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Farmer-sponsored shutdown gets huge response in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, June 5, 2017: The first-ever Maharashtra “shutdown” called by farmers organisations got a massive response across the state on Monday with minor incidents of violence on the fifth day of the ongoing farmers strike.

The shutdown got enthusiastic response from several lakh aggressive farmers with many regular markets, locals markets and supplies of milk, fruits and vegetables paralysed since early in the day.

For a change, all major political parties, including the ruling coalition constituent Shiv Sena, opposition Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Peasants and Workers Party, Left parties, various trade unions, NGOs, affiliated organisations and farmers groups wholeheartedly supported the statewide bandh.

Major milk suppliers like Gokul Dairy joined the strike along with fresh fruits and vegetables cultivators, but the milk federation in Mumbai kept off the shutdown on Monday.

The day was marked with blocking of roads, state and national highways by burning tyres, an incident of blocking the railway line at Puntamba in Ahmednagar, at least five incidents of stoning and damaging buses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, dharnas, processions, emptying truckloads of milk, fruits and vegetables, and other protests.

Accusing Fadnavis of “betraying” them, farmers in Nashik and Osmanabad burnt his effigy and those in the latter place made a bonfire of large stocks of onion on the roads.

Nanded lawyers abstained from court work for a few hours to join the farmers-sponsored shutdown, while lawyers in Latur are expected to join the farmers on Tuesday.

At least five state transport buses were damaged in stone-pelting incidents in Nanded and Osmanabad even as police rushed in to take control of the situation and prevent matters from escalating.

In Osmanabad, farmers also resorted to a unique “topless” protest by removing their shirts/kurtas and squatting in markets or roads sporting their dhotis and pyjamas.

Farmers locked the gates of the APMC markets in Solapur and squatted outside, while in Parbhani, all political parties joined a farmer-led procession and rally shouting anti-government slogans demanding their demands must be conceded.

Youths organisations joined farmers to ensure a total shutdown in Wardha and they offered flowers in a display of ‘Gandhigiri’ to truckers and transporters plying through the town.

Blockades on roads, state and national highway were the norm in most districts creating traffic jams as hundreds of farmers squatted on roads.

In Nashik, former legislator Shankarrao Gadakh and over 120 farmers were detained for stopping traffic on the Nashik-Aurangabad state highway this afternoon, while the busy Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway was blocked for short while near Dhule.

The shutdown elicited full response in Chandrapur, Dhule, Latur, Bhandara, Hingoli, and Satara where farmers made bonfire of onion stocks, besides Yavatmal where scores of farmers resorted to mass-tonsure to protest against the government.

According to some estimates, fresh stocks of milk, fruits and vegetables worth hundreds of crores of rupees have been disrupted on account of the five-day afarmers strike’ in the state.

Urban centres like Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur and other semi-urban centres were out of purview of the shutdown but would be impacted in terms of shortages of daily essentials and spiralling prices.

The shutdown called by Kisan Kranti – an umbrella organisation of various farmers groups in the state – was part of intensifying the farmland “strike” from June 1.

On Tuesday the plan was to lockdown all government offices followed by gherao of legislators and ministers’ offices on Wednesday.

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Thiruvilwamala temple damaged in fire, police probing cause

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Thiruvilwamala temple fire

Thrissur (Kerala), Jan 24: A major fire broke out at the famed Vilwadrinatha temple near here probably due to a burning lamp, damaging the shrine, police said on Wednesday. There was no report of casualties.

PC- The News Minute

PC- The News Minute

An official from the Pazhayannur police station said the fire at the temple — situated in the middle of Thiruvilwamala village atop a hillock in Thrissur district — was noticed at 8.40 p.m. on Tuesday and could be doused only around midnight.

PC- The News Minute

“The fire was doused close to midnight but till then a lot of damage had been done to the temple. Prima facie, a burning lamp caused the fire, though nothing can be discounted. Police and forensic experts are probing. The temple will remain closed for the present,” the official said.

Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his brother Lakshmana are the main deities at the temple. It is one of the four major temples dedicated to Lord Rama in Kerala.

IANS

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Arunachal Pradesh: Army convoy attacked with grenade by militants in Namsai

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Arunachal Pradesh, Jan 24: Militants attacked Army convoy with grenade in Namsai on Wednesday. 

The blast took place at around 7-20 in the morning when the Army team was returning from conducting operation against insurgents, The Shillong Times reported.

“There was an ongoing operation against insurgents in the area which is known for presence of insurgents belonging to the banned ULFA (Independent) and Naga rebel group NSCN-K” Defence source said.

WeForNews

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Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow school where student was knifed to lose recognition

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Lucknow, Jan 23: A school in the Uttar Pradesh capital where a Class 1 student was critically injured last week in a knife attack by a senior girl to lose its recognition, an Education Department official said on Tuesday.

Officials stated in the aftermath of the January 16 incident, an inspection was carried out at the Brightland School in Triveni Nagar which found “very many discrepancies” both in terms of education standards and the security of students.

The District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) of Lucknow Mukesh Kumar Singh has recommended to the Education Department that the recognition of the school be cancelled, the official told IANS.

Prima facie, the official said, the management has been found guilty of trying to fudge the matter and hide it from the police.

The DIOS said that various classes in the school were being run without permission and against norms, and the team set up by the government had found serious lapses in the security system.

The school was allowed by the Uttar Pradesh Board to have classes till Class 12 but was running additional certificate courses, which is illegal, the official said.

The management has claimed that it had installed 70 CCTV cameras in the premises, but there were only 64 and many cameras were found dysfunctional during the inspection, he said.

There was no attendant near the toilet, where the incident took place in which Hrithik was slashed with a kitchen knife by the Class 7 girl student.

District officials said the state government has directed them to conduct surprise inspections in various schools here to ensure that children are safe and that the managements were adhering to the norms.

IANS

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