments and false cases have been made,” the letter read.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha further said, “Observing ‘Daman Virodhi Diwas’ (anti-repression day) across the country, we are sending the following demands to you through district and tehsil authorities. We hope that you will take immediate action in this regard.”
The demands include, Police cases lodged against innocent farmers lodged in jails should be dismissed and they should be released unconditionally immediately.
False police cases filed against farmers and individuals and organizations supporting their struggle should be dismissed.
The notice sent by the Delhi Police, NIA and other government agencies to intimidate the farmers involved in the struggle should be stopped immediately and the earlier notice should be cancelled, it added.
In the name of the police siege of the Kisan Morcha on the borders of Delhi, the closed roads of the common man should be opened, it said.
Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November last year, against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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