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Assam’s Kaziranga park flooded, 51 animals killed, 102 rescued

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flood affected area

Guwahati, July 14 (IANS) Flood in different parts of Assam inundated large swathes of land in Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site, killing at least 51 wild animals though 102 animals have been rescued, officials said on Tuesday.

They said many tigers and rhinos had strayed into the nearby villages due to flooding of their habitats.

Officials of the Kaziranga National Park and the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said 95 per cent of the national park’s 430 sq km area was now flooded, with traffic movement on the National Highway-37 near Kaziranga now suspended.

According to the officials, 45 hog deer, three wild boars and one rhino, one wild buffalo and a swamp deer perished in the floodwater. Of the rescued animals, 86 were hog deer.

Park Director P. Sivakumar said that rising water level in the park areas had forced three sub-adult tigers to stray into a goat-shed in Kandolimari village and nearby areas.

“Two of the tigers have already been driven back into the park area and efforts are on to locate the third tiger,” Sivakumar told IANS over phone.

Formed in 1908, the Kaziranga National park, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985, is home to more than 2,200 one-horned Indian rhinoceros, approximately two third of the total world population.

Each year, the monsoon floods inundate the National Park, located on the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots of Golaghat and Nagaon district, forcing a large number of the wild animals to leave the park and head towards the nearby hills in Karbi Anglong district by crossing National Highway-37 that passes near the park’s boundary.

According to the officials, 45 animals, mostly hog deer, were injured due to flood and one by vehicle hit.

Of the 223 camps of forest personnel guarding the park, 173 have been inundated and 14 others vacated due to rising water levels.

Heavy monsoon rains over the past few weeks have led to massive flooding of the north-eastern state, inundating 2,763 villages and affecting around 24 lakh people and 103,806 hectares of crop area in 27 of its 33 districts.

According to ASDMA officials, with six more deaths in Assam on Monday, the death toll in the flood has risen to 50.

–IANS

India

Priyanka Gandhi sends homemade food for protesting Congress MPs

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sent food cooked in her kitchen for Congress MPs protesting at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by his sister Priyanka at the protest site.

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Rahul Gandhi

Chennai: Most of the MPs and MLAs protesting at Jantar Mantar are from the Punjab unit of the Congress. When IANS spoke to Jasbir Singh Gill, Congress MP from Khadoor Sahib in Punjab, he said, “We met Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday and had a long chat. It seems that she wanted to appreciate the work we have done and for this reason she sent the food,” he said.

Priyanka sent paneer, rajma, rice, roti and gajrela for the protesting lawmakers. Jasbir Singh Gill also told IANS that most of the time they get food from local gurudwaras and sometimes from people’s homes. Congress lawmakers have been protesting against the three contentious farm laws for the last 52 days. Gill also said they would continue with the sit-in protests till the farm laws are withdrawn.

The farmers’ protest in Delhi has led to a standstill at the Singhu border where thousands of farmers continue to stay put. This is despite the Supreme Court announcing a four-member committee. This was the second public event attended by the Milan-returned Rahul Gandhi who first went to Tamil Nadu to attend the ‘Jallikattu’ event.

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Cities

Earthquake of magnitude 4.1 strikes Jammu and Kashmir

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Earthquake Strong

Srinagar, Jan 16 : An earthquake of magnitude 4.1 hit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, but there was no report of any damage, officials said.

At 10:01 pm, the earthquake struck at a latitude of 33.03 degrees north and a longitude of 75.93 degrees east — 93 kms east of Katra, they added.

The depth of the earthquake was 10 kms, the officials said.

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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India

Agriculture laws akin to ‘death warrant’, says farmer leader

“If you want your rights, then reach Delhi on 26 January, she said, adding that the “black laws enacted by the Centre were a “death warrant for farmers”.

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Poonam Pandit

Shahjahanpur (UP), Jan 16 : Farmer leader Poonam Pandit here on Saturday described the agriculture laws enacted by the Centre as a death warrant and urged farmers to reach Delhi on January 26.

The farmer leader said this addressing a Kisan Mahapanchayat in the Banda area of Shahjahanpur, which according to police was held without permission and amid the imposition of prohibitory orders.

“If you want your rights, then reach Delhi on 26 January, she said, adding that the “black laws enacted by the Centre were a “death warrant for farmers”.

“The way in which farmers are being stopped, it appears that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also anti-farmer,” she said.

To stop the mahapanchayat, the administration had approach farmer leaders.

On Saturday, personnel from the Provincial Armed Constabulary were deployed at the site earmarked for the event.

After this, farmers started gathering in an empty field behind the site. Farmer leader Poonam Pandit arrived on a bike and addressed the panchayat for about 25 minutes.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Puvya Navneet Nayak told PTI over the phone that “prohibitory orders were in place in the district and farmer organisations had written on their letter heads that the mahapanchayat has been cancelled.”

“It is not proper to have a mahapanchayat and no permission for this was taken from the administration,” he added.

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